The surprising way that jealousy can help your relationship.
What you hear about jealousy can be confusing. It's unpleasant, emotionally painful to experience and can cause you to act paranoid and so unlike the person you want to be (and truly are). But...
Sometimes, jealousy can seem to get you what you've been longing for — your partner's attention. This is why certain websites and magazine articles actually advocate using jealousy to make your partner spend more energy and time with you, instead of continuing to neglect you. Whether it's you flirting with someone else right in front of him or you accusing her of thinking about and wanting to be with another, it sort of seems to work. At least in the short term, your partner changes his or her behavior in order to keep the peace and prevent you from getting jealous again.
Of course, this is only in the short-term, if it works the way you want it to at all. As tempting as it is, caving in to jealousy leaves you more suspicious and insecure than ever before. Your partner feels defensive, manipulated and is possibly questioning the benefits of staying with you. In other words, jealousy leaves you and your partner further apart than you were and is a real threat to your relationship.
So, can jealousy ever be a good thing?
Our answer is a qualified "Yes." When you recognize that you're acting or reacting from a jealous place and you stop to really understand where it's coming from, you can transform your relationship and your life in wonderful ways. Whenever the urge to interrogate, accuse or check your partner's phone arises, that's your cue to come of the jealousy haze and and take a closer look.
This is your opportunity to pause, get clear and consciously choose what's truly in your best interests. Jealousy is NEVER beneficial if you do what you’ve always done and allow it to take over and dictate your words and actions. Misery and possibly a breakup or divorce are ahead if you simply allow jealousy to take over.
Jealousy can be a good thing when you...
1. Look at your thoughts.
If you want jealousy to end up being a positive in your life (instead of the drain and downer), then you've got to start paying attention to the thoughts that float through your mind. It doesn't matter if it's a casual or even “joking” thought, if it's a scenario in which your partner doesn't want to be with you, is betraying you or is going to leave you or any other thought that feeds your jealousy, interrupt that thought.
You have the power to either keep thinking what pops into your mind or to re-focus on something else. Use a quick question like, “Is that really true?” and then intentionally think about something else. It doesn't have to be a thought about your partner or your relationship. In fact, it's helpful to re-focus on what's happening right now. Concentrate on your breath moving in and out of your body. Really feel your feet as they touch the floor and the breeze blowing on your skin. This return to the present moment will allow you to return to calm and clear-seeing.
2. Examine your habits.
Get curious when jealousy comes up and you've calmed down. Assess the way you spend your time on a daily basis. How much of what you do in “autopilot” mode contributes to your jealousy? Know what triggers you when you get jealous and then make changes to your habits to either remove those triggers or to provide yourself with a firm foundation so that you can return to clarity — which is key to jealousy being a good thing in your life.
3. Face the facts.
If you wonder why we keep talking about getting calm and clear it's because that's what you're going to need to do to transform your relationship into the trusting, close and connected experience you've been wanting. When you're caught up in jealous worries and fears, everything you see, hear and do is skewed and usually misinterpreted or completely inaccurate.
To face the facts of your relationship, you've got to be able to see beyond that. When you face the facts, you are taking an honest look at your relationship and recognizing when there is a problem or issue that needs to be addressed.
4. Choose wisely.
Jealous isn't necessarily the ideal way to be in a love relationship or marriage, but when it does come up, it presents you with an opportunity. That opportunity to wake up and get curious is invaluable and can take you closer to creating the relationship you've always wanted. But this can only happen if you choose wisely. Meet your suspicions or nagging fear with a willingness to explore and go deep. Find out what's going on within you, what's triggered the way you're feeling and get yourself into a mental state where you can make smart decisions about what to do next.
Will your next move be to get help from a counselor or coach? Will it be to sit down and create agreements with your partner? We can help you get calm and clear and figure out a smart choice for what's next. Click here to get our free 7 Jealousy Stopping Secrets ebook.