Jealousy... is a mental cancer. ~B.C. Forbes
Jealousy will make you crazy. When you are in its grip the feeling is almost unbearable. It can make you physically sick and unable to focus on anything else. Jealousy will compel you to do things and say things you will later regret and you can never take back. Jealousy can single handily destroy a good relationship.
If you have a boyfriend or husband that openly flirts with other women or whom you know is cheating, you would have to be made of stone not to feel hurt and betrayed. Here jealousy is a natural response. But when jealousy is self-created, unrelated to reality, it acts like a poison that takes over your life and destroys your self-esteem. The jealousy I’m referring to is based on fear, not on fact, a green monster that you create out of your own imagination.
I have worked with many women who make excuses for their jealous behavior. They try to justify the actions they take when they spy on their men as if they are not responsible for their jealousy. But the truth is jealousy feels bad. It is unattractive and kills the love in a relationship.
Has your jealousy has gone too far?
It has if:
1) You find yourself constantly checking up on your man’s Facebook or Twitter page.
2) You can’t stop yourself from checking his call history and listening to his phone messages behind his back.
3) You constantly call or text him during the day just to find out where he is.
If you said yes to even one of these questions, you are in trouble. When you start messing around in your man’s personal business, you have lost control of your dignity and your pride. Your relationship now lacks one of the most important qualities it needs to thrive: trust. Even if he gives you a reason to be suspicious, you are still responsible for how you behave in the relationship.
So what can you do to get rid of the jealousy that is sucking the energy and happiness out of your life? You have to attack jealousy at its root. Jealousy is about how you feel about you more than how your man feels about you. If you find yourself obsessing on his life and what he’s doing, it’s a sure sign you are not paying attention to your own.
If you think your man is more interested in other women than he is in you, it can mean you think they are more worthy of his interest than you are. If you are attracted to your man, you will believe that other women are as well and that can be scary, especial if you doubt your own value. You can find yourself in a downward spiral where it seems every other woman is more attractive and more interesting than you are. By this time you have lost yourself.
So how do you change your irrational feelings of jealousy?
You have to take your eyes off him and start to work on you. It’s important that you face the challenge of taking control of yourself before it destroys your chance for love.
Take positive actions that will increase your feelings of self-love and self-worth. The only way to feel good about you is by doing things that make you feel proud; that bring you self-respect. That is the exact opposite of what you have been doing. It feels terrible to snoop and sneak into someone else’s life. Negative actions bring with them negative emotions, so you end up feeling guilt, remorse and shame.
Your feelings about your man will always be a reflection of how you feel about you. If you don’t trust yourself you can’t trust the man in your life. If you cannot love yourself, you will not believe that you are loved.
Pay attention to what you need to do make your life more fulfilling and satisfying and start doing it. You will find your mind now occupied with good thoughts about you and your value as a woman. You will see things more clearly and invite into your life a new sense of wellbeing and confidence. As you begin to trust yourself you will be creating your own sense of emotional security that nothing can shake. Your jealousy will dissipate and you will be able to love from a much deeper and more trusting place.
Maya Angelou said it well:
Jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savor, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances, can be life-threatening.
This article was originally published at It's Never Too Late to Marry
. Reprinted with permission from the author.