Every time that Becca’s boyfriend Jason returns home from a business trip, they seem to get into an argument– and that’s a lot because he travels regularly for work.
Becca can’t seem to stop her jealous thoughts about Jason having an affair with another woman who lives in a different city. She wants to trust Jason and believe him when he says that he is not cheating, but it’s so hard when the stories in her mind seem so real.
And sometimes he is secretive about where he’s been when she tries to call his cell phone late at night and he doesn’t answer. Becca really doesn’t know what to believe anymore.
She can see that her relationships is tense and strained and she’s never felt so far away from Jason as she does now.
When your jealous thoughts take hold, it can be difficult to stop them. They seem so real– and the fact of the matter is, you may not know what’s real.
After all, your jealousy probably didn’t materialize out of nothing. Perhaps there is something going on that your jealous fears are alerting you about. But, then again, perhaps your jealous fears have more to do with your insecurity or past hurts than they do with your current partner and relationship.
We know, it can be confusing and frustrating.
Before jealousy completely ruins your relationship, try these 3 tips…
#1) Get to the root of your jealousy.
When you are feeling less triggered, take some time to explore the possible roots of your jealousy.
We encourage you to set aside, for the moment, your judgment about whether or not your jealous thoughts are true or false. For now, identify the feelings that come up most frequently for you when you are jealous.
Is it fear that you will be abandoned? Is it a feeling of inadequacy about who you are and your worthiness of having a loving partner? Is it anger or resentment because you feel like you are being ignored or your needs are not being met?
Get to know these emotions. Ask yourself if the feelings and thoughts related to them remind you of any past experiences or previous relationships.
This is all very valuable to know.
#2) Return to the present moment.
Now, bring your attention back to the present moment. Get into the habit of determining if your feelings– and especially the thoughts that fuel the feelings– are based in what’s going on right now or, if they instead link more directly to the past.
It’s quite possible that what’s going on between you and your current partner is similar to a dynamic that developed in a past relationship.
Begin to practice telling the difference between what is happening right now and what happened in the past. In the heat of a jealous moment, it can be a challenge to do this.
You can build your skills in this regard by returning to the present moment throughout your day– about things that are unrelated to your relationship at first.
Becca has started to consciously bring her attention back to the present moment several times a day.
When she is taking breaks from her work at the office, she’ll recognize that her mind is beginning to wander and she is thinking about what she did last night or what she will do this weekend. After this recognizing, Becca takes a deep breath and deliberately tunes in to her current surroundings.
She feels clear and centered after she does this. She plans to try this technique the next time that she begins to notice the first signs of jealousy.
#3) Follow through.
These first two tips are inner skills that you can practice and use when jealous emotions arise within you. They can be very powerful techniques that can help you calm down and become more certain about what you are seeing or hearing.
With the increased clarity, you can make decisions that will support you and possibly help you save your relationship.
For example, as Becca is becoming more adept at returning to the present moment and sorting through her emotions and thoughts, she is realizing that she has many unanswered questions about Jason’s behavior on these business trips.
Too often, Becca notices that Jason will simply call her jealous when she asks him why he didn’t answer his phone while away. He tends to avoid these questions even when she is curious, not accusatory.
As you come upon information that just doesn’t add up or you see behaviors and habits that you’d like to change, be sure to follow through.
Make requests for more information so that you can better understand what your partner is telling you. Create agreements with him or her in order to address habits that create distance in your relationship.
If you aren’t certain that you can trust the answers that you are receiving from your mate, find ways to get reliable information. There are specific actions you can take to determine the truth about whether or not your partner is lying and cheating, for example.
Yes, we encourage you to own up to your jealous habit if you have one. Try the tips we suggested above so that you can stop jealousy from clouding your vision of what’s going on.
At the same time, we advise you to be wise– get the information you need so that your questions can be reliably answered. These steps just might help you save your relationship.