Jay feels as if he’s in the aftermath of a hurricane, tornado or even a war. He and his long-term girlfriend, Tiffany, broke up last night… and it was all because of Jay’s jealousy habit.
He knows all too well how much damage jealousy can do to a love relationship. Pretty much the entire time they’ve been a couple, Jay has become jealous and tension or arguments with Tiffany have followed.
He never imagined that they’d actually break up because of it!
Now, Jay feels 100% responsible for the breakup and he wants more than anything else to get back together with Tiffany and to make things right between them.
The trouble is, he doesn’t know how to actually do this.
If you tend to get jealous, it’s likely that your love relationship or marriage was significantly affected by it. In fact, like Tiffany and Jay, your relationship may have broken up, in part, because of your jealousy.
A first thing that we’d like you to remember is that in the majority of relationship breakups and divorces, there are multiple factors that led to the disconnection that ultimately caused the breakup.
Of course, jealousy is painful to both the person who is jealous and the partner of the jealous person. Jealousy, most definitely, contributes to mistrust, distance and tension between a couple.
But, there are almost always an array of dynamics going on that are also moving the two people further and further apart from one another. Jealousy is just one of them.
Take responsibility, not guilt.
If you and your partner are having problems or have broken up and jealousy was present in your relationship, it is important for you to take responsibility for your jealousy.
But, this doesn’t mean that you have to walk around weighed down by guilt. It will not help you to heal and to possibly re-unite with your ex if you are primarily feeling guilt.
There is a huge difference between guilt and responsibility.
Guilt carries with it an emphasis on particular behaviors being wrong. There is also a dimension of punishment that usually goes along with guilt.
Responsibility, on the other hand, places more emphasis on owning up to your share in a dynamic or situation. There is a sense of claiming your role in a disconnecting habit and then making a change so that improvements can happen.
Guilt will keep you stuck in the past where you were jealous. Responsibility can allow you to own what you did and what you are doing right now and to choose to do it differently.
Decide if getting back with your ex is truly in your best interest.
Especially if breaking up was not your idea, you may be very focused in on how you can get back together with your ex.
It is understandable that you might want to go back to the person with whom you’ve shared special memories and intimate times and who you may still love deeply. You might even wonder how you can possibly manage to live your life without this person, your ex.
Please be gentle with yourself and recognize these feelings, if this is what you are feeling. At the same time, give yourself the space to answer this question…
“Is it truly in my best interest, right now, to get back together again with my ex?”
This may not be an easy question for you to ask yourself, but do it anyway. Grant yourself permission to fully explore your answer and come up with what’s smart and wise for you.
For example, Jay is clear that he doesn’t want to get back together with Tiffany only to keep having the same jealousy-induced arguments over and over again. He can see that it’s time for him to get a handle on his jealousy.
When he digs deep inside herself, Jay can also admit that there are other aspects of his relationship with Tiffany that are painful and troubling. She is secretive and maintains a “friendship” with her ex-husband which is upsetting to Jay. This has been a point of contention between them for a long time.
Jay is not as certain that getting back together again is truly in his best interest at this moment. At the same time, he is very sad and a little panicked to come to such a realization.
Communicate and then let go.
You may decide that, for now, getting back together again is not necessarily for the best. If so, you can be honest with yourself and your ex (if you choose to) that you are open to possibly reuniting in the future– but, at this time, you need space and time to heal.
This could be your time to learn some skills that will help you overcome jealousy. You and your ex might decide to meet with a coach or counselor to work through some of your challenges.
Or, you may have come to the conclusion that you believe it IS in your best interest to get back together with your ex now.
If so, you can communicate that to him or her in a way that is centered on how you feel, what you would like and shows that you are taking responsibility for your habits. You might share your ideas for how the two of you can reverse some of the disconnecting tendencies– like jealousy.
After communicating what you want, it’s time to let go.
Even if you’ve decided that you do want to reunite with your ex, we advise you to let go. Let your partner have the space to get clear about what he or she wants and is willing to do next.
Be available to getting back together again if that’s what you want, but, in the meantime, return to healing and taking care of yourself. Work on overcoming jealousy whether or not your ex is interested in getting back together again.
This will help you heal even more and allow you to create a healthier, closer relationship in the future– whether it’s with your ex or another person.