Imagine that you’re sitting in a nice restaurant with your partner and what you’ve been fearing happens…
Someone catches your partner’s eye and you can’t help but stare at your partner to see how long or how intensely he or she looks at that other person or continues to flirt with them.
You are ANGRY.
Even OUTRAGED AT how insensitive they are to you.
You find yourself “fighting” to NOT make a big scene or a big deal out of what they’re doing.
This “fighting” to stay calm…. “Fighting” to NOT get upset at them and their behavior is so hard.
In fact, fighting this urge to try to catch your partner doing something wrong only makes matters worse.
After all, It’s just like eating potato chips–you can’t eat one…
…you have to eat the whole bag (or at least most of it).
You just can’t seem to stop yourself from looking to see who your partner is looking at or who they’re flirting with–and getting really hurt and angry in the process.
It’s crazy making for two people in a relationship who care about each other and here’s what we’ve discovered…
As we’ve been helping people from all over the world with jealousy, we know that this is a huge problem for both men and women.
Here’s the thing…
We hate to generalize about jealousy but here’s what we’ve discovered…
According to the partners who struggle with this–some men look too long and some women flirt too much.
Now of course, some men could be accused of flirting (and more) with others and some women look too long but what we hear most from frustrated partners is “he looks too long” and “she flirts and it drives me crazy.”
The other day, we heard from a woman who asked us a great question that we’re sure you have if you’ve ever experienced what we’re talking about.
She asked, “How do I fight watching where my husband is looking?”
And not to exclude the men…
We could just as easily add this question to the mix…
“How do I fight getting really angry when my wife flirts with other men?”
You have to take the “fight” out of it.
You have to stop trying to fight your way out of noticing what your partner is doing.
Easier said than done, right?
But if you don’t, here’s what happens…
When you fight or prepare to fight, your body tenses for action, you go into survival mode, and you stop breathing.
The problem is that there’s NO huge tiger running after you that you have to fight.
All that tensing for a fight in an attempt to control your actions ends up coming out in ways that you generally don’t want.
You end up fighting with your partner (or with someone else) which is not what you
You may even try to hold it in (and be somewhat success at it) but all that tensing can play havoc with your physical and emotional health if this happens frequently.
So what can you do instead of fighting to control yourself from looking at your partner to see where he or she is looking?
Here are a few things we suggest…
1. Stop the fight and breathe through the urges when they happen. This doesn’t mean that you will stop yourself from looking.
It just means that you will stop the fight inside you.
2. Stop the story that arises inside you of “this means that.”
The story that comes up may be that his or her looking means that you aren’t attractive anymore–or that your partner will leave you for someone who looks better than you, makes more money than you–has it more together than you.
The truth is that you don’t know that this is the case.
So stop keeping your anxiety going by running this kind of story in your mind.
3. Take some time and determine whether your partner’s actions are truly something you need to worry about or not.
Now be honest with yourself.
Of course they bother you but you have to take an impartial look at what actually happens.
Is this just his or her friendly personality coming through–or are these actions really inappropriate and breaking agreements (even unspoken ones) that you have.
If you truly get the sense that your partner is breaking agreements (you’re embarrassed by the actions and not only you find them really offensive but others do too)–you will need to talk calmly about it–without adding the stories you’ve made up to heighten his or her defensiveness–and your own anger.
If this is the case, you’re probably saying right now that you’ve TRIED to talk to him or her and you hear nothing but denials that there’s anything wrong.
Okay–so if you feel agreements are being broken and your values your being compromised, what do you do?
If your partner doesn’t want to change, then you have to figure out if this is a deal breaker for you or not–and if you can live with his or her actions–
Because he or she doesn’t want to change!
Tell your partner how you feel without the drama but rather from a place of this is what YOU experience and what’s true for you.
Here’s something that’s straight out of our “Magic Relationship Words” program that we’ll recommend you try…
You might start out saying something like this…
“I love you and I feel embarrassed (or whatever emotion) when I see you talking to him/her in that way. Even though you may not mean it, I feel disrespected when that happens.”
Either you’ll be able to talk about it openly with him or her or your partner will continue to deny it and say you’re crazy or worse.
If you run up against a brick wall, you have to decide if you want to continue to be with a partner who does this.
If he/she is willing, both of you can come to an agreement about what you can do in situations like those.
Your partner can learn to “tone it down” and you can learn to watch for what’s going right instead of what’s going wrong.
So what if you determine that your partner ISN’T really out of line with the way he or she is with others–but you’re still not believing it on some level and you’re still fighting the urge to catch him or her in the act of doing something wrong?
You have to learn some strategies to first calm yourself, challenge the untrue stories in your head and replace them with stories that will bring you closer to what you want instead of what you don’t want.
Instead of having this inner dialogue–“He’ll/She’ll leave me for someone else,” have this dialogue instead…
‘Here are 3 things that prove my partner is in love with me…”
Then find 3 instances when you felt loved.
You’ve got to flip a switch in your mind when you get high jacked by your suspicions when you know on some level that they aren’t true.
We invite you to try some of these techniques and stop fighting your way through life and through your jealousy.
Remember, jealousy is something that you can heal and stop–but it’s not by fighting what comes up for you about it.