Is Jealousy Destroying Your Relationship? Banishing The Green-eyed Monster From Your Relationship

Jealousy is a common problem that couples present when they go to counseling. When one partner chooses jealous behaviors, the dynamics of the relationship change. They are no longer a couple in an Adult Relationship.

Now they are caught in a cycle of Investigator and Suspect. The Investigator spends an enormous amount of energy checking up on the Suspect, who may or may not be doing anything reprehensible. The Suspect spends time defending and explaining his/her behaviors. They are locked in a pattern which will destroy their relationship and they usually don’t what to do.

Both partners are miserable playing this game. The game is all about Control. "If I don’t check up on her, she'll make me look stupid" or "He'll make a fool of me." People who choose jealous behaviors may not realize that their behavior looks pretty silly or even crazy. Their partner didn't "make" them look stupid.

I was actually told by several women that "all men cheat." If this is your belief, you are probably an Investigator. Problem is: you have to sleep sometime. You can’t chain yourself to your partner. You have decided that you alone are capable of controlling your partner’s behavior. What’s more, you've decided it's your Job as his partner to keep him from cheating on you.

What a way to live your life, spending your time spying on each other! Trust is a decision. It’s not based on how the other person acts. If you choose to stay with a partner who is not trustworthy, you are doing so with your eyes open. If you are choosing jealousy without cause, you are doing so to control your partner.

The very things you do to control your partner are the things that will drive your partner away. Are you ready to try something different?

Keep in mind that jealous behavior is a choice you are making. It starts with your thoughts: I wonder where he is. She’s probably with someone right now. Why didn't he call me when he said he would? Why is she wearing that dress? Who was that woman who called him?

These thoughts lead to your behaviors, such as calling excessively (read, more than twice during work hours), listening in on phone conversations, checking phone lists and emails, interrogating your partner, and many other destructive behaviors.

You begin to feel awful after imagining all of the things your partner is doing (these are thoughts; you can change them). You can also change your behaviors if you choose to. If jealously is destroying your relationship, there is hope if you are willing to do the work.

First, if you're with someone who is trustworthy, you can change the thoughts that are plaguing you. Whenever you get those thoughts that start your heart racing, ask yourself the following questions:

What evidence is there that my thought is true?
What evidence is there that my thought is false?
What would someone else say about this thought?
What other explanation could there be?

After you answer these questions, decide what new course of action you will take based on this exercise. Repeat this as often as needed. Hopefully, you will soon find yourself feeling calmer and less ready to play the Investigator and Suspect game.


About the Author
Michelle E. Vásquez is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice in San Antonio, TX. Relationship blogs: http://languageofrelating.blogspot.com and http://awaresingle.blogspot.com.

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