The “Green Eyed Monster” Part II

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Hi Friends,

Part II of the  “Green Eyed Monster” Jealousy and how is can destroy your marriage is left uncontrolled.

 

So, what can you do to make sure your using jealousy to your relationship’s advantage, and staying in the good realm of jealousy? The next time you feel the jealousy monster rearing its head, follow these steps:

Step 1: Stop and count to 10

This initial step gives you a chance to collect yourself and decide your course of action. If you know you’re prone to jealous outbursts, stopping to breathe and count to 10 will help you rein in a very strong reaction before it gets ahead of your rational decision-making process.

Step 2: Ask yourself a key question

Once you feel a measure of control over your reaction, ask yourself: Is my feeling of jealousy justified? Did he/she do something willfully to draw the other person in? Does this really mean they are looking for an opportunity to cheat, or don’t love you anymore? If you decide that the jealous feelings you’re having have some sort of justification, proceed to step 3.

Step 3: Define your stance

So you’ve decided your jealousy is justified. Only you can answer this question to begin with, because again, each person has their own internal comfort boundary. So, define what, exactly, that boundary was that your spouse crossed: Did he/she give the appearance of impropriety, even if they didn’t actually do anything? Would a third-party person standing nearby interpret the scene as sketchy?

Step 4: Frame your response

Once you’ve defined your stance on what boundary you feel your spouse has crossed, respond with specifics. You can use the light joking tone: “Ann, if I’m not careful, that guy may try to put you in his coat pocket and steal you away!”

Or, you can go for matter-of-fact: “Carl, when you touched that woman’s arm and let it linger, I feel it crossed a line of the way I’d expect my spouse to behave with another woman. It could be misconstrued by others, including that other woman, and it made me distinctly uncomfortable.”

Jealousy is an early-warning system, and it’s built into us for a reason. Not much we can do about that. But like any emotion, sometimes it needs simple management to keep it confined and then directed for more positive outcomes. Yelling at and accusing our spouses hardly ever achieves the desired effect: a cease and desist on their part from questionable behavior.

My best to you as you use the monster emotion of jealousy to your relationship’s advantage.

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