Trust is known to be absolutely essential to every relationship. Whether it’s with your children, your partner, your co-workers or your dog, the relationship can be endangered if trust is weak or non-existent. When one of both parties feel envious, it implies that not only trust is weak, but also the enviousness is eroding trust. Closeness and link in your love relationship or marriage will strengthen if trust is firm and enviousness is not an issue. Here are some concrete ways to recognize and deal with jealousy before it damages trust in your relationship.
You probably know all of this but….when your mate is out with friends or appears to look at an attractive person walking down the street, or is talking closely with a co-worker at an office party, or whatever it is that sparks jealousy within you…. it can seem difficult to remember and practice.
Jamie knows all too well how important trust is in a love relationship. In her work, she spends just about every day counseling others on how to build trust. This makes it even harder when, in her personal life, jealousy shows up and seems to obliterate the trust she’s worked to build with her partner Lee. While Lee is the perfect mate for Jamie in so many ways, quite often she finds herself feeling jealous and mistrusting him. He tends to really focus in on projects at work and sometimes doesn’t call when he’s going to be late getting home. This drives Jamie crazy as she feels stuck in the midst of anger, fear, worry and even embarrassment. When Lee does call, answers his cell phone or arrives home, Jamie feels exhausted and wonders what’s really going on with herself, Lee and their relationship.
Jealousy and mistrust can both feel really BIG in your relationship-especially in the moments you are feeling either intensely. Try these suggestions to begin to turn around your jealousy habit, re-build trust and open up to the close, connected intimate love you are wanting.
1.) What’s the memory?
Jamie almost expects Lee to not call or communicate with her about his schedule. So when this happens (again), her jealousy and mistrust are ready to go. It’s as if the intensity builds as she looks at the clock waiting for it to strike “late o’clock.” Jamie also grew up with a father who not only consistently failed to communicate with her mother his plans; he also had several office affairs. These memories help to cement the jealousy and mistrust Jamie experiences and often have absolutely nothing to do with what’s going on in the present moment.
Ask yourself, “What’s the memory?” when jealous feelings arise. Take a moment to check in with yourself to see whether the assumptions you are making about your partner are rooted in the present or perhaps to some past experience. Jamie can find ease as she realizes that the jealousy she’s feeling right now has more to do with her childhood experiences watching her father and mother. She can choose to give herself love and find ways to heal these old wounds so that they don’t continue to seep into her current relationship with Lee.
2.) What’s the context?
When jealousy is triggered within you, it can feel like whatever happened is all that’s going on in your life. As Jamie realizes that Lee should be home from work and isn’t home yet and hasn’t called to explain why, the jealousy and fears take over and in that space, it seems to Jamie that their whole relationship is his failure to call and her failure to trust him. In the heat of the jealousy and mistrust, Jamie cannot remember the love and connection that she and Lee do share. She forgets that when he is with her, he is totally focused on what she’s doing, how her day was, and letting her know how much he loves her.
In much the same way, in those moments of jealousy and fear, Jamie’s entire life seems to be consumed by these emotions. She gets so caught up in worries about what Lee is doing and who he’s with that she forgets that she’d promised herself a walk in the park before dinner. Her walks in the park are special and renewing and could even be a way to ease her mind and shift attention.
When you find yourself all caught up in jealousy and mistrust, ask yourself, “What’s the context?” What is the expanded space you could find yourself in right now? Are your partner and your relationship really as narrow as you are seeing them or is there a bigger picture you might be missing? What could you choose right now to soothe your feelings?
It can be quite the “a-ha” when you really see how memory and past emotional wounds interfere with your ability to live life in this present moment. As you put the past behind you and begin to see the vast space around you for ease and relief, trust can begin to grow.
Start today to heal your jealous behavior by signing up for Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins’ free course on how to stop jealousy at http://www.NoMoreJealousy.com.