December 24, 2013
by Casey Truffo, LMFT
Have you found yourself getting a bit envious when your man says he is going out with the guys? Or maybe you feel a twinge of resentment when your wife tells you she’s having a ladies night out so you shouldn’t wait up? If you answered yes to either of these, what you are experiencing is nothing more than simple jealousy. Jealousy, also known as the “green-eyed monster” comes up naturally, on occasion, in a relationship but it can also be the very thing that causes it to fall apart.
Jealousy is Natural but Should be Controlled
As natural and sometimes unavoidable as jealousy can be, it can (and should) be controlled. By allowing such fear, insecurities, and anxiety to build up, animosity can develop towards the one person that you’re supposed to love and trust. When you find yourself becoming jealous of your spouse’s activities with their friends you should remind yourself of the turmoil it could cause in your relationship. Jealousy that goes unresolved can lead to fights and, in some cases, even separation or divorce.
Working Past Jealousy
There are ways to work through this type of jealousy with or without the help of your partner. First you need to start by looking within. Is there a particular reason you are jealous? Has your spouse cheated on you or admitted to being tempted in the past when out with his/her friends? Have you been wronged in the past and fear it will happen again? If not, check out these tips that can help you get over that jealousy fast:
- How's Your Self-Esteem? – Many times, jealousy comes because people are not happy with who they are or what they look like. Practice appreciating yourself for who you are and how you look. While rebuilding self-esteem takes some time, the first step is cutting yourself some slack and accepting yourself exactly as you are.
- Enjoy Some "You" Time – Do you often feel lonely when your spouse is not around? It might be beneficial if you find other things to do that will keep you busy while your spouse is gone. This could be anything from reading a book to actually going out with some friends of your own.
- Retrain Your Brain – Your thought processes can do damage to your relationship when you’re in a jealous, negative frame of mind. Every time you feel yourself becoming jealous and thinking the worst when your spouse isn’t around, consider thinking of the best case scenario instead and remind yourself that they’ve done nothing to make you not trust them.
- Value Your Time Together – When the time you spend with your spouse is valuable and appreciated it makes the time you spend apart easier to deal with. So make the most of the time you have together by having fun making good memories. This way when your spouse goes out with their friends you won’t feel “abandoned” or as if they’re going out to have fun “without” you. Instead, encourage the time apart and treasure the time together.
- Meet Their Friends – This doesn’t mean invite yourself along on every single outing that your spouse has with their friends, but this can be a great way to get over your jealousy. Meeting their friends and getting to know them a bit better can make you feel better about who your spouse hangs out with when you’re not around. Sometimes your imagination can lead you to believe that your spouse’s friends are only looking to remind your spouse of the life they had before you came along when that is simply not the case. Getting to know them better can go far to set your mind at ease.
- Talk it Out – Last, but certainly not least, if you are unable to resolve your jealousy issues on your own it may be necessary to talk with your spouse about how you’re feeling. Sometimes jealousy comes about because of a past situation within your marriage that caused you to distrust your spouse. Explain why you are having a hard time trusting them and come to common solutions on how you can begin to rebuild the trust and move forward.
Jealousy can be a deeply rooted issue, and in some situations may be more easily sorted out with the help of a professional relationship counselor. The fact of the matter is that you and your significant other deserve to be happy in a healthy, jealousy-free relationship. Jealousy can lead to so many complications in your marriage, with your health, and throughout life. The first step to overcoming jealousy is admitting it, the next step is taking action to change for the better.
If you’re considering couples counseling, trust the counselors at OC Relationship Center help. Call us today at 949-220-3211 or book your appointment online.