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Taming the Green Monster of Jealousy

Updated on April 23, 2013
debbiepinkston profile image

Debbie is a licensed counselor in the state of Arkansas. She lived in Venezuela and worked with a local orphanage there for many years.

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How to Tame the Green Monster

Jealousy is a horrible feeling, and can destroy a relationship quickly. A jealous spouse can become consumed with feelings of fear and suspicion. Jealousy can take over a person's mental peace and cause incredible anxiety. The relationship suffers as the jealous spouse tries to control their partner and watches every move. The partner feels helpless, having reassured the jealous spouse over and over of their love and devotion.

Is there a cure for jealousy? I believe there is a way to deal with jealousy and minimize it's effects, and even eradicating it.

The first step needed is for the jealous spouse to take responsibility for their feelings and thoughts. Whether or not the partner is giving any valid reason for feeling jealous, the jealous spouse is responsible for how they feel and how they handle things.

Then the jealous spouse must recognize where this comes from, and what the basic fear is: The fear of losing the person he or she loves. We all dread the thought of losing a loved one, especially to another person, but when the fear is uncontrolled, it destroys confidence and trust.

The jealous spouse then must ask themselves some tough questions: Does my behavior help or hurt? Is my behavior producing what I want (keeping my spouse faithful) or is it counterproductive? Most behavior of jealous spouses is completely counterproductive: spying on their spouse, checking cell phone calls and texts, reading emails, accusing and questioning. Do any of these behavior ensure that a spouse is faithful? Will these behaviors ever produce a happy, lasting marriage? NO!

The jealous spouse must think things through logically: What behaviors could I engage in that would motivate my spouse to want to be with me, over anyone else? Usually this would imply being the best spouse possible, being understanding, loving, respectful, helpful, listening, finding out what our spouse needs and providing it, having fun together, etc... The stronger and more fulfilling the relationship, the less likely our spouse will feel tempted to look elsewhere.

These are behaviors to put into practice, but what about what's underneath it all? The jealous person is usually afraid of being abandoned and hurt. They might be afraid of being alone and not having anyone special in their life. No one wants to be rejected and alone, but if we can understand that Yes, that would hurt and it would suck to be alone again, but that we COULD survive and even be happy again, we can rest easy.

We must also realize that our value and worth doesn't come from someone else (they love me so I must be an Okay person), but it has to come from ourselves. We have to believe that we are good people, whether we are with someone or not. Our value doesn't decrease suddenly if our loved one walks away...we continue to be who we are and we are worthy of love and respect, no matter what.

I hope this sheds a little light on how to get rid of the Green Monster!

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    • debbiepinkston profile image
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      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Shiningirisheyes, you're right, jealousy can become all consuming and even dangerous. And completely counterproductive! As Lovedoctor said, if you hold something to tightly, you crush it. We have to realize that the person with us is with us by choice, and we have NO control over that. The best thing we can do is work to improve ourselves to be the best partner we can be, to meet their needs, listen from our heart, and love to the best of our ability.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your views!

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      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      "The stronger and more fulfilling the relationship, the less likely our spouse will feel tempted to look elsewhere." This is very true and most important statement in this hub in my opinion. From my own personal experience, I have learned that when you hold something too tight you will crush it and will just fly away like a butterfly. I agree with shininggirisheyes.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Jealousy in great levels can and is a dangerous thing. I can write these words with a clear conscious as I have never been a jealous person. However, I have friends who sometimes become overwhelmed with this emotion. I often reflect on how much worse they make a situation, sometimes creating one that isn't even there.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      I do not believe jealousy is ever a positve contribution to a relationship. I think your suggestions are great if the jealous person is willing to try and change. Voted up-!!

    • Nicholas Gilkes profile image

      Nicholas Gilkes 4 years ago from Elk, Washington,Colbert Washington, Spokane Washington

      I understand both sides of the story.One person doesn't agree with jealousy while the other person believes such an attribute will contribute to a healthy relationship. It is this difference in opinions that will most likely determine how healthy any relationship will be, so in fact, it is really actually not the jealous factor at all, only the difference on how each party views it. Many people do not or are not willing to see both sides of a story but are only willing to see the side that they "want" to see, because it supports the outcome that they desire to see manifested. On a side note, there are people in this world who wished that their husbands or wives would have been more jealous for them during their relationship as their children would still have a father and or a mother.