Your Jealous Partner Survival Kit
Jealous Partner Survival Kit
By Susie and Otto Collins
You may carry a survival kit in your car filled with supplies you can use if your tire goes flat or you run into some type of engine trouble. It might include a blanket, flashlight, a wrench, jack, and road flares. When times like this happen, you don't want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere without tools to help you get back on the road and on to where you are heading.
Do you ever wish there was a survival kit available when your relationship encounters difficulties? Perhaps you live with a jealous partner and when you two are caught in the familiar scenario of his or her jealousy and your feeling accused and defensive because of it-- it seems that your relationship is stuck out in the middle of nowhere.
You might feel like you are under attack much of the time and maybe you don't have a clue about what will set off your mate's suspicions and accusations. The strain is probably wearing you both down and it's highly likely that you don't feel very close to one another-- especially when jealousy has reared its head.
Jack feels like he's walking in a field filled with land mines when at home with his wife Beth. If he's late coming home from work, she demands a detailed accounting of where he's been and who he's been with. If he manages to get off work early, she wants to know why. Jack even suspects that Beth regularly checks his private e-mail account and cell phone records. What really galls Jack about Beth's jealousy, however, is that he's never even considered having an affair. He takes their marriage vows seriously and really doesn't notice other women much.
At the same time, Beth's jealous habits are getting increasingly irritating to Jack and feel invasive as well. When he tries to bring up how he feels with Beth, she immediately breaks down into tears and says he's just trying to cover up his questionable behavior. It's as if she's just waiting to catch him doing something wrong.
Jack and Beth certainly seem stuck in a downward spiral. A survival kit of agreements might just help them. It could help you and your jealous partner too....
Make agreements to be trustable.
As the one who's being wrongly accused time and time again, you probably don't feel like you should have to prove that you are trustable. But in order to shift in a different direction away from jealousy, accusations and defensiveness, consider sitting down with you partner and renewing or making new agreements around the issue of trust.
Ask your mate to set aside any suspicions and doubts about you or your relationship at least during your discussion. Then see if he or she will make agreements about how you each can demonstrate your trustability to one another. This is about what you both are agreeing do- not just you. Keep the conversation rooted in the present moment and on what you want for the future-- not on what your partner may think you did or did not do in the past.
It may be helpful to write down this list and leave it out for you both to see. It could include such things as: we will phone or e-mail one another if we'll be late home from work, we will follow through on what we've promised to do for one another no matter how insignificant the promise seems, and we renew our promises to one another to be monogamous.
Some of these agreements are going to be clearly evident as you carry them out on day-to-day basis. Others are less apparent. Those that are more evident can serve as a reassurance to your partner and perhaps will help him or her let go of jealous thoughts.
Make agreements about how you want to communicate.
Beth agreed to sit down with Jack and write down their list of agreements about trust. This has actually helped because now Beth has a visual reminder of Jack's commitment to her and what they've promised one another. Now Jack asks Beth to make agreements with him about how they can communicate more connectingly with one another. He keeps their discussion affirming and focuses on how he'd like communication to go between them. Once again, Jack and Beth find it helpful to write down their communication agreements so that they can not only remember them more easily, but also so that they can celebrate their successes as they keep them.
How do you want your partner to communicate with you? If you would like him or her to request information from a place of curiosity rather than accusation then see if your mate can agree to try to do that. If you want to take short "time outs" when the talk gets tense, then write that on your list. Whatever would help both you and your partner feel like you are moving closer together as you talk about the issues that come up, make agreements to do those things.
Possibly the most valuable "kit" you have is your desire to stay connected with your love while honoring what you both individually need. Allow your heart to lead you and you can do more than just survive, you can watch jealousy fade away as love flourishes and grows.
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