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Dealing with Jealousy in a Marriage

Challenge Infidelity Misconceptions That Fuel Jealousy
By Susie and Otto Collins

Angela has been miserable lately-- and this should be the happiest time of her life.

She and her husband Cal have a beautiful 6 month
old baby who is healthy and full of smiles and coos. While Angela is enjoying being a new mom, she is increasingly anxious.

Those extra pounds that Angela put on while pregnant with the baby have not come off. In fact, in this busy transition time learning to care for a growing baby, Angela has put on even more weight.

On the surface, Cal doesn't seem to mind Angela's heavier body. But Angela is convinced that Cal will inevitably have an affair with a younger and more fit woman if she doesn't lose weight soon.

As a result of this belief, Angela has become fearful and jealous. Whenever Cal has been out for a business dinner with clients, she grills him when he gets home. Angela has even started to check in about Cal's workday activities with his assistant.

Many women and men assume that their spouse or partner will cheat because another person is more attractive, thinner, more fit or for another body-related reason.

There is a common misconception that infidelity happens when one person already in a committed relationship is lured into an affair by the physical attractiveness of another.

There probably are cases in which the decision to cheat is primarily motivated by the way another person looks-- but, we have to tell you, this is not the norm.

When a person has an affair, it is almost always because there is disconnection in his or her marriage or relationship.

Particular needs are not being met and so the person looks outside the marriage to fulfill those needs.

If you feel insecure about your physical appearance and body and you believe this infidelity misconception, you might become jealous.

As you probably know, jealousy is absolutely NOT the way to move closer to your spouse.

Make connecting a priority.
Angela realizes that her jealousy and the belief that Cal will cheat with a thinner woman is not helping her relationship and it's certainly not helping her.

In fact, she realizes that since she's felt such intense jealous fear, the time that she does spend with Cal is not enjoyable like it used to be.

Because, with a baby, time together is limited anyway,  Angela acknowledges that it's time for a change.

Whether or not you are jealous, we highly recommend that you and your spouse make connecting a priority.

Even if your schedule is relatively free and you don't have young children that need your attention, be sure to make time for quality connecting with your mate.

We're not just talking about having a weekly movie night or regular dates out-- though these can be connecting as well.

Be sure that you and your partner are truly connecting whenever you are together.

Some of the time this might involve fun activities, other times it may be more passionate. And yet other times you and your spouse might connect by talking about difficult topics that have been coming
between you.

If you have a jealous habit, take steps to question your beliefs and assumptions. Become clear about what you know to be true so that when you do communicate, it is as open as possible.

And, above all, do whatever you can to cultivate more connection with your partner.

Talk about needs.
As we said above, in many cases, people cheat because some particular need (or more than one) is not being met in their relationship.

Does this mean that the affair is actually the spouse's fault because he or she wasn't meeting the needs of the one who cheated?

Of course not.

What it does mean is that if you are honest with yourself and with your mate about what you need in your marriage, you can deepen connection and prevent infidelity.

While the baby naps, Angela sits down with her journal. She writes about how she's feeling, including her jealous fears.

Angela realizes that she has been feeling unattractive and uninteresting since becoming a mother.

She is happy to be home with the baby for a year or two, but Angela realizes that she doesn't feel as valuable now that she isn't bringing in money from a paid job.

Her weight gain has only intensified her feelings of worthlessness.

When Cal comes home from work, Angela shares with him what she discovered while journaling. She even admits her fears about him having an affair because of her body size.

Cal is able to really listen to Angela and he also shares with her about how much he misses being close and making love as often as they did before the baby arrived.

Although it is a difficult conversation, Cal and Angela are really able to hear the needs and emotions of one another.

They feel more connected than they have in a long time. Together, they brainstorm some ideas about possible changes they can make.

Taking the time to touch in with the unmet needs you have and then talking about it with your partner might sound like a lot. But it's worth the stretch.

You can ease jealous fears, move closer to your mate and possibly prevent infidelity when you make quality connecting a priority.

So, what are you waiting for?


For a free audio on overcoming jealousy, click here.


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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins, PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling (614) 568-8282.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email.

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