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Dealing with Jealousy in a Marriage

What Would Your Marriage Be Like Without Jealousy?
By Susie and Otto Collins

Zack and Sara live with it just about every day and every night. It eats meals with them and sleeps with them.

It is jealousy.

Sara has always been very social and outgoing. Zack is more introverted and quiet. Because Zack craves peace and quiet on the weekends, he doesn't like to go to dance clubs or parties.

Sara finds the energy and excitement of these places and groups of people invigorating. She gets bored if she sits at home all of the time.

Friends sometimes wonder how Zack and Sara ever got together in the first place...and now they are married!

This dynamic wouldn't necessarily be a problem, except for the jealousy that has erupted, in part, because of their differences.

Zack knows how friendly Sara is and he worries that she will send some guy the wrong message. He also fears that one day she'll decide that he is boring and she'll find someone more lively and sociable.

When Sara returns home from a night out with her friends, Zack always sits up and waits. He questions her about everyone she talked and danced with.

If Sara gets defensive about being interrogated--
which she often does-- Zack retreats to the troubling scenarios he's
imagined in his mind.

Jealousy can ruin a marriage or love relationship.

You have probably already felt the negative effects of jealousy if, like Zack and Sara, it is present in your marriage.

The one who is jealous might feel justified about his or her suspicions and worries. The one who is deemed a flirt or na´ve might close down or lash out in defense.

There's no doubt that jealousy causes distance in a relationship.

Overcome jealousy as a team.
The person with the jealous habit needs to take responsibility for his or her thoughts, feelings and actions.

But if the partner of the jealous person sees jealousy as only the other person's "problem,"
the improvements will be minimal or non-existent.

Instead, we recommend that a couple approach jealousy as a team. 

It's time to set aside blame and finger pointing and to work together to find solutions to this thing that's tearing you apart.

As we said, of course, there is work that the jealous person needs to do from within. But there are probably ways that the other person can contribute to the positive changes that both are seeking.

Zack and Sara realize that their marriage, which is not even a year old, is in trouble.

They have a very honest talk and decide that it's time for them to meet with a relationship coach who can help them learn how to manage their different preferences and overcome jealousy.

Zack has owned up to the fact that he's jealous and Sara has acknowledged that she often adds to the conflict in the way that she talks about her social plans and reacts to Zack.

They decide that they'll need to work together if they're going to rid their marriage of jealousy. It has become a joint challenge, not just Zack's problem.

What would it be like if there was no jealousy in your marriage?
After seeing that jealousy is a dynamic that both people in a relationship often contribute to, you might be able to make the shift that Zack and Sara made and start looking for ways to overcome jealousy as a team.

One powerful exercise that you might also try is to ask yourselves (you and your mate can respond individually and then compare answers) these questions:

What would our marriage be like if there was no jealousy in it?

How would you two interact differently without jealousy?
How would you talk to one another?
What kinds of words would you say to your mate after he or she has been away?
How would you greet your partner after being apart?

It might take some imagination if you are used to communicating and being together in particular ways that involve jealousy. Give it a try.

Create in your mind-- you can write your responses on paper too-- an image of what your marriage would be like if jealousy was not present.

This exercise is not meant to make you feel bad about where your marriage is right now.

On the contrary, it can help you to see that
it IS possible for you to enjoy the connection and love that you  want.

If you can imagine your marriage without jealousy, you can begin to make the shift-- in real life-- toward that desired relationship.

Remember that you can stop your jealousy habit and begin to create the kind of marriage that you've always wanted.


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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