Portrait of a woman hiding in her handsDon’t Fuel Jealousy by Playing the “What If?” Game

By Susie and Otto Collins

Jealousy is almost always a painful and destructive experience. It can be the cause of distance and conflict between two people in a love relationship or marriage.

Jealousy can even lead to a breakup or divorce.

If you have a tendency to be jealous in your relationship, you might notice that certain things trigger your jealous feelings. It’s different for everyone.

It could be remembering a past experience in which you were hurt or betrayed. It might be some behavior or words from your partner that seems to bring on the waves of jealousy within you.

You might have a habit of playing the “what if?” game and that fuels your jealousy. This is a mind trick that many people play in which thoughts fixate on situations or scenarios that haven’t happened and may never ever occur.

Even though the “what if?” game predominantly involves stories you make up in your own head, the effects can feel very real.

The negative ramifications in your relationship because of the jealous fears induced by these “what if?” stories are also very real. And the disconnection is probably not what either you or your partner desire.

[box] Carla just can’t seem to help but play the “what if?” game. Especially when her boyfriend Matt is out of town on a business trip, her mind seems to go into overtime concocting stories about what could be happening.

“What if Matt meets another woman and he discovers that they are soulmates?” “What if Matt realizes that he’d rather live in this different city?” “What if Matt has to work closely with a female co-worker on a project and they end up sleeping together?” “What if……?”

The potential scenarios involving Matt cheating, being tempted to cheat or flat out leaving her seem endless. As a result of playing the “what if?” game, Carla is usually an emotional wreck when Matt is away.

When he returns home, she is often drained and feeling suspicious and wary. This is not conducive to the kind the homecoming either of them really want!

Stay present

If you also tend to play the “what if?” game and it frequently leads you to jealous fears, make it your intention to stop. Practice bringing yourself back into the present moment at times when you are less triggered and then apply that practice when you are prone to worrying jealous thoughts.

Some people meditate on a regular basis. Others simply remind themselves to take a deep breath and pay attention to what’s going on in their surroundings at the moment.

Still others might rely on a friend or family member to help them stop telling themselves stories and return to the present.

Carla has started to snap herself out of the “what if?” game by going for a run. She isn’t exercising to avoid her feelings, but instead, she uses running as a tool to come back to the now.

As she runs, she really tunes in to the trees and flowers she sees, the birds and children she hears and the smells of the outdoors.

Re-focusing allows Carla to snap out of the thoughts that only feed her jealous tendencies. It is also relaxing and invigorating!

Get curious

Sometimes it helps to get curious about your jealousy.  Find a quiet space and take a deeper look at the beliefs you might have about yourself, your partner and relationships in general.

You might find that these beliefs are limiting and actually feed your jealous habit.

Instead, look at the completions you might make with hurtful past events that you are still holding onto. If you hold a belief that doesn’t support you having the jealousy-free relationship you desire, then explore ways to change your belief.

It might take some time to change a belief, but it can’t happen unless you start.

Writing out your new beliefs– even your new relationship story– can be powerful. Re-read this often and feel free to fine tune these new beliefs. This promotes the changes you want.

You don’t have to stay stuck in playing the “what if?” game and the jealousy that it fuels. Those fears and worries and the resulting disconnection in your relationship can be released.

New habits that promote connection, closeness and feeling great can emerge.
In our program, we give you more specific ways for stopping jealous thoughts and behavior and so much more! Try it out for 60 days and see how the info we include stops jealousy in its tracks!

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