By Susie and Otto Collins
Kris’ husband Paul is late coming home from work again and, as usual, he hasn’t called. It seems to Kris that this pattern has been happening with more and more frequency lately. She can’t seem to stop her mind about it.
Worrisome, jealous thoughts about where Paul is, what he is doing and with whom he is doing it with crowd her head.
She feels fearful that he has been having an affair and is lying to her when he finally arrives home and claims that his boss kept him late yet again.
The trouble is, by the time that Paul comes home, Kris’ jealous fears have usually led to an upset stomach, headache and an unwillingness within Kris to believe anything that Paul has to say.
The distance between the two of them seems to only be growing.
Caught Up in Jealousy
Have you ever been in a situation in which you don’t know what’s going on with your partner and you seem all caught up in jealousy?
It might very well be that your jealous fears are warranted and that this is something that you need to pay attention to and maybe even taken action about.
It could also be that your jealous fears deserve your attention, but they are not accurately reflecting what’s truly happening.
In either case, it’s vital that you pay attention to the feelings that you are having. We don’t, however, advise you to take action (or make an accusation to your partner) until you are in a clearer and calmer place.
When you are caught up in jealous thoughts, it’s kind of like when a catchy song becomes stuck in your head. You might enjoy this song. It could be one of your favorites.
But when this song plays and replays itself over and over again in your mind– especially if it’s 3 am and you are trying to sleep– you probably become frustrated and irritated!
For Kris, the jealous thought, “I bet that Paul is meeting another woman right now,” runs through her head like that never-ending song.
At first, she can temporarily dismiss the thought. She can try to tell herself that he might actually be working. Quite quickly, though, the same jealous thought re-occurs to her.
It begins to repeat again and again and branch off into related assumptions. Pretty soon, all that Kris can hear in her mind are these never-ending jealous thoughts.
Consciously shift your focus
What do you do when a song or tune keeps playing over and over again in your mind?
You might turn on your radio or cd player to listen to a different song. You might pick up an engaging book or magazine and begin to read. You may call a friend to chat.
You probably make a deliberate decision to shift your focus away from the song in your head.
And, as you successfully move your attention to something else, it’s likely that the song “plays” in your mind less and less until it’s no longer incessantly looping.
You can treat your jealous thoughts with this same technique
There will, of course, be a time when you need to obtain a deeper understanding about why jealousy gets triggered for you in the first place.
Your jealousy could be linked to unresolved mistrust from the past, distance in your present relationship or possibly connected with feelings of insecurity.
In the moment, however, it’s important for you to prevent the jealous thoughts from taking over.
When you “turn down the volume” on your jealousy and create space for greater clarity, you can then make a more conscious decision about how you want to respond.
We don’t suggest that you rely on distraction or avoidance.
We do recommend that you find ways to re-focus your attention away from the specific jealous thoughts and onto what it is that you do know and what it is that you do want.
Kris is able to use deep breathing and a conscious re-direction of her attention to calm down and minimize her incessantly looping jealous thoughts.
She is still concerned about Paul’s behavior and she wants to communicate with him about this.
Now she is better able to do just that.
When Paul does arrive home over an hour late with no phone call that evening, he finds Kris sitting at the dinner table looking unhappy. She is not in bed with a headache and upset stomach as she has been in the recent past.
With a clear knowing of what she wants, Kris asks Paul if he can make some specific agreements with her about his schedule.
She shares with him that she becomes worried and fearful when he does not call and is late coming home.
While Kris cannot be certain about whether or not Paul will follow through and honor the agreements they are making, she feels more open to possibility that he might.
She still does not know for sure if he is having an affair or not, but she does feel good that they are at least talking about one aspect of the tension between them.
Ultimately, in this moment, Kris feels more empowered because she made requests and finally spoke up about how she feels.
In our ebook and audio program, we give you more ways for stopping jealous thoughts and behavior that sabotage your relationship 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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• How to stop your fears, doubts and destructive behavior BEFORE your spouse or partner finally says “enough” and walks out the door and leaves you forever
• How to know if your jealousy and lack of trust is truly justified or not
• How to stop being insecure and suspicious, especially when you know nothing’s going on