How to Talk to Your Partner About Your Jealous Feelings, Facebook and Other Triggers
Is it the way your partner seems to look at or talk with others?
Is it your worrying mind that creates stories about what’s going on when you and your love are away from one another?
Or is it an over-riding expectation that something, like infidelity, will tear you and your mate apart?
Everyone is different. We’ve all had different past experiences and we all have unique relationship issues. But when you are feeling jealous– for whatever reason– there are some commonalities.
Chances are quite high that if you are jealous, you are fearful, worried, anxious and generally unhappy. You probably have a difficult time trusting your partner or other people in his or her life.
And it’s probable that you and your mate are disconnected from one another much of the time– especially when your jealousy has reared its head.
There are always dynamics that both people in a love relationship or marriage contribute to when there is tension or conflict. The person who is jealous is certainly adding to the distance; but he or she is not solely to “blame.”
We encourage couples who are moving further apart, to take an honest and open look at the roles both are playing in the situation.
It is essential that each person in the relationship work individually on his or her tendencies and issues and it is also vital that the couple communicate with one another.
You and your partner can work as a team to stop jealousy
You and your partner can work as a team to stop the relationship habits that are driving a wedge between you– such as jealousy. Talking about how you are feeling in connecting ways is central to this.
A common jealousy scenario…
[box] Ellen dreads getting on the computer. But she also feels compelled to do it each day. She checks her e-mail and then logs onto her Facebook account.
Ellen used to enjoy catching up with friends she hasn’t seen in years on this social networking internet site. But recently Facebook has been a huge jealousy trigger for Ellen.
John, her boyfriend, attended the same college that Ellen did. Consequently, they have many of the same friends on Facebook.
Ellen finds herself tracking the comments that John makes on other’s Facebook posts as well as the comments that friends make on his posts– especially those that involve women.
Every time another woman and John make contact on Facebook, Ellen feels a spike of fear within. She begins to think about John re- connecting with former girlfriends or those who maybe had crushes on him in college.
She also wonders what other online (or face-to-face) contact he is having with these women. So far, Ellen has kept her fears and worries to herself. But she logs onto Facebook more often each day to check up on John’s home page. She knows she has been more tense and distant from him because of her jealousy–and her snooping.
Ellen wants to talk about this with John, but doesn’t know how to without feeling embarrassed or totally losing her cool.[/box]
Even if you don’t use Facebook or don’t even know what it is, you can probably relate to how Ellen is feeling. She thinks she has come upon a potential threat to her relationship and she can’t stop thinking about it or returning to it.
Her preoccupation with this assumed threat and the jealousy has caused her to withdraw from her mate and she feels trapped by the whole cycle of worry and fear.
“I need help…”
If you also feel caught in a jealousy cycle where you perceive a threat to your relationship, feel intensely about it and can’t seem to focus on much else, you might use the phrase “I need help…” with your partner.
Of course, it is important that you take the time to sort out your fears and the stories you might be creating in your mind from what you actually know to be true. It is also extremely helpful for you to recognize jealousy for what it is– jealousy.
This is the internal work that is often an ongoing process. It could involve you looking at previous relationships or experiences to see how the past might be barging into your present.
Take steps to heal yourself from old emotional wounds and bring yourself back to this current situation.
But it can also help bring you and your partner together if you share what’s going on with him or her. Rather than lob accusations or launch into barbed questions, you could simply say, “I need help” to your partner.
This phrase goes right to the heart of the issue. You are struggling with something and you’d like your partner’s help to move past it so that the two of you can re-connect.
When you say “I need help” you aren’t accusing anyone of being the sole cause of the problem. You are making a request that your mate work with you to improve whatever is going on.
Ellen finally decides to talk with John about her jealousy experience with Facebook lately. She explains to John that she’s been feeling very jealous and admits she’s been monitoring his Facebook interactions through her own account.
After this honest account, Ellen says to John “I need help from you to stop this habit I’ve fallen into.”
After this, Ellen and John talk about why his Facebook interactions with other women feel threatening to her. Together, they uncover the fact that Ellen is insecure about herself and harbors old fears that go back to college that John will leave her for another woman.
Ellen does not expect John to solve her jealousy for her. He cannot do this.
But with the jealousy out in the open and with Ellen’s request for support and help, they can begin to feel like they are a team working together to improve their relationship trust and connection.
Become clear about what’s triggering your jealousy and acknowledge any unresolved past experiences that might be making it more intense.
Next, share what’s going on for you with your partner in ways that bring you closer together so that you can support one another as you change this situation for the better.
In our “No More Jealousy” ebook and audio program, we talk about even more ways to get the support you want and need as you’re tackling the green-eyed monster.
[box] Try the No More Jealousy Program Risk Free for 60 days
• 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