I had a boyfriend with a best friend that he was in love with before he met me. She was stunning, and completely the opposite of me: tall and blond. And also funny. Shit! While I heard him on the phone with her in the kitchen, I lay in bed with belly cramp.
I was also ashamed, thinking “it should be possible that he calls a friend”. Because of that thought, I could not find out what I wanted, let alone that I could share it with him in a connecting way.
Recognizable? That jealousy leads to shame about yourself, hiding yourself and feeling insecure, and then distance between you and your lover?
Rest assured, I’m not going to tell you to get rid of your jealousy. I want to explain to you how you can prevent that you get exactly what you are afraid of: that you continuously feel alone and that there is less love between you and your partner.
My favorite tools for jealousy are meant to stand strong again, so you can ask your partner what you need and thus create trust between the two of you.
I will not say that it is easy – I have made a three-part series of blogs about this topic. This first part is about the ugly packaged gift. These are the 2 steps that bring you back on track:
1. Notice and admit to yourself that you are jealous
Sometimes you may get angry and you will only realize later that there was actually fear and jealousy underneath. Sometimes you feel a stab of jealousy in your stomach, but you go about it as if nothing is wrong. That is not going to work. If you do not notice that you are jealous and admit that to yourself, you can not help yourself. Make sure you know yourself in this area.
When you think back to the last time you were jealous in a relationship, where do you feel it in your body? What kind of physical sensations does it give? And are there other feelings, such as insecurity, anger, shame or guilt? If you check this with yourself, you will immediately notice it in the future: ‘Ah, there is jealousy in me.’
Now you will probably find the jealousy annoying, but if you work with it in part 2 of this series you will be amazed by the beauty behind this feeling. I therefore call jealousy an ugly wrapped gift. For now it is sufficient if you notice the jealousy and see the ugly wrapped gift.
2. Identify the trigger and name it in a neutral way.
Jealousy is triggered by something. Detecting the trigger ensures that you get clarity for yourself, and you can move forward from that clarity. A trigger is formulated in a neutral way, without judgments. That way you can also speak to your partner without him experiencing an attack. You increase the chance of being heard.
How does it work? Suppose your boyfriend is meeting up with a girl you know he once was romantically involved with. You feel jealous. Then you name it exactly for yourself: “he is meeting her, and I know that he was involved with her.”
The trigger does not include: ‘and he likes her better than me’, or ‘he goes out with a girl AGAIN,’ or ‘he is taking hanging out with exes too lightly’. These are not triggers. Those are your thoughts. It helps you to see them for what they are: thoughts that tell you something about what you think is important. This way we will also examine them later. For now you want to catch the trigger, so you get more clarity for yourself.
Appoint it concretely. So not: ‘He does everything with other women without regard for me’, but: ‘He spoke to a girl on the train and I had just told him that I felt insecure’.
Did you manage to formulate a neutral, concrete trigger? Great. With just this formulation, you are already a lot more self-connected than before. Sometimes that is enough to feel calm and to continue with your day.
And sometimes it’s not. Therefore: in my next blog I will teach you how to deal with the nasty feeling of jealousy and how to find out what you need. Then you unwrap the gift that you have now discovered. This makes you empowered again and gives you the creativity to come up with a solution for the triggering situation.
I am curious: what is a typically jealous situation for you in your love life or outside of that? Let me know below!
I look forward to hearing from you.
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