When my boyfriend fell in love with someone else –

how to handle your jealousy part 3

I got distressed when I saw her name on the list. I signed up for the course because I wanted to learn something, not to get in touch with the girl my boyfriend had been in love with since a few weeks. “She is very sweet and has a very nice face,” my boyfriend had said – did I have to torture myself for 12 training evenings with that thought? “I could also just not go …” I thought.

How jealousy messes with you

Jealousy often results in you withdrawing yourself. You see your boyfriend talking to a girl at a party, and you go to the bathroom. Your boyfriend tells you about an ‘incredibly inspiring colleague’ for half an hour and you swallow your anger. The result is that your needs are not heard, and you create the distance that you were afraid of.

The alarm bell

If you have read part 2 of this series, you know that jealousy is an alarm of your body that says: “Hello! There is pain! I would like some help to make me feel better!”. Step one is to hear that bell and see your desire for change. In order to actually change your situation you will have to make a request, to yourself or to the other person.

Note: to make the request you need part 1 and 2 of this jealousy series, in which I share the steps that form the basis of this last step. Without these steps, this last step does not make sense for you – it will not have the desired effect. Read the other two blogs first.

How you will never get what you want

Quite often in my sessions, the requests I hear people make are not effective. When the request is not effective, you will not get what you want. It is as simple as that. Your boyfriend or family member or whoever will not be inclined to say yes. Or even more dangerous: they say yes, but think ‘no’, do not stick to your request and you lose your trust in them. So no small matter, those requests.

How to make an effective request

  1. Make it hyper concrete

‘Hyper concrete’ means that you do not say: ‘I need more security!’. Or: ‘I want a little respect!’. That is not concrete. The other person does not know exactly what is asked. That makes the chance a lot smaller that he says ‘yes’ to your request, because he does not know what he says yes to. That feels super unsafe!

‘Hyper concrete’ means that your partner knows exactly what to do. For example, say: “I would like you to tell me what you value at the moment in our relationship – would you like to do that?” Or: “I would like that every time you have met with your female friend, we will connect a bit by hugging each other in bed for as long as half an hour afterwards. How does that sound to you? ” Or whatever helps you. Maybe he still says no. But the chance that he says yes increases enormously.

via giphy
  1. Make it mega executable

If you say, “I do not want you to feel anything for that woman!” Or “I want you to be a bit more enthusiastic when you’re with me!”, Then your partner may have a hard time saying yes. He can not promise that he will stop being in love, or will feel enthusiastic. Feelings are not in our control. These requests are therefore not feasible. It is dangerous to ask them, because if your partner is not aware of it, and says yes, you can end up very disappointed. “You promised you would be more enthusiastic!”.

In these cases it helps to go back to your need: what would it bring you if he were more enthusiastic? Maybe it gives you confidence that he still likes you? OK. So you want to trust that he likes you. How can you get that? A request in this case might be: “when you feel unhappy because of a bad day at work, I would love that you literally say to me: “It has nothing to do with you.” Do you want to do that?”.

Skype with a human being

In my situation with my former boyfriend and the other girl, one of my needs was that I wanted to matter. I wanted to matter to both my boyfriend and her. So I wrote her an email with a request:

“I want to contact you because I saw that you are joining the mediation course and I find it quite scary to meet you .. especially if there are other people around. How would it be for you to Skype once before the course starts?”

I was not the only one who felt fragile. During the conversation we both cried and I became – how surprising! – aware of the fact that a human being sat across with desires, vulnerabilities, questions and a will to connect.

A few weeks later I returned home from the course evening. Rarely I participated in such an interesting course with such a safe group. Especially that I had done an exercise with one specific girl, completely relaxed, satisfied me. I crawled in bed against my boyfriend, took a deep breath and said, “I understand. She is very sweet and has a beautiful face. “