The Green-Eyed Devil of Jealousy and Its Companion, Betrayal 

A new client raised the issue of betrayal.

“I’ve been married for all these years and she has men friends and they go off like it’s on a date.  She says it’s all in my head.  What should I do?”

What should we all do?  Here are some suggestions.

The most important answer is that you should be talking to each other in a safe place with a referee/therapist.  Something’s going on in you, her or him, and in the relationship.  Obviously, by going to a therapist, you realize something’s going on.  Are you sure you know all of it?  Your part in it?  Her/his part?  Are you right, wrong, oversensitive?  Are you reacting to “bad stuff” from your past?  Is she or he acting on their “bad stuff”?  That’s why you go to therapy—especially before suspicions escalate, before there’s danger of violence, before the kids and pets are traumatized.

When in therapy, you can raise your concerns.  Try not to be analytical.  Say what you’re feeling and how you are hurt.  Let the therapist handle the other person’s possible refusal not to hear your feelings.  Have the therapist bring out the past issues that might make you feel particularly sensitive.  Let the therapist help both of you work out compromises that recognizes your needs and modern life.  You may have friends that raise jealousy feelings.  There probably will be sexual feelings attached to the fact that you or your partner are with them.  It may be that your own relationship has changed, that you’ve grown a bit stale, or that other changes have occurred. You may be going through physical changes, or job changes, or aging, that makes you feel less desirable, less sexual, more tired and more vulnerable.

That’s why you work it out in a safe place, to see whether you are really being betrayed.  You’ve put time into this relationship, you have history and money tied up, and also, possibly, children and pets.  If it’s going to last, you need to plan for changes for the future.  So go to your therapist now!

2 Responses to “The Green-Eyed Devil of Jealousy and Its Companion, Betrayal”

  1. Great suggestion! Get the help of a trained couple-counselor when there are intense emotions like jealousy to manage.

    I think there’s no such thing as harmless flirting, and married folks should not be going out with anyone who they would not bring their spouse with.

    Jealousy is an emotionally healthy couple’s signal to soothe the hurting partner, set up relationship protecting boundaries and be totally open about e-mails, cell phone and online chat accounts.

    It also means that it’s time to put an end to any “extra-marital” dating, which should not happening anyway.

  2. To do away with the evil of the mind’s thinking, always make yourself comfortable with all the things that your partner does. Put God and trust in the center of your relationship to make it work without the feeling of being betrayed when jealous is felt. Someday, somehow you’ll just get use to it and it’d no harm for the relationship.

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