If you’ve been in a romantic relationship you have probably faced your own feelings of jealousy or been the recipient of accusations at one point or another. Even the strongest marriages might experience this uncomfortable feeling from time to time. So how do you deal with jealousy in your marriage?
A really important first step is to take some advice from this classic song…“before you accuse me, take a look at yourself!” If you find yourself experiencing jealousy it is important to first take stock of how your actions, behaviors or thoughts are contributing to the situation. Are you bringing old baggage or past familial experiences to bare in your current relationship. In cases of infidelity and jealousy both partners play a part and placing all the blame on one side of the scale is problematic. Once you have gained some understanding about your own thoughts and feelings it’s time to tackle the conversation with your partner.
Here is Dr. Hirsch’s 3 Step plan to deal with jealousy and get your relationship back on track:
- Prepare for the conversation. Choose a time when you are both relaxed and rested and pick a neutral space. You and your partner will want to remain as calm and positive as possible–the following conversation can be challenging with such an emotional subject. Try some Power of Two activities to brush up on healthy dialogue skills.
- Approach the subject. It may feel awkward to voice your concerns, yet it is so important! Explain calmly and without accusation how you have been feeling. Then stay open to your spouse’s side of the story. Coming out of the discussion with a re-affirmed trust in each other’s fidelity is the goal.
- Set up an action plan so the situation doesn’t progress or reoccur. Also set up guidelines for what you consider appropriate behavior around members of the opposite sex. For example, Alison might ask that Marcus not hang out with female coworkers alone outside of work (this is a good idea in general for any marriage!)
Bottom line, the sooner you address jealousy the sooner you can move past it and build a solid marriage built on a foundation of trust!