How to deal with jealousy? Take a look at yourself.

Power of Two Marriage Online.

Eric Clapton has great advice for how to deal with jealousy in a relationship, "Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself!"

If your significant other seems overly jealous, it might be your fault. And, if you are the jealous one, you might still be the one to blame anyway.

Being able to trust in one's partner's sexual loyalty is essential for a strong, healthy, and loving relationship. When that trust begins to crack, relationships fall apart.

There are two primary reasons people feel jealousy toward their significant other or toward people their partner interacts with. Either 1) they're being sensitive to real danger, or 2) they're projecting their own anxieties about themselves onto their partner.

Either way, here are some good strategies you can use to learn how to deal with jealousy.

Example 1:

John knows Carry has been working one-on-one with her colleague on an intense work project, and they've started going out drinking after work alone. John starts feeling jealous.

John's unpleasant feelings of suspicion, anger, and angst could be an alert that a situation may be endangering their relationship or marriage bond. After all, people don't suddenly create full blown affairs. Infidelities grow over time. It's important to be sensitive to the early warning signs and address them while they're perhaps embarrassing but haven't yet led to infidelity.

If one's anxieties about their partner turn out to be a justified alert response to a real threat, the unpleasantness of the feeling of jealousy should motivate a strong response that hopefully will bring the threat out in the open and lead to resolution.

How to deal with jealousy in this case: Make sure you've got really good communication skills so that you can talk the situation through in a calm and productive way, without sparking a heated and potentially damaging fight. If you think bringing up the topic is going to be too painful, consider joining the Power of Two Online first, to get some ideas about how you can have the conversation without causing more damage.

When people respond to their jealousy by zealously guarding the sanctity of their marriage they can often save their marriage. And, in those situations, jealous feelings and actions are heroic.

The Power of Two Online is filled with specific details about how to deal with jealousy in situations like these and how to create a plan with your partner about how to avoid them in the future.

Example 2:

When Peter runs into an old female friend from college, he finds himself thinking about how attractive she is later that afternoon. That evening, when he and his wife, Elizabeth, are out at a party, he becomes hyper sensitive and jealous whenever she talks to any other men.

In this case, Peter's jealousy toward his wife is probably unjustified. Figuring out how to deal with jealousy in this situation can be touchy. If the signals don't justify the intensity of the jealous feelings, it most often turns out that the jealousy is actually a projection.

Projection means that you are seeing in your partner a set of feelings that in fact are going on in you, much like in a movie theater when the movie you see on the screen is actually a film that is sitting inside the projector at the back of the theater.

Peter's jealousy is likely a projection of his own feelings of attraction to his friend from college from earlier in the day.

How to deal with jealousy in this case: Alas, different sickness, same pill. You need to have the communication skills to talk about it, quietly and openly. By asking how or what questions and by avoiding accusations, couples can clear up the problems and get back on course.

If this seems daunting, consider joining the Power of Two Online to learn the skills for how to communicate with your spouse. Make sure you're prepared for what's probably going to be a difficult discussion.

Join Power of Two Online today and learn the skills to have a calm, productive conversation with your partner about how to deal with jealousy in your relationship.


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Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant 90-FE-0123. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Servies, Administration for Children and Families.