Transformation of Jealousy into Deep Trust & Love

“I love to use jealousy as a way to create intimacy and turn on in the moment it’s happening.”

John Wineland on jealousy

“A common problem I run into with men is that they don’t know what to do with their jealousy.  Its such a primal, volatile and vulnerable emotion.  Most of us react one of two ways, we either get angry and accusatory, or we hide it and pretend we are cool…..Neither works!!  I love to use jealousy as a way to create intimacy and turn on in the moment it’s happening.”   ~ John Wineland

Why it’s Not OK to Snoop Through Your Partner’s Phone

Girls, girls, girls. Trust me – snooping through your BF’s text messages is not okay!

A while ago, I wrote a post about why you shouldn’t look through your boyfriend’s phone based on my own snooping experiences (something I’m still embarrassed about). It’s been over a year since that post went up, but it still gets tons of comments from girls who say that looking through your boyfriend’s phone is totally okay – in fact, they encourage it.

Girls, girls, girls. Trust me – snooping through your BF’s text messages is not okay! Honestly, I don’t care what kind of explanations you give me, there is really no excuse for going through a phone that isn’t yours. Please, please, cut this behavior out and read the reasons why it’s a terrible idea. I think, eventually, you’ll realize that you need to stop doing it for good… and your relationships will only improve after that.

It Totally Betrays His Trust

Probably the biggest reason to not snoop through your BF’s phone is that it totally and completely betrays his trust. If your boyfriend leaves his phone around you when he’s not in the room, he obviously trusts you to be near his phone without getting sneaky. Trust is one of the most important qualities to have in a relationship. Going through his phone is rude and disrespectful. Which brings me to my next point…

You Wouldn’t Like It If He Did It To You

How would you feel if you found out your boyfriend was secretly looking through your phone, reading all of your private text messages and checking up on your phone history? You’d probably feel pretty violated, annoyed and hurt. I once had an ex look through my texts when we first started dating. When he told me he did, I was so hurt by his accusations that I was doing something I shouldn’t that I almost ended things. Treat others how you want to be treated, you know?

It’s Way Too Easy To Misinterpret Things

Text messages can be really hard to interpret because you’re just looking at words – you’re not seeing the person’s expression or hearing their voice. What you read could mean something totally different than it sounds. Also, you don’t know the context of every conversation because it’s not YOUR conversation. You don’t know if something is an inside joke or about something completely different than what you think. It’s way too easy to misinterpret things and freak out for no reason at all.

Liberate Yourself from Jealousy… Here’s How

How to break free from jealous feelings.

Jealousy is a killer. Relationships end because of jealous conflicts and people kill other people because they are jealous.

Imagine this. You are at a party and someone is friendly and you smile. Your partner thinks that you are betraying her. Or your partner tells you a funny story about a former lover and you feel threatened. You feel the anger and the anxiety rising inside you and you don’t know what to do.

Susan could identify with this. She would glare at her partner, trying to send him a “message” that she was really annoyed and hurt. She hoped he would get the message. At times she would withdraw into pouting, hoping to punish him for showing an interest in someone else. But it didn’t work. He just felt confused.

At other times Susan would ask him if she still found her attractive. Was he getting bored with her? Was she his type? At first, he would reassure her, but then—with repeated demands for her for more reassurance—he began to wonder why she felt so insecure. Maybe she wasn’t the right one for him.

And when things got more difficult for Susan, she would yell at him, “Why don’t you go home with her? It’s obvious you want to!”

These kinds of jealous conflicts can end a relationship.

But, if you are jealous, does this mean that there is something terribly wrong with you?

My colleague, Dennis Tirch, and I just published a paper on jealousy—and how to handle it. Click here to get a copy of the article that appeared in the International Journal of Cognitive Therapy. We describe a step-by-step approach to helping people cope with their jealousy.

Navigating Career Imbalances Within Relationships

When it comes to you and your partner, is one of you more ‘successful’ than the other? If you worry that career imbalance is straining your relationship, you are not alone.

In today’s busy world, ‘a stable career’ can feel like an oxymoron. The average person will switch jobs ten times before the age of forty, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And that number is projected to rise.

So it’s safe to say that your partner may become more or less financially “successful” than you are at any given time. ‘Breadwinner’ status may go back and forth as the years go on. This might trigger some conflict, especially if the goal is a 50/50 partnership. But depending on how you choose to look at them, financial imbalances and career disputes can become opportunities to grow stronger as a team.

I’ve been in relationships where resentment grew when I was more successful. I’ve also been unemployed while my partner worked long hours. These scenarios can be hard to navigate, but I’ve found some great ways to cope.

So here are some tips on working through common career-related dilemmas.

Disclaimer: I am not a therapist, and my advice should never take the place of one. For serious disputes, I highly recommend couple’s counseling.

Scenario #1: The Breadwinner Feels Overburdened, While The Under-Earner Feels Un-empowered.

It’s unfortunate that modern society holds money as a primary power symbol. But when it comes to love, there are ways to change this dynamic.

One way to start is taking time to examine how each of you contributes to the relationship. Love is about more than money, after all – and if it’s become the primary issue, focusing on more positive aspects might make for an easier fix. Approach each other with an open mind, making mutual appreciation the primary goal.

Perhaps you pay the utility bills, but your partner spends hours running important errands each week. In this scenario, you offer money while they offer time. In the grand scheme of life, the two balance each other out quite nicely. Thank each other for your contributions, and ask for more ways to be helpful.

Maybe your breadwinning lover works a high-stress job, but you spend considerable energy providing emotional support and doing chores they don’t have time for. You’re both contributing to the partnership, and that’s worthy of acknowledgement.

By opening a dialogue about your contributions, you may find that your relationship is more balanced than you think. On the other hand, you may notice some significant imbalances that need to be worked out. And it’s okay! Like your careers, life has an ebb and flow. Find ways to balance your contributions.

Scenario #2: Resentment and Jealousy.

If the breadwinner works full-time and does all the cleaning and makes all major financial decisions, the lower income partner may feel they don’t have a purpose. Do you feel jealous of your partner’s success? Begin by recognizing your own contributions (see Scenario 1). Note what’s currently out of your control (the job market, perhaps) and take charge of what you can change, such as communicating better or committing to self-care.

You may find your partner resents you for doing less, or making less money. This is because of imbalance, and it’s important to resolve this conflict before it grows unmanageable. If you’re doing too much, ask for help. If you feel like you’ve been left in the dust, find ways you can balance the other.

An empowered lover is a happy lover, and respect goes both ways. Talking about your feelings and committing to finding solutions can help alleviate stress on all sides.

Scenario #3: The Breadwinner Makes All The Decisions

Author Deborah Price suggests giving the lower-income partner more control of financial decisions, or at least 50/50 participation. This creates a more healthy dynamic where nobody has full control of the other, and neither one makes all the decisions.

If one of you won’t make any decisions, that’s another story. Ask each other why this is, and work together to find balance.

Scenario #4: The Lower-Income Partner Feels Entitled to Do Less

If your partner feels they have nothing to contribute, they might lack motivation across the board. It’s okay to encourage them and ask for more help. Asking your partner to step up (in a mindful and compassionate way) will only help both of you grow. And appreciating their contributions, no matter how small, can go a long way.

Scenario #5: You Worry You’ll Leave Your Partner Behind (Or Vice-Versa)

Talk. Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk! When I was faced with the prospect of confronting my partner or letting the relationship crumble, I made the mistake of suppressing my feelings. Surprise, the relationship failed!

Sometimes, things aren’t meant to be. But if you wish to succeed as a team, it’s important to be open about your fears. In my current relationship, my partner and I motivate each other to succeed (in all areas of life). When imbalance inevitably appears, we’ve learned to face it head on and work together to fix it. It’s never easy, but it’s worth the work we both put in.

Love may not be your “career,” but it is an equally important full-time job.

Everyone’s priorities are different. But while you may hope to keep your job for ten years, your relationship can last a lifetime and give you what your job can’t (emotional support, anyone?). It’s common for career imbalances to occur, regardless of gender or relationship status. When partners commit to each other with compassion, persistence, trust and openness, success in love can have a positive impact on other aspects of life…including your career.

You don’t have to choose one or the other. Choose success in every area that matters most to you.

Final tip: I cannot recommend counseling enough. A professional can work with you individually to address your unique situation. The scenarios listed above may be common, but each individual is different. Similar to how education can help your career, counseling can be a valuable investment for your love’s long-term success.

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How I Came To Peace With My Jealousy Of Others Relationships

Jealousy is never a good look and it’s all I wore.

Jealousy over others relationships is a feeling I used to be far too familiar with. I’ve been single for about 6 or 7 years now and I just found out this morning the last guy I dated is actually getting married next weekend.

I’ve dated on and off for years, gone after men who were no good for me too many times to count. I found myself with men who were emotionally unavailable far too often, who kept slipping the words “my ex” into conversations while we laid in bed. I’d stay with them though because I didn’t want to be alone. I’d stay even if I knew I wasn’t the only one they were spending their time with because I wanted to pretend I had what everyone else had – someone who cared about me.

It was no secret they didn’t care about me. I knew these guys didn’t care about me and I knew that they were just filling the time until the next person came along. I knew it was only a matter of time before things would fizzle out and I’d be left swiping on Tinder again, if I even stopped in the first place. That doesn’t mean I didn’t care about them, it doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt when it ended and it sure as hell doesn’t mean getting over them was easy while trying to move on to someone new.

I’d look at other people’s relationships and feel insecure about love and myself. Feelings of jealousy, insecurity and fear would flood my mind. I’d constantly question why I wasn’t good enough or why no one loved me. I felt I wasn’t good enough to make someone want to stay. I would get so wrapped up and worried because I’ve been single for so long and I didn’t see any sign of that changing.

It made me hate myself, which is what started the self-crippling cycle of dating shitty men. The only thing I could feel was self-pity in a world of perfect Instagram relationships. It seemed like half of my friends were getting engaged, married, buying houses, having children, traveling together – everything that I wanted that I wasn’t experiencing.

Everything became negative in my life. My mindset became toxic. All I’d talk about is how I’m alone, my self-deprecating humor became exhausted and I wasn’t fun to hang out with. I’d become attached to guys too quickly who didn’t care about me. I’d change who I was to try to be who I thought they wanted me to be. I felt too big, too much, too out of place, like I didn’t belong anywhere with anyone. Everything about me was wrong, so I needed to change it. Jealousy is never a good look and it’s all I wore.

I wanted to have someone to talk about, someone to make me seem like my life isn’t so empty and that’s what I tried to do for so long. I tried to make something out of nothing. I tried to convince someone to stay but I eventually learned beginning someone to stay is only prolonging their leaving.

I was venting to my friend about how everything was terrible, how I stopped hearing from another guy, how I didn’t understand why this kept happening and it pushed her to her breaking point with me.

“Shut the fuck up.” She said, without a hint of reservation or remorse. And in that moment I knew I needed to change.

jealous of others relationship

So I did, and here’s how…

  1. I realized I was the toxic person in my life and started working with a life coach. I was bringing everyone else down with my terrible attitude on life and men. Instead of silently suffering from my choices I was choosing to drag everyone else down with me, which is absolutely not fair. I started talking to a life coach (if anyone needs any recommendations, I have the BEST one) and we really worked on adjusting my mindset about myself and dating. She made me aware of tendencies I had, like that I’d fall for men I probably wouldn’t like otherwise when I had sex with them before really knowing them. Having someone unbiased to work through things like this can be very rewarding.
  2. I accepted being single. I knew I wasn’t going to find the right person by putting all that negativity out into the world. I was looking for someone to fill my void, someone to post a photo with on Instagram and show off to the world. I wanted to stop feeling jealous of all my friends and their relationships. I cared more about not being alone than I did about being happy, and that’s where I went wrong. Dating those men made me feel like I was even more alone than I would have felt if I just accepted where I was at and being alone. I changed my mindset to accept that being single isn’t a bad thing and I made a conscious decision to just start having fun. I started dating with no expectations. I started going into dates with the idea that maybe I won’t like them and that’s okay. I don’t have to like everyone and everyone doesn’t have to like me, and that’s absolutely fine! Once I adjusted my mindset everything felt lighter and easier.
  3. I accepted that I did deserve love. I told myself I did deserve love, that I was enough the way I am, I learned to love my body and learned to love myself. Every day isn’t easy, it’s a process I continue to work on. I stopped changing myself and once I started accepting who I am I realized I could be happy for others instead of feeling overwhelmed with jealousy from lacking what others had.

Transitioning out of this mindset and changing my toxic behaviors wasn’t easy. For months I struggled with finding myself falling back into old habits but each month I saw progress. Slowly but surely I stopped dating assholes and started dating men who would treat me the way I knew I deserved deep down, which led me to my current boyfriend who is an absolute angel.

Recommended next story: 10 Ways to Keep Your Self-Esteem High While Dating