Green-Eyed Evil

Living With The Monster

Don used to think Jen’s jealousy was “cute.” When they were courting it made him feel like she really loved him. When she pouted and sulked he’d grin at his friends, shrug at the girls he had once known, and turned back to baby his darling again. After marriage, though, it became a nightmare. He found he couldn’t have a polite conversation with the check-out girl at the grocery without Jen screaming at him when they got home, accusing him of having affairs, threatening him, even hitting him in her anger and fear. He realized how bad it had become when they went to the company Christmas party and Jen had a tantrum right there in front of all the other workers just because he smiled at Mrs. Loran, his boss. At last he had reached the end of his limit. He didn’t know how to deal with jealousy, and didn’t have the strength to keep trying. He packed his bags one night, after a bad fight when Jen threw a pot at his head and didn’t miss. Ten minutes later he was gone.

That was when Jen realized that overcoming jealousy wasn’t Don’s job. The only person who could figure out how to deal with jealousy was her.

A light In The Darkness

Jealousy is a major problem in marriages, and often the one person who can help fails to understand that they have the control to make the decision. For too many the realization never comes, or comes too late, after a partner has left for good. Learning how to deal with jealousy is a long, hard road, and one that takes the courage to recognize that jealousy isn’t about how your partner behaves it’s about what fears live in your head. But if a person makes the decision it can be mastered.

“Not my fault!”

It’s not my fault,” say many jealous partners. “ If she would just stay away from men. She likes to make me crazy!”

No. Few people enjoy living with a jealous partner for long. In time most people find the distrust insulting, the tantrums ugly, and the violence that often goes with jealousy frightening. The damage done to all other aspects of their lives, from relationships with family to friendships to work relationships, can cripple a partner’s life. And there is no refuge: innocence isn’t enough for a jealous partner. Jealousy can always find new grounds for suspicion.

“But I can’t change how I feel!”

With time and education you can learn new patterns. It takes commitment, counseling and a lot of discipline, though, to learn to take responsibility for your own suspicion and deal with it yourself, instead of trying to force your partner to deal with your fears for you.

“How can I get help?”

You’re lucky. You are living in one of the best times ever to get help and support in learning how to deal with jealousy. You can start in privacy, reading books from the library and articles. In time you may want to get more immediate help, though. By taking your issues to a counselor you are taking the first step in shifting your fears from them, to taking control of them yourself.

A New Beginning

Jen hated being alone. But she soon learned that trying to get Don back wasn’t doing her any good: she felt like a stalker, and pretty soon she realized that she really was stalking! That was when she knew she had to do something about her life. She heard a counselor talking on a radio show, and called the number he gave. Soon she was in therapy, and making great progress.

Jen waited too long to keep her beloved Don. You don’t have to wait. Learn what resources your community has to offer and get help now. You are the only person who can make sure you start overcoming jealousy!

 

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