You’re out with your spouse or lover and IT happened–
You think you saw your partner paying a little too much attention to someone else or someone else got a little too close to him or her.
You tried to hold it in but your fear and anger finally came out with more force and emotion than you realized or wanted.
You had a huge fight that ended with you feeling very alone.
You totally embarrassed yourself and your partner because now EVERYONE knows about your jealousy “problem” that you’ve tried to deny and to keep hidden.
Your jealousy meltdown might even have happened at home watching television when your partner commented on a beautiful person of the opposite sex.
You may know that your jealousy is totally illogical but somehow you can’t seem to stop the accusations from exploding from your mouth.
Or you may have an uneasy feeling that something’s going on behind your back and your outburst seems justified…
But whatever and however it happened, you’ve really done it this time.
You’ve apologized and may have even begged but your partner is angry, distant, and may even be threatening to leave the relationship if you don’t get your act together.
What do you do?
Here are 3 things you can do right now to salvage your relationship and get your jealousy under control…
1. Stop focusing on your meltdown but rewind one more time…
While it’s very tempting to keep reliving that horrible scene (and what you think your partner did to provoke it), whether it happened in public or in private, and beat yourself up…Don’t.
What happened is over and if you want your spouse or lover to stop punishing you by his or her silence, distance, coldness, disgust, or anger–
You have to stop beating up on yourself first.
So let’s rewind the incident one more time and slow it down so you can see what really happened from an objective point of view as possible.
Now stop the rewind just before your meltdown and answer these questions…
What was happening inside you when whatever happened to trigger the jealousy happened?
What were you thinking?
What were you feeling inside you?
What were your suspicions?
It’s helpful to put your recollections on paper and just allow yourself to write
Were you making up assumptions and untrue stories about what happened or do you really have a reason to be concerned about your partner’s actions?
It’s very important for you to make that distinction with a clear head and not from the guilt over your outburst.
2. Know that you CAN stop jealousy and jealous outbursts
All of our research and work with people with jealousy issues points to the fact that jealous behavior that comes between you and your partner is harmful and a habit that you can break—like any other habit.
When you look at your jealous meltdowns as a habit you’d like to break (like smoking), it takes all the shame that’s wrapped around jealousy right out of it.
A habit is something you can break—right? (You’ve probably broken bad habits before.)
The trick to breaking a habit that you no longer want is to first become conscious the moment your habitual response is triggered by a thought or something that happens or you think happens—and then make the choice to do/say something else.
Believe us when we say that you can do this—and it’s a moment by moment decision to do it.
3. Formulate your plan for stopping your habit
Before you can stop the jealousy habit, you have to find out if you really have something to be jealous of or if your jealousy is a response to a perceived threat that isn’t real.
If you don’t know–find out.
If you do know that your partner isn’t actually violating any of your agreements, create a plan for redirecting your jealous thoughts when they come up and bypassing meltdowns all together.
If your partner is less than saintly and you do have a reason to be fearful and angry with him or her–
The good news is that you don’t have to have jealous meltdowns to get your point across that something’s wrong.
You can learn to calmly present the facts and then make a request from what you want rather than what you don’t want.
Jealousy meltdowns don’t have to happen.
They don’t have to happen to you again.
We urge you to take some positive steps toward breaking your jealousy meltdown habit and allowing more love than you ever thought possible to come into your life.