Are You Dealing with a Jealous Spouse? Proven Methods of Re-Establishing Trust in Your Marriage
Dealing with a jealous spouse is never an easy prospect. Jealousy in a marriage typically stems from one of two sources: insecurities or low self-esteem in the jealous partner, or inappropriate behaviour on the part of the non-jealous partner. How to deal with a jealous spouse depends entirely on the cause of the jealousy. If your spouse is jealous because of insecurities or low self-esteem, you can only do so much to help the situation; your spouse needs to meet you halfway and do the appropriate work to help rebuild your marriage. If your spouse is jealous because you behave inappropriately - even if you know you'd never cheat on your spouse or you don't feel that your behaviour is inappropriate - it's up to you to change both your behaviour and your spouse's perception of it in order to save your marriage.
For in-depth information on how to deal with a jealous spouse and examples of jealous behaviour and how your actions may be perceived, check out Save My Marriage Today by the author Amy Waterman.
How to deal with a jealous spouse with low self-esteem.
This is arguably the most difficult type of jealousy to correct, as you have very little control over how your spouse feels about him- or her- self. Dealing with a jealous spouse who has insecurities or low self-esteem is about helping them change the way they feel about themselves, so they may feel more comfortable and confident in your relationship. Without this shift in self-perception, you'll be on constant alert to help combat jealousy and boost your partner's self-esteem. Insecurity-based jealousy is difficult to fight because it has very little to do with your actions, but is instead driven by how your partner feels internally. Therefore, shifting your behaviour only has a temporary affect on your partner's jealousy. Ultimately, if your partner is suffering from low self-esteem, counselling is the best choice to help improve his or her self-perception.
As a loving spouse, there are ways you can help your insecure partner feel safe in your relationship. Communicate well and often. If your spouse calls you to see how you're doing, answer the call and talk with them. Avoiding this type of communication is a good way to give your jealous spouse a reason for jealousy; while accepting this type of communication and reassuring your spouse helps your spouse realize that you're reliable and loving, and they have no reason to feel insecure in your relationship. Over time, as you make yourself available to your spouse and he or she sees that you are reliable and trustworthy, the jealousy will fade and your partner will no longer be quite so concerned.
Dealing with a jealous spouse when your behaviour is questionable.
Maybe you like to flirt. Flirting is harmless, and you may know that it will never lead to anything more - but your spouse may not know that. When you're dealing with a jealous partner, it's important to think about how your behaviour looks to them. It's easy for to think about your intentions and know that there's no harm in your behaviour, but other people can't get inside your head that way and see that your behaviour is not an indication of deeper issues. Other people can only see your actions, and not your intentions, so it's easy to think there might be deeper problems in a relationship if you behave in ways that make your spouse feel insecure. When you're dealing with a jealous husband or wife, think about how your behaviour looks to him or her. Don't think about what you know about yourself - i.e. "my flirting is harmless," but instead think about your spouse. Is it embarrassing to your partner that you're flirting with someone else? Does your partner feel unloved when you spend a lot of time with a friend of the opposite sex?
When you make the commitment of marriage, you agree to love and protect your spouse. That includes protecting your spouse's emotional well-being. If perpetual flirting hurts your spouse, stop. When your spouse sees that you are making changes to accommodate their feelings, your spouse will be grateful and know that you're truly committed to the marriage. Often, this minor change is enough to completely eliminate jealousy from a marriage. If the question is the amount of time you spend with a friend of the opposite sex, invite your spouse along. Once your partner gets to know your friend and sees that your relationship is platonic, the jealousy will fade and you'll have a happy spouse.
Dealing with a jealous spouse when you've got deeper issues.
Dealing with a jealous partner may also require analysis of deeper relationship issues. If your spouse has trust issues, you may need to do a lot of work developing a trusting relationship before you can begin to address jealousy. If you need an in-depth resource for working out trust issues or addressing other relationship problems, check out the acclaimed Save My Marriage Today ebook.