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Dealing with Jealousy in a Marriage

How to Overcome Jealousy of Your Own Family

By Susie and Otto Collins

 When you feel jealous of your partner's social interactions with an acquaintance it's difficult and can cause you both pain and upset. 

But when jealousy rears its damaging head in your family because of the time and energy your mate focuses on the kids or grandkids, it can be even worse!

You might feel neglected because you're not getting what you want from your love relationship and you may possibly feel embarrassed to be jealous of your own family members. 

After all, you love them too and like spending time together.

At the same time, when you feel jealous of the attention your love gives to your kids or grandkids, this is a signal to look both within yourself and at your relationship. 

If it seems that you are getting the short end of the stick when it comes to time and love from your mate, there are probably blocks to you receiving what you want. 

These blocks not only prevent you from experiencing the desired closeness with your partner, they also keep you from feeling as good as you can about yourself.

Joe and Carrie have a wonderful family. Their 4 children are all grown and they now have an ever-expanding number of grandchildren as well.

They have always been an athletic family with Joe leading the bunch.  Just about every day of the week there is some little league baseball game, swim meet, or golf match that Joe heads off to with part of the family.

Carrie is also an active woman who loves participating in and watching sports with her family. But she wants more time for just she and Joe.

With an “empty nest,” Carrie longs for afternoons of intimacy, that never could have happened before, or  just a walk together in a nearby park talking. 

She's tried to initiate time alone with Joe, but he always seems to be busy with the kids and grandkids. 

Deep inside, Carrie feels jealous and resentful of her own family whom she loves so much.

Feel what you feel.

As much as Carrie, or you, may not want to admit that you feel jealous or in competition with people you love dearly, acknowledging these emotions is an important first step. 

In the privacy of your own mind, tune in to whatever it is you are feeling and just let that be.  In these moments, you don't have to analyze what it is you feel or judge the emotions good or bad, just allow them and be with them. 

Interestingly, when you can accept everything about where you are right now-- as uncomfortable as that may be-- it's usually easier to make changes and move on toward where you want to be.

Soothe yourself first.

When you're in the throes of jealousy, you probably want more than anything to have your partner soothe your hurt feelings. 

You want someone to make it right for you and tell you that you are worthy of the love and attention you desire. 

Unfortunately, when we depend on others for our sense of esteem and well-being, it is usually short-lived and dependent on what we guess the other person thinks. 

Instead, we recommend that you start out by giving love and care to yourself.  What makes you feel “ahhh” inside? It might be a bubble bath or reading a favorite book outside in the hammock.

Before you communicate anything about your jealous feelings to your mate, do one thing that puts you in an easier state of mind.

Act from a place of confidence and ease.

After a long walk in her favorite park, Carrie feels less intense about the situation.  She reminds herself that part of what initially drew her to Joe was his passion for sports which she still shares.  Carrie also feels proud of the close connection among her family. 

She knows she is an important part of that connection.  Now when she approaches Joe to talk about how she's been feeling, she focuses on what she wants and not on making an accusation about how he's spending his time or what she assumes his priorities are. 

She requests that they agree to have one date every week where just the two of them spend time together.  Joe thinks this is a great plan and they excitedly set up their first date for the next night to have a picnic dinner and pass the football together.  It fits both of their needs!

When you take care of your hurt feelings first and come to your love with a stronger sense of your worth, you more clearly communicate what you want. 

And it's more likely you'll communicate this desire for more of your partner's attention, time or whatever it is in a way that he or she can hear. 

First look within yourself with gentleness and love and then open up to the love your mate can give.   


For a free mini-course on overcoming jealousy, click here.


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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins, PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling (614) 568-8282.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email.

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