My Significant Other is Jealous... What do I do?
I clearly remember the first time I opened up to Brian about my past—we sat outside his dorm in my car and I tearfully admitted to some shameful mistakes I made. I opened up to him about the details of my past because I felt like it was crucial for him to move forward in our relationship—this is NOT always the case people. I felt forgiven by God but I wanted to be honest with Brian. His response was nothing but love and I felt so relieved.
My past wasn’t brought up again until Brian was drafted and began his career as a professional baseball player. He dove head first into “locker room culture” and put me in the stories he heard. All irrational. With the mix of being away, submersed in a culture of objectifying women, one-upping one another’s sex stories, his mind started to tell him lies.
He got frustrated at himself because he knew the thoughts were irrational. Jealousy makes your significant other an object you didn’t win—your significant other isn’t an object you’re trying to achieve, they’re a person who loves you.
No matter how hard I tried to convince him, become a recluse, end all friendships with other guys, and ignore his feelings I knew it wasn’t healthy. I felt so helpless… what more could I do to prove my love? In my mind he proposed… I said yes… what more could I do to show he was who I wanted forever?!?!
So, we went straight to a premarital counselor who helped us sort through our emotions and she gave us some great tools to work through our issues. (Because sometimes you just need an objective voice you can trust when emotions are high.)
Jealousy is not healthy and I am in no way condoning it. It’s always rooted in fear: fear of not being enough, fear of judgment, and fear of hurt. Brian and I want to share tangible ways our premarital counselor helped us work through a very hard season of our relationship. I can honestly say with counseling and the practices mentioned below, jealousy has no grounds in our relationship.
· Be sensitive to triggers of jealousy.
I’m not talking about never talking to the opposite sex or only hanging out with your significant other. I’m talking about compassion. Chances are you’ve felt jealous before, it isn’t fun, so reassure when necessary and be mindful of how your behavior affects the person you care about.
· Pray, pray, and pray some more.
I wholeheartedly believe jealousy is a personal attack from the enemy that tries to erode intimacy and trust. Especially when the fuel is someone’s PAST. Pray, ask people you trust to pray, and pray with your significant other to listen to TRUTH not lies. You can NEVER change someone's mind.
· Stop trying to prove your love.
Frustratingly enough, you can’t change someone’s mind. Don’t see the jealousy as an invitation to love harder or be someone you’re not. Your significant other will only change in his or her own time.
· Surround yourself with people who speak life.
In the midst of this crazy jealousy Brian and I exchanged some hurtful words. Because the root of his jealousy was my past, I constantly fought to believe my past did not define me, and I did that by surrounding myself with people who reminded me who I AM not who I WAS.
· Ask the hard questions.
Is it the right timing for the two of us to be together? Should you spend some time apart to work through some personal issues? Is this relationship healthy? Should we go see someone objective who can help us through this issue?