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          Controlling Jealousy

          December 22, 2003


          Is your jealousy tearing your relationship apart? Are you jealous of every person in your spouse’s life that came before you? Do you have a hard time trusting your partner because of your past history of being betrayed? Dr. Phil has advice if jealousy is threatening your future.

          • Ask yourself why you are choosing this behavior. Everybody has a way of being in the world. Is your way being jealous, accusatory, highly monitoring and smothering? Why are you choosing that?

          • Is it because you have a history of being cheated on? There’s an expression: “What I fear, I create.” Are you testing your partner until he just finally fails? If you fear that somebody is going to cheat on you, you may just push him to a point where someone else may grab his attention. Imagine if someone else treated your partner with dignity and respect, didn’t challenge his integrity every minute of every hour, but was in fact accepting and peaceful and harmonious. These are things that really matter. You need to worry about what you’re creating. Ask yourself: Are you responsible for the previous relationships in which you were betrayed? Did you run those previous partners off with your jealous behavior?

          • Jealousy is a poorly disguised need for power and control. Jealous people are tyrannical, controlling, domineering and completely insensitive to the impact of their actions on their partner. Are you getting a power trip off of this? Is the payoff that you keep your partner on a short leash and completely under your control?

          • Choose to respect your partner and make some different choices. You have more power in your love, respect, personality and magnetism than you do in control. You can’t make him come home, but you can make him want to come home.

          Advice for partners of jealous people:

           

          • You teach people how to treat you. It may be working for your partner to be jealous because you are paying him/her off. They get a control fix every time you reassure them, every time you answer the phone to report on your whereabouts. If he/she calls you 10 times to check in on you, answer the phone once to offer information, then turn it off. Stop reinforcing their behavior.

          • Although you don’t want to pay your partner off for insecure or controlling behavior, you should be an open book. People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. Respect your partner enough to let him/her know where you are, when you will be back, and what you’re doing.

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