Have you ever traced your genealogical roots? Perhaps you've conducted searches about your ancestors using the internet or a library's database. It can be fun and quite interesting to find out if your long ago relatives fought in wars, traveled to distant lands with their belongings in a knapsack, or had other adventures. When it comes to figuring out the roots of the jealousy you feel, however, it's usually not so pleasant. Just about nobody wants to explore potential causes for why he or she tenses up and expects betrayal from a loved one. In fact, jealousy is probably an experience most of us would rather ignore or wish away.

If you want to free yourself from the damaging clutches jealousy has on you and your love relationship, ignoring will probably not work. On the other hand, we don't advise you to only look at your jealousy habit or judge yourself harshly for it. Instead, take some time to trace back the roots of your jealous feelings and see where they lead. It's likely they go back to previous relationships and long ago experiences. Just as you'd not expect to have the same life and preferences as your great- great- great- great- aunt, there are probably significant differences between your current and previous relationships. To assume you will be hurt or even cheated on by this partner just because that's what has happened to you in the past, is not only unfair, it also hampers your ability to truly experience what this current love has to offer.

Becca and Jim are in the middle of the biggest fight they've had during their 2 years together. It all seemed to start during Becca's office party the night before. Jim, who has an erratic schedule working construction jobs, was finally able to attend one of the parties at Becca's workplace. As soon as they walked in the door, Becca noticed one of her co-workers staring at Jim. The entire night this woman (who has a reputation for sleeping with many men) couldn't seem to take her eyes off Jim and she even tried to talk with him many times. Becca was appalled as the woman asked for Jim's cell phone number saying that she needs some work done at her home. Jim gave her his number seeing the potential for a new client. Becca became furious that Jim didn't ignore the woman's obvious (to Becca) advances and demanded that they leave the party early. She refused to talk during the car ride home and, once there, finally exploded launching a series of accusations at him. They slept in separate rooms that night, both seething.

Recognize jealousy when it's small.
It's hard to NOT see that you're jealous when you're in the middle of those full-blown emotions. If you can learn to recognize the first signs of jealousy, however, it will be easier to work with. As soon as Becca noticed her co-worker “staring” at Jim, she could have taken a few moments to tune in and deal with those initial jealous feelings. It's not always easy to do-- especially if you're in the middle of a party for example-- but try it anyway. You might feel a physical tightening in your shoulders or stomach or notice that your jaw has tensed. If so, step outside or go to the bathroom and give yourself some space to look closer at what's going on for you.

Follow jealousy's roots.
Of course, it's unrealistic for Becca to sit in the bathroom at the office party and delve into exactly why she's so quickly threatened, fearful and mistrusting. In that moment, Becca could have calmed herself down and looked more clearly at what's true for her and what she wants to do next. But at home, after the outburst and the ensuing argument with Jim that did unfortunately happen, she can trace back her jealousy to its roots. Becca might realize that not only has every other love relationship she's had ended in infidelity, she also grew up aware that her own parents both had affairs. Cheating seems inevitable to Becca even though she wishes with all of her heart that this were not the case.

When you take some time to look at your past relationships and the expectations you have about love and commitments, some patterns may emerge. Once you see these patterns, ask yourself if your assumptions can fairly be applied to this current relationship where it is right now? You might also question if the expectations you have about your relationship are serving you and your partner. If they aren't, make it your intention to create new expectations.

Changing the assumptions and expectations we have about anything-- especially love relationships-- can be a process so be patient with yourself. But every time you bring yourself back to a calm and clear mindset, you can more easily choose to focus on connection instead of jealousy. With time and practice, you may even find jealousy a part of your past and a deepening, trust-filled love your present and future.

Author's Bio: 

Start today to heal your jealous behavior by signing up for Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins' free course on how to stop jealousy at http://www.NoMoreJealousy.com.