Janelle is having a difficult time knowing what she can believe lately. She is well aware that her boyfriend, Paul, is a very social guy. He was popular in high school and college and now he is still a favorite among his co-workers.

Paul stays in touch with a lot of people from his past and present life on the internet through social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. He and his friends will often recount wild parties of the “good old days” and more than one woman has posted fond memories of intimate times shared with Paul.

For Janelle, who is also plugged in to these social networking sites, this is all painful and upsetting.

Because she is “friends” with Paul on these sites, she reads all of these posts and tweets. Every time she comes upon a suggestive comment made by another woman to Paul-- or from him to another woman-- Janelle feels nauseous.

When she expresses her feelings about this to Paul, he brushes them off. He always tells Janelle that she is over-reacting about things that happened in the past. He tells her that he needs to have his fun online and that it's all innocent anyway.

Janelle can't help but wonder why they can't be creating their own fun right here and now. She feels lonely, neglected and as if she's somehow being betrayed.

In today's world, many people have computers and access to the internet. Approximately 75 million people in the world have registered Twitter accounts and an astounding 400 million people actively use Facebook.

These numbers are changing all of the time, but the point is that there are a whole lot of people communicating and connecting through social networking sites.

There is certainly the potential for people already in committed love relationships or marriages to have online affairs or emotional affairs.

There is also certainly the potential for the partners of people who actively use social networking sites to become jealous.

Twitter and Facebook aren't “bad” or the “problem.”
Don't get us wrong. We aren't saying that any social networking site is the cause of either online or emotional cheating or of jealousy.

These relationship problems start in the relationship.

What we are saying is that social networking sites can provide yet another trigger for the fears and worries that you may be having. And, yes, they might also be the place where your partner is breaking trust and the agreements that you've made.

This is the confusion and the challenge.

It is difficult to know with 100% certainty that your mate is NOT having an affair-- whether it be emotional or physical.

This doubt combined with possibly misleading or suggestive bits of information that you find on your partner's social networking page or “wall,” can create a destructive effect...jealousy.

Here are 3 tips to help you handle your jealousy:

#1: Stay connected with your partner.
The majority of affairs happen when one person (or both) feel dissatisfied and distant from the other. When your needs are not being met in your relationship, you might be tempted to look elsewhere to fulfill that need.

Does this mean that it's the partner's or spouse's fault when a person chooses to cheat? Absolutely NOT!

The bottom line here is to make your relationship a priority. Take the time to work through disagreements rather than brushing them aside. Regularly check in with one another and really listen to what your mate wants and then honestly share what you want.

#2: Keep bringing yourself back to the present moment.
Making up stories about what you think a comment or post might mean is a sure way to invite jealousy in. When you find yourself filling in the blanks after stumbling upon something that is troubling to you on your partner's “wall,” stop right there.

It is wise to notice possible warning signs that something inappropriate is going on between your partner and another person.

However, it is best to focus in on what you know to be true-- the actual words posted, the actual words that your mate says to you and his or her actions-- instead of what you are only guessing at.

Remind yourself of what you know and then find ways to get answers to the questions that you do not know.

Be sure to also keep tabs on how connected or disconnected you and your mate are with one another lately. If you two have been tense and distant, address what's coming between you in the “real” world.

#3: Set social networking “ground rules” with your mate.
You might find it helpful to create some agreements with your partner regarding the way you both will interact with others while on social networking sites.

For example, you could both agree not to post comments and instant message (IM) or even not to be “friends” with former lovers, boyfriends or girlfriends. You might each refrain from exchanging private messages or IMs with specific people as well.

Make it clear that your intention for suggesting “ground rules” such as these is to avoid misunderstandings and to keep trust between you strong.

Let your partner know that you are working on your jealousy habit if you have one. Ask him or her to be a source of support by creating agreements that you both will keep and that are comfortable to each of you.

Author's Bio: 

Don't let jealousy take over your life. Click here to find out more about Susie and Otto Collins' free No More Jealousy e-mail mini-course.

Susie and Otto Collins are relationship coaches and authors who help couples communicate, connect and create the passionate relationships they desire. They have written these e-books and programs: Magic Relationship Words, Relationship Trust Turnaround, No More Jealousy and Stop Talking on Eggshells among many others.