Do you ever feel like your jealousy takes over?

It might seem to you that the stream of jealous thoughts you are having are never-ending and even unstoppable. They can appear to overwhelm and overpower you.

As you might already know, you can easily end up saying or doing things that you may later regret when you are in a state of feeling overpowered by your jealousy.

It's as if the jealousy is “making” you do and say these things.

Angie sometimes feels as if her jealous thoughts take over. It doesn't take long for her to feel overwhelmed and even controlled by her jealousy about her boyfriend Carlo's flirting.

Because Carlo and Angie have had a history of arguing about his flirting (and who knows what else, according to Angie), this is certainly a sore topic for them both.

Angie sees flirting as a stepping stone to (or maybe even an indicator of) cheating. She often tells Carlo that if he were truly committed to their relationship, he'd have eyes and attention only for her.

Carlo, on the other hand, finds Angie constricting and controlling a lot of the time. He points out that his friendly, outgoing nature is what attracted Angie to him in the first place. This is just who he is and has nothing to do with how committed he is.

What is most clear to Angie is that she does not want to continue in this way. Even though Carlo's flirting annoys and triggers jealousy for her, she admits that her jealousy is off the charts.

Lately, it doesn't seem to take much for a storm of jealousy to cloud her mind. And, from there, a real storm between she and Carlo almost always ensues.

Stop jealousy now!
It may very well be that, like Angie and Carlo, there are things that both you and your partner are doing that are contributing to jealousy and disconnection between you.

What we encourage you to do is to learn how to get out from under the seeming “control” of your jealousy. Until you can stop jealousy in its tracks, you can't easily know what your next step should be.

You may want to make requests of your partner and work together toward changes that will potentially bring you two closer together. This is nearly impossible if jealousy is your dominant state.

Get in the habit of recognizing when jealousy begins to rear its head within you. Notice it without judging yourself or looking for someone (you, your partner or another person) to blame.

Instead, see that you are beginning to feel jealous. You might become aware that your stomach starts to knot up or your shoulders tighten, for example.

After noticing that jealousy is rising within you, make a conscious decision to shift your attention and focus.

Re-direct and then make choices.
This is akin to what a parent does with a curious toddler. When the child reaches for the hot stove, the parent might say something like “No, hot touch” and then try to re-direct the toddler's attention away from the stove and toward a toy or book.

In the moment when the toddler is trying intensely to put a hand on a hot burner, the parent is probably not going to sit there at the stove and deliver a lecture about the potential effects of heat on skin. A quick message of “no” and then a shift of attention away from the allure of the hot burner can be quite effective.

In much the same way, you can recognize that you are thinking jealous thoughts and then re-direct your own attention.

Perhaps there is a friend whom you can call to talk with about other events going on in your life. Maybe there is an uplifting book you could read. You might even meditate or pray to clear your mind and bring yourself some peace.

Let's be clear here: We are NOT suggesting that you avoid a dynamic in your relationship about which you might want to take some action.

We ARE recommending that you find ways to loosen the seeming “control” that jealousy can take and come into a calmer state of mind first.

After you've re-directed your attention away from the stream of jealous thoughts (and this might take some persistence and time), then you can return to what's going on in your relationship.

Angie has been practicing noticing when her jealous thoughts start up in her mind and then re-directing her attention. When she and Carlo are out at a club together and she begins to feel jealous, she consciously shifts her gaze away from Carlo and the attractive bartender with whom he is talking and “flirting.”

She takes a deep breath and listens to the song playing or she has a conversation with a friend who is also at the club about the music or the food. Later that evening, when Angie and Carlo are alone, she asks him if they can come up with some agreements about his interactions with other women.

Angie makes it clear to Carlo that she understands that he wants to be able to socialize with other women. At the same time, she would like to have clear agreements-- that they both feel comfortable with-- about what types of interactions are okay and what types are crossing a line and possibly threatening their commitment to one another.

While this is not the easiest conversation for either of them to have, for the first time in a long while, it does not turn into an argument.

From a clearer and calmer place, you can more easily make the changes in your relationship that you desire. It can start the moment that you recognize jealousy and stop it in its tracks.

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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