Feeling Jealous? Try this.

Feeling Jealous? Try this.Josh was spending a lot of time at work.

Marian didn’t mind. Not at first.

She was proud of her fiancé. He told her the work he was putting in now would pay off in the form of a better life for both of them.

But then she attended Josh’s office Christmas party … and met Sarah.

Sarah was in her 20s, with long blond dreadlocks and a silver nose ring. She was vivacious, flirtatious, and seemed to have several men from the office wrapped around her little finger. Including Josh.

Marian came home that night furious. She wouldn’t talk to Josh for days.

He told her their relationship was entirely professional. That’s just how Sarah was. It’s not like they were ever alone together.

But Marian didn’t believe him.

“I trust Josh,” she told me, “but I don’t trust that woman. You should see what she wears! I mean, I’m all for casual office attire, but those tight t-shirts cross a line.”

“So let me ask you something,” I said. “What emotion are you feeling right now?”

“Anger. Definitely anger.”

“What would you say if I suggested you might be feeling jealous?”

Marian flinched. “Absolutely not. That’s annoying. Jealous of some … teenager?”

I nodded.

If there’s one emotion that’s got a majorly bad rap these days, it’s jealousy.

No one wants to admit to being jealous.

Prior to the 1970s, jealousy was considered a normal part of love. If you loved someone, of course you got jealous. You didn’t have to be embarrassed about it.

You can see some remnants of this way of thinking in dating advice that urges you to make him jealous if you want him to fight for you. Show him he’s got competition. If he’s not going to do the work, you’ve got other options.

It’s one thing to make him jealous but quite another to feel that unwanted emotion creeping up in yourself.

Jealousy is painful. Ever heard a friend say, “If he so much as looks at another girl, I’ll kill him”? It’s easier to direct anger at him than to admit you feel threatened.

But Esther Perel has a different perspective.

In her latest bestseller The State of Affairs, Perel suggests that the jealousy provoked by the thought of your man straying can rekindle a lackluster relationship.

That’s because it lights a fire under you. Nothing turns up the heat in a relationship more than the thought of someone else trespassing on your territory.

So here’s my advice to you. Don’t be afraid of jealousy. Use it to your advantage.

Not by sparking jealosy in him—I never recommend flirting with other men to make your guy jealous—but by acknowledging it and honoring it in yourself.

Here are 3 steps to turning those feelings of jealousy from pain into the pleasure of success.

  1. Recognize that other women are attracted to your man.

Until the office Christmas party, Marian hadn’t really considered what other women thought about her fiancé. She assumed they knew he was off limits, and that was that.

But that night, she saw Josh through Sarah’s eyes. She saw how attractive he was. She saw how other women might deem him a catch.

  1. Feel proud that you have him and they don’t.

When I suggested this to Marian, she felt strangely empowered.

She’d been with Josh for so long that she took him for granted. They were in that stage of their relationship where it was about getting on with their lives, rather than obsessing over each another.

Marian could see how getting attention from someone as young and ditzy as Sarah might feel flattering for Josh.

“Doesn’t it feel good to know that Josh is still coming home to you?” I asked her.

Marian nodded. She was starting to see Sarah and the whole situation differently.

  1. Use those feelings as fuel.

That evening, when Marian got home, she gave Josh a welcome he’d never forget. She didn’t tell me the details, except to say she hadn’t seen such a big smile on his face for ages.

She was feeling good again. The more she thought about what a handsome fiancé she had, and what a miracle it was that he came home every night to her, the more she saw the situation with Sarah as an important reminder rather than a threat.

“I guess it doesn’t hurt to be jealous now and then,” she said.

“As long as you don’t take those feelings out on him,” I reminded her. “Or feel bad about your own natural emotions.”

Let jealousy serve you, but don’t let it be your master. Let it remind you how lucky you are, then let it go or transform it into positive action.


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5 thoughts on “Feeling Jealous? Try this.

  1. Mary said:

    I’ve been with my boyfriend going on three years. We have both been married and have other relationships that ended prior to meeting each other. He has an ex girlfriend I just don’t trust. He has remained friends with her after their split over 8 years ago. She calls all the time. He has answered in my presence. He doesn’t leave the room to talk. But he has gone and seen her hung out and even done repairs at her home. I’ve woke up at 3 in the morning and found him gone. Instantly I think that he is with her. When he gets home he admits he meet up with her and they have gone to breakfast or had drinks. The last time this happened. It angered me horribly. We flip houses. At this house we were working on there is a storage she’s. I was putting some stuff inside and I saw 4 beautiful rattan patio chairs. I said wow those are nice. Where did those come from? He said up the street someone was throwing them out I took them and painted them. Painted them brown my favorite color. I said those will look nice in the new place we were going to be moving into. He said yes they will. About a month later. We decided to ca it a early night left the work sure and went home. We got home ate dinner and got comfy on the sofa and fell asleep. Around 1 in the morning I woke up. He was awake and had his phone up looking at it. I said your up aren’t you tired. He said yes and closed his eyes. I thought about the phone but was so tired fell right back asleep. Around 3 in the morning I woke up. He wasn’t on the couch sort a assumed he has gone to the bedroom. Started falling back to sleep but couldn’t. Got up and found he wasnt in bed. Looked in the driveway his truck was there. Text our neighbor to see if maybe he was there. No reply. I called his phone went to voicemail. I was to tired to deal with it and went to sleep. Woke back up around 8:30. He still wasn’t there. Called his phone several times. Rang and went to vohcemail. Left a few messages. Then around 9:00 I heard the patio gate open and close it was him. I was upset and asked where he went. He said he had left with James out friend and had been at the new place where we were going to be moving into. I said you were with her. He said don’t be crazy no I wasn’t. We got our things and left for the work house. I’m outside in front working. James pulls up. I said hi. Went to the gate to unlock it and let James in. I said joking. So your in trouble picking him up wee hours of the morning. He looked surprised and said what? I said you didn’t pick him up and drop him back off around 9 this morning? He said no. So I went into the house. Casually said so it was James you left with and dropped you off this morning? He said what oh yeah. I said are you sure? He said yes. I said thats strange cause James is out front and he said he never seen you. He said I will talk to you after he leaves. I just walked away. About 30 minutes later I get a text. It was from my boyfriend. Telling me the chairs in the shed were actually his ex girlfriends and he has painted them for her. She picked him up they then went and picked up the chairs and he went to her place to unload the chairs. I felt like a fool. Talking about those chairs and how great they were going to look at our new place. Him agreeing they would. His lying about James picking him up. The lies the sneekyness the lies. He continues in the text saying they are just friends he didn’t want me to get upset about the chairs. Hello was I given the chance to get upset? I don’t trust her. She is a user. She always needs or wants something all the time. What makes me feel in the state of whoa is he does or gives her what she’s asking for. This girl is a user and when they were in a relationship. He wasn’t allowed to show like they were a couple while out on public. She is not very attractive.Kinda not real smart. But he seems to cater to her why? I feel like I want to walk away. Never look back. But I really want to be with him. I love him. I know it might be sitting myself up to be hurt. What should I do?

  2. Jill said:

    I totally agree and I’m going through something similar but I’m jealous that my so called boyfriend has many friends that are girls that I’ve seen texting him in his phone and that makes me jealous and not trust him especially when one girl he met on Facebook who was married and I saw he was texting her she’s beautiful and asking her to come over I mean I think that crosses the line definitely she seems like more of a love interest than a friend.

    • Gayle said:

      Asking another woman over is definitely crossing the line. It’s time to re-evaluate!

  3. Anna said:

    I dont know which dictionary i read it , but jealous means to want something that someone else has. So this really doesnt make sense to me. It sounds to me like the flirty girl is jealous of the ladies that have the men that she cant have. Not the other way around. We women arent jealous of that kind of girl. We dont want what she has. Because we know how awful their way of thinking must be. We women know this type. And it would be degrading to think like her. I used to think like her and i loved attention from guys but at the same time i hated them. To go and openly just flirt with every guy that comes around , especially if he is married. wow… thats just so low. Thats my opinion. Thankfully after i read your articles James, i do not hate guys anymore. I have come to see men as fascinating and wonderful. I still wont go flirting with them all!… except my husband. Its called MORAL STANDARDS. Something this world is losing very fast

    • Jill said:

      Yes you’re right no one has moral standards anymore. I’m 34 and single and trying to date men my age forget about it they don’t respect women at all and they want us to do all the work and they’re lazy.

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