Jealousy: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Plus, a seven-step program for overcoming it

The couple where one or both partners are jealous is easy to spot: They're the ones who stay home. The only stress-free environment for that kind of a couple is on the couch with a DVD and a bottle of wine because any public place—pubs, restaurants, even shopping—has potential rivals (i.e. people of the opposite sex). But some people can't even bear to have their partners watching attractive people on television and in movies. Even the news becomes a problem if the newsreader happens to be attractive.

The saddest thing of all is that jealousy not only won't stop people from being unfaithful; it makes it more likely they will be. If you accuse someone often enough of having an affair, they eventually think, Hey, if they believe it, I might as well do it. The second biggest fear of a jealous person is that her partner will leave her, but if she continues to make his life hell, he probably will. Don't let this happen to you. Take a deep breath and make a commitment to follow this seven-step program which can solve the problem permanently. It's not a quick fix. It takes time and effort. But it does work. I know—I did it!

The Seven-Step Fix

Before you start the program, it helps to understand what's making you jealous. Identify the reason: Is it insecurity, your childhood, your past, your own cheating history (if we find it hard to be unfaithful, we don't expect others to be)—or a combination of all four? If the answer's not obvious, force yourself to think outside the box; for example, it might stem from sitting through all the gory details when your best friend's heart got smashed to smithereens by a lover who cheated. Also work on your self-esteem: The more highly you think of yourself, the less likely you'll believe your partner would dream of risking your relationship.

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