Jealousy: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Plus, a seven-step program for overcoming it

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.

Finally, you need to change your behavior and this is where we start the seven steps:

  • Every single time you have a jealous thought, write it down and rate how strongly you believe it on a scale from one to 10. Ex: My boyfriend is having an affair with a girl from work: Nine (I'm certain this is true).
  • Underneath the sentence, list all the reasons why you believe it is or isn't true, no matter how silly they sound. Ex: "He's working late a lot." "He wore his lucky pants to work."
  • Wait two minutes and dwell a bit longer on how upset and angry you feel. Deliberately stay in the "rage" state of mind a little while so every single one of those suspicious thoughts surfaces for you to write down.
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