No one wants to be “that girl…” the jealous, insecure person who gets upset if her boyfriend even glances at another woman. But coping with jealousy and insecurity in a relationship–especially if he’s the love of your life, and especially after divorce isn’t easy.
These two words: jealousy and insecurity, could ruin your amazing relationship. I do want to say that these are natural emotions that most people have at one time or another, but that they don’t have to ruin things. The key is learning how to cope with them in a productive way.
Let me explain. It’s every woman’s definition of bliss that you meet a guy and within a couple weeks you find yourself in a new romantic relationship that makes you feel like you’re sitting on a beach with the sun in your face and not a care in the world. Everything with him is picture-perfect. You’ve been waiting for this man all your life.
However, bliss has a price. Because the relationship seems so perfect, and because they feel they have a lot to lose should things end, it’s natural for people to experience fear and vulnerability in serious relationships. While these emotions are understandable – even healthy, they can unleash jealousy and insecurity. If these two things come up excessively, it can cause big problems.
Several years ago, I was on a romantic Saturday night dinner date with a guy I’d been seeing for several months. We sat down at a table in the back of the restaurant and three minutes later, an extremely attractive single mom sat down next to us with her two young children. Why this woman chose this restaurant on this night at this late time is beyond comprehension. Would you take your toddlers to Morton’s on a Saturday night at 9 p.m.?
Anyhow, she kept staring at my date and smiling, and I found myself seething with jealousy. The ultimate move was when she bent down to pick up a napkin her child dropped on the floor, revealing her fire engine-red thong. That was it for me. I stormed out of the place.
What I remember so clearly was that I felt very insecure and I let myself believe that Ms. Cougar was prettier and skinnier than me. What I realize now is, even if she was, I should have been more self-confident, more secure in the relationship, and had faith that my boyfriend was not interested.
This experience also said a lot about my relationship. Had it been solid, and had my partner give me the feeling that I didn’t have to worry, I might not have had those feelings. In fact, he was angry with me for being insecure, when in reality, what would have helped is his support and assurance that I didn’t have anything to be insecure about. (I found out after we broke up that he was cheating on me at the time, so obviously I had something to be jealous about!) That’s an entirely different article.
Everyone has insecurities. We are our own worst critics when looking in the mirror. So, when people get into a blissful relationship that they cherish so dearly, it might be easy for insecurities and jealous tendencies to come out.
How do you cope with jealousy and insecurity? By realizing the things you do and don’t have control over. No one can predict the future or the person they are dating. But, what you do have complete control over is you.
Here are four things you can do to minimize jealousy and insecurity in a relationship:
1. You either trust him or you don’t.
Decide whether or not you trust him. Sometimes it takes a little while, but your gut will speak to you eventually. And once you decide you trust him, have faith that he won’t cheat, that you don’t need to be jealous or insecure because he is giving you what you need to feel confident and secure in the relationship. Have confidence in three things: yourself, the relationship and him. Remember–he’s not your ex husband or one of your past boyfriends. So, until he gives you reason to doubt him, don’t.
2. Keep yourself feeling beautiful.
Looking good on the outside is beneficial to your insides. When you feel pretty, you give off a confident and self-assured attitude that doesn’t happen when you’re wearing yoga pants and your hair is in a ponytail.
3. Do things to facilitate self-love.
Volunteer work, acts of kindness, showing love to your friends and family, and staying well read and educated are all ways to precipitate liking and loving yourself. And when you love who you are, others love you too. That includes your spouse.
4. Have faith.
Believe in your spouse and what the two of you have. Don’t doubt it and don’t play the “what if” game – What if he loses interest? What if he gets back together with his ex-girlfriend? Have the confidence and belief that things with the two of you will work out. If you don’t have that, you might want to question who you are with. Maybe it’s not the right relationship for you. It’s scary to do that, but much healthier in the long run!
Remember, every man or woman, no matter how happy, content and committed he or she is in a relationship, will look at other people. Haven’t you ever seen a gorgeous man walking down the street and stopped to check him out? Does that make you a cheater? Nope. Looking is OK, in fact it’s healthy. Only acting on it is cheating.
Also, there is nothing sexier to both men and women than self-assurance, confidence, seeing that your spouse has faith in you and the relationship, and not wavering.