Tag Archive | jealousy

Can You Totally Trust Your Partner?

Morning After Christmas Party

I often receive emails on the topic of trust so I think this might be a good time to talk about it. This is especially so as the Christmas season is upon us and for so many organisations this is also the time of the office Christmas party with potentially lots of alcohol and sometimes a little too much “merry”.

Trust, as defined in the dictionary, is the reliance of one person on another for honesty and sincerity in their relationship. Everything is open for discussion and, as a committed couple there is an expectation that as no subject is taboo then also there is an expectation that both of the couple will say what the truth is for them even when this might be hard to say.

So when we feel we cannot trust our partner, is that saying more about us or is it saying more about them?

My hunch is that maybe it says something about both of you.

Our distrust of another may well be about our own insecurities. While we might say we expect truthfulness from another we actually might find it difficult to be truthful ourselves and consequently not really believe that it is possible to get that from the other.

Alternatively it might be that if I have grown up with dishonesty, either between my parents or from my parents to me, then it is also more likely that I will be unsure about the ability of someone else to be totally truthful in their conversations with me.

The alternative of course is that your partner has already done something which was less than honest leaving you suspicious of their every word and action. If your relationship has come to this then you are in serious danger of losing your relationship unless you do something about it and quickly.

Where these two possibilities might intersect is at the place where, if you already have a distrust of your mate, then they actually might act upon it as they feel that they’re dammed if they do and dammed if they don’t.

What can you do about it?

If you feel that the issue is more about you then go and speak with a professional about it. You might benefit from doing some personal psychotherapy. In this case the therapist may explore some of your early life history to discover the past experience of your distrust.

The process would be similar if you are the one struggling to stay honest. The reason for this might also be discovered in exploring your past.

Once you know where it came from you can then do something about it.

If on the other hand you are married to someone who has behaved in such a way that no longer deserves your trust then you need to talk about it as quickly as possible either with your spouse or with a Couple’s Counsellor.

The Couple’s Counsellor will help both of you in articulating what your concerns are about hearing or telling the truth assisting you to communicate this to each other. This is because it is only in the truth that you will find true happiness and a promise that your relationship really can make it to become a long-term committed relationship.

If you don’t have access to a Counsellor try this exercise:

Make a time with each other to sit and talk. Choose one of you to have the entire stage first. You are “The Speaker”. That means that for whatever time you have chosen you get to speak without interruption other than for the other person clarifying what you are saying or to ask questions to help both of you get as clear a picture as possible about what it is “The Speaker” has chosen to speak about.

The other of you is “The Listener”. Your job is simply to listen. This must be without judgement or response in defence of yourself. That means that the other person can say whatever they want while you remind yourself that this is only their opinion even if you don’t agree with it.

And whatever you do, and whatever it is they say, just keep listening. And when I say listen I mean really listen: with your head, hour heart and your spirit as you just might be surprised at what there is to learn.

Try it one way and then next time you come together it will be the listeners turn to become “The Speaker” and the speakers turn to become “The Listener”.

This is what a real conversation is. As we speak and listen we will come to hear the truth and maybe even rediscover the trust that might have been lost making it once again the glue for a truly healthy, loving relationship.

Remember you were designed with two ears and one mouth for a reason!

So until next time – Relate with Love

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True Love, Lies and Deceit

True Love Lies and Deceit

Is it possible for someone to truly love you and hurt you over and over with lies and deceit?

What a great question this is to get me going for the week

The short answer is this:  NO! Someone cannot truly love you and hurt you over and over with lies and deceit. But it may be a little more complicated than that.

Lying and deceitfulness can be a natural response to being constantly tormented, fear of being found out, or from the modelling we get from the most important people around us, generally our parents.

There are also gradients of lies. There are the lies of omission when we don’t tell someone that what they are wearing doesn’t go with whatever, their body shape, the occasion etc.

On the other end of the continuum are the really big lies that have a huge impact on people’s lives, individuals or whole countries, which can and do change the course of history.

My curiosity is pricked when I hear that someone is being deceitful in their relationship. Is this a cold-hearted act of cruelty with no regard for the impact the lie has on another or is it something much more than that?

My belief is that lying is a complex issue that really needs to be viewed not just in the context of the current event but in the context of a whole lifetime of experience.

When we are very young we learn to tell lies as part of socialising us to the norms of society. So we are taught to hold our tongues when we get crushed under the hug of our big, fat aunties and respectfully say ‘thank you’ for the gift that we really didn’t want. We also learn in the process that lying can protect us from being punished, sometimes in very, even too harsh ways. Lying can even become habitual as a way of avoiding the anger of someone in a position of authority over us as well as a means of avoiding the feelings of fear that can go with that.

As an adult we normally grow out of this behaviour as we meet with other adults face to face, in truth and in good will, to manage our conflicts in an adult way no longer needing to resort to old patterns of behaviour. Sometimes however old behaviours are so entrenched that the habit has become hard to shift. Alternatively the person is triggered to feel the same sort of fear they experienced as a child and respond from an internal child part of themselves rather than an external adult part.

In these situations the lies and deceit are not intended to hurt but become the habitual response of someone who doesn’t yet have the skills to manage themselves in a more mature way.

So to come back to the question at the beginning of this article

Love is a mature adult feeling that is pure and clean with no unresolved issues attached to it. So to truly love another implies that you are fully there with this person in the most vulnerable way possible. This means that your heart, soul and body are open and exposed without any defences. So to put it more simply, love and lying simply cannot be present in the same moment.

While we are humans, and we will slip up, for us to be truly in love with another requires us also to be truly honest. If we cannot be truly honest then we can’t possibly truly love because instead of being there fully in the present we are being held back by something from our past that will need resolution.

So if you are being lied to and hurt constantly by your partner and they are unable, or unwilling, to do what it takes to change then you really do need to think about the long-term viability of your relationship.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Jealousy – the Green-eyed Monster

Jealousy – the Green-eyed Monster

Sometimes couples come into me with an issue around jealousy, otherwise known as the “Green-eyed Monster”.

When you feel jealous of someone, the slightest gesture of deception seems to be the greatest betrayal of the world. You cannot see them talking and socializing with anyone, you just want them to pay attention to you and only to you. You feel insecure when they show any attention to someone else.

When you feel such jealousy you begin to think all the negative things. And when you begin to feel like this about someone, then there is also a big chance that you will begin to doubt their honesty and sincerity to you and once you create that thought in your mind your relationship becomes at risk.

You become a pessimist and may even begin to dislike your partner. You may have no idea of the jealousy that is consuming you as you find justification for how you are thinking.

Maybe it’s normal after all

All this said – being jealous of someone you love is a natural response that is present in the early stages of your relationship. Obviously when you love someone you want to hold onto them tightly because they are very important to you. In actual fact this really only becomes an issue when you have passed through this stage and when one of you is ready to return to some ‘normalcy’ in your life and the other is not able to.

For more on the stages of relationship and what is ‘normal’ look at my articles on the “stages of relationships”.

In this circumstance the issue is generally raised by the person who is just trying to get on with their life and who feels most the intrusion of the other party into their affairs. Sometimes this takes the form of checking out that person’s emails or phone messages and sometimes it becomes much more disturbing where one party might even attempt to stop the other party doing anything without that person being present to it. This could even impose on the person being able to carry out their normal social and/or work responsibilities. The result can be a feeling of being stifled.

Getting over it

When I hear this kind of story my first questions are generally about whether there has ever been any evidence of behavior that warrants such a response. If not, then I take a closer look at the jealous person’s history as generally it will be found that this person has experienced a loss or a disappointment somewhere in a past relationship and is now believing that it is how everyone will treat them in relationship.

If you are with someone who is acting jealously in your relationship, the first thing you can do to help you is to and remind them that you love them. Tell them how you feel and ask them how they feel. In other words, keep the communication channels open while not getting into a defensive or aggressive position.

And if you are the one who is jealous keep in mind that your partner loves you or they wouldn’t be there at all. You must have trust in them if you want to encourage a good relationship.

Most importantly don’t allow past experiences to flavor your present relationship. And if you need to get some professional help to guide you through.

Maybe the last word here should be given to Shakespeare who, it is believed, was the first to coin the term in his play “The Merchant of Venice”, in 1596, and who through his character, Portia, offers some good advice:

Portia:
How all the other passions fleet to air,
As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embraced despair,
And shuddering fear, and green-eyed jealousy! O love,
Be moderate; allay thy ecstasy,
In measure rein thy joy; scant this excess.
I feel too much thy blessing: make it less,
For fear I surfeit.

 

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Am I Just Insecure Or Jealous?

Am I Just Insecure Or Jealous?

A question I was asked recently was about the apparent need for a fiancé to continue to contact previous girlfriends. It went something like this:

“I wonder why my fiancé can’t get over with his past relationships. We’ve been together for two years and I recently found out that he was trying to reach his ex-girlfriends. It hurt me so much. I wasn’t expecting that he was the one who took the first move. We had a fight over this. The conversation was so nasty. Is it my fault? Or am I just insecure or jealous?”

I was saddened to read this as it seems to come up again and again for couples. I think the real culprit here is simply that some people, despite the fact that they no longer are in a relationship, have not yet really finished their business in those former relationships. And interestingly this can even be the case for the person who initiated the ending of the relationship in the first case.

So let’s take a closer look at what this might actually be about. As you are growing up the way you are treated by your parents and other close family, together with your observations of others in relationship, shapes the way you become as an adult in your relationships. This shaping defines what you do, think, feel and say and how you present yourself to the world.

My theory is that the resulting beliefs directs us to fall in love with people who on the surface may appear quite different from us but who underneath we unconsciously know will reaffirm the beliefs we already have about ourselves, others and relationships.

We then go on in one of two ways. We will both embrace the differences, as opportunities for learning, and take on some of those qualities becoming more whole in terms of the options we now have for responding to life’s events. The other option is that we turn against those differences as we become more fixed in our own opinions.

The problem with this is that you don’t learn anything from the experience. And as you stand fixedly in your position you run the risk of losing the relationship as the conflict between you will invariably escalate.

So what has this to do with what so often happens in future relationships?

Well there is a reason why you are attracted to all the people who come into your life. If you have finished your business with them you are more likely to come to the conclusion that you are simply not ever going to be well-matched. You can then step away from that part of your life and truly move on as you embark on another, hopefully more healthy, relationship.

The alternative is that you simply walk away from the relationship as a reaction to whatever was going on, or not going on, without ever really having learned or rationally made any sense of what actually happened and why.

You leave still angry and then go into another relationship unresolved to the previous one. Why then would you not still be attracted to those from earlier relationships as the opportunities for growth are still to be found there if only you open your eyes to it.

So for the new partner there may indeed be a sense of disconnection from this person. And while there is still some unfinished business for the other, there is also something for the new partner to learn as well. It might feel like jealousy or insecurity, and maybe the other person might like you to wear the responsibility for what might not be working in your relationship so they don’t have to. But this actuality may not be yours entirely.

The way through this is to take responsibility for what is yours, and your thoughts and feelings are your responsibility, to come to accept that you are OK. Your partner also has to take responsibility for their thoughts and feelings; to figure out what it is that s/he needs to learn to truly be able to put that old stuff aside once and for all so they can focus fully, without any distraction, on the current relationship.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Have You Been Bitten By the Green-eyed Monster?

jealous

Sometimes couples come into me with an issue around jealousy, otherwise known as the “Green-eyed Monster”.

When you feel jealous of someone, the slightest gesture of deception seems to be the greatest betrayal of the world. You cannot see them talking and socializing with anyone, you just want them to pay attention to you and only to you. You feel insecure when they show any attention to someone else.

When you feel such jealousy you begin to think all the negative things. And when you begin to feel like this about someone, then there is also a big chance that you will begin to doubt their honesty and sincerity to you and once you create that thought in your mind your relationship becomes at risk.

You become a pessimist and may even begin to dislike your partner. You may have no idea of the jealousy that is consuming you as you find justification for how you are thinking.

Maybe it’s normal after all

All this said – being jealous of someone you love is a natural response that is present in the early stages of your relationship. Obviously when you love someone you want to hold onto them tightly because they are very important to you. In actual fact this really only becomes an issue when you have passed through this stage and when one of you is ready to return to some ‘normalcy’ in your life and the other is not able to.

For more on the stages of relationship and what is ‘normal’ look at my articles on the “stages of relationships”.

In this circumstance the issue is generally raised by the person who is just trying to get on with their life and who feels most the intrusion of the other party into their affairs. Sometimes this takes the form of checking out that person’s emails or phone messages and sometimes it becomes much more disturbing where one party might even attempt to stop the other party doing anything without that person being present to it. This could even impose on the person being able to carry out their normal social and/or work responsibilities. The result can be a feeling of being stifled.

Getting over it

When I hear this kind of story my first questions are generally about whether there has ever been any evidence of behavior that warrants such a response. If not, then I take a closer look at the jealous person’s history as generally it will be found that this person has experienced a loss or a disappointment somewhere in a past relationship and is now believing that that is how everyone will treat them in relationship.

If you are with someone who is acting jealously in your relationship, the first thing you can do to help you is to and remind them that you love them. Tell them how you feel and ask them how they feel. In other words, keep the communication channels open while not getting into a defensive or aggressive position.

And if you are the one who is jealous keep in mind that your partner loves you or they wouldn’t be there at all. You must have trust in them if you want to encourage a good relationship.

Most importantly don’t allow past experiences to flavor your present relationship. And if you need to get some professional help to guide you through.

Maybe the last word here should be given to Shakespeare who, it is believed, was the first to coin the term in his play “The Merchant of Venice”, in 1596, and who through his character, Portia, offers some good advice:

Portia:
How all the other passions fleet to air,
As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embraced despair,
And shuddering fear, and green-eyed jealousy! O love,
Be moderate; allay thy ecstasy,
In measure rein thy joy; scant this excess.
I feel too much thy blessing: make it less,
For fear I surfeit.

 

So until next time – Relate with Love

Relationship Remedy Signature  jpeg