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How to Overcome Jealousy and Protect Your Marriage

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A bit of jealousy – the good kind where you notice another person lustfully checking out your spouse and feel a twinge – can be healthy in a marriage. It’s a reminder that you should not take your spouse for granted, and it can even reignite sparks in your sexual relationship. But the bad jealousy – where one spouse wants to keep the other from the rest of the world – puts your marriage and sometimes even your life at risk. (If you feel at all threatened, seek help for your safety and those around you.)

If jealousy is wrecking your marriage, here’s what you can do:

1. Build trust.

Both of you need to believe that the other is faithful and honest with you. Trust breeds security and security squelches jealousy. There are many steps you can take to build trust in your marriage – and you’ll reap the rewards by earning a happier relationship.

2. Communicate with one another.

Talk to each other about your day and opinions. If something is bothering you, say so. If something about your spouse makes you particularly happy, say that as well. Make your life an open book for your spouse. Of course, you will still have private thoughts, but your spouse will learn that you don’t keep secrets from him or her.

3. Demonstrate your affection.

Your spouse needs to know he or she is your one and only and that your heart still races for him or her. Kiss, hug, have sex, praise one another. Jealousy often stems from insecurity. By showing your love for your spouse – and telling him or her how you feel as well on a consistent basis – you will help him or her feel more secure in your love.

4. Discuss your spouse’s jealousy openly and honestly.

Sometimes you’re afraid to bring up certain subjects because you want to avoid an argument. But that’s often the very subject you need to discuss. If jealousy is a problem in your marriage, you need to raise the issue with your spouse. Let him or her know how your feeling and determine what it would take on the part of both of you to improve the situation. Do your best to stay calm while you talk about it – and you should be fine.

5. Seek professional help.

See a marriage counselor, psychologist, or religious adviser if all else fails. A third party might be able to help you get to the core of why jealousy is plaguing your marriage. This person can also get help if one of the spouses is being at all abused. There’s no shame in seeking help. There’s only shame in letting something like jealousy tear apart your marriage by not getting the help you need.
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