Questions to help escape the jealousy maze
I compiled this list for anyone who struggles with jealousy and wants to better manage their feelings. Reading questions and thinking about possible answers is the first step to take. In our sessions and workshops, expect reflecting on these questions in depth, as well as some practical solutions.
It is possible to have many different answers to these questions and we will find ones that make sense and are beneficial for you specifically, whether you want to stay monogamous or open up.
The key takeaway from this exercise is the awareness of which specific changes make sense and are possible in your own unique case – and how to do it.
The tools you’re about to learn are based in willingness to grow as a person, self-regulation and achieving emotional maturity by employing current neuroscience and attachment theory. That said, you don’t need to dive into an in-depth analysis of all questions; often, focused work on your self-esteem or fear of missing out is the only thing you need in order to be happy.
- What messages about jealousy did you pick up while growing-up? Are they really true?
- Do different cultures have different attitudes?
- Is there a positive side of jealousy?
- Is there a healthy level of jealousy?
- Do you actually just feel emotions or do you reflect on your thoughts as well and question your beliefs about yourself, your partner and your rival?
- Have you ever been overly emotional about something different and how did that change over time? Can you apply this natural process of developing emotional maturity to your jealousy?
- Do you know how to calm down?
- How much of your daily mental energy is used to think about jealousy?
- Is your fear of abandonment related to your self esteem issues or to the characteristics of your partner?
- Did you chose someone who’s monogamous or did you hope that they would become monogamous over time? Is that really possible and at what cost?
- How emotionally mature are you and your partner in general? Do you make an effort to have a harmonious relationship?
- Do you wish only your partner would change without you making any effort or the opposite is the case?
- Is your partner giving you the best of himself/herself and is that enough for you? (best in terms of an effort, not the actual outcome you might want)
- Who do you find responsible for your jealous feelings – you or your partner?
- Who owes what to whom and why?
- What do you do to create trust in your relationship?
- Are there any feelings or questionings about your own sexual orientation involved when thinking of the rival?
- Are you the one who falls in love with others easily and you’re projecting that into your partner?
- If you give up control as preferred way of keeping partner close, what other skills that actually work do you have to develop?
Additional questions for people who think of opening up their relationship:
- What is the level of trust in your current relationship?
- Is your partner hoping you will agree to open-up the relationship and does that make sense if you never wanted this before?
- What are your past experiences with jealousy? Are they coloring the view of what’s going on in this new circumstances?
- If your partner doesn’t want to hurt you intentionally by experiencing something with others, why does it hurt so much nonetheless?
- Why exactly can’t you be happy if your partner is happy with someone else while he or she takes really good care of you when together with you?
- What role does fear of missing out play in your feelings?
After you reflected on these question for a few days, try this exercise:
When you think about your future self which is without strong jealousy feelings, what do you see? What kind of person is that and what do they feel?
Do this in a form of a 10 minute long visualization.
Who do you really want to be?
Think often about this – the more clear visual picture you have, the better. Be careful to do this from a place of compassion towards yourself and not just as another voice of your inner critic.