Jealousy: Part One
As discussed in the last blog, jealousy is an emotion that reveals what we want. Once we see the connection between feelings of jealousy and our deepest desires, we can set on a more productive path to what we want. There is no scarcity and someone having what we want doesn't stop us from getting it. However... what about when it comes to a specific person?
Lisa was married for 18 years. She was committed to her marriage and was happy enough. The emotional range in her marriage varied from comfortable familiarity to quiet exasperation. She enjoyed her time alone, her time with her children, and she found satisfaction in her job. She loved her husband but the "in love" feeling was pretty much gone. After all, isn't the feeling of love replaced by the commitment of love? Her commitment was what sustained her relationship. Her husband on the other hand, seemed rather discontent and frequently irritable. Lisa learned to tolerate his irritability by giving him space. Over time, they were taking separate vacations, her to visit her family and him to go on hunting and fishing trips. The arrangement was working... or was it?
Finishing this story is predictable. Stale marriage turns into an affair, hurt feelings, and of course a bitter ending. The "home wrecker" is hated by the spouse and children. Feelings of jealousy and rejection are paramount.
So what if you are somewhere in Lisa's story, just not the messing ending yet. Can you relate to the monotony of a relationship that has lost it's passion? Are you destined to end up at the same place? How did you get there? Is there a way back to love?
The good news is yes, there is a way back to love. The bad news is, it may be a bumpy ride and there are no guarantees.
Once the kids were old enough to understand language, Lisa had to stop talking about certain things in front of the kids. She distinctly remembers her daughter asking "Are we poor?" At first Lisa was really confused by the question. Where would she get such an idea? Then her daughter reminded her about the conversation she had with her husband about vacation plans. Her husband wanted to take a beach vacation and Lisa wanted to renovate the bathroom. It wasn't a big deal, they worked it out but their daughter was left feeling insecure by the conversation she could not fully understand. Thus began the very normal process of putting off the conversation to a better time. Sometimes, actually many times, the conversation just never happened. Too much was happening and Lisa just had to let some stuff go. This pattern of suppressing issues began to take on a life of it's own as issues piled up and it was hard to know where to start. With so many issues and so little privacy, why spend your time alone discussing conflict? It became easier to just let it go and move on. What Lisa didn't realize was that every time she moved on, she actually didn't let it go. It settled somewhere beneath her skin, like an irritating bug bite. Certain things her husband did began to irritate her as well. Sex became less appealing... Certainly you can finish this predictable story.
But what if you want a different ending? Lisa loved her husband. She made a life long commitment she wanted to honor. Her husband was a good person and a good father. She wanted this relationship to work. So she was going to have to work at it. They started by hiring a babysitter to watch the kids for date night. When the babysitter arrived, they left the house and didn't come home until the kids were in bed asleep. They had the entire evening to say what they needed to say, work out their differences, and connect with each other both mentally and physically. At some point some heavy issues came up they could not resolve so they decided to go into marital therapy. The marital therapy didn't last long, but Lisa decided she liked the input from a therapist and continued on her own. Through therapy, Lisa began to find her own voice. She spoke up when something bothered her, even if she couldn't say exactly what it was in that moment, she at least made her feelings known. She began to find her own passion and personal interests outside of the realm of parenting. She cultivated friendships that nurtured her spirit. She put her self care on the "to do" list. As a result of these changes, Lisa found she was a much happier person. Her husband noticed the change and found her more exciting. He began being more considerate and complimented her on the noticeable changes in both her appearance and attitude. Over time, they renewed their relationship and found their way back to love.
You can be amazing You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug You can be the outcast Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love Or you can start speaking up Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do And they settle ‘neath your skin Kept on the inside and no sunlight Sometimes a shadow wins But I wonder what would happen if you Say what you wanna say And let the words fall out Honestly I wanna see you be brave With what you want to say And let the words fall out Honestly I wanna see you be brave I just wanna see you I just wanna see you I just wanna see you I wanna see you be brave Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down By the enemy Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing Bow down to the mighty Don’t run, stop holding your tongue Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live Maybe one of these days you can let the light in Show me how big your brave is Say what you wanna say And let the words fall out Honestly I wanna see you be brave... With what you want to say And let the words fall out Honestly I wanna see you be brave Innocence, your history of silence Won’t do you any good Did you think it would? Let your words be anything but empty Why don’t you tell them the truth? Say what you wanna say And let the words fall out Honestly I wanna see you be brave With what you want to say And let the words fall out Honestly I wanna see you be brave...