I'm in the process of developing a workshop that deals primarily with relationships and in the process of doing that I've been working on an article about relationships and jealousy. I thought I'd share a bit of it here and more later. I has been very enligtening for me and I hope for some of you as well.

Linda Simmon, C.Ht.

Love, Jealousy and Relationships

Relationships, and jealousy in particular, can provide individual with an opportunity to come to an understanding of themselves. Jealousy is the result of attachment and expectations, beliefs, projections, delusions, envy, guilt, the loss of self-esteem, and the threat to security.

What do you do when you're jealous? You may try to find out if your lover has been with someone else. If he or she has, you might go into a rage, a frenzy of blame. It is an immediate response. You are angry. You feel violated. You want revenge. You want to stop what is happening, control the situation, manipulate whatever is necessary to protect yourself.

If you can cool down, if you can get control of this internal, knee jerk automatic reaction that accompanies jealousy, you might find out that you can fix the situation. Often, what comes up as jealousy can be eradicated by simple communication. When we leave our needs unspoken, they lie in wait until a situation exposes them. It is essential to get very clear and explicit with your partner about your needs and expectations.

Communication is important, but still remains superficial. An even deeper opportunity is available. Things are happening in this passion of jealous that present the possibility of entering new levels of self-understanding, to see who you are and what is the source of your suffering suffering.

The first step is to clarify what you want in the relationship.

How you see the relationship affects it from the beginning. If both of you are there to create a safe and secure relationship, you will both tend to conceal anything that might threaten it. Many couples come to live completely mendacious, misleading lives together. Gradually, they smother themselves in compromises, unexpressed needs and desires, and lack of open and free communication. Love energy -- eros -- cannot pass between two lives lived in this type of suffocating environment and any eroticism that the relationship may have had will be destroyed.

At this point I should clarify the difference between loving and being attached. This is a most basic distinction, because so much of what we experience as attachment, we call love. In fact, most of the institutions around love, such as marriage and family, are actually ways of protecting our investment in attached situations.

Loving someone is loving the uniqueness of that person. Attachment is quite different. Using a flower as an example can perhaps demonstrate what I mean. You see a flower that is really beautiful. You want to enjoy that flower in its own natural setting, or else you want to pick it and possess it. Those are two entirely different ways of being. Love creates a glorification of the beauty and uniqueness of the flower. Attachment or possession makes you want to pick the flower, sever it from its roots, and make it yours.

So, you can love your partner, you want to see them thrive, enjoy, and grow. You want to see them become more of who they are, no matter what that entails. That's the truth of love. It is what we would call unconditional love, or y want to make him or her conform to what you want or think they should be. To what is convenient or comfortable for you in the relationship. Attachment is not caring for the other so much as it is care for yourself. This distinction needs to be understood before constructive work can be done on your relationship. Are you loving, or are you attached?

If you are attached, you are going to experience the pain of jealousy frequently. However, you can use jealousy as an opportunity to see within yourself the truth of your relationship, whether it is primarily attachment or love. Not just a theoretical understanding, but existential awareness of attachment at its very deepest level. Only through this awareness can you understand yourself and your relationship and perhaps jealousy can be transcended, if this is what you want.

The most extraneous and ineffective way to deal with jealousy is trying to control your partner. Whatever illusions you may have as to who is to blame or who is at fault, jealousy is within you; not within the relationship. Attempting to manipulate your lover is a poor solution. To attempt to control outer circumstances by making your lover behave or act in a certain way is to miss an opportunity, an opportunity to understand yourself. It is not that your lover isn’t at fault, but that in the matter of inner realities, blame is irrelevant.

Manipulation of the other is external. Moving inward, you can use the situation that created the jealousy as an occasion for clarifying communication, for negotiation within the relationship and perhaps most importantly, to understand yourself more fully. To do this is constructive for the relationship rather than destructive to not only the relationship but your own well being. Moving further inward you come to understand yourself and your own reactions. This is the real and positive reason for dealing with jealousy, not trying to blame or fix your partner, but seeing and understanding who you are.

Linda Simmon, C.Ht.

Author's Bio: 

Linda Simmon, C.Ht., the creator of New Beginnings and www.newhypnotherpy.com