The most quoted wedding passage comes from the Bible. 1 Corinthians 13 is something we’ve all heard, but rarely stop to actually think about: ‘Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
LOVE and TRUST are the foundation of a great marriage. They’re pretty simple concepts and on your wedding day, your relationship is overflowing with both of these attributes. But then reality hits and we have to face the fact that no one is perfect, and in life and love, we’re bound to mess up sooner or later. On top of all of that, we’ve got to deal with that ugly monster called jealousy that is bound to raise its head sooner or later.But love is not meant to be jealous, so let’s dive into this idea and see how it affects a marriage.
I know what you’re thinking...jealous? Why would jealousy jeopardize my marriage? I’m more likely to be jealous of my girlfriend’s new Louis Vuitton purse than I am of my husband’s entire wardrobe! kJealousy is defined as negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something valued.
That definition brings itstrue meaning into the light, and it’s easy to see how subtly such feelings can begin to creep into a relationship. For instance, if your husband begins to spend more time at the office and is late for supper several nights in a row, jealousy can begin to creep. Or you find a photo on facebook of your husband with all the girls from the office at last year’s Christmas party,jealousy might start to grow some more. Or if your husband forgets your birthday but never forgets anything to do with hockey (and in fact, he can recite when and where his team will be playing for the entire season!), jealousy definitely will start to develop.
See what I mean? Jealousy is a subtle monster that plays with your emotions and sends you spiraling through a series of mind games. And a relationship that is diminishing in trust is headed for seriously troubled times.
Then the big question is, how do you keep jealousy out of your marriage? You can’t! I’m not trying to make things depressing, but you simply have to recognize that you will experience jealousy here and there;it’s a part of life and of being a human in love, so you’ll never totally escape it. How you deal with jealousy is the important question, and the answer lies in learning to deal with conflict and resolving problems effectively.
Communication is the best place to start. Instead of agonizing and speculating about what that photo on facebook meant, and going down the thought path of “Who were those girls? What was really going on at that office party?” and subsequently blowing the entire thing into epic proportions, first and foremost, confront your spouse. If you have any nagging doubts, the best thing to do is clear them up before they grow.
So how to fight fair? Communicate effectively and resolve conflicts. And so you won’t forget it, it just so happens to spell out the word FIGHT (aren’t we clever!).
Face Each Other . Focus on your partner, looking him or her in the eyes when you talk. Make sure you turn off the TV or put down your magazine, and that you are both present for the conversation.
Ignore Distractions. Focus on the problem at hand, and don’t bring in other issues or other people. Don’t let your emotions distract you from the issue at hand.
Generalizing Never Works. Never generalize and use words like “You always” or “You never.” Own your feelings rather than simply shifting the blame on to your spouse.
History is Old News. Don’t bring up the past. Old issues and disappointments are overwhelming, increase frustration, and do not help resolve problems in any way, shape, or form.
Take a Break. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed or angry, take a break. Remember to breathe, stay calm, and if truly needed, take a five minute time-out and then come back to the discussion. A little clarity never hurt anyone.
Recognize the things that cause trust to break down in your relationship. Root out jealousy as soon as it rears its ugly head, and learn to fight fair! It’s not the recipe to perfect marital bliss, but it sure will help you deal with many of the hurtful things life throws at a marriage.
During your engagement, your relationship with your fiance is probably crowded with big things: plans to buy a house, the buzz of wedding planning, and so much more. But, when you and your fiance start your life as husband and wife and settle into a daily routine, your relationship can start to feel mundane if you lose focus on what really matters…the little things.