dealing with jealousyEven after you know your partner’s emotional affair is over, it’s still difficult. You feel more sensitive than usual. You watch your partner more closely. You wonder about things that stress you out, keep you up at night and bring even more tension to your relationship.

You worry that this will happen again and you’re on the lookout for signs of more cheating.

It’s actually smart to stay awake and aware when rebuilding trust after your partner’s affair. To fall back into old habits could mean further damage to your relationship.

But when you obsess about it and analyze your partner’s every move, it’s just as unhealthy for you and your relationship. This is when jealousy can rear up and cause pain and disconnection.

If you have a history of getting jealous, then this might be a time when it’s even intense. Troubling thoughts you used to be able to soothe and calm with relative ease seem impossible to handle. During this sensitive time, instead of healing and repairing your relationship, jealousy can tear you two further apart.

Do be aware of what your partner is doing to prove to you that he or she is trustable again. That is crucial. Do also be aware of your own thoughts, words and actions to see if you are helping or hurting the rebuilding process.

Don’t make these mistakes when dealing with jealousy…

Mistake #1: Claim it’s “under control” when it’s not.
To deny, avoid or minimize how you really feel won’t make your jealousy disappear. When you’re shaking with anger or overwhelmed by worry and your try to pretend that you’re “okay” or that everything is “under control,” nobody will be fooled.

See also  Affair Recovery and My First Experience With a Therapist

You deprive yourself of the self-care and attention you truly need. Be honest with yourself first. It’s probably wise not to immediately share your raw jealous emotions with your partner. You can let him or her know you are taking a few moments and will come back to talk later.  Acknowledge how you really feel to yourself. Ask yourself what would help you calm down and get clear.

Mistake #2: Blame your partner.
A second mistake that people often make when jealous is to blame their partner. “If he would only ______ then I wouldn’t feel this way!” or  “It’s her fault that I’m jealous!” Blame isn’t going to calm you down and allow you to find a solution. It will only intensify your worries and drive a bigger wedge in your relationship.

Yes, it’s important for your partner to take ownership of his or her emotional affair. That’s an essential part of the healing process. However, it’s up to you to take responsibility for YOUR jealousy. No matter what happened (or is happening), YOU are in control of how you feel and also how you act.

Mistake #3: Blame others.
In the very same way, when you make others the reason why you are jealous, you become powerless. You render yourself helpless to an upsetting situation and to your jealousy too.

If the person your partner had an emotional affair with is still in his or her life – maybe a co-worker, neighbor, ex- you might view that person as the one who “makes” you jealous. There could be things that the other person is doing that aren’t okay, but that doesn’t make anyone else but you responsible for your jealousy.

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Create agreements with your partner to ensure that the interactions between the two of them are transparent and as minimal as possible, but remember that YOU decide how you feel and what you will do when you feel triggered.

Mistake #4: Act on jealous impulses.
Another mistake that people make is something your mother may have warned you about as a kid. They act without thinking when they get jealous. This usually has disastrous effects!

It can be tough to interrupt your thoughts once the fears and suspicions arise. They can feel big and overwhelming and very true – even if you don’t know if they are or aren’t. When jealousy takes over, you can end up saying or doing things that you later regret, things that put even more distance between you and your partner.

Before you pick up your partner’s cell phone to check messages or log into his or her email account without permission, pause and breathe. Think first and make a conscious choice.

Mistake #5: Confuse jealousy with a break in trust.
Know the difference between jealousy and a sign that your partner is lying to you and possibly cheating again. It can be confusing and many people dismiss how they feel as “just jealousy.” Look at the facts that are observable and verifiable. When it’s jealousy, what you mostly have are guesses and memories of the past.

Mistake #6: Give up.
If you’ve been jealous for awhile, it can start to feel like a personality flaw that you’ll always have to suffer with. Many people throw up their hands and resign themselves to a life of torment because they believe they can’t change their jealousy habit.

See also  More Mistakes Made After Infidelity

This is absolutely NOT true.

Don’t give up. Read to find out strategies to calm down and get clear when you feel jealous. Experiment until you discover what’s most helpful for you. Get back to what works when you return to old habits that lead you to jealousy.

Be persistent and congratulate yourself for improvements along the way.

Susie and Otto Collins are relationship coaches, authors and speakers. They have been helping individuals and couples create and keep trusting, close and connected relationships for over 13 years. To get their free ebook: “7 Jealousy-Stopping Secrets,” visit:



    35 replies to "Dealing With Jealousy – 6 Mistakes You Could Be Making"

    • Paula

      What a load of bollocks! I never felt jealousy before the affair. But I sure as hell know what it is now. And, I’m sorry, but his 15 months of fucking my friend DID cause that in me. Yes, I have had to learn to deal with it all, but it is his fault and his actions that caused it. It isn’t something that just magically hit me from nowhere one day. Rational thought is required. Yes. But saying jealousy is the betrayed’s issue is just nuts.

    • Strengthrequired

      I still don’t believe that we are jealous because we are. Betrayed spouse. This was our h/w we are talking about and someone else who wanted what we had.
      We were the ones that had our trust broken and taken away. The ow/om is the one who was jealous. Our spouses should never have put us in this situation in the first place.

    • Exercise grace

      Again, their advice always seems better suited to people who have Never experienced infidelity.

    • chiffchaff

      this advice does seem to be very focused on the BS doing all the work.
      the one time I definitely suffered from jealousy was the same time I discovered that my H had been sexting with some women he’d met on scrabble. I was jealous with good reason because he was being a shit again.

    • Gizfield

      I really believe that a lot of emotions are classified under “jealousy” when they are actually something else. To me, jealousy is when someone has something that I want to HAVE, or is something that I want to BE. And I have to covet that quality or thing. I almost never feel this. I looked it up in the dictionary and the closest definition I found was “feeling resentment against someone because of that person’s rivalry, success, or advantage.” I believe my primary feelings were being pissed off and disgusted by this chick and my husband’s activities with her.

      I think before I confronted her I was confused and thought I was jealous because I was considering her to be much more than she actually was. Afterward, I thought “Have I really fallen so far that I could actually be jealous of someone as nasty, vile, and stupid as this bitch ?” Uh, no. I am surrounded by hundreds of people every day who are younger, thinner, smarter, prettier, funnier, etc. all day and I am not jealous of them, so I refuse to be jealous of a slut whose main thing to be jealous of is that shes sneaking around with my husband, I may have been jealous of my husband, but that too is screwed up.

      • Strengthrequired

        That’s how I believe jealousy is, wanting something that someone else has, something that doesn’t belong to you. Not what we have experienced. That’s why I sa it was the affair partner that was the jealous, envious one, they wanted our life, we didn’t want their life, we didn’t set out to break their family, they set out to break ours.

      • chiffchaff

        I agree with this view and so amend my earlier comment! It wasn’t jealousy I suffered from but natural loathing that despite everything my H was prepared to sneak around sexting with some bored woman in Thailand and still lie to me. I wasn’t jealous of these women. I should’ve used ‘suspicious’ not jealous in my posting. I think that if you replaced ‘jealousy’ with ‘suspicion’ in the article then perhaps it makes more sense?

    • Gizfield

      Amen, I just get so tired of people who have been cheated on as being characterized as jealous. One thing my husband told me he liked about me when we were dating is that I was NOT jealous, or possessive, or a game player. I think cheaters like to emphasize the jealousy angle because it is like a “currency” that they use to feed those big old fake egos. Their logic is that you are jealous because you think they are so much better than you, and I think your spouse sometimes feeds off it too. like zombies wanting brains, they get addicted to having two women thinking they are just ALL THAT. I used to listen to Dr. Phil and he reccomends doing a “relationship autopsy” on failed relationships. I decided to do a “jealousy autopsy” to see when my formerly non jealous self turned into the green eyed monster I was accused of being, lol. Results in the next comment, lol.

    • rachel

      Oh Gizfield, I so get that!!!

      • Gizfield

        Thank you, Rachel, anything that helps us understand these situations for what they REALLY were is good. They are not good, or special, or any of that crap they want you to believe, I know that.

    • Strengthrequired

      I will never understand when we are the ones tha accused of being jealous.
      Why are we targeted for that title?
      It’s so ridiculous to me, we were trashed and deceived yet we are the jealous ones.
      Sick to our stomachs, seeing someone stoop so low to treat us with no respect, seeing them as pathetic and manipulative, I’m certainly not jealous of that trait. Not something to be envous of that’s for sure.

    • kelbelly

      I have never been a jealous type woman ever!! To me that is a sign of insecurity and I have never felt that way in my marriage until after the affair. When woman would openly flirt with my H before the affair, I would laugh and tease him but now I want to grab the woman by her hair and shove her face up to his ring finger and yell, Do you see that you HO!!! I dont think I am jealous now but I am very aware that these slutty piranha woman who are brassy enough to openly flirt with a married man are truly a danger to my marriage and need to be dealt with swifty.

      • Blue

        Kelbelly and everyone else, what do you really do when a woman flirts with your husband? I’m usually so stunned I say nothing, then so mad at myself. What is a good thing to say?

        Coincidently, today, the horny loud wife of one of my oldest friends-who’s tried stuff on my husband before, just called husband at work about something she could have found out other ways- for example asking a cook how to fix the refridgerator.

        I’m so pissed at her right now I feel like socking her skanky mouth (which I won’t) This isn’t even the woman he had an affair with, just someone who tried to kiss him a long time ago (and he didn’t stop it too quick and got caught) My husband says maybe we shouldn’t see them anymore as she’s so ‘horny’ and a braggart and I am so resentful that I will have lose my old friend that’s part of our old gang because his ‘horny wife’.

        I am in so much pain and anger! Totally regressing today.

        • kelbelly

          Boy do I feel your pain blue, I have an old school mate who I had a running rival with that has taken a shine to my H since the affair and it has come close a couple time to me getting in her face but what keeps me from doing it is that it makes my H as uncomfortable as it makes me mad so we just try to ignore her.

          I told him that I will be ok as long as she never touches him. If she does, its on!! I will unleash ninja skills like this world has never seen and will probably have to be bailed out of jail. People have asked me why I have never tried talking to her about it and I ask why should I have to talk to a woman who is drooling over a married man? What part of her does not know that what she is doing is wrong.

          In your case, try talking to your friend about his wife and tell him that it makes you uncomfortable for your wife to be calling your H. If her nasty butt keeps making a fool of herself than put her in her place. That way then everyone will know that you mean business and know there is no question about who is your Hubby 😉

          • Blue

            What the freak is wrong with these women!!!!! I just can’t believe people can be so ‘truly evil’ Even the OP my husband had an affair with still tries to contact him every six months (they work in the same building) under the guise of ‘work’ He tells me right away and even says that the info could have been found elsewhere. WTF is wrong with people that they don’t see the damage and hate they are creating.

            The one reason why I try not to challenge either women too much is because they are both gossips and I can imagine that they could spread some nasty FALSE rumours about me. That is how truly hateful they are! I ask my husband ‘Why are people so meanhearted?!’

            BTW they are both university educated but ignorance and meaness is rampant, it shows up regardless of sex, race or religion. This shows being acedemically smart or going to church doesn’t produce ‘WISDOM’ and ‘KINDNESS’

            How about you confront the skanks in my life and I confront the ones in yours?! LOL just fantacizing for a minute….

    • Gizfield

      Ok, I’m starting the Jealousy Autopsy, including dates. I met my H in May, 2000. We dated 3 years and married May 2003. I first met his Turd sometime within this period, probably after we had been together a year or two. He was in a band, lol, and this particular night when we got to the club, the singer’s wife jumped up and said “look who’s here, M”. At that point, this chick literally launched herself out of her chair and onto my then boyfriend. Right in front of me. My thought was “who is this bitch and what it’s she doing up on my boyfriend. Turns out she was friends with the singer’s wife and spook of them had lived in the same apartments 15 years or so before. I had met the wife the same night I met my H. Anyway, after we established this, I was so “jealous” that I dont even remember anything about this girl that night. Looking back, and I just realized this tonite, she knew that my h and I had been dating quite a while, yet she chose to fling herself on him like they were long lost soulmates or something right in front of me. I almost think she actually did it to make me jealous or doubt myself, or something. Just like Kelbelly said. An ego boost, they think your man is only with you cause they let them be. I now do think it was intentional, but at that time my jealousy rating was probably 1 or 2 (of 10) and that was solely due to the overly dramatic/ friendly greeting. So, no I was not jealous of “her.”

    • Gizfield

      Sorry for the typos in that but I’m really tired. Lol.

    • Gizfield

      Sb “all of them lived in the same apartments”.

    • Gizfield

      You are spot on, Chiffchaff. I used as my reference and the number 2 definition is “mental uneasiness from suspicions or fear of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc.” So, it is not actually based on any quality of the other person but what the person CAUSING the jealousy is doing.

    • Gizfield

      I actually just had a bizarre, random thought I want to share. It seems like the entire “purpose” of my husband’s affair was to IMPRESS this nasty slut with how WONDERFUL he was so that he could be OK with himself. Early on, before I knew who this chick was I made some comments “I guess this woman is so hot, beautiful, sexy, etc. that you just can’t keep it in your pants”. He would always say “it’s not like that .” So if course I would say “so what IS it like?” He had no answer. I guess it was too embarrassing to admit. If he could be ok with chick, he could be ok with himself. Wow.

      • Recovering


        I told my husband it was nice to know that he would screw anyone who came on to him (she was married, and he knew it, so clearly, that means ANYONE). I asked him if he had ever even thought about her “that way” before the night she came on to him in the bar and he thought about it for a second and said “No.” GEEZ, light bulb moment!! His ego was definitely in his pants that night… and for the next 2 years! I asked him what was so great about her? He said that she “listened” to him. I asked him like how… he said that he told her the way we make our lasagna and she went home that night and made it OUR way for her husband and kids, and she loved it! WOW!! SOOOO impressive! Especially considering it was the way I, ME, made it!!! Dork! And I’d heard ever stupid story of his over the last 14 years… what the hell do you want? I asked him what they talked about… he said mostly work. So how was I supposed to talk about that? I didn’t work there!!! DUH!! And he said he never talked about ME (which I don’t know if I believe or not even still… ) other than to say that he didn’t care if I found out about them because I would just leave, and he would be okay with that – which apparently was another lie, because I found out and he dumped the whore hours later and didn’t want me to go anywhere… suddenly he LOVED me, though just 45 minutes before he was giving me the “I love you but am not in love with you” line… I have always thought my husband was brilliant, but he seriously dumbed down there!!! So basically my point, is that the entire “purpose” of my husbands cheating was so that he didn’t feel like such a loser because I graduated college with a much higher GPA than him, and that I graduated faster than him, too. He resented that. Made him feel like a loser, which WAS NOT my fault (I’ve always been proud of him). Whatever. Ego… he always has to be the best at everything… even above me!! UGH!

    • Redemption

      I was anything but jealous in my relationships with boy friends growing up, or my present husband (aka CS) today. I am reminded of a girl friend who’s husband cheated on her with his 1st wife and eventually walked from their marriage to yet another AP – anyhow, this girl friend said to me after finding out about my h’s affair that many men cannot handle such “strong” women in marital relationships (such as she felt we were).
      So from reading the responses on this site I believe there is a trend showing. That being: Strong women who were secure enough in themselves that they didn’t need to be jealous of others. In other words any latent form of jealousy today has been a forced result put upon them by the actions of their CS.

      • Recovering

        I was NEVER jealous of the OW! NEVER! I was always confident in myself and knew my husband loved me… blah! Well, no more! I am STILL not jealous, because any woman who would be willing to stoop to being the OW is disgusting and NOT a person I would want to be like in ANY way! I am secure in my morality and my character, that’s for sure!! The only insecurity I face now is with my husband, which I have never before experienced. Now I wonder why he is here, if he wanted some low life lying whore… why me? A moral, good person! I wanted to destroy the OW’s life, yes, but did I? No! Her husband still doesn’t know about their cheating, and you know why? Because she is too much of a selfish coward to be honest with anyone, and because I didn’t want her husband and children to deal with what I have had to deal with in the last 2 years – which includes the guilt that I DIDN’T tell her husband (I resent being caught in that Catch22). I don’t want to be anything like the OW!! I know that I am a better mother, wife, friend, person… there is nothing there to be jealous of! I am sickened to physical illness by the thought of her! And if my husband cannot show me the love I deserve, I will move on. Hey, it’s not like I can’t find someone better than him out there!! Funny, I used to think he was SOOO great and that I didn’t deserve him… now I KNOW he doesn’t deserve ME! 🙂

    • Gizfield

      Good thought, Decimated. And I will say one more thing, people really try to run you down if you stay in your marriage. I do not stay because I am weak or insecure or whatever crap people want to say. If you get a divorce people treat you like a hero. You get time away from your children, party with your girlfriends , post drunk photos on facebook, and complain about what an ass your ex is , lol.

      • Gizfield

        Oops, this should say Redemption, not Decimated. Sorry about that.

    • Gizfield

      Blue, my husband is a pretty attractive guy, but I dont have anyone flirti with him, at least not when he is with me. People are always telling me how sweet we are together, and so on, and nobody I know has ever done it. If I caught another woman kissing my husband, she has lost any and all rights to call him ever. Maybe she is just taking advantage because you hsvent called her out on it. I wouldn’t leave my group if friends because if her but I wouldn’t put up with her crap either. As I’ve gotten older, the only person who is guaranteed a place in my life is my daughter, and my husband as long as he

    • Gizfield

      As long as he knows how to act! I dont really hold onto friendships that much. I work at a large company and end up moving seats once or twice a year. I usually become friends with people I sit with, then drift apart after we move. I dont have a girl “soulmate” like Oprah and Gail, either, lol. I’m pretty self contained, friendly, but not really super Social.

      • Blue

        Gizfield, My husband is attractive and friendly too. We’ve talked about how pathetic women take his friendliness as a cue for ‘f*ck me’. He obviously showed quite a pathetic charactar too. He is really trying to tone it down.

        I’ve had 2 friends from same group actually say or do inappropriate things to my husband. WT???!!! I did call the first one on it and she apologized and cried like a baby. Afterwards, I just wanted to make it easy on everyone, so I tried to let it go. This was the last straw. I think I have to talk to my dear old friend who is her husband. It just makes me so sad that we might not feel comfortable to hang out again. The second flirt I think I will have to have a talk with. Same group anyway. Ca sera sera (but I will weep tears of loss)

        Unfortunatley I am also so bloody resentful at my cheating husband that I not only lose my old friends, but I hate his workplace which I used to admire so much. We do know that resentment can wreck a marriage so I feel really Blue.

        PS what does Gizfield stand for?

        • Blue

          PPS that is really nice that some people think you are a sweet couple. We get that all the time too, sometimes I just want to say how it isn’t just a bed of roses, there have been beds of thornes too.

    • Gizfield

      I’m sorry, Blue, for never answering this. A long time ago, I needed a nickname and wanted one that was gender neutral. So I used Giz, for my dog at the time (after Gizmo from Gremlins, cause he looked like him) and Field for my hero and role model Garfield. It’s just stuck all this time, lol.

    • Gizfield

      You know what really gets me? I think about 90% of the time, these cheaters really DON’T care about these side whores. My husband and our daughter are going to the beach in july. I kind of raised a fuss because I did not want to go to the last place we went in 2009 because three weeks afterward he announced he wanted a divorce so he could be with his road whore. Anyway, long story short, we are going to the same town but staying at a different motel. It is actually where we stayed on our honeymoon. Just right down the road . I hate the other place cause he would sneak back to the room. I forgot my cigarettes, ya’ll go on to the giftshop, and similar horseshit. I guess so he could call or text whore. Today, he said do you remember the road trip we took at the beach last time, it was so much fun ! Yet he was supposedly so in love with this whore. So why was he having such a good time with me ?? Cause this bitch was a side whore, lol. I’ve been going to this place in Florida since I was 16 and I’m not planning to give it up over any minor slut. Lol.

    • Gizfield

      This gooddamn slut can kiss my ass. And yes, I’ve had a few Bud Light Strawberrymargaritas, lol. This whore does not even come close to me in any way. She is just a nasty whore ass slut.

      • chiffchaff

        That’s very similar to what we experienced during the affair. My H looks back at events that took place during his active affair and doesn’t remember the OW during that time, because he was with me having fun. He also didn’t contact her when he was having fun with his friends either, so basically the OW was there for when he was bored with his life. a convenient plaything. when he was happy and busy he didn’t contact her and he said he used to get annoyed with her whingeing that it had been a while since he’d contacted her. My H – the emotionally unavailable assclown during his affair.

    • lala

      This string has been the best thing I’ve read. I’ve been trying to deal with my feelings and you all have me laughing so hard I almost peed myself. It is all so dead on. Thanks for the vent. Any updates? Does it get better than wanting to scream, ull hai or burmn things when usually you are the most laid back person?

    • lala

      That was supposed to be pull hair and burn things.

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