Q&A with John Gray: Jealousy and Your Relationship
By Keith Ablow, MD
Q: I have a horrible premonition that my significant other is seeing someone else on the side. I don’t like being jealous, but he is so at ease with his “assistant” and that drives me crazy. It’s almost as if she knows him better than me, or that we have equal standing in his eyes. And of course, she can come up with some wonderful excuses in which to call him when he’s home with me. How do I address this? -DeeDee S, Richmond, VA
A: Address it internally first. Here’s what I mean: It’s very important for you to determine whether you are overly sensitive to your significant other’s connections to other women, particularly to his assistant. Have you felt this way before with him? Have you felt this way with other men? If so, is that truly because you’ve had the misfortune to be with one man after another who is untrustworthy, or do you find it hard to trust? And if you think that your trust issues may be part of the problem here, where do they stem from? Did you grow up in a home in which one of your parents was unfaithful? Did another boyfriend betray you? Are you insecure about relationships because you find it hard to be intimate, then worry you’re leaving the door open to your boyfriend finding a more “complete” emotional connection?
Look into your past to determine if it’s affecting your view of the present moment.
If you decide that your own issues really aren’t the problem here, then respect your intuition. Bring up your feelings with your significant other in a non-confrontational way. You might tell him that his tone with his assistant is so informal that he could give her “the wrong idea” about the nature of their relationship. You could ask him whether he’s ever run into trouble being more of a friend to an assistant than a boss. And you should feel free to be clear that it bothers you when she contacts him with anything short of time-sensitive business issues when he’s at home with you.
I think that your statement that you think you and your boyfriend’s assistant have “equal standing in his eyes” is a possible next discussion. Don’t accuse him of anything. Just let him in on how he’s making you feel. If he’s sensitive and loves you, then he’ll fix the problem, and you’ll know in your heart when he does.
John Gray, Ph.D – the best selling relationship author of all time – is the author of 16 best-selling books including Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: one of the best-selling books of the last decade. In the past fifteen years, over 40 million Mars Venus books have been sold in over 45 languages throughout the world. His latest book Why Mars and Venus Collide. Visit his website at www.MarsVenusLiving.com
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