Interpret Things Differently

Another way of overcoming jealousy involves trying to think about events that make you suspicious differently.

Again, jealous partners or spouses put the worst spin on everything that happens. And a lot of things that happen in a relationship or marriage are somewhat ambiguous—events and actions are almost always open to more than one interpretation (see impose beliefs).

For instance, if a husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend does not answer the phone right away—there are many different possible explanations (people are busy, batteries die, calls don’t go through, etc). Overly jealous individuals, however, jump to the worst case scenario and dwell on it, which just leads to more problems in the long run.

person relaxed with flowersSo, when events that trigger jealousy occur, it helps to interpret them in a different light. Rather than jump to the worst case scenario, why not try to think about the best case scenario?

Learning to interpret events positively, if done consistently, can help individuals overcome their jealousy.

In fact, a romantic partner’s ability to put a positive spin on things that happen is one of the key differences between relationships and marriages that succeed and those that fail (see secure attachment).

Putting a positive spin on things, however, is difficult to do because old habits and ways of thinking die hard. Typically, this strategy is often best accomplished through some counseling (see counseling resources).