You just found out that your ex-spouse is dating someone. The news often comes at a time and in a manner when you least expect it. Even though logically you know that it is bound to happen eventually, receiving such news can be extremely deflating, and damaging to your ego and sense of self-esteem and self-worth. It can even feel as if the wind has been knocked out of you. It feels especially worse if he meets and starts dating someone before you do, or worse if it happens while you are either still married or the divorce process has not been finalized yet.
Knowing that your ex-spouse is in a relationship with someone else can really test your own resolve, how well you are truly coping, and your overall mental state and outlook. You immediately will want to know everything about this person, especially if this individual will be spending time with your kids. You may find yourself “stalking” your spouse (and his new love interest) on social media. You will most likely take an immediate dislike to this person even though you have never met them, nor do you really know anything about them. You may start to feel extremely territorial and even paranoid about the role and influence this person may or may not have in your children’s lives. You may also start to question and worry about your own role and influence in your children’s lives, especially if your ex-spouse’s new love interest will be in the picture over the long-term. You might also notice that you are feeling guilty and angry with yourself because harboring intense and illogical feelings of jealousy and insecurity might seem completely out of character for you.
Please rest assured that having these feelings, no matter how irrational, insecure, and out of character, are completely natural, and certainly understandable. It is part of being human. In fact, feeling a certain degree of jealousy can in fact be empowering, if channeled in an appropriate and healthy way. However, unfortunately, feelings of jealousy can very quickly and easily turn destructive and harmful to not only yourself, but to everyone else in your life, especially your children.
If you really want to learn how to overcome your feelings of jealousy, then there are some things you need to keep in mind. If you do in fact feel intense jealousy towards your ex-spouse’s new significant other, then you need to find a way to deal with it in a healthy way.
Sometimes jealousy can result from a simple misunderstanding and then lack of communication because someone’s feelings are hurt. If the hurt feelings are bad enough, that person may choose to retaliate and create bigger problems whether it is called for or not. It usually isn’t.
There are some things you can do, and not do, that will help you overcome your jealousy feelings.
Learn to be more secure in who you are. Jealousy stems from insecurity in yourself. If you can manage to develop more confidence in yourself and your abilities and accomplishments then you will find you have no need to be jealous of anyone. In fact, they may get jealous of you.
Increased confidence means a better attitude and a better attitude means a happier you. When you are happy then your relationships will be calmer and more secure in themselves. If you keep hounding or your ex-spouse about their personal life (which by the way is no longer your business if you are no longer married), stalking them on social media, or using your kids as sources of information, you will be fostering a lack of trust with everyone in your life, and they may eventually try to hide things from you when they really shouldn’t have to. You will essentially be pushing them away. Why? Because of your insecurity and jealousy.
Positivity and confidence will ensure others that they can trust you and feel secure in their interactions or relationship with you. They will feel that they are respected and reciprocate those feelings so you feel the same way, too. Everyone wants to be trusted and respected, as well as trust and respect others in return. If there is jealousy in the relationship you will only succeed in driving them away. I doubt that you really want that to happen.
Do not ever try to control anyone regardless of the type of relationship you have with them. If you see yourself going down this path or someone tells you you are headed in the wrong direction, stop yourself immediately! You do not have the right to tell anyone when and where they can go or who they can hang around with. No one deserves to be hounded like that. They need to be able to live their life and be as independent as possible. If your jealous feelings prevent you from contributing to a healthy relationship then you need to rethink your position and maybe get some coaching and/or counseling.
Jealousy is an irrational fear of the unknown. You need to take a step back and think things through. Where do these feelings really come from? If you explore how you are feeling you will realize that these feelings come from inside you and not from anyone else, especially your former spouse. Learn to deal with your feelings of fear and insecurity and you will learn how to overcome your jealousy.
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