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Newsletter Dated: 4/25/2005 11:08:22 AM
Subject: Happiness Tips from Tina: the Green-eyed Monster
This May issue is out a bit early, because I’ll be on vacation for two weeks. Welcome to our new subscribers, I love hearing from all of you, and I've printed your e-mail responses at the bottom of this newsletter. I welcome all suggestions for topics. To make sure your spam system doesn’t reject this newsletter, please add tinatessina@Compuserve.com to your list of acceptable e-mail. To unsubscribe, see below.
Happiness Tip: the Green-eyed Monster
I can’t escape it, it’s in the news every day, and it fills my counseling office. Yesterday, the news told of a four-year-old who was shot to death by his own father, because the father was jealous of his divorced wife’s new relationship. "O, beware... of jealousy; it is the green-eyed monster" wrote William Shakespeare in the sixteenth century. In four hundred years, we don't seem to have been able to tame or conquer this monster. Jealousy is still very present with us, and rears its ugly head often in all relationships. It disturbs me that so many people seem to think it’s OK to be jealous, so I thought it might be valuable to explore it.
What Is Jealousy?
The experts differ about the nature of the monster. "Jealousy," writes sex researcher Arno Karlen in Threesomes, "can mean as many things as love or intimacy. It involves various combinations of fear, suspicion, envy, rage, competitive failure, humiliation, grief, self-contempt, betrayal, and abandonment. Freud [and others] have seen jealousy as a delusion rising from excessive dependence and lack of self-esteem. [Others] say that no one person can entirely fill another's needs; it is natural for anyone to want to fill different needs with different people, so jealousy is illogical and unrealistic. ...[but] many people, perhaps most, consider jealousy normal. It is lack of jealousy they want explained."
Jealousy is a "corrosive emotion" writes sexologist Isadora Alman, in her syndicated column, “Ask Isadora”, which "stems from one's own feeling of inferiority that 'some one will be more this or better that than I am, and I will suffer by comparison in my lover's eyes'... Jealousy is far less about some one else's behavior than it is about your interpretation of it."
Jealousy can lead to upsetting arguments, tears, resentment and recriminations, even if no actual infidelity exists. Friends can be jealous, and so can family members and spouses.
Overcoming the Monster
"I used to get very jealous, but then I realized I had a choice,” said a female participant in one of my relationship workshops, “I could choose to feel scared, angry, or even to feel generous and loving instead of jealous, if I thought about it. I don't regard jealousy as a desirable emotion, and when it comes up, I work to overcome it."
Most jealousy arises when someone feels insecure or threatened -- either you're afraid of losing your relationship, or that someone will get the attention (love, affection) you want. The most important thing you can do is to remember that when you handle jealousy properly, it does not have to be a disaster. Here are some guidelines you can use to overcome jealousy in your relationships:
* Make sure you and your partner feel comfortable with your agreements. Discuss the possibility that one or both of you might be jealous. Make some agreements about how you'll behave, and make sure you'll be willing to keep them. Don't frighten yourself or your partner by testing too hard, demanding the impossible, or risking too much. keep in mind that jealousy breaks down trust. if you begin to be upset, talk about it and encourage your partner to do the same.
* Keep each other informed. Lying to your partner about whether you have broken an agreement does more damage than breaking the agreement. If you slip up, tell the truth. If it's your partner who has slipped, be open to listening to him or her without blaming or getting upset, so the two of you can negotiate a solution to the problem. If you or your partner continually create situations that aggravate jealousy, you may need to find a counselor to help you solve the problem.
* Give yourselves time. Patience and communication are your best allies. As you learn and grow together, trust gradually builds. As trust grows stronger, you can begin to relax the rules and allow yourselves more flexibility and freedom.
Remember to be gentle with yourself and each other. Don't be angry with yourself or your partner for being jealous. You'll have much better luck if you just see jealousy as a normal, human problem and work it out together. I wish you peace, within yourself, within your family, within the world. (From It Ends with You) © 2005 Tina B. Tessina
Look for my "Psychology Smarts" column in First for Women magazine beginning with May issue #21, on sale soon.
On the Internet, I’m the "Dating Doctor" on www.couplescompany.com, "Dr. Romance" on Yahoo!Personals at http://personals.yahoo.com/us/static/content_date, a designated Marriage Expert for Redbook Institute and I'll also answer your questions at www.tinatessina.com.
Catch my radio show on the web: "The Psyche Deli: delectable tidbits for the subconscious" every Sunday 6-7:00 PM PT on www.wpmd.org and on the Leisure Talk Radio Network at www.leisuretalk.net every 12, 4, and 8 a.m. & p.m. EDT. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. For more information: www.tinatessina.com
Through my website, you can get CE credits online based on my books: “It Ends With You”; “How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free” and “The Real 13th Step” To sign up for classes or browse my books, visit www.tinatessina.com.
I welcome your feedback and support, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you joy,
Tina B. Tessina, PhD
Re: The War Within
Thank you, Tina. I like that.
You're welcome, Steve -- glad to help.
Thanks for the good thoughts today. Tina. They came just at the right
time as your "advice" is always prone to do for me. Happy spring to you
Nice to hear from you, Barbara: I'm so glad it helps.
How r u Dear Tinna I have seen your message of love and good thoughts. My thoughts r like your thoughts. May you live long with your smile of love like fresh Rose.
Thank you, Dr. Hussain:
I'm glad you like it.
Hi Tina, just wanted to let you know how interesting I found your newsletters; my co-director, Maureen, was very impressed and subscribed.
Also, to recognize your terrific support to books we love, we're going to be featuring a profile of you in our next BWL newsletter which will come out the end of April.
Just thought I'd drop you a note and let you know that your support is very much appreciated. Jude www.bookswelove.com
Thanks, Jude and Maureen: www.Bookswelove.com is one of my favorite sites!
Dear Tina, I love reading your articles. Negotiating instead of fighting with myself. Strange how I can say I love myself, yet fight a war inside. Negotiating is much closer to love, thanks for the nudge! Feel free to shove when I need it!
Awwwww, Patrick, thanks. I'd never shove you.
Thanks for your article. I'm 73 years old and struggling with short term memory, this article will give me more tools to work with.
You’re welcome, Betty. I’m glad you found it helpful. If I can be of any further help, please let me know.
You never disappoint me and I'm always amazed at your words of wisdom-which somehow come at the right time. Thank you, it's much appreciated.
You are such a dear, Arline. I'm glad you find the newsletter helpful.
Excellent article...I am posting this to my friend who is struggling with STM....love n luck....BHUWAN!!!
Thanks, Bhuwan, I hope it helps your friend.
Hi Tina, Your article "Winning the War Within" really hit home. Matter of fact, I just joined your newsletter and it was my first one. When it came to my e-mail and I opened it, read the title, I started crying and couldn't even read it. After I calmed down and read through it, I realized I'm not the only one and maybe there is hope for me after all. :) Thank you for being there and I thank the Lord for leading me to you. Debra
I’m so happy the article was helpful, Debra. When you begin looking, you’ll always find an answer.
Tina, thank you so much for your newsletter. I always get something out of reading them. -- awesome. winning the war within really hit the spot today. thanks!!
Nothing makes my day better than hearing that a newsletter was helpful to you, Loretta.