* You become frustrated and overwhelmed.

* You have a desire to control.

* You have less sexual intimacy with your spouse.

Healthy jealousy can guard your heart and your spouse's heart. It can strengthen your marriage and bring you closer together. It can make you feel wanted and loved by your spouse. But when jealousy becomes unhealthy it is destructive and frustrating to contend with. Love is not jealous and possessive. True love thinks about what is best for the other person - not what is best for you.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

So how do you deal with jealousy in your marriage? Here are some tips for both spouses - whether you have a jealous spouse or you are the jealous spouse.

If you have a jealous spouse:

1. Assess whether you are doing something that provokes the jealousy.

2. Stop that activity or involvement for a time to show your spouse that you're committed to your marriage relationship.

3. Be demonstrative in love toward your spouse.

4. Talk openly with your spouse about the problem. Get his or her take on it (the feelings may be legitimate), and work together to find a solution.

If you are the jealous spouse:

1. Listen to a few trusted friends. Your jealousy may be your own problem, not your spouse's.

2. Be honest with yourself. Ask what is causing the feelings. Are you trying to manipulate?

3. Spend time with God.

4. Think about your spouse more positively. Jealous people use their anxious thoughts and suspicions as cues to misread anything that their spouses do. Instead, take a deep breath and pray - for yourself and for your spouse.

5. Express your feelings to your spouse. Own up to your jealousy. Be honest without being blaming or manipulative.

Originally posted January 5, 2006


Portions of this article were adapted from "The Great Marriage Q&A Book," Copyright 2006 by Dr. Gary and Barbara Rosberg, all rights reserved. Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.,www.tyndale.com. To order this resource or to find our more about Dr. Gary and Barb - Your Marriage Coaches, visit www.drgaryandbarb.com or call 1-888-608-COACH.
 

Married over 30 years, the parents of two adult daughters and four grandchildren, Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg, your marriage coaches, have a unique blend of insight and wisdom that touch people of all ages. Together with Gary's 25,000 hours of counseling experience and Barbara's gift of encouragement and biblical teaching, they are equipping thousands of families across the nation through their interactive daily radio program, conferences, and marriage and family resources.