My marriage is in trouble

All Woman

Dear Counsellor
My marriage of 10 years is in trouble. I am a jealous person (which I hate), and I also have trust issues that I can't get over. Can you help?

You must be commended for acknowledging and accepting that you do have behaviour patterns that negatively impact your relationship. Jealousy and distrust are first cousins who are sure to create tension and disharmony once they take residence in the relationship.

Having identified your jealous and distrustful streaks that are causing havoc, you need to actively do something about them.

When one is overly jealous of his/her partner, it is usually an indication of insecurity and/or control issues. If you feel a sense of insecurity in your relationship, then certainly you will have a strong desire to monitor every move and interrogate everyone your partner comes in contact with. You can just imagine how distressful it must be for that person to live under 24-hour surveillance, having no breathing space to inhale and exhale. It is as if they are in prison. A rule of thumb would be: What you don't want for yourself, you should not do to others.

If your partner gives you reason to be distrustful by the way he/she behaves with others, then you both should have a conversation around the boundaries that need to be established. The dialogue should be honest and straightforward with built-in ultimatums to ensure compliance.

If your jealousy and distrust have no justifiable basis and are just a personality flaw or a reaction to a former relationship, then you need to make a concerted effort to manage your emotions and give your partner personal space to breathe.

Consider the likely consequence of your behaviour if you don't keep your emotions in check. Your partner will grow frustrated and will either play into your hands and give you reasons to justify your suspicions or he/she will walk away from the bondage, seeking emancipation from the mental slavery.

Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to agapemft@gmail.com. Check his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MFTCounselor/.

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