My boyfriend and I fight a lot. Our fights are driving us apart. And it’s always because of the same reasons. I get very jealous when he spends his time with other women, even though I know they are just friends. And he reacts very badly when he gets mad at me for being jealous. His first reaction is always to yell and name call and then apologize later.
What can I do to help control my feelings and how can I help him to control his temper? These two little things are going to drive us apart if we don’t fix them!! Thanks so much!
Jealousy is one thing, but the communication pattern between the two of you is a far more important and potentially devastating issue. I’ll give you something to try for yourself on jealousy below. But first I’m going to discuss getting on track with better communication.
Here is an important thing for you to consider: What’s the real difference between couples who split up and those whose relationships are lasting?
Couples that stay together have just as many problems to resolve as couples who split up (i.e. disagreements, differences, conflicts, etc.). That’s not the difference.
But here is the important difference: Couples who stay together and are happy have learned more skills in how to resolve their issues.
You are asking the right question — how to change the style of his temper — and whatever your part is in the communication pattern (and I don’t mean the jealousy itself).
The style, or process, you use is the real issue. Not the topics of the arguments. Not the jealousy itself, but what you are both doing with it.
There are many books out on how to fight fair, etc. These usually revolve around making “I” statements and the like. They do not necessarily work, because in the heat of emotion, most of us forget about using these fine techniques.
Based on over 20 years of working with thousands of people to heal their relationships in my couples retreat, I have written a relationship help book you can download now or get in print. The book offers practical techniques and skills for couples to move beyond problems, conflicts, differences and emotional upsets… and turn these challenges into opportunities to actually strengthen their relationship, learn to communicate better, open up to each other, deepen their authentic intimacy, and grow as individuals.
Now about the jealousy, per se. The next to the last chapter in the book gives you a powerful technique to transform your negative emotions. It is something that you could even do with the help of your boyfriend — and he would be participating in something easy for him to do — which would not bring up any defensiveness whatsoever — which would actually heal you of the feelings. This would be the very most powerful thing I could teach you to do, and it takes a chapter of my book to explain it and teach it to you. It works not only for jealousy, but for fear, anger, hurt, resentment — all the things that come up and challenge a relationship.
Jealousy is often a reflection of inner insecurity that gets triggered. One inner resource that can be built, then, is self-love and self-acceptance. I don’t know how things will ultimately turn out with your boyfriend, but I do know that you will build a stronger inner core from doing this.
If you want to make sure things turn out as good as possible with him, then get the book and get both of you reading it.