Q&A: Being happy for my spouse instead of jealous

Q: My husband travels all over the world for his job. I just can’t help being really jealous that he gets to go to all these wonderful places and I don’t. I’ve started to obsess to the point where my husband doesn’t want to talk about his trips. How can I stop being so jealous and just be happy for him?

A: It’s easy to become jealous when someone else gets opportunities that we don’t. This is definitely something you need to discuss together, but you need to deal with your own heart first.

It’s important for you to identify what is really going on for you; in other words, what “hot buttons” are being pushed in your mind and heart? Beyond the feeling of jealousy, try to put a name on the deeper emotion(s) involved: forgotten, unfair, unimportant, minimised, insignificant, etc. Honestly assess if – and how – this may be something that you’ve dealt with for a long time, and in other situations.

Remember that your emotions are your issues. You need to be able to communicate to your husband that this is how you’re feeling, but that you don’t want him to shut down or stop sharing this part of his life.

You’ll also want to get a better understanding of what you truly desire. Do you really just want to travel, or is it more a need to be acknowledged for doing your part on the team (managing the house, children, etc.)? Maybe you could use more fun and adventure in your life. If so, you can strategize as a couple how to make that happen, and how he can include you – for example, using some of his frequent flyer miles to go along occasionally (many companies allow a spouse to travel at least once a year).

The goal is to find a “win-win” scenario, and you can hopefully do that by working through these considerations together.

© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

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