You just don’t want to get burned again. That may be how you feel if your partner had an affair and you’ve decided to stay together. You two have probably identified some of the reasons why the affair happened in the first place and are taking steps to re-build your relationship as you reunite. Unfortunately, you may encounter jealous feelings as worries that he or she will cheat again seep into your mind.
Jealousy and the mistrust that comes with it can undermine your efforts to re-connect and enjoy love once more with your partner. It is understandable that you might feel confused about which thoughts and internal concerns to pay attention to.
Those voices in your head that link back to the betrayal and hurt may be rooted in the past but they’re probably still there. There are also those inner voices that are encouraging you to trust again and give your partner and your relationship another chance. The difficulty is, you can’t be 100% sure what is true at any moment and that makes jealousy even harder to avoid.
Here's how Kara and Pete dealt with Kara's affair and some jealousy tips...
Kara and Pete decided to stay together after Kara’s affair. That was a year ago and they’ve both worked hard to leave the affair behind them and concentrate on making their relationship stronger and healthier than it was before. Pete is having a tough time with jealousy though. He trusts Kara most of the time, but there are occasions when he just doesn’t know what to believe and he certainly doesn’t want to admit this to her. Ultimately, Pete doesn’t want to go through the pain, embarrassment and upset again that accompanied her affair. He loves Kara deeply and most of time feels sure she wants to be with him. But when she works late or talks about specific male co-workers, alarm bells ring in Pete’s head.
Listen to your inner self.
As confusing as it may be at this time, we suggest that you listen to your inner self and those voices. We don’t encourage you to immediately act on everything you are hearing within your own mind however. It is important that you don’t dismiss your intuitive guidance. Instead, gently question what you are hearing from within. Ask yourself if you know this to be true. Then, if you need clarification from your partner or from a friend who is close to the situation, you can ask for more information in the form of a question, not an accusation.
Pete realizes that some of the internal warning signals he encounters when Kara works late have a lot to do with his fear that she’ll cheat again and not so much in what’s actually going on. After some reflection, Pete sees that not only is he afraid to be hurt again, he is afraid that others will see him as less of a man because his partner had an affair. It would be even worse if it happened again! Realizing this helps Pete tune into his perceptions of himself as a man and heal from there.
Keep reminding yourself where you are today and stay in the present moment. Yes, we can learn from the past but it doesn’t help anyone to live and keep re-living what’s already been and gone. If it is helpful to you, create a ritual to let go of the past. You might even share this ritual with your partner as you two celebrate your renewed relationship. When jealous feelings arise, take a moment and breathe. Then inquire within to see whether the feelings are rooted in the past or in present events.
When you are not feeling jealous, be sure to engage in activities that help you and your love stay connected with one another. Pete and Kara love to travel and take bike rides together. In fact, it was on a group bike trip where they first met and fell in love. As time went on, however, they both became busier with careers and other interests that kept them apart more than either liked. This wasn’t the sole cause of Kara having an affair, of course, but it was a factor. As they re-build their relationship, Pete and Kara are re-discovering cycling again and the bond that it enhances between them.
It doesn’t matter what it is. Whatever allows you and your partner to share with one another in an alive and passionate way, do it! It may be something completely different from what you used to do. It might also be a mixture of things that you each choose. Be willing to explore new ways to connect. You never know how fun it could be until you try! As you open up and allow yourself to heal and be present, trust and love can re-build and grow.
For more jealousy tips that will help you to create more trust and a deeper connection, visit NoMoreJealousy.com and sign up for a free course.