Maybe it’s his ex, one of his co-workers or an old friend from college. You see the way she looks at your him. You notice how often she needs his “help.” You hear what she says about him…
And it’s got you worried.
Everything this woman says or does screams at you that she’s got one goal and that’s to break up your love relationship or marriage and to move in and be with your guy. You feel irritated, angry and threatened by it.
You also feel helpless.
Even if you’ve talked with your partner about her behavior and he agrees with you, this situation is beyond your control. You can’t force someone to leave your partner alone. You can’t be there every single time your guy interacts with this woman.
You may feel especially helpless if your partner sees it differently. If he doesn’t believe this woman from his past or current life is the threat you say she is or if he’s unwilling to lose her friendship over your “jealousy,” your frustration with the whole situation (including him) will rise.
Your first impulse might be to contact the woman and send a strong message telling her to stay away from your man! This urge is understandable, but almost always unwise to act on.
The results may be even more advances by her and a whole lot of tension in your relationship– not to mention the chance that you might spark a fight with the woman where one (or both) of you could get hurt. In addition to all of this, your partner won’t like it that you stepped in and he may believe you don’t trust him to handle it. He’s likely to greet your meddling with defensiveness and hostility.
None of these are good for you and especially not good for your relationship.
Here’s what will help…
1. Get the facts.
Don’t let your worries and fears take over. There’s a lot of room for misunderstanding when it comes to human interactions, especially so if you have a jealousy habit. Do listen to that nagging feeling you have and find out what’s really going on. Keep an open mind and get facts. What are her literal actions and words? Listen to what he says about her and the conversations he’s had with her. Use this kind of reliable information to decide whether or not she’s truly trying to break you two up.
2. Leave her alone.
The temptation for many is to quickly and strongly stop anyone who threatens your relationship. Even if you have hardcore proof that she’s blatantly trying to steal your partner, it’s wise to leave her alone. For many of the reasons mentioned above, a more powerful message can be sent by your partner to this woman. Support him in setting boundaries with her or in telling her “thanks, but no.” Ask your guy to tell you what’s going on so that you’ll know this has been sufficiently resolved.
3. Fix relationship holes.
Most of the time, affairs happen when there are weak points or “holes” in the relationship. If there’s built up resentment, frequent arguing or emotional distance between you and your partner, focus your energy there. When your relationship is healthy, close and happy, it really doesn’t matter what another woman says, does (or looks like), so make your relationship impermeable!
4. Create agreements with your man.
Conscious agreements are a powerful way to address this potential threat to your relationship without meddling or making things worse. Avoid blaming or accusing your man or even the woman. Talk with him about observable actions and also how you feel and what you want.
Ask him to agree to be open and honest about his interactions with her, even if you might be upset about it. Ask your partner to set clear and firm limits with her and be specific about what those limits are (e.g. calls only when it involves parenting decisions, texting only if it’s strictly work-related, etc.). It’s also smart to create agreements to encourage more connection and trust for the two of you.
Having a tough time finding the right words to say to talk about this tricky subject? Get help with Stop Talking on Eggshells. We’re relationship coaches and authors Susie and Otto Collins and we teach individuals and couples how to use powerful communication strategies to create an amazing love relationship or marriage. Visit: www.stoptalkingoneggshells.com today!