Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Handling Women's Insecurity and Jealousy in Relationships and Marriage

What to do when your partner gets jealous. It’s a security and self-esteem issue, so you must be careful…

I received the following in response to the recent edition on “Being Your Own Man”:

Hi David....I agree with you on what this guy needs to do. Let me ask you though...When I am showing this confidence which I believe I do and in fact I enjoy seeing my wife getting attention from the younger guys, but is it possible that when she sees me so self-confident and not being jealous etc that the wife may start being insecure herself? Do you think that she could start thinking that all the other women are going to want him and she might withdraw into herself seeing other women being interested in him?


I told Keith that it was purely a matter of her self-esteem combined with his past behavior; if she feels good about herself and he’s shown himself to be trustworthy in the past, she’ll eat it up just like him, but if not, there could be trouble. I also pointed him to this article in my newsletter archive, which does bring a lot of clarity to the picture, especially on how to maintain that “They’re chasing me, but I’m going home with you, so don’t worry” connection going with your wife or girlfriends while others are flirting with you. Read it again if you’ve seen it before, because this is a skill you MUST acquire, and one that will be richly rewarded:

“When She Gets Jealous”

Let’s talk about our women, and how to give them one less thing to worry about each day.

Why should that be important? If you had read “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” you would know that women are wired differently from men in some rather fascinating ways (and yes, bothersome and delightful as well), one of which is that they are constantly evaluating and reevaluating everything in their world. That includes us, themselves, and all the other women they know, too, and there are some “competitive insecurities” that still creep in, even though we now live in a world where women routinely make it on their own without a man’s help.

Patience, everyone. It took at least a few thousand years to form those habits, and they won’t go away overnight, especially as long as every time you turn on the television you see commercials aimed at women whose sole purpose is to make them feel insecure about themselves so that they will spend more money on diet and exercise fads, makeup and clothing to try to outpace each other. (Yes, Guys, they’re doing it to us, too, with commercials about “dysfunction,” size, hair loss, etc., just not as aggressively as they do it to the women.) Until everybody gets together and figures out that there’s plenty of partners to go around and we all need to be a little more patient and selective when trying to choose one, we’re all going to have to deal with this.

Gentlemen, this is particularly a problem for us! How so? As you master the knowledge and techniques in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” you will become more attractive – TO ALL WOMEN! Yes, that IS a problem if not handled properly. Put your ego back in your pocket for a minute and think with me here. What do you do when you’re in a public place and other women notice you and come up and start flirting with you, right in front of your partner?

She’s in a quandary, because she wants to be with a man who is in demand (F.J. Shark’s “social proof”), and wants to be proud to be seen with you, but unless she’s feeling particularly strong about you and your relationship, she’s likely to get a little uneasy, especially at first, if this is a new development in your relationship. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to allow her to see her man being in demand without making her feel insecure or even fearful of the other women noticing you. I cover this in detail in my book, but I’m going to give you the crash course here and now so you can have a better understanding of how things work and maybe avoid a bad situation before you get to that part of the book.

First, if you have followed my advice and let her read this book with you, she knows what you’re doing, and probably already knows that you’re becoming more attractive for your own sake as well as with her feelings and needs in mind, and a desire to better your relationship and marriage. She just needs a little subtle but firm reminder, possibly frequently until she gets used to you being attractive and still remaining true to her – remember, they’re constantly reevaluating and testing, even when they know things are good. That reminder comes in the form of continuing to make contact with her when other women are around. Care for an example? Yeah, I thought so.

Okay, you have just spoken at a dinner, seminar, party, or some gathering and have become known to the room as some kind of leader, authority, entertainer, etc., that causes women to pay attention to you because you have just publicly defined and demonstrated authority and established alpha status in commanding the attention of the group, room, or whatever. Your partner is now at your side as these other women come up introducing themselves, asking questions, flirting, etc., which is their lead-in to testing you to see if you can be swayed and to see if you’ll give them attention, and on what level. They’re highly competitive and can’t help it, so there’s no avoiding it. Some of them will be subtly flirting, others may even overtly give you a phone number or a room key (yes, attraction is that powerful, as well as some women’s sense of competition in establishing their own “social proof”!) knowing that your wife is standing there.

Frequently, yet subtly, make contact with your partner, touching or even squeezing her hand, glancing at her and smiling as you answer the other women’s questions, etc., which telegraphs to her and to the other women that while you are the catch of the room at that moment, you’re committed to her, and happy to remain so. If you are passed any room keys, phone numbers, etc., DO NOT try to conceal them. Try to very subtly and politely refuse them, and if they insist, take it, slip your hand behind your back, and try to get your partner to take it, or slip it in your pocket while smiling and maybe winking at your partner and making a game of it, and then turn out your pockets for her when you are alone again.

Let her dispose of the phone numbers and take the room keys to the front desk, not as an act of giving her control, but as a sort of trophy demonstrating your commitment to her, saying something like, “Well my dear, you’ve earned these, so dispatch them as you wish,” with a big naughty grin, of course. (One of you is married to a woman who would go to the rooms and invite the women to a private party – Keith, the guy who wrote the letter that opened this lesson! – so you never really know what might happen when you do this.)

If you know that you are going to be speaking publicly, discuss it with her! Yes, people really do things like that. “Honey, there are going to be women asking me questions tonight after the presentation, and some of them are likely to try to pass me phone numbers, room keys, etc. You know I have no interest in them, and I want you to be comfortable with handling the situation. I can dispose of the contraband myself or I can allow you to handle it if you prefer. Frankly, I find it amusing, and if you pay attention, you will, too.” Don’t do it apologetically, or like you’re asking permission, because you’re not. You’ve decided what’s to be done, and left her room for input.

If your relationship is pretty strong and you want to be really naughty about it, you can take that approach. “Damn, I get so tired of all these women flirting and carrying on at these things. I usually just toss the phone numbers and room keys, at least the ones from the ugly girls (wink and duck!), but I’m getting tired of having to deal with it. Why don’t you take the keys to the desk and trash the notes and numbers for me tonight?” A big wink and a grin at that point will probably get you get you a good natured slap, kick, punch, or something that doesn’t hurt, along with a choice expletive or two and a kiss. Ride her about it a little bit more to get her to giggle if you can, and let it go. The main thing is to keep it framed as your decision, because it is. It’s your decision to be true to her and it’s your decision to have her participate in celebrating that fidelity. This is something you’re doing because you love her, not something you’re doing because you need her and are afraid of losing her.

Obviously, there are a lot more circumstances than these with the potential for an insecure wife to become jealous. The general rule is to remind her that it is your commitment, your choices, and your actions, not the actions of aggressive women, that will determine what happens, and that her voiced distrust of those other women is in effect expressing distrusting you. It would be really, REALLY helpful if at this point, you could honestly say to her, “…and all the evidence that you have tells you that it doesn’t matter what these other women do, I’m with you and will remain with you.” You can only do that if you’ve not been caught cheating, so keep yourself out of trouble. The only way to LOOK clean is to BE clean, right? And if you’re not sure how she might take something like this, ask the women on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/. They joined to answer questions like this, providing the female perspective, and we can’t have them getting bored, now can we? ;-)

There are very few problems that a man and woman can have, or any two people for that matter, that some honest, factual communication can’t fix, even if it’s just to agree to disagree and move on; at least the conflict is stopped and closure secured. Listen to your partner, and trust them to listen to you, always. If you can’t, you may just be calling the wrong person “partner.” (Yeah, that’s another newsletter.) Learn how to make yourself this attractive and how to talk to your partner in the aftermath in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage;” your copy is waiting for you at http://www.makingherhappy.com/, and your life is getting shorter with each passing minute, so I strongly suggest you get moving.

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!
David Cunningham

No comments: