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Coping with jealous & possessive people
By:
Carole Turner , Friday, April 1, 2005

Having a relationship and living with a jealous person is not easy, because jealous people are so frightened or angry that they cannot be reasoned with; they feel positively right most of the time, deny responsibility for their thoughts and feelings and blame others.

Don’t put up with being given the third degree. 
Endlessly answering questions is very exhausting and does nothing to satisfy the sufferer, but rather illicits further questions and suspicion.  Instead of defending yourself endlessly, try to train your partner out of asking such questions. The best way to do that is to offer a civil answer once or twice and then offer no more.  Don't continue to defend yourself, but instead choose to remain silent or focus on the jealousy. 
If you choose to remain silent, your partner may become incensed and double the questioning.  There may be threats of violence, divorce, or emotional blackmail, but don't react.  Remember that behaviour that gets acknowledged grows. 
If you decide to focus on the jealousy you could respond by saying things like "Hey dear, there you go again, feeling jealous and suspicious.  You really could do something about that you know." "Why do you insist on saying that I make you jealous?"  "You know someone can only upset you if you allow it."  "Dear, if you want to stop those jealous feelings as much as you say you do, why don't you do something about them?"  "Leave me out of your problem.  You insist that I do this and this to give you peace of mind but you do little to give yourself peace of mind.  Your jealousy and possessiveness is your problem."

Act if talk fails
Sometimes even the most reasonable arguments fall on deaf ears.  As well as refusing to answer questions as if you are in a court, other action you could take is to leave the room, take a walk, or even leave the house, overnight or for a weekend.  It is very important to take action if you believe that you are in physical danger.  At first, this may intensify the friction, but sometimes situations and relationships deteriorate before they can improve.
Action speaks louder than words.  If you are struck, don't necessarily fight back, but wait until your partner is away, and until you can safely call the police and press charges for arrest.  If you need to find a safe situation to live, there are places for women who have been battered on the Costa Blanca. The police or town hall can furnish you with a telephone number.

Don't confuse pity with compassion
Never pity the person you want to change.  If gentle persuasions and discussion do not help to modify the sufferer's jealousy, you will have to act in more forceful ways.  A severely jealous person has a very rigid personality.  If you pity him, you will lose any psychological ground that you have made.  It is one thing to have compassion for another person's pain but quite another if you pity him.  To pity someone is to care so much for the other's discomfort that you forget your own pain.

Don’t excuse behaviour because of childhood pain
If we excuse irrational behaviour because of a disturbed childhood, we are saying people cannot change.  Understanding where your mate's behaviour comes from is helpful, but we need to take an intolerant attitude towards temper tantrums, crying, demanding attention, violence, verbal or physical.  People can change, and just because that person has had the problem for twenty years does not mean that it has to continue for another twenty.  What was learned can be unlearned.

 
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