“Mazal tov!” is heard throughout the room and smiles adorn everyone’s faces. While most people feel happy for the new couple, some people experience jealousy instead.
It’s normal and understandable. But it’s also painful, dangerous and destructive. Maybe the bride’s former roommate is remembering her less-favorable characteristics and thinking, “I don’t get it. Why her and not me?”
Maybe the groom’s former college buddy is feeling embarrassed that this younger and less attractive man is now getting married, “I can’t believe he found someone and I’m all alone. I wish I was the one getting married.”
These five points should help any person experiencing jealousy to regain power and perspective.
1. The Big Man Upstairs
When we experience jealousy, we are essentially blaming God for not bringing our soul mate sooner. “If God can bring these two singles together, why not me? Why not now?”
Try to remember that He is in charge, not your friend and not the matchmaker. God is running the world. His plan may not make sense to us (yet), but there is a plan for each of us and this is not a punishment. God loves us, and everything He does is for our ultimate good.
2. Don’t Deny Your Gifts
By consistently thinking about what you do not currently have, you ignore what you do have. True, you are not building your Jewish home with the life partner that you have been dreaming about since who-knows-when. But you likely have a job, good friends, many talents and abilities and are taking care of yourself. The life you have been building thus far is yours, and you will take all these amazing gifts and experiences along your journey and into marriage in the right time.
3. Be Who You Want To Attract
Janet didn’t think she’d ever find the right one. She attended wedding upon wedding of childhood friends, cousins and classmates. Disappointment and pain were Janet’s identifying traits. People were not surprised that she hadn’t met the right guy – her bitterness towards men was palpable. When she finally did marry, people she knew were relieved to not have to be around her negativity anymore.
Rick was always happy for his friends when they got married, even those who were younger than he was. He had suffered a painful broken engagement, but he genuinely believed that everything was for the best. He was the kind of guy people wanted to hang around and invite to celebrations because he led the dancing with joy, made people feel good and didn’t focus on the things that had gone wrong in his life. When he did meet the right girl, everyone was thrilled. Many people wanted to help with the wedding plans and he was often spoken about as “so deserving of this happiness.”
As you can see, your attitude makes a big difference. Try to focus on imbuing yourself with the same feelings that you want others to feel for you.
4. Look in the Mirror
Recognize that people are jealous of YOU for many things as well. (Not that this is something to strive for, but it is natural.) People (married or not) may be longing for your good looks, job, prestige, social savvy, taste, family support, reputation, etc. Being married to the right person is amazing, but it isn’t all there is to want.
5. Put Jealousy Feelings in Check
Many people in the headlines today have caused irreparable harm because of their feelings of jealousy. “His jealousy caused him to...” You don’t want to be that person. Realizing what jealousy can do to your relationships and to yourself may be all you need to put the jealous feelings in their place.
These suggestions may be challenging to implement, but they will give you perspective. If it weren’t so difficult to do, God wouldn’t have made it one of the Ten Commandments!
Though dating might be a long and sometimes difficult part of your life, remember that it is only part of your life. You have the power to change your perspective, to see the blessings and goodness bestowed upon you in even the unlikeliest of places. By doing the above steps, slowly but surely your jealous feelings will diminish. You will then be more likely to notice the blessings you have, and to see those that are heading your way. What other good tips to you have to ward off jealously? Tell me in the comments below.