2 + 1 = Jealousy

Written by Heather and Scott Copple
Messy Marriage Team Members
Scott and I had been married for two years and nine months. Life was great!
But one day, an event occurred that changed all of that.
Heather –
This event threw me into exhaustion and busyness. I wasn’t exactly keeping up with the housework like normal. Although we did have clean clothes and clean dishes and the house never got too messybecause Scott and I are both neat freaks—but things were just not as nice and neat as we had been used to.
Scott –
During this time, I started to feel neglected and as if anything I had to say to Heather wasn’t important. Because I wasn’t getting any attention from her, I felt almost as if I wasn’t there!
Heather
I knew he wasn’t getting the attention he was used to, but this “event” was our newborn son that I now had to take care of 24/7!
Scott:
I knew that having our son, Dakota, would change things. I was just having a hard time adjusting to this new situation.
Heather
I had never seen him so jealous. It just seemed so weird to me that he would be jealous of our son!
So I explained to Scott, “I look at it as if you’re both drowning and I have to choose who to save—you or Dakota. I would choose Dakota, because he can’t swim. You can swim. Our son can’t change his diapers or feed himself. You can feed yourself and thankfully (haha) change yourself!”
Scott
That illustration helped me to understand we had to change our priorities. It was just a hard adjustment for me.
Heather –
Thankfully, we weren’t alone in this—we had each other. Honestly, I think the exhaustion was speaking a lot more than anything else.
Scott –
During that time, we probably only got a couple of hours of sleep a night.
Jealousy can appear anywhere, anytime. What we must be aware of as spouses is whether the situations warrant a change in one or both spouse’s behavior and understanding.
Jealousy is a difficult emotion that can change the view of the most innocent of situations, as was the case for us in this story. We both had valid positions. No one was fully right or fully wrong.

Jealously can be brought about by many valid concerns. We must guard ourselves and our marriages against situations or skewed priorities that can lead to jealousy. We must be honest with our spouses and speak up when we feel the fingers of jealousy start to wrap around our hearts. That’s what Scott and I did and it made all the difference for us!

Can you relate? 

Has there been a time when you or your spouse was jealous of your relationship with your kids? Tell us about it. What did you and your spouse do to recognize it? What did you do to change? 

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  • tpohlkotte

    great perspective!

  • messymarriage

    Thanks for saying and for stopping by!

  • i love this interview-format, and the honesty of this couple’s experience. thank you so much for sharing.

  • BigD

    I’m glad you came to an understanding.
    I saw this happen with my husband–almost 14 years ago, when we had our first daughter.
    We’ve never recovered, honestly.
    It makes me sad to think that such a happy “event” marked the start of the slow decline my marriage has been in ever since. I used to think that this is a phase, and when our nest is empty we’ll come back together. But, I’m beginning to doubt that will happen. (20 years is a long time!)
    The worst part? My husband acknowledges it, but isn’t interested in finding a solution together.
    As a result, I find myself drawn closer to my girls, and further from my husband. I’m sure that makes him feel more left out, but he won’t even try to participate in outings, activities, even playing games at home. That just feels like more proof that he doesn’t care. And so the spiral goes….
    I keep praying for change. And patience.

  • Scott and Heather Copple

    BigD;
    We are so sorry to hear about your struggles and you will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Scott and Heather Copple

    Emily;

    Thank you, we appreciate the comment.

  • Scott and Heather Copple

    tpohlkotte;

    Thank you! We really appreciate the comment.