“Examine your triggers, the specific thoughts, actions, sights or events that set off an emotion. It’s easy to believe that triggers ‘cause’ the emotion, but the truth is a bit more complicated. We might feel that wild rush of jealousy when we see our partner kiss another person, but that doesn’t mean the kiss itself is a root cause. Instead, it’s more accurate to say that the kiss is the switch that turns on a complicated chain of emotions that brings us nose to claw with some internal beast—a fear of being replaced, maybe, or a sense of territoriality. The kiss might be the trigger, but the cause is something else—some inner insecurity, stirred from its slumber.
This chain reaction is why restrictions on specific actions or behaviors rarely do much to alleviate jealousy. The beast still lies there, waiting for some other poke or prod to awaken it. At some point, if we are to be free of jealousy, we have to confront the monster directly. That means digging deep to uncover and deal with the internal things—the wobbles in our sense of worthiness, the little fears that try to convince us we will be abandoned.”
Franklin Veaux & Eve Rickert, More Than Two