The Second Woman

Hi Brooke and coaches,

I have been practicing the MODEL every opportunity I get (every negative thought I get), and I seem to be doing well if it’s work related, family related or friend related. I usually can hold the urge to react and work on a model, and I come up with better solutions/ results than my first reaction initially was.

I seem to have a hard time with this when dealing with relationships with men. When I was in my twenties, the “love of my life” cheated on me with my best friend at the time, and they ended up getting married. Ever since, I never really trusted a man, and I ended up getting married to a man a lot older than me hoping I wouldn’t have to experience that again. Sure enough (to learn my lesson), he ended up cheated on me, and I left him a year ago.

I would like to start dating, and I am interested in seeing other men (and I started already), but it always boils down to the same problem. If he doesn’t respond right away to my texts, or if I see he attended events where there were some beautiful women, I always think like “I am not good enough”, “I am not worthy of their love or attention”, “I am not as beautiful as they are”, etc. This happened today, and after I saw the pictures with them I had a meltdown.

Here are the MODELS I did on this today:

C – I see pictures with this man and a beautiful woman (who I know is his friend) at an event.

T – He is not interested in me. He is interested in her. She is so much better looking than me. I’ll always be the second woman.

F – jealous / maddening to the point of debilitating

A – initially feel the emotion, cry outburst, trying to control the emotion and continue with my work in spite of the negative feeling (after I force myself to listen to your #191 podcast on this to get back on track)

R – Not being as efficient as I could be; getting things done but it takes me a lot longer and I don’t enjoy doing it at all. (In the past I used to just roll in bed and cry for hours)

Revised Model:

C – Man spends time with another woman at this event.

T – It’s Ok – he is allowed to spend time with other women – we are not a couple and even if we were I cannot control his behaviour.

F – a little upset and disappointed that I don’t get more attention from him.

A – continue with my daily tasks and try not to let that affect me.

R – Getting things done a lot more efficiently.

How does this look?
Could you perhaps help me with some thoughts when I experience this extreme feeling of jealousy and anger? What could I tell myself to feel better or how can I stop this urge to write to write to him right away, so I get this validation that I am still important to him. I know it sounds silly, but these thoughts are so real in my head, and I know I won’t have a healthy relationship unless I can get over these thoughts.

Thank you so much.