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You may find yourself in a relationship feeling jealous. But, Does your jealousy have a foundation or is it driven by your insecurities?
Your insecurities can give rise to doubts towards your partner and your relationship. These doubts can turn into mistrust which in turn can become an issue and compromise your relationship. Without trust you can’t have a healthy relationship. So, talk to your partner about your doubts and worries to see if you can address these concerns.
In this article, you will learn what is jealousy, how it affects your relationship and how you can deal with jealousy in a healthy way. Here, we will assume that you are the one feeling jealous. If you what to deal with your partner’s jealousy the same ideas and solutions apply to them.
What Is Jealousy
Let’s have a look at what jealousy means. Here’s the definition of jealousy according to the Merriam-webster dictionary:
1: a jealous disposition, attitude, or feeling
2: zealous vigilance
What Is Jealousy in a Relationship
Being jealous is defined as feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages.
To maintain a healthy relationship, you should know how to keep these doubts and insecurities in check. If you don’t, they can manifest as jealousy. And nobody likes a jealous partner who is trying to control every aspect of their partner’s life and doubt their trustworthiness.
What Causes Jealousy in a Relationship?
When you are jealous, you want something that somebody else has. You may also believe that you are unworthy or incapable of having that.
In a relationship, you might be jealous of your partner’s friends and family who get to spend more time with them than you. You might also be jealous of your partner’s lifestyle or well-being.
Here are some of the common causes for jealousy in a relationship:
- Low self-esteem
- Past experiences
- Fear of abandonment
- Trust issues
How Jealousy Affects a Relationship
Being jealous can lead to a controlling behaviour from your side. This is because you don’t want anyone else having your partners company and attention apart from you.
Jealousy can bring many problems to your relationship. When you try to control your partner’s life, they can respond to your jealous behaviour by submitting to it. As an attempt to please you, they may do what you ask.
In case of you being jealous of their friends, your partner may choose to stop seeing them. Doing so will bring about three problems into your relationship:
- Your partner can become miserable because they cannot have fun with their friends.
- Your partner will become resentful towards you because you are the one that made them do it.
- You will feel guilty for depriving them of enjoying their life.
Another way your partner can respond to your jealous behaviour is by rebelling against it. They can either do it silently by continuing seeing their friends and telling you they’re not. Or telling you or becoming defensive and telling you that you shouldn’t be behaving in this way.
If they confront you directly, that will be a more healthy outcome. At that point, it’s up to you to recognise that you are inviting problems in your relationship. You need to find a way to change that behaviour that is born out of you feeling jealous.
If your partner doesn’t want to confront you or want to avoid an argument, while continuing doing what they want, that will result in them lying to you. The moment, one of you starts lying, your trust is compromised. And without trust, you cannot have a healthy relationship.
Signs of Jealousy in a Relationship
Here are some signs you are having a jealous behaviour:
- Want to keep in touch at all times
- Want to know where they are, what they are doing and with whom
- You may resort to reading their messages and overhearing their phone calls, and checking their social media constantly
All of these signs of jealousy are also signs of distrust. And, without trust you cannot have a relationship.
In more extreme cases, jealousy can lead to a controlling behaviour such as:
- You wanting your partner to dress in a particular way
- You not wanting your partner seeing certain people
- You discouraging your partner from going out without you
- Making your partner explain themselves for anything they do without you
- You get angry when your partner mentions other women/men
When you are feeling jealous you will experience a range of emotions that you may struggle to control. These emotions will go from mild to severe, depending on the focus you are giving to the situation. The more focused you are about a certain situation, the more dramatic your experience will be.
When you are experiencing jealousy you feel:
If you leave your jealousy unaddressed it can start manifest as:
How to Deal with Jealousy in a Relationship?
Here are some tips to help you deal with jealousy:
- Recognise your reason for jealousy.
- Identify your insecurities, both personal and regarding your relationship.
- Figure out the uncertainties that exist in your relationship.
- Manage the uncertainties by having a plan and a timeline for your relationship.
- Don’t act on your jealousy.
- Express your doubts and insecurities do your partner
- Ask your partner to help you deal with the doubt and uncertainty that you have regarding your relationship, as well as your personal ones if you choose to.
- If your partner is telling you that your jealous behaviour is bothering them in some way, listen to them, and ask them to tell you more about it.
Jealousy can make you miserable and destroy your relationship. It’s an unhealthy attitude which you should address ASAP if you are to have a successful relationship.
Here are 5 steps to help you get rid of jealousy in your relationship:
- Understand what you’re jealous about.
- Recognise the reason for your jealousy.
- Identify your doubts and insecurities about your personal life and your relationship.
- Write down everything you discover for yourself.
- Share your discoveries with your partner and ask them to help you.
- If you are struggling to deal with jealousy in your relationship seek professional help.
Avoiding Jealousy in a Relationship
It will help if you are to recognise the source of your jealousy so that you can avoid it in your relationship. Figure out what your partner has or does that you feel you cannot have or do.
Don’t confuse jealousy with insecurity, or frustration, or sadness. These are entirely different feelings that come about for various reasons.
Once you understand what you are jealous about, you can find a way to deal with it by talking to your partner and working things out for yourself.
Try to recognise that you are feeling jealous and work with it rather than trying to ignore this feeling of envy. If you don’t express your feelings and face them when they arise, they will have more power over your behaviour. When this happens, you can be caught off-guard by how and why your relationship became so hard or unhealthy.
If you are aware of your feelings, you can recognise them and share them with your partner. Together, you can discuss how these feelings affect your behaviour and your relationship. If you are unaware of the feelings you have, they will still affect your behaviour, but you will not know why you are doing certain things the way you do.
Unawareness can be damaging for your relationship. Your behaviour is going to affect your partner and your relationship in the way that you won’t even recognise.
Overcoming Jealousy in a Relationship
There is no running away or hiding from jealousy, you have to face it sooner or later. If you have certain feelings, you must bring them out of you by sharing them with your partner or writing them down for your reference.
The moment you understand the source of your jealousy and your feelings behind it, jealousy becomes less scary.
The only reason you are feeling jealous is that you deny yourself of something that your partner can have or do. Find out what exactly it is that your partner can do that you can’t. Then ask yourself why can’t you do or have the same things.
For example, if you are jealous of your partner’s friends who get to spend time with your partner, convert envy into joy. Instead of being envious of your partner’s friends, be happy for your partner because they can have a lot of fun times and new experiences in their life.
Once you’re happy for them rather than envying them, you can bring more things into your physical world.
You can hang around with your friends, or you can spend your extra time alone doing the things you like, hobbies, or learn something new.
How to Cope with Jealousy in a Relationship
Jealousy can put an unnecessary strain on your relationship. Jealousy isn’t part of a healthy relationship, Even though it’s quite common for couples to have to deal with it.
So the real answer on how to cope with jealousy, is that you shouldn’t need to cope with it. If you feel jealous, understand the source of your envy and find a way to explore and express your feelings to your partner.
Managing these feelings can be hard to do by yourself. But that’s why you have a romantic partner, a person who you trust and with whom you can share the most intimate parts of your life.
The best way to cope with jealousy is to understand the reality of your situation, express your feelings and take time to listen to your partner.
Ending a Relationship Because of Jealousy
Jealousy can manifest in attention seeking and controlling behaviour. When you have such behaviour it can be overwhelming for your partner. When this behaviour persists for a while, your partner is likely to avoid you, not because they don’t like you or want to be with you. But, because they will see it as an invasion of their personal space and a sign of distrust.
The more you allow your jealousy to impact your relationship, the more toxic and unfulfilling it will become. At some point, you can expect that your partner may choose to leave this relationship because they feel trapped and ‘’suffocated’’.
Jealousy in your relationship can be caused by personal insecurities or because of a set of beliefs (social, cultural, etc).
When it comes to relationships, jealousy and insecurities tend to be bundled together. But they are very different, and it’s worth understanding what each of them is all about.
One thing is to be jealous of your partner because of your insecurities or your partner’s behaviour can lead to you being jealous.
The best way to deal with jealousy in your relationship, substitute your envy for happiness. And, instead of trying to take something away from your partner, bring that something into your life. For example, if you are feeling jealous of your partner because they are having male/female friends. It could be healthier for you to have male/female friends rather than stopping them from having their friends of a particular gender.
Help and Advice Dealing with Jealousy in Your Relationship
Tips to Deal with Arguments in Your Relationship
- Don’t ignore your jealousy
- Bring it up to your partner so you can openly and honestly talk about it
- Be open to make some changes in your thinking and your behaviour
- Recognise your reason for jealousy
- Identify your insecurities
- Manage the uncertainties by having a plan and a timeline for your relationship
- Express your doubts and insecurities to your partner
If you don’t know how to deal with jealousy and you need professional help and advice, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help!
Frequently Asked Questions
How to get rid of jealousy in a relationship?
To get rid of jealousy you need to be open to change your thinking and behaviour. To begin with, recognise what is causing your jealousy. Is it your insecurities or something you’ve been conditioned to believe?
How can jealousy destroy a relationship?
Jealousy can manifest as neediness, invading of personal space, distrust and controlling behaviour. All of these are slowly destroy your relationship and overtime can make it unbearable to the point of breaking up.
What is normal jealousy in a relationship?
Jealousy is toxic to a relationship for the reasons mentioned above.
How much jealousy is normal in a relationship?
Normal only means that a lot of couples in experience jealousy. But, this doesn’t mean it’s ok, nor healthy. Jealousy comes as a result of doubts and insecurities that come from uncertainty.
How to not be jealous in a relationship?
Address your personal insecurities and build trust with your partner.
Is jealousy toxic in a relationship?
Yes, jealousy is toxic for a relationship as well as for your own well-being.