How To Deal With Jealousy In A Relationship: 11 Expert Tips To Follow
When someone feels insecure about their relationship (whether it’s with a romantic partner, a parent, a sibling, or a friend), jealousy arises. Jealousy is something everyone experiences at some point in their lives.
It can become unhealthy and irrational when jealousy moves from a healthy emotion to one that is unhealthy and irrational.
A relationship can be destroyed by excessive and irrational jealousy. Find out how to deal with jealousy and insecurities in a relationship so that you can strengthen your relationship.
How Does Jealousy Work?
Jealousy is a reaction to a perceived threat to a valued relationship, real or imagined. The jealous partner fears that an outsider is trying to gain the affection of their partner.
A jealous partner may also feel angry, contemptuous, anxious, and depressed, which is why jealousy is dangerous. A little jealousy can be reassuring in a relationship and may even be ingrained in us.
A lot of jealousy, however, can lead to dangerous behaviors like stalking, digital dating violence, and physical abuse.
Without addressing jealousy, there is no reason to believe that it will improve. Wishful thinking cannot eradicate jealousy. To overcome these feelings, awareness and effort are necessary as they go right to the core of the self.
The Difference Between Healthy And Unhealthy Jealousy
Occasionally, jealousy is normal, but when it becomes intense or irrational, it can seriously damage a relationship. Your partnership will succeed if you are able to distinguish healthy jealousy from unhealthy jealousy.
In relationships where jealousy is mild and occasional, it reminds couples not to take each other for granted. Furthermore, jealousy can motivate couples to appreciate one another and make conscious efforts to ensure their partner feels valued.
As well as heightening emotions, jealousy makes love stronger and sex more passionate. It is possible for jealousy to be a positive force in a relationship when used in small, manageable doses.
Healthy relationships experience jealousy from a place of protection. Concern or jealousy are expressed by one of the partners when they perceive a threat to their relationship.
As a couple, they discuss the issue rationally and come to an agreement. There is no insecurity about who they are as individuals, and both are committed to the relationship.
It is a very different story when jealousy is intense or irrational. When jealousy is excessive or irrational, it is often a sign of a potentially abusive relationship.
Jealous people eventually become so overwhelmed by their emotions and insecurities that they begin to exert control over their partners. For control and to alleviate or mask their feelings, they may resort to financial abuse, verbal bullying, and violence.
How to Deal With Jealousy in a Relationship: 12 Tips
There are many ways to manage jealousy in a relationship, regardless of whether you, your partner, or both of you are feeling jealous. Being honest, open, and vulnerable with each other is always the best policy.
You should also cultivate a stronger sense of self-confidence and explore some of your own unspoken needs.
To deal with jealousy in a relationship, here are 12 tips:
1. Jealousy Must Be Acknowledged & Openly Discussed
A candid conversation with your partner might be necessary if you’ve noticed jealous feelings. It is crucial to communicate! In many cases, jealousy is an internal struggle, so examine yourself.
Once you have discovered what you have discovered, share it with your partner. Establish boundaries for yourself and your relationship by being honest about how you feel and what makes you uncomfortable.
Healthy jealousy is demonstrated by a partner who is willing to talk about their feelings honestly. An example would be saying, “I felt jealous when the man was talking to you at the party.”
“I felt like he was flirting with me, and it made me uncomfortable,” is a healthy expression of jealousy. Relationships are made or broken by how you respond to your own jealousy.
2. Locate the source of the problem
Identifying the causes of your jealousy can help you figure out how to confront it, regardless of whether it stems from insecurity, fear, or past relationship patterns. Discuss your career goals with your supervisor, resolve to try a new approach to dating, or discuss your feelings with your partner.
3. Be vocal about your concerns
Talk to your partner as soon as possible if your partner’s actions (or someone else’s actions toward your partner) trigger jealous feelings. Discuss jealousy when you both have some time to talk.
Before going to bed or when you’re about to leave, avoid getting into a serious conversation.
There’s a possibility that your partner didn’t notice the behavior, or they didn’t realize how you felt about it. Consider revisiting any relationship boundaries or discussing ways to keep your relationship healthy.
Consider a few ways you both can contribute to improving the situation if you trust your partner but have doubts due to past relationships.
Whenever you feel nervous about mentioning jealous feelings, remember that they’re completely normal. At some point, your partner might have felt jealous as well.
4. Consult a friend
Sometimes, jealousy can distort your perception of reality. There is a possibility that you have wondered if you saw that nonverbal flirtation you swear you saw.
You may be able to gain some perspective and make the situation less frightening by talking to someone else.
5. Jealousy can be viewed in a different light
The emotion of jealousy can be complex and strong, and dealing with it might not be a pleasant experience. Rather than seeing it as something negative, consider it a source of information.
Jealousy indicates the gap between what you have and what you want. Unchecked jealousy can turn into self-blame and keep you feeling deprived.
By identifying it as helpful information, however, you may be able to manage it and create circumstances that meet your needs.
6. Take a holistic view of the situation
Occasionally, jealousy develops as a result of incomplete information. Another way to put it is that you may be comparing yourself to an idealized or incomplete view of someone else.
The world typically sees people as their best selves, so it’s not easy to tell what’s really going on in someone else’s life. This concept is further magnified by social media.
It’s impossible to truly know what someone is going through, especially if you only glance at their social media accounts. See those photos of the happy couple out in a meadow, looking so carefree and happy?
It’s possible that they argued all the way out there and are sweating bullets underneath all that matching plaid.
7. Be grateful for what you have
It doesn’t take much gratitude to make a difference. In addition to reducing jealousy, it can also relieve stress.
It is possible that you will not have everything you want. The majority of us don’t. However, you probably already have some of what you desire.
There may even be some good things in your life that you did not expect. Whether you’re envious of your friend’s new bike or wish your partner didn’t spend so much time with friends, this can be helpful.
Remember your sturdy, reliable bike that gets you where you need to go.
8. Keep your own value in mind
Comparing yourself to others out of jealousy can hurt your self-worth. Someone else might find your life pretty enviable, after all.
Jealousy, however, can make you feel as though nothing you have is good enough. When your self-esteem is threatened, jealousy may develop, according to research exploring a possible connection between jealousy and self-esteem.
9. Mindfulness is important
By practicing mindfulness techniques, you can pay attention to your thoughts and feelings without judging or criticizing them. When you become more aware of jealousy, you will be able to notice any patterns it follows, including things that occur prior to feeling jealous.
You can also feel more comfortable with jealousy if you practice mindfulness. As an example, it can help you recognise and accept jealous feelings for what they are – a part of your emotional experience.
When you don’t judge your jealousy, or yourself for feeling it, you can keep it from negatively impacting your life.
10. Don’t rush it
Those who have experienced jealousy before know that it fades over time. Once you’ve dealt with your feelings, it might feel less intense, but it can also lessen once whatever you felt jealous about is gone.
Generally, people feel jealous right before something happens rather than after, according to research into jealousy. Over time, you’re also less likely to compare yourself to others or your circumstances to theirs. However, your positive feelings will stay with you.
You might feel jealous as your best friend’s wedding date approaches, but after the wedding you might feel less jealous and more happy for her.
11. Consult a mental health professional
A therapist can help you cope with jealous thoughts if you are having trouble managing them on your own.
The topic of jealousy can be difficult to discuss. Sharing these thoughts with someone you don’t know might make you feel even more uncomfortable. A good therapist will treat you with kindness and compassion.
Additionally, they know better than anyone that jealousy is a normal emotion that everyone experiences from time to time. It is possible to focus on who (and what) matters to you when you are jealous.
You don’t have to worry about it affecting your relationships. Relationships can even be strengthened as a result of it in some cases. It all depends on how you use it.