7 Tips for Overcoming Jealousy in Relationships
How I Learned to Stop Being So Jealous and Finally Get on with My Life me and my relationships or even realize that they were happening. Yet, jealousy is an inevitable emotion that pretty much every one of us will experience. This is one reason why learning how to deal with jealousy is so important. Remember, our jealousy often comes from insecurity in ourselves – a feeling like to fall victim to feelings of jealousy, distrust or insecurity in any relationship. So you saw what looked like your boyfriend flirting with one of his female friends. OK. But keep in mind, you guys have an entire history.
But his insane jealousy is going to tear us apart unless something changes. If he caught her chatting or joking with male neighbours or colleagues, he would assume right off she was having an affair. She had stopped seeing a really good male friend she'd known since childhood and he'd "banned" her from chatting to a year-old married man who lived next door. His jealousy was all-encompassing; from attractive male movie stars to male teachers of her young children. At first before realizing how destructive it was to becomeshe'd been flattered by the intensity of his jealous attentions - after all, it showed he cared, right?
But the constant anxiety, loss of her freedom, and sheer clinginess he would text every half-hour if she went out with a girlfriend were now torture to her and also to him. Most people feel a little jealous sometimes, especially when they have strong feelings of attraction and love for their partner, and a little jealousy occasionally can add zest to a relationship.
But just as a spark can illuminate a room, a blaze can burn it to the ground. So what's behind jealousy? What does jealousy in a relationship mean? At the root of jealousy lies fear of loss.
Like many jealous partners, Kevin feared loss of their relationship, loss of self-respect, even loss of 'face' fearing how his friends would see him if he were to be 'made a fool of'. Fear makes for feelings of insecurity. When fear lessens, so does jealousy.
How to Deal with Jealousy: Overcoming Overwhelming Jealous Feelings
More than feelings of fear, jealousy also leads to a smorgasbord of other emotions such as anger, hate of love 'rivals', disgust sometimes self-disgustand hopelessness.
So why might a person be jealous? Kevin's ex-wife had cheated on him and he felt he'd never got over this. We're told it's great to have 'a good imagination', but he was using his to torment himself. Of course, if your partner is continually sexually active with other people, then jealousy is totally justified. And perhaps the whole relationship needs to be re-evaluated.
But here I want to focus on helping you if you feel unduly jealous that's to say, there is no real or proper evidence that your partner is or has been unfaithful to you.
These tips also focus on sexual jealousy rather than, say, being jealous of the amount of time your partner spends with their mother or kids. So how can we start to break the jealousy cycle, reclaim self-control, and stop driving our partners and ourselves crazy?
Yes, take them at their word. If they do lie to you, then they are not making a fool out of anyone but themselves - remember that. It's been said that trust is the cornerstone of any relationship. It's very insulting for your partner to have you always doubting their word or decency of behaviour. Constant questioning by you can even be as destructive as having an affair in the long run. You'll still distrust your partner for a while out of sheer habitbut find the strength to start acting as if you believe them.
If you've been checking that they really were where they said they've been, then stop doing that. When they tell you they love you, believe them.
Save 2 Easier said than done, but stop comparing yourself to others Some not all jealousy is driven by low self-esteem. I don't understand how someone like them could be attracted to someone like me! Does the Mona Lisa painting know why it is so valuable?
Of course, you may be able to appreciate attractive qualities in yourself, but consider this: There are better looking, richer, funnier, smarter, younger people around than just about all of us, but these are qualities of a 'product'.
If he or she loves you, it will be because of an extra, indefinable quality you have that they couldn't even explain - some deep part of your humanity they connected to which transcends looks, youth, wealth, and so forth. Some of the most loved people in history have been well down the list when it comes to looks or wealth. Stop trying to 'work out' why they can possibly like you. People with quite high self-esteem can experience intense jealousy if they tend to feel they themselves must always be the centre of things.
People like this tend to look at other people as material property. And maybe they just don't want to share that 'property', even as far as letting their partner innocently smile or socialize with another person. Perhaps as a kid they were a little spoilt. But people are not objects or toys to be constantly guarded. To love someone properly, we need to be prepared to lose them. Sounds like it, you might think and I do have my momentsbut hear me out. Anger, fear, and jealousy drive out love; and love needs a strong dash of fearlessness to flourish.
Okay, so you fear losing your loved one to someone else and possibly fear how this will make you feel about yourself. If you must keep using your imagination, use it to imagine the 'worst' happening and you still being okay; not just surviving, but thriving in this imagined scenario. Unless we deal with this feeling in ourselves, we are likely to fall victim to feelings of jealousy, distrust or insecurity in any relationship, no matter what the circumstances.
These negative feelings about ourselves originate from very early experiences in our lives. We often take on feelings our parents or important caretakers had toward us or toward themselves. We then, unconsciously, replay, recreate or react to old, familiar dynamics in our current relationships.
For example, if we felt cast aside as kids, we may easily perceive our partner as ignoring us. The extent to which we took on self-critical attitudes as children often shapes how much our critical inner voice will affect us in our adult lives, especially in our relationships. Yet, no matter what our unique experiences may be, we all possess this inner critic to some degree. The degree to which we believe this fear affects how threatened we will feel in a relationship.
It reminds us we are unlovable and not cut out for romance. There must be someone else. He wants to get away from you. In an attempt to protect ourselves, we may listen to our inner critic and pull back from being close to our partner. Competitive Jealousy While it may feel pointless or illogical, it is completely natural to want what others have and to feel competitive.
However, how we use these feelings is very important to our level of satisfaction and happiness. If we use these feelings to serve our inner critic, to tear down ourselves or others, that is clearly a destructive pattern with demoralizing effects. It can feel good when we simply let ourselves have the momentary feeling without judgment or a plan for action. However, if we ruminate or twist this thought into a criticism of ourselves or an attack on another person, we wind up getting hurt.
If we find ourselves having an overreaction or feeling haunted by our feelings of envy, we can do several things. Be aware of what gets triggered. A co-worker who speaks her mind in meetings?
Ask yourself what critical inner voices come up. What types of thoughts do these jealous feelings spark? Are you using these feelings of jealousy to put yourself down? Do they make you feel insignificant, incapable, unsuccessful etc.?
- 7 Strategies on Dealing with Jealousy in Intimate Relationships
- 7 Tips for Overcoming Jealousy in Relationships
Is there a pattern or theme to these thoughts that feels familiar? Think about the deeper implications and origins of these thoughts: Do you feel a certain pressure to achieve a particular thing? What would getting this thing mean about you? Does this connect to your past? We can have more compassion for ourselves and try to suspend the judgments that lead us to feel insecure. How to Deal with Jealousy What to Do: We should try to do just that when we feel jealous.
We can consider what sensations, images, feelings and thoughts jealousy brings up. Does the current scenario trigger something old — a family dynamic or long-held, negative self-perception? The more we can connect these emotions or overreactions to the past events that created them in the first place, the clearer we can feel in our present-day situation. Calm down and stay vulnerable — No matter how jealous we feel, we can find ways to come back to ourselves and soften. We can do this by first, accepting our emotions with compassion.
Remember that no matter how strong we feel, our feelings tend to pass in waves, first building, then subsiding. We can learn tools to calm ourselves down before reacting, for example, by taking a walk or a series of deep breaths.