How should you deal with jealousy in an emotional relationship?
Jealousy is usually a normal feeling, but it can be unhealthy at other times. Jealousy arises when someone feels insecure about their relationship, whether it is with a romantic partner, parent, sibling, or friend. Everyone feels jealous at some point in their lives.But problems occur when jealousy turns from healthy feelings to unhealthy or irrational feelings. Reckless and excessive jealousy may eventually destroy the relationship.
So how do we deal with jealousy and insecurity in a relationship so that we can overcome these feelings? This is what the article will answer.
What is jealousy?
Jealousy is a reaction to a potential threat – real or imagined – to a valuable relationship, as the jealous partner fears that an outsider is trying to win the feelings of those close to him. Besides jealousy, a jealous partner may also feel anger, contempt, anxiety, and depression, so jealousy can be dangerous.A little jealousy in a relationship can be reassuring, and it may be normal, but excessive jealousy is stressful and frightening, leading to dangerous behaviors such as digital stalking, or psychological or physical violence.
There is no evidence that jealousy will improve without treatment. Jealousy is not an emotion that can be removed by wishful thinking or wishful thinking. It lies in the essence of the self and has deep roots, and it takes awareness and effort to overcome it.
Normal jealousy and unhealthy jealousy
Occasional jealousy is normal, but when it becomes intense or irrational, it can seriously damage the relationship. Being able to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy jealousy is important to a successful relationship.
Natural jealousy is when feelings of jealousy are mild and occasional. It reminds couples not to take each other for granted. Jealousy may also motivate couples to appreciate each other and make a conscious effort to make sure their partner feels appreciated.Jealousy reinforces feelings, which makes love stronger and sex more passionate, and to a measured degree, jealousy can be positive in a relationship.
When jealousy occurs in a healthy relationship, it is motivated by the idea of protection. One partner sees a potential threat to the relationship that prompts him or her to express anxiety or jealousy. Then the couple rationally discusses the issue together and agrees on how to proceed. Both are committed to the relationship and are not insecure about their identity.
Jealousy is unhealthy when it is intense or irrational, and here it is completely different. Irrational or excessive jealousy is often a warning sign of a potentially abusive relationship. Jealous people are so overwhelmed by their emotions and insecurity that they begin to exercise control over their partners.They may end up with physical abuse, verbal bullying, and violence to maintain control or hide their feelings. The roots of unhealthy jealousy come from fear of abandonment and concern about not being truly loved. Unhealthy jealousy is characterized by:
- Uncertainty about what a partner is doing or feeling.
- Ask to list the places the partner has gone.
- Demonstrate unusual insecurity and fear.
- Engage in storytelling and make untrue accusations.
- Excessive skepticism about the partner’s behaviors and motives.
- Follow or chase the partner to verify their whereabouts.
- Infringing on the partner’s freedom or preventing him from seeing friends or family.
- Read emails and text messages or listen to voicemail messages with the expectation of detecting infidelity or lying.
- Never stop sending messages when you are in a different place.
Reasons for jealousy
When faced with a situation that may trigger jealousy, the person experiencing these feelings reacts with fear, anger, sadness, anxiety, doubt, pain, self-pity, and humiliation.
He may also feel suspicious or threatened, or generally a failure. Jealousy can occur for many reasons, including:
- Feeling of insecurity or low self-esteem.
- Fear of abandonment or betrayal.
- Feeling very possessive or wanting to be in control.
- A misguided sense of partner ownership.
- Having unrealistic expectations about relationships in general.
- Unrealistic expectations of the partner.
- Relive a traumatic experience from the past.
- Worrying about losing someone or something important.
Consequences of jealousy in a relationship
It’s not uncommon for couples to misinterpret jealousy as love, especially if jealousy is generally healthy and infrequent. But unnatural jealousy is not love at all.
Unnatural jealousy causes chaos in a relationship, as the jealous person becomes more fearful, angry, and controlling over time. Psychotherapist Robert Parker says in his book on marital jealousy:”The feeling of unnatural jealousy creates a kind of expectation of self-fulfillment in this way, and when partners try to avoid them, they realize their worst fear of losing love and respect.”
Jealousy can lead to hate and defensiveness, destroy trust in the relationship and lead to more arguments, especially if the jealous person is demanding and asking questions from the other person.Intense emotional experiences may also lead to physical symptoms, as jealous people have physical reactions such as trembling, dizziness, depression, and difficulty sleeping. Their constant anger and need for reassurance may also lead to the termination of the relationship, especially if they become abusive and do not deal with their jealousy in healthy ways.
How to deal with jealousy in a relationship
If you’re experiencing jealousy, it’s important to address it before it gets out of hand. You and your partner can learn how to deal with jealousy in a healthy way:
Know that some jealousy is normal:
There will be people and situations that threaten the stability of your relationship. Whether it’s having a naturally flirtatious co-worker or a job that requires a lot of travel, it’s normal to feel a little jealous. The important thing is that you talk about your concerns and agree on some boundaries that will protect your relationship.
For example, you might agree that limiting contact with a flirtatious coworker is important to a healthy relationship. The key is to calmly discuss issues and come up with solutions together.
Trace the origin of the problem:
When a partner is constantly jealous, it is important to know why this is happening. For example, does a jealous partner feel insecure because you don’t spend a lot of time together? Or is the relationship a problem of trust because of infidelity? Ask yourself and try to understand the source of the jealousy and what can be done to reduce it.
Create an atmosphere of trust:
One of the best ways to prevent jealousy is to create an atmosphere of trust. The process begins with both partners being trustworthy, loyal, committed and honest. Trustworthy people are not liars, cheats, or deceives. If you stick with it, trust in the relationship will grow and leave no room for jealousy.
Make the relationship healthy:
A relationship involves showing affection, spending time together, and building a bond between two people. Any threat to this bond is cause for concern, as jealousy indicates that the relationship is in danger.
Know when jealousy is harmful
Jealousy – in response to a real relationship threat – is normal. But if one partner feels jealous for no reason, this is a warning of an unhealthy relationship, especially if the jealousy is accompanied by extreme anger, unrealistic expectations, and false accusations.
This type of jealousy is not a single event, but a recurring pattern of behavior.Abusive or unhealthy jealousy is also characterized by trying to control the other person and making strange accusations. If you’re repeatedly defending yourself from your partner’s unreasonable or accusatory questions, that’s a warning sign. Seek help immediately before things get out of hand.
Dealing with your jealousy
If you experience jealousy in your relationships, think about why. For example, do you have low self-esteem or do you fear your partner will leave you? Has your partner been unfaithful in the past and you worry about it happening again? Either way, you have to deal with your feelings.
The best way to do this is to find a counselor or therapist who can help you learn how to deal with your jealousy in healthy ways. Like most other difficult emotional experiences, if handled correctly, jealousy can stimulate maturity. Addressing jealousy may be the first step in increasing self-awareness and a greater understanding of you and your partner.
Steps to overcome feelings of jealousy include:
- Accept that jealousy is harmful to the relationship.
- Acknowledge that you are jealous.
- Agree not to spy on the partner.
- Discuss the roots of your feelings of jealousy.
- Make a decision to change your behavior.
- Realizing that you can’t control another person, but you can control your own reaction.
- Seek help for the couple together if needed.
- Establishing ground rules that are applicable to both parties.
Finally, when jealousy becomes unhealthy, it can destroy relationships and create hurtful marriages. That’s why if you’re experiencing excessive jealousy that interferes with a healthy relationship, it’s important to find a therapist or counselor to help you understand the cause of your jealousy, and then find a healthy way to deal with it.
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