August 16, 2008 by Daisy Rose
Jealousy is a human emotion that we all instinctively experience at some point in our lives. Jealousy can refer to a strong desire for or envy of someone else’s success, stature, or possessions.
Taken in a social context, it can refer to a perceived threat to a valued relationship or to its quality. Jealousy may cause someone to be doubtful of his or her partner and feel threatened by his or her interaction with certain people. It involves a fear of losing the other person.
There are different kinds of jealousy and educating yourself on them may help you and your partner develop a stronger relationship.
Jealousy doesn’t necessarily indicate negative connotations in all cases. After all, it is quite natural for men and women to be protective and possessive of the one that they love. In a relationship, when feelings of jealousy are mild and occasional, it reminds the couple not to take each other for granted. It can encourage couples to appreciate one another and make an effort to ensure the other person feels valued.
Having reservations about your significant other going to a strip club, the sight of him or her drooling over an attractive person of the opposite sex, or witnessing him or her flirting with someone else are innocent examples of how jealousy can be a perfectly normal reaction.
Sometimes, jealous feelings can balloon out of proportion. It is a completely different story when jealousy becomes frequent, intense, and irrational. Once you reach this stage, you obsessively begin to question your lover’s loyalty to you and it sends you into a blind rage. You may even try to restrict your partner’s interactions with other people and constantly monitor where he or she goes and what he or she does.
If you can’t control your jealousy, it is bound to be detrimental to your relationship. It eats away at the most important thing holding it together – trust. It can leave your loved one constantly feeling like they are walking on eggshells.
If you find yourself drifting into the realm of harmful and unhealthy jealousy, there are things you can do to prevent it from ruining your current and future relationships.
Identify the Root of the Problem
What is causing this unfounded jealousy? You may behave this way because you have been cheated on in the past. This may cause you to be more possessive and controlling in a new relationship for fear of repetition, even if he or she has never given you a reason to be doubtful.
If this is the case, it is important to deal with these feelings and insecurities before you enter a new relationship. Harboring unresolved feelings from past relationships is a sure sign that you aren’t ready for a new one.
Give yourself a Reality Check
Focus on what is really happening, not what you perceive to be happening. How realistic is the threat? What evidence do you have that your relationship is in danger? Distinguish fact from fiction.
If you have no solid grounds for feeling jealous, your false accusations will cause a lot of unnecessary strain on the relationship. Don’t let your imagination draw a negative picture of your partner.
Sometimes, you need to give yourself a pep talk. When you start feeling those twinges of jealousy, remind yourself that your partner loves you and is committed to you. Realize that he or she is with you for a reason. These self-affirmations can help you boost your confidence.
If you can’t talk yourself out of a jealous funk, perhaps communicating your feelings will help resolve your insecurities. One of the best ways to beat jealousy is to ask your partner for reassurance. Make sure you don’t take an accusatory, nagging, or bullying tone with him or her. Instead, share your feelings of doubt and ask them to help you overcome them.
By communicating your feelings, you can work out solutions together.
Get an Objective Opinion
Ask a close friend to take note of your behaviour around your boyfriend or girlfriend. Sometimes, you aren’t fully aware of your actions, especially when emotions like jealousy cloud your judgment. By getting a neutral party’s perspective, it can help you fully understand the extent of your actions.
A good friend will let you know if your behaviour is out of control and destructive.
Set Boundaries from the Start
Try establishing some general guidelines at the beginning of the relationship. Let your partner know what is and isn’t acceptable for you. Be careful not to use this piece of advice as a means to control your boyfriend or girlfriend, just let him or her know what makes you tick.
For example, how far is too far when it comes to flirting? Telling your partner what makes you uncomfortable can also help you trust him or her more since you are divulging sensitive feelings.