JEALOUSY! The green, fire-breathing monster lies in wait to devour relationships! Is it just waiting for an opportunity to put an end to yours?
It’s natural to feel jealous in certain situations, but it’s important to understand and control the emotion before it takes over. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how jealousy works and how you can change your response to it.
Jealousy is within you. It has nothing to do with your partner. No matter what your partner does, you still feel jealous UNLESS you track it down, dissect it, and reduce it to a speck of its former power!
Jealous people are:
That last one is really BIG! Jealous people are FEARFUL. They are afraid of being betrayed, making a mistake, not being “in the know,” left, lost, abandoned, and wrong. It’s all about them. That other poor partner has nothing to do with it at all!
Now, just in case you’re about to go off the deep end and yell at me “But, they cheated on me!” that is not about jealousy. That is about actual behavior that took place that now needs attention and relationship help.
Jealousy is not about that. It worms its way up from within you, looking suspiciously at your partner over your shoulder at all times. Jealousy is an inside job. It is your insecurities tying you up in knots and spitting them out at your partner. Again, it has nothing to do with your partner.
In order to manage feelings of jealousy, it’s essential to identify the source of your insecurity. Is it related to something you think your partner is doing, or is it related to a past experience? Once you can identify what’s igniting that feeling, it’s important to work on addressing those underlying issues.
Let’s discuss how to change our response so it doesn’t take over our lives. The best way to do this is by tracking down and dissecting jealousy in order to reduce its power. Start by recognizing when you start feeling jealous- what thoughts enter your mind? What emotions arise? When did these thoughts or feelings first appear? Once you’ve identified the source, you can start to address it. For example, if your jealousy is triggered by a fear of abandonment, try talking to your partner about it and expressing how their behavior made you feel.
Dr. Phil says: “Jealousy is a poorly disguised need for power and control.”
Do you have a need to know where your partner is at every minute?
Do you suspect the worst when your partner is out of your sight?
Do you think that every person your partner meets is out to seduce them?
If any of those things cross your mind, there is definitely a problem! And, jealousy will drive your partner away. Even if your partner has never strayed in thought, word, or deed, your suspicious behavior may drive them to do that, too. If you are accusing them of cheating all the time, they might take that as you telling them to go ahead. It won’t make any difference if they did or didn’t! You’ll still be jealous.
( If your partner uses your suspicious nature as a reason to cheat, you two both need help! But, that’s a topic for another day.)
Sometimes people are as jealous of their partners as they were of other children taking away their mother’s attention. There’s a clue in there. Maybe, you didn’t get the attention you wanted before, and now you feel no one could possibly love you enough to be faithful. Notice, I said you feel that way. Feelings are not facts. You are entitled to your feelings but you must examine them for evidence in reality that they are accurate. Jealous people usually can’t find that evidence.
Jealous people are hurting people: they both hurt others, and are hurting themselves.
Jealousy should not be controlling your life. Taking steps like focusing on yourself and building your self-esteem, communicating your feelings to your partner, and participating in activities that make you feel happy and secure can all help keep these feelings of jealousy at bay. I’m happy to work with you through Zoom Private Video, or find a professional nearby to help you. Your friends or relatives cannot help you with this. You need to uncover the causes and lay them to rest.
I had a client who started her first session with, “I am so jealous. I know it will ruin my relationship. I cannot stop. Please help.” She was really in pain and her partner was threatening to leave for the last time. She was willing to change to keep her jealousy from ruining her relationship. Wise woman.
Are you letting jealousy ruin your relationship? You don’t have to.
You can get relationship help to find out where that jealousy came from, where it’s hiding, and why it sneaks its head out to devour your relationship. It will devour you, too, if you let it. Don’t let jealousy ruin your relationship and your life.
Let’s talk soon. Schedule your first appointment HERE.
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Disclaimer: All advice, insights and suggestions made here are not to be construed as psychological or legal advice. Any actions you undertake as a result of reading any article, book, video, ebook or blog post from Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, are entirely your own. Having worked with individuals and couples for more than twenty-five years, she offers her insights and opinions for your consideration only.