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Relationship Advice: Jealousy

Relationship Advice: Jealousy

by Patricia Fason

Jealousy, most of us feel it at some time or other. Some people experience it more strongly than others and some even let jealousy consume them. Sometimes the feeling is justified and at other times it isn't. It's an ugly emotion, both for the one feeling it and for the person at the other end. So how do we know how much is too much and when it is appropriate to feel jealousy at all?

Jealous Rages
If you are in a relationship with someone who is very jealous, you find that along with the jealousy usually comes control. When someone is extremely jealous they tend to want to control what you do, where you go, and who you see. Sometimes extreme jealousy can also lead to violence. If you are in a relationship where there is violence, read no further, it's time to end it. If you are in love with the person and don't want to let go, believe me when I say it is necessary. They will not stop without motivation. You can leave and let the person know that after a suitable amount of counseling and time, you will consider reconciliation.

Jealousy After an Affair
For most of us, jealousy isn't as all consuming as that, however, many of us do have moments when we feel out of control. You say something to your partner that you know is unjustified, but you just can't help yourself. If your partner has cheated on you, these feelings can intensify and it is possible that you will never trust the person again. Along with that comes jealousy. Sometimes it helps to have a plan of action in this situation. Figure out what you will do if your partner does it again, let your partner know what you will do, and if it happens, do it. Once you have made a firm decision on the consequences and are done vacillating between should I stay or should I go, it is sometimes possible for the relationship to continue normally. That is assuming that the other person is not going to cheat again and you are determined to let it go and not open old wounds every time you argue.

Unjustified Jealousy For a Fix
Unjustified jealousy is another story. If you think your partner is up to no good every time they leave your presence then there is a problem. If your pretty sure your partner is faithful and they continuously need to assure you that they are, this can become addictive. You get upset, and you like the way it feels when they stress to you how much they love you and would never do anything to hurt you, or something along those lines. Eventually, whether you actually "feel" jealous or not, you will be confronting them just to get your fix. Your partner may be patient at first but eventually they will tire of having to constantly reassure you and may even think that if they are being accused of it anyway, why not do it. You will drive them away unless you can get this under control. The tips below may help you with this type of jealousy.

Just Plain Jealous
Perhaps the majority of us fall under this category. We are afraid our partner will find someone prettier (or more handsome), smarter, richer, or just plain better. This is the heart of jealousy, our own insecurities. The tips below may help you overcome this type of jealousy.

Analyze It
Look at the reasons you are jealous. Do you find that they are because your partner does things that encourage you to feel that way? Do the feelings come from an old relationship where you were cheated on? Do you feel that eventually everyone will cheat on you? Perhaps it is because your partner isn't giving you enough attention? Take the time to analyze why you feel like you do. If you find it is something your partner is or is not doing, then have a serious discussion with them about the way you feel and why. If you find that the feelings come mostly from inside yourself, then here are a few suggestions for easing them:

  • Always remember that unless you have a good reason to be jealous, you should not harp on your partner. If the feelings are very strong that your partner is cheating but you have no proof, then there are trust issues in the relationship and whether your partner is or isn't, until trust can be found, jealousy will exist. On the other hand, if the feeling just comes from seeing your partner glance at another person, or they have attractive co-workers, then you need to remind yourself that they CHOSE you. Don't make them sorry by constantly harassing them. Obviously they found something in you that appeals to them and unless you push them away, they will probably continue to love you for you.
  • Don't feel negatively about yourself and certainly do not talk negatively about yourself. Self confidence (this does not mean being egotistical) is very attractive and if you remind yourself to think positive when negative feelings come up, you will eventually develop a habit of doing so.
  • Don't try to control the relationship. You can't control the other person and by attempting to do so, you are setting yourself up for failure. Even if they seem to comply to your demands, everyone has a mind of their own. If you feel like you can't trust them unless you know what they are doing, who they are with, where they are, every second, then either they are untrustworthy and will cheat anyway, or you will push them away. This is a no win situation. If your partner does things that hurt you, for example, talks to their ex. Then let them know, hey, when you do that, it hurts me and I would prefer it if you didn't talk to that person alone. This will be more likely to get the desired response then demanding they don't see them anymore.
  • Be a trustworthy friend to your partner. Be more than the person they love, be their friend also. If your partner knows they can trust you implicitly and more than love you, they also like just hanging out with you, then the relationship will be stronger and reasons for feeling jealous will disappear. Developing a friendship before the relationship begins is the best way to accomplish this but it is possible to do so afterwards also.

Jealous Partner
If you are in a relationship with a partner who is jealous, be sure you aren't giving them a reason to feel that way. If you aren't, then talk to them and let them know that it is driving you away. Don't say what they want to hear and then just do what you want even if it is innocent. If they find out, the jealousy will become even stronger. Stand up to them and let them know that you won't accept it and help them find ways to overcome it.

In conclusion, jealousy exists in all of us to some degree. The best way to overcome it is inside you. Make the decision that you simply won't be jealous unless there is a good reason. Don't just say it, make a decision that this is the way it will be. This involves a true desire to change and a life altering decision, but it can be done if you make up your mind to do so and replace old habits with better ones. Not only will your partner be happier, so will you.

ęPatricia Fason

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