Preventing Jealousy from Causing Damage to Your Relationship

Even though jealousy has a bad rap, it’s a natural human emotion and exists commonly in relationships. When it’s connected to romantic relationships, jealousy can occur when you’re concerned about losing someone you love. A little jealousy can be reassuring in a relationship. However, unchecked and excessive jealousy can be overwhelming and lead to dangerous behaviors like anger, physical abuse, and dating violence.

According to a nationwide survey of marriage counselors, jealousy is an issue in one-third of all couples who are receiving marriage counseling. Therefore, you must be aware of ways to prevent jealousy from hurting and ruining your relationships. If jealousy is a recurrent issue in your relationship, keep reading.  

Let’s dive into the causes of jealousy, manifestations of jealousy, and ways to prevent jealousy from hurting your relationship. So, let’s delve in.

Causes and Manifestations of Jealousy in a Relationship

Jealousy is a state of suspicious guarding towards a spouse or lover from fears of infidelity. It is also resentment towards someone for a perceived advantage or superiority they hold. Jealousy also refers to envy towards another’s possession.

Occasional jealousy is natural and happens to the best of us. Here are some of the various causes of jealousy in a relationship:

  • Fear of rejection and abandonment.
  • Insecurity or poor self-image,
  • A misguided sense of ownership over a spouse.
  • Unrealistic expectations about marriage.
  • Anxiety over losing someone or something precious.
  • Experience of hurt or abandonment.

Jealousy in a relationship can manifest in several ways. Here are several manifestations of jealousy:

  • Getting paranoid over the actions and feelings of your spouse.
  • Displaying unusual fear and insecurity.
  • Stalking your partner.
  • Infringing on your partner’s privacy.
  • Dating violence.
  • Seeking to control your partner’s actions.

How to Prevent Jealousy from Becoming Harmful

If you’re experiencing jealousy in your marriage, you must address it before it escalates. Jealousy can’t be wished away or discarded unconsciously. You need to take conscious steps to prevent jealousy before it destroys your trust and connection within your relationship. If your partner is the jealous party, this article will help them overcome their jealousy also.  Here are some of the steps:

Get honest about your jealousy

You can’t break free from a problem you have not discovered. Your first step to preventing jealousy is to get honest about your jealousy. Remember this, some jealousy is normal in every relationship, hence experiencing some level of jealousy doesn’t mean that you have issues. There will be people and circumstances that threaten the safety and security of your marriage. It can be a flirtatious co-worker or a job that requires a lot of travel. Several other cases can arise that can give rise to jealousy. So, when you feel jealous, don’t be too quick to discard the feeling or deny it. Sometimes it can be a healthy defense mechanism that safeguards what’s yours. On the other hand, if your partner is getting jealous often, help them to admit their jealousy and then, you can address the issues surrounding it. But the ‘green eye’ must be on the table in plain view in order to be dealt with.

Get to the root cause

After admitting that you’re feeling jealous, the next step is to discover the root cause. Consider these questions: Are you scared of rejection or abandonment? Do you have a poor self-image? Do you sustain some unrealistic expectations about your marriage? Do you have a misguided sense of ownership over your partner? Are you relieving experiences of hurt or abandonment? Although some more uncomfortable than others, digging through these questions will provide some insight into the root cause of your jealousy. Most cases of unhealthy jealousy are hinged on fear of rejection, insecurity, and low self-esteem. When you’re confronting these issues, you need sincerity and courage to face the truth. If your partner is overwhelmed with jealousy, find out the reasons also. This process can be quite tricky, but you can navigate it through heart-to-heart communication with your partner. Ask them questions to discover the root cause of their jealousy.

Communicate your concerns

When you’ve discovered the source of your jealousy, the next step is to tell your partner how their actions contribute to it. It’s not about pointing fingers or causing a fight. This is about helping your partner understand what triggers this reaction for you. This communication will help you both deal with and tackle the issues. For instance, you may agree that reducing contact with a flirtatious co-worker is important for the health of the marriage. You can also decide that having access to each other’s passwords can alleviate concerns. You need to calmly discuss the issues and come up with solutions together.

Make a decision to change your behavior

After communicating your concerns and ironing out the issues, the next step is to change your behavior. Nothing will change if neither of you do. If jealousy has pushed you into destructive behaviors such as stalking, violence, abuse, and anger, you must discontinue them immediately. Choose to act from a place of trust, not jealousy.  Stop spying on your spouse, stop stalking them, stop trying to control them. One major note about these behaviors is that they make you much less attractive to your partner. You are sabotaging the connection on your own. Realize that you cannot control someone else, but you can control your reactions.  

Seek professional help as a couple if necessary

In some cases, jealousy can be overwhelming and intense. Sometimes, discussing with your partner won’t be enough to tackle the issues, especially if they have lingered for years. In such cases, you need to seek professional help. Also, if you have suffered trauma from past relationships, and you are afraid, you can seek help. If your partner is also going through overwhelming jealousy from past trauma, you both need to seek help because you need the tools to support each other. Going for professional help can help to prevent jealousy from hurting your relationship.

Last Words

Even though a little jealousy can be healthy for your relationship, excessive jealousy is dangerous. If jealousy is hurting your relationship, the above-listed tips will help to get your relationship back on track. Apply them and watch your relationship bounce back to life!

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