The key to a stable relationship is one built on love, mutual respect, trust, and a willingness to communicate. So if you are feeling jealous, should this be a cause for concern? Not necessarily. After all, jealousy is a natural human emotion that, when managed properly, signals a deep attachment to your partner. On the other hand, you don’t want your anxieties to spiral out of control, creating a sense of fear, insecurity, and resentment. Whether the jealousy is coming from you, your partner, or both of you, it is important to come up with strategies to keep it from dooming your relationship. With that in mind, here are 10 tips for keeping these feelings at bay and coming out better as a result.
1. Speak candidly about your jealousy
If feelings of jealousy start to manifest themselves, it’s probably a good idea to sit down with your partner and have a chat. However, jealousy is an internal struggle, so it is essential that you do some introspection beforehand. Then, let your partner know what you’ve discovered. Be upfront and honest about your feelings, and discuss the things that make you feel uncomfortable. But ultimately, the fate of your relationship depends on how you handle your jealousy.
2. Realize that jealousy and insecurity go hand in hand
Jealousy is often a response to feeling threatened by something or somebody. Although it is something we all experience to some degree when we allow jealousy to consume us, it can create destruction. So next time you catch yourself feeling jealous, take a moment to ask yourself what you’re afraid of and if your responses are rational. Confront your jealousies head-on.
3. Work on Managing Your Emotions
There’s no need to deny your feelings of jealousy. By all means, acknowledge that it is uncomfortable and then seek support from others, especially your partner, rather than lash out and blame them for how you feel. Also, remember that you are responsible for managing your emotions; you can’t expect others to do it for you, nor should you want them to!
4. Jealousy can come from our own unique past experiences
Let’s face it: how we deal with people is bound to be shaped by our past experiences. Friends, family, and previous romantic relationships have a big impact on the source of our pain and insecurity. But just because, for example, your ex-boyfriend cheated on you doesn’t mean that you should assume the worst of your current partner. By telling them you’ve been hurt in the past, they might be more sensitive and attentive to your needs, which in turn will lead to less jealousy.
5. Address your insecurities
Before you talk to your significant other, determine the root cause of your behavior and commit yourself to addressing your anxieties. Rather than wallow in self-pity, think about all of your positive traits. Are you compassionate, trustworthy, and a good communicator? Embracing these strengths and seeking a partner who values you for these traits will help you overcome your feelings of jealousy.
6. Your jealousy doesn’t mean he/she did anything wrong
If jealousy creeps up, don’t confuse this for some kind of sixth sense that detects a relationship gone amiss. Don’t snoop around on his/her phone, seeking to confirm unsubstantiated hunches that they are texting a secret lover on the side. When you allow yourself to fear imaginary scenarios, all you are doing is sabotaging a relationship with someone who has no intention of cheating on you.
7. Ask yourself what is missing in your relationship
When your feelings of jealousy involve a third person, take some time to reflect on the web of emotions you are experiencing. Don’t take action based on assumptions or by using past negative experiences to justify your treatment of your current partner. However, it is perfectly reasonable to ask yourself what that third person is getting from this relationship that you aren’t. Would you lose anything if you ended your relationship? If you determine that your needs aren’t being met, by all means, move on.
8. Voice Your Concerns
If your partner is acting in a way that you find inappropriate or someone else is acting in a way that provokes feelings of jealousy, you need to nip this in the bud right away. You might find that your partner had no ill intentions, but it is still a good opportunity to establish relationship boundaries. It would be a pretty controlling thing to make him/her block people in their lives on Instagram just because you feel inadequate comparing yourself to their followers, but there’s nothing wrong with muting them from your end.
9. Think before you act
Amidst temporary feelings of anger and jealousy, how you respond can literally impact your life forever. Losing control of your emotions is a surefire way to blow up a relationship. Take a deep breath, find a quiet spot to gather yourself, and self-soothe when jealousy gets the best of you.
10. Find constructive ways to cope
Coping with triggered jealousy isn’t a panacea for resolving the underlying issues. However, redirecting your focus on something else can help you avoid acting on your emotions in a disproportionate manner.