Overcoming Jealousy in Relationships

Overcoming Jealousy in Relationships

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Almost every couple combats jealousy during the course of their relationship. Though an occasional twinge of jealousy is only natural, chronic feelings of anger and distrust can quickly become a toxic problem.

Though it takes time and effort, it is almost always possible to reduce the amount of jealousy you are feeling. By reflecting on your emotions and modifying your behaviors, you can escape the clutches of bitterness and insecurity.  



Replace Imagination with Reality


In most cases, jealousy is triggered by our imagined perception of a scenario. We may find ourselves sitting at home, imagining that our partner is running late because he or she is meeting up with someone else. We might think that our date is flirting with someone at a cocktail party. In reality, these mental scenarios are driven by paranoia rather than logic. Our partner may simply have stopped by the gas station to fill up the car. Our date may just be laughing at a good joke they heard at the party.

Instead of getting carried away with imaginary scenarios, simply accept situations for what they are. If your partner tells you what he or she was doing, try to trust them.

It should be noted that many people are jealous for good reasons. If, for instance, your partner has cheated on you in the past, your feelings of mistrust are understandable. If your partner has broken your trust beyond repair, it may be best to end your relationship.


Stop Comparing Yourself to Others


Though it is certainly easier said than done, it is crucial to limit the ways in which you compare yourself to others. There will always be individuals who are prettier, funnier, and smarter than you are. These characteristics, however, are simply that. If your partner loves you, it is because of who you are as a whole. You are more than simply the sum of your parts. A partner who truly loves you will not leave you simply because someone else has a nicer nose or a better job than you do. Instead of sizing up your partner's coworkers and Facebook friends, reflect on your own good qualities. Remember that you are valuable and desirable just as you are.


Act with Trust in Mind


Instead of responding to situations with bitter, jealous responses, strive to behave in a calm and trusting manner. If your partner has never given you any reason to question their trust, you should assume that they are behaving ethically. Baseless jealousy will simply exhaust your partner and ruin your relationship.

When your partner spends time with friends, wish him well. If your date is being friendly with the waiter, try joining the conversation. By responding to situations with a relaxed and trusting attitude, you will build up feelings of goodwill between you and your partner.


Don't Fight Fire with Fire


Jealousy is a horrible emotion. As such, it often makes people respond in foolish ways. Individuals often try to cope with jealousy by behaving in ways that they believe will make their partners jealous. Flirting with strangers or fondly reminiscing over old flames won't do anything to improve your relationship. Playing these games, in fact, often backfires. Your partner may feel as though you're uninterested and in turn may begin pursuing others.

Purposefully making your partner jealous won't improve the quality of your relationship. No matter how bad you are feeling, it is better to take the high road. Talk to your partner instead of playing mind games.


Seek Inner Peace


At its core, jealousy is a very personal issue. Our feelings of insecurity and neediness often stem from a flawed attachment style developed during childhood. Those who possess an anxious attachment style (also known as ambivalent attachment) are often insecure and fear abandonment. Through therapy and self-reflection, however, it is possible to counteract these feelings and develop a sense of secure attachment.

Other techniques may help you achieve inner peace as well. Practicing mindfulness meditation, for instance, has been proven to reduce stress and depression while boosting feelings of compassion and well-being. Instead of acting on feelings of jealousy, consider stepping away from a situation for a 15 minute meditation break. Once your body and mind are more relaxed, you just might find that the situation is not worth panicking about after all.


In Conclusion:


Though combatting jealousy can be extremely difficult, it is indeed possible to manage this complex emotion. By changing the way you think and respond to situations, you can reduce your feelings of jealousy and improve your relationship.



Photo: (c) tashatuvango /fotolia.de

Editor, 11/05/2015