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The feeling of jealousy in a relationship arises from insecurity or the fear of losing a partner to an external party. This feeling makes you outrageously obsessed and possessive of your partner. If not checked promptly, such sentiments --most times exaggerated -- will erode the trust from the relationship.
Jealousy has been as historic as human civilization itself. We have seen jealousy plays out in history, even dating back to thousands of years ago in Greek mythologies.
A classic story of jealousy can be found in Shakespeare's story of 'Othello' who was consumed with jealousy, leading to the death of his 'only true love.'
The feeling of jealousy is not to be confused with envy. Envy is the feeling of desiring other people's qualities or achievements you're yet to attain.
Is jealousy a normal feeling?
Jealous is normal, especially when you're watching a third-party flirt with your partner or the other way round. Being jealous makes you aware of the insecure feeling in you.
Like the above scenario, if a third-party is flirting wildly with your partner, making intense eye contact, or engaging in discussions that make you feel left out, you would naturally get jealous instantly.
Your manner of response largely demonstrates your maturity. Would you get excessively upset to incite violence or calmly excuse your partner out of the scene?
Like in the above scenario, you should let your partner know how you felt when a third-party got more of his attention than you will get.
You can start by saying, 'you know I felt jealous and insecure watching you and Alicia together.' You should address this issue with your partner when you're alone and when tensions have reasonably calmed down.
Signs of jealous behavior in relationships
The feelings of jealousy can grow to an outrageous level that it becomes unhealthy for the relationship if not watched and checkmated early enough.
According to the National Domestic Violence, being overly jealous can be a precursor to physical abuse. Below are notorious signs that can point to you or your partner becoming overly jealous.
1.You're always checking your partner's phone
Checking your partner's phone is a big sign of jealousy (or insecurity) getting out of hand, especially if your partner wants to be aware of every call and text you receive.
2. You're monitoring your partner's social media handle
There is nothing wrong with checking up your partner on social media. However, it is wrong for you to religiously monitor and stalk your partner's social media by checking up on his friends and followers and monitoring every post, likes, and comments on their social media handle. Doing this could mean you're becoming paranoid with jealousy.
3. You want your partner alone to yourself
It is normal to desire to spend every moment with your partner. However, you become obsessive about your partner and overly jealous when you don't want your partner to live their life outside of the relationship by pursuing their dreams.
4. Your mood changes when you see your partner talking with the opposite sex
When watching your partner interacting with the opposite sex makes you feel insecure, it can be a sign that you're letting the feeling of jealousy in you grow into a monster, especially if you do not like to see your partner going out with friends.
5. You feel insecure and unhappy when your partner goes out or have fun without you
Yes, your partner is your, but they retain the right to savoring healthy amusement outside of the relationship. It is quite natural to feel abandoned in such situations, but you can’t imprison your partner in the relationship. Harmful effects of jealousy
The feelings of jealousy in a relationship are unavoidable, but as earlier said, jealousy becomes harmful to you and threatens the relationship when you watch it grow into emotional outbursts you have little or no control over.
Hence, it becomes imperative to monitor and control how you respond to jealousy. Below is a list of some harmful effects jealousy can have on you or your relationship.
1.Jealousy breeds feelings of mistrust
Watching the feeling of jealousy spiral out of control can deteriorate your trust in your partner and ultimately question your partner's faithfulness.
On the other hand, it can make your partner doubt your faith and commitment in the relationship, thus setting the pace for a breakup.
2. It can cause physical and emotional violence
When unchecked, jealousy can make you or your partner become physically or emotionally abusive. You should take a break or excuse your partner from the relationship.
3. Jealousy affects physical health well-being
Intense jealousy increases your likelihood of developing life-threatening physical ailments such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, and stroke. It can also cause ulcers, stomach pain, back pain, and headaches.
4. Jealousy can cause mental disorders and ailments
Obsessive jealousy can cause mental breakdown as well as a variety of mental disorders. Anxiety, depression, mood swings, insomnia, etc. are often associated with jealousy.
5. Jealousy makes you feel insecure and lowers your self-worth
Jealousy makes you feel insecure, lowers your self-confidence, and reduces your self-worth, making you feel not good enough for your partner.
6. Jealousy can kill a beautiful relationship
Jealousy can make the other partner question the relationship, especially when they feel trapped and suffocating.
There may be a strong bond in the relationship, but nothing breaks bonds in relationships faster than jealousy.
Dealing with a jealous partner
A jealous partner can be difficult to handle, thus making the relationship a problematic one. The steps listed below will prove useful in helping you deal with jealousy in your partner.
1.Understand the underlying cause of jealousy
Failures in past relationships, low self-worth and self-confidence, and feelings of insecurity are some of the underlying causes of jealousy.
If you observe these traits in your partner, you should discuss with your partner with the intent of helping them overcome whatever they may be passing through.
When talking about your partner, pay close attention, and not try to hurt or belittle them using their revelations. Let your partner know that you are willing to help them overcome the negative feelings they are experiencing.
2. Don't be quick to defend yourself
If your partner accuses out of jealousy, don't be quick to defend yourself as this might cause your partner to doubt you more or make your partner get angry, thus resulting in an argument or fight. Examine yourself, talk to your partner calmly, and figure out how to overcome the situation together.
3. Give your partner more attention
Your partner can feel jealous when he or she is not getting enough attention from you. Therefore, when you sense jealousy in your partner, you should show more love, care, and attention. Regularly touching, holding hands, and conversing with your partner can make them feel more loved and supportive.
4. Set boundaries in your relationship
You don't have to forgot your privacy rights because you're in a relationship. Therefore, the idea of setting boundaries in a relationship should be welcomed by you and your partner.
For example, your phone and other personal gadgets should be a no-go area for your partner. The physical boundary should be respected; hence, physical violence should be a no-no for you. You should call 911 if you have to.
5. Seek professional help
If you're not able to deal successfully with a jealous partner, you should seek professional help for your partner. A counselor can offer you and your partner better ways and tools for dealing with jealousy.
Seeking professional help shows that you care for your partner and the relationship. Hence, never hesitate to seek professional help.
How do you overcoming jealousy on your own part?
Jealousy not only damages your relationship but also leaves lasting negative effects on you. If you notice yourself excessively getting jealous in your relationship, it is crucial to work on yourself promptly to overcome this sentiment if vague. The following tips will help you overcome jealousy.
1.What is triggering the jealousy in you?
Identifying and battling the source of jealousy is the first step to deal with jealousy. Have you suffered emotional trauma in the past that little things trigger intense jealousy in you?
Do devastatingly hurtful experiences in the past make you excessively protective and watchful over your partner?
You should open up to your partner and have a heart-to-heart talk with them on issues causing you to develop mistrust towards your partner.
2. Work on your self-worth
If your feeling of jealousy is tied to low self-confidence, it is time you fight such feelings by consciously focusing on working to improve your self-valuation.
Always remember that you don't need external validation to make you feel better. Learn to feel good about yourself and strive to separate your feeling of security from your partner's environment or dealings.
3. Channel the feeling into something productive
Disengaged people readily get jealous. When you feel jealousy, channel your emotional energy positively into achieving productive goals, and focus on becoming a better partner. Life is a reflection of what you give, so focus on giving positive vibes.
4. Let go of your past
Do you still feel the hurt from past relationships? Let it go and channel your energy into making your current relationship a success.
Always remember the uniqueness of each person you are in a relationship with. It is not assured they will end up disappointing you like your ex. Your focus should be on future happiness, not on past hurts.
5. Avoid making hasty conclusions
Is your partner not picking up his or her phone? Is he/she not responding to your text? Did they stay out late?
Not the best situation, but calm down and don't be hasty to rush to a negative conclusion about your partner since you're not aware of what might be happening with your partner. Wait to find out the truth about the situation before concluding.
Jealousy if not quickly curtailed can quickly murder the amazing love you share with your partner. Always put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Think about the hurt and abandonment they feel when you get frequently jealous. Putting yourself in your partner's shoes will help you live and act accordingly.