While jealousy is a natural part of relationships, it also has a nasty habit of tearing them apart.
When your other half has the cheek to suggest you aren’t always the centre of their world (how dare they), a little twinge of jealousy can be laughed off. However, deeply embedded insecurity can quickly overpower a relationship.
Sometimes, jealousy is completely understandable. Other times, it can be blown out of proportion. Here’s how to calmly and effectively deal with jealousy.
Identify the Source
Before you get too caught up in your jealousy, take an objective look at why you may be feeling this way. Consider whether the source of your jealousy is a real issue or a false threat as it’s easy to overthink things – we all do it! None of us like to admit when we’re wrong but make sure your jealousy isn’t unreasonable.
In many cases, jealousy rears its ugly head when someone is given more attention than us. It can make us feel pushed aside and like our partner has lost interest, but it usually has an innocent explanation. It could be that they’re going through a tough time and your OH is simply being a good friend. Softly approach the topic to put your worries at ease.
Every relationship goes through its ups and downs. Often, outside factors can impact our relationships without us realising. For example, a stressful time at work can make us feel disconnected from our partner – and this is enough to make you feel jealous. If you’re feeling a little distant, arrange a date night to reconnect or have a naughty evening in.
Make sure you’re only looking at your situation. It’s easy for our feelings to be influenced by separate events. If your friend has just discovered a partner’s affair or you’ve had a bad relationship in the past, you’re more likely to obsess over the same thing happening.
Dealing with Jealousy
As with anything when we bottle it up, we take it out on others and eventually explode. Passive-aggressiveness won’t do anything except damage your relationship, so try to be open with your partner – after all, that’s how relationships should be! It’s far better to say ‘hey, I saw you checking that guy out and it bothered me’ than to secretly worry about it.
Whatever the cause of your jealousy is, your OH can’t help until you tell them. Once they know what made you feel this way, they can avoid repeating their actions. Whether it’s to text you if they’re going to be home late or to make an effort to be more appreciative, it’s the little things that can really make a difference.
However, make sure these are done as compromises rather than ‘rules’. You both have the freedom to be individuals, so embrace that and don’t try to create restrictions. If you do, you’re opening yourselves up to obsessiveness and an unhealthy relationship. It’s like pressing the big red button; if you’re told you can’t do something, you immediately want to do it.
You might find it beneficial to take a step away from your relationship. This doesn’t have to be as extreme as going on a break, but a fun weekend away with your friends (without partners!) will give you a chance to breathe.
Imagine one of your friends is in your position. What advice would you give them? We may not always be good at taking our own advice but it can be a huge help.
When Your Jealousy is Justifiable
A relationship should be built on trust. If you or your partner are consistently feeling jealous, you need to consider whether the issue is more deeply rooted into your relationship.
If you know (not just think!) your partner is being dishonest, it’s completely understandable to feel jealous and upset. You have to confront them to try and understand why they’re lying, before questioning what this means for your relationship.
Finally, accept your jealousy – you aren’t a bad person for feeling this way! Make sure you talk to each other before it starts to take control.