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How to Manage Jealousy in a Relationship

Whenever we feel like some aspect of our relationship or intimacy is up for grabs we become jealous or act out of jealousy. Its a emotional response born out of the idea that we can lose this love, person or thing. Don't be confused. I am not talking about whimsical romantical ideas of love or you obsessing over someone your barely know - this is infatuation or desire. 

Jealousy is a natural emotional response to a potential lost. Its gotten a bad reputation as the enemy of love and side chick to reasonableness. But it happens to everyone just that some people are better at masking it than others. 

For example: Justin and Karen are dating. They have agreed to be exclusive and see where the relationship goes. It creates an understanding to keep romantic and sexual desire between them. Now Justin's ex-girlfriend out of nowhere starts to rekindle a friendship with him. Karen emotional response is to be jealous. Ladies this is natural. 

Earlier we mentioned Healthy Jealous, so what is that? As humans we all go through period of insecurity, fear, resentment and helplessness. To live, make mistakes, hopefully learn something from it and do it better next time is the mission of life! 

Jealousy can be defined as the vigilant maintaining or guarding of something. But it’s normal to want to guard and keep the people we love, especially when we see a potential rival cozying up to our partner. But there’s a difference between feeling jealous and exhibiting unhealthy jealous behaviors.
This is not about how not to be jealous, cause we all get jealous - its natural human response. Stop telling people not to get jealous! Ooh, I had to shout. 
Healthy jealousy is a pang that comes on in an instant, one which we can usually dismiss on our own. Unhealthy jealous behavior happens when we indulge that feeling and act impulsively from a place of suspicion and insecurity. When insecurity in our relationships run rampant, jealousy can rapidly grow into paranoia and obsession and threaten to destroy the very relationship we’re most afraid to lose.

Find the root

When you feel pangs of jealous wont go away. Pause, take a deep breathe and examine your feelings for insight on where they come from. 

1. What am I feeling? Is it insecurity, fear, resentment, anger, mistrust, hopelessness, etc. Jealousy can consist of one or more emotions.

2. Why am I jealous?

  • Can it be my sister's new relationship and you're still single?
  • Your partner spending time with someone - a new friend and ex. 

3. Consider the full picture

Jealousy sometimes develops in response to a partial picture. In other words, you might be comparing yourself and your own achievements and attributes to an idealized or incomplete view of someone else.

4. How can I manage it?

Our jealous can come from how we see or interpret an situation with our partner (mistrust, anger, unforgiveness)  and How we feel about ourselves (insecure, hopelessness). 

The question must be, how can I be better for me. What will I do to deal with these emotions I am feeling that won't pass blame to my partner.

Be careful it is here that unhealthy jealousy lives. For some persons put the responsibility of managing their own emotions on their partners. 

  • I am insecure so my partner must let me control their movements and manage the people in their lives 
  • I am fearful so they need to always be close to me or cant function without them
  • I am hopeless so they must validate me and praise me excessively
  • I am angry so they must not do anything to make me angry - its their fault I did this.

Whether your jealousy stems from insecurity, fear, or past relationship patterns, knowing more about the causes (root) can help you figure out how to manage it.

Ultimately, your emotions is your responsibility and how you display it is your choice. Spend as much time needed here. Create a plan that will help you grow into a better version of yourself, learn from past relationship pattern and maintain your relationship.

How to manage jealousy in a relationship by michka irving on Hadasshe.com blogCreator: Tetra Images  |  Credit: Getty Images/Tetra images RF
Creator: Tetra Images Credit: Getty Images/Tetra images RF

Talk to your partner first

Talk to your partner about your feelings and concerns, first. Its important to communicate with your partner because they may not have notice the behavior or realize how it makes you feel.  Take a gentle approach. Its best to have the discussion when you both have the time for a productive conversation. Never, ever discuss heavy or serious topics right before bed or just before heading out the door. 

Listen to what they have to say and be honest about how their actions are making you feel. Its not about blaming or identifying whose wrong. Its about you recognizing that your jealous, and managing your jealousy in a healthy way. 

Share your plan or thoughts on ways to manage your jealousy, get them involved in the process. The dual communication will help to create a sense of  security and openness that will benefit the relationship.

Practice gratitude for what you have

A little gratitude can go a long way. It can not only reduce feelings of jealousy, but also relieve stress.

When it comes to your relationship, remember the 80/20 rule centers on the idea that one person cannot meet 100 per cent of your needs all the time. Each of you is permitted to take a fraction of your time – 20 per cent – away from your partner to take part in more self-fulfilling activities and resume your individuality.

Self-identity, self-confidence and self-improvement are important to becoming a healthy partner. A relationship is consist of two individuals coming together by merging their life, time and bodies committedly. So a healthy relationship needs  a healthy minded person. Jealousy appears from insecurity, resentment and disappointments so taking time to work on yourself  - 20 per cent - to grow and manage your emotions and jealousy is critical.

However, the 80% of the relationship that is built with your partner through, companionship, love, intimacy and support must not be neglected. 

Take time to appreciate the qualities and personality of your partner. Do it daily. Practice having an attitude of gratitude in your relationship. Whether they are a horrible cook, great friend, awesome cuddlier - appreciate them and be happy. You might not have everything you want. But most of us don’t.

Here is quick tip to deal with sudden bits of jealousy

Try these strategies to distract yourself from jealous thoughts:

  • Write down what you feel.
  • Give yourself space by leaving the situation.
  • Take 10 minutes to do something calming.

 

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