How to deal with jealousy in a relationship
Romantic jealousy is very common, especially with a new partner. Jo Middleton shares some tips to help you deal with the green-eyed monster
First up; a little bit of reassurance: feeling some jealousy in a relationship is perfectly normal. If you never experience any kind of jealousy then you might have to question how emotionally invested you actually are in your relationship.
However, jealousy can easily spiral out of control and become a problem. If you find your jealousy creeping into everyday life and causing you to feel angry or resentful on a regular basis, then it’s definitely something you should address. If you let jealousy fester it can be very destructive, so it’s far better to tackle it before it gets out of hand.
Here are our top tips…
Take stock of your feelings about yourself first
If you dig a little deeper, you’ll probably find that your feelings of jealousy aren’t actually about your relationship at all, they’re actually about your own insecurities. Jealousy often stems from self-doubt and a lack of self-confidence – you don’t value yourself or feel worthy of your partner, so you project those feelings onto them. How could they possibly think you’re good enough for them when you don’t even believe it yourself?
One of the best ways to deal with jealousy in a relationship is to work on your self-esteem. When you feel secure in yourself, you’ll feel more secure in your relationships.
Writing about self-esteem take up a whole article, if not a whole book, but there a few small things you can try to start with. Get a pen and paper and write a list of your positive qualities – all the reasons why someone would be glad to be in a relationship with you. Brainstorm everything you can think of. Are you kind? Do you give great foot rubs? Are you a great listener? Do you make a mean lasagna? Keep your list somewhere safe and add to it whenever you can.
Practising mindfulness can also be a powerful tool, helping to provide a better sense of perspective and keep you grounded when you’re experiencing feelings of jealously.
Take stock of your relationship
What exactly is happening to trigger feelings of jealously? A relationship built on trust and security shouldn’t be a breeding ground for jealously, so is there something missing? Is your partner honest with you, or have they given you reason to question their honesty?
It’s also worth talking to your partner about their own insecurities. Just as your feelings about yourself can trigger jealousy, your partner may have issues with their own self-esteem that are driving them to ‘test’ you. When we feel bad about ourselves we often try to get reassurance by seeking attention, whether it is negative or positive.
Communication is key
It’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s true – communication is central to trust. As with any issue in a relationship, talking openly and honestly about your jealousy is vital. Don’t be afraid to discuss your insecurities with your partner and encourage them to share too. If there are certain things that your partner does, which triggers negative feelings – bringing up previous relationships, for example – then tell them about it. They may be totally oblivious to the fact that it upsets you and be happy to stop when they find out.
Hopefully by acknowledging your jealousy and taking steps to deal with it you can build the foundations for a happy, healthy and secure long-term relationship.