How to Control Extreme Jealousy in Relationships
Jealousy is a common yet complicated emotion. It often stems from a mix of feelings such as love, hate, paranoia, insecurity, self-hatred, and low self-esteem. This is the reason people usually associate jealousy with love. When you are madly in love, you tend to be overprotective of your partner’s attention and affection. You do not want others to feel and see that your partner is lovable and capable of bringing joy to others.
Naturally, no one wants their partner to be romantically involved with others, but jealousy becomes extreme when your relationship is causing you anxiety, depression, and stress. Being in a relationship is supposed to be a fun and exciting experience. But when you and your partner always end up fighting because of jealousy, you may need to find ways to manage it, like going to couple counseling.
When jealousy persists in a relationship, it can be a sign of underlying anxiety or self-esteem problems, such as unresolved issues from childhood or past infidelity. Studies have also shown that jealousy can increase when someone feels their self-esteem is threatened. Jealousy does not only put your relationship at risk but can also negatively affect your mental health.
Tips on How to Manage Jealousy in Relationships
Managing jealousy in a relationship requires honesty, openness, and vulnerability from both partners. To work through feelings of jealousy, it’s helpful to explore any unmet needs and to build self-confidence. It’s important to address jealousy from both perspectives, whether it’s coming from you, your partner, or both of you.
Find out the cause of jealousy.
When addressing jealousy in a relationship, it is important to first identify the source or cause of the feeling. Take responsibility for one’s own behavior. One way to do this is to focus on personal values such as communication, compassion, or honesty. This helps in identifying positive traits and clarifying what is important in the relationship. Knowing the root cause of jealousy leads to better ways in managing it.
Talk about it with your partner.
Share your concern with your partner. Keep in mind that they may have been unaware of their behavior or how it affected you. This is an opportunity to revisit any relationship boundaries or to discuss ways to strengthen the relationship. Remember that jealousy is a normal emotion, and your partner has also experienced it in the past. If past relationship experiences are causing doubts about trust, try finding ways to work on the situation together.
Check on yourself first.
Your past experiences in family, friends, and romantic relationships shape your expectations in current relationships. These experiences can lead to feelings of distrust, insecurity, or dependence. Accusing your partner of something can make them defensive or insecure. When feeling jealous, it is best to take a moment to reflect on what in your past is being triggered that makes you assume the worst about your partner. Do not attack your partner and make up stories; instead, examine yourself and determine why you are feeling that way.
Stop making rash decisions.
When feeling overwhelmed by emotions, the choices you make can have long-term negative impacts. When jealousy spirals out of control, it can manifest as anger and cause harm to you, your partner, and your relationship. It is best to take a few minutes to calm down and self-soothe when feeling emotionally charged by jealousy. You may need to learn in-the-moment coping techniques to help you calm down during stressful situations.
It may be a cliche, but this is important. Jealousy happens because of low self-esteem and insecurity. You always have this feeling that you are not good enough for your partner. Comparing yourself to their past partners makes it difficult for you to overcome jealousy. To manage these feelings, it can be helpful to make a list of positive qualities and traits that you and your partner appreciate about yourself. This is often encouraged when you go to couples counseling.
Talk to a therapist.
If you find it difficult to handle feelings of jealousy on your own, consider seeking help from a therapist. It may be uncomfortable to discuss these feelings at first, but a skilled therapist understands that jealousy is a normal emotion and will approach the topic with understanding and compassion. Observe your behavior or listen to what your friends and family are saying about
Seek couples counseling or therapy.
Jealousy manifests in various forms, but often results from a lack of communication. Couples counseling or therapy can aid in understanding the root of the jealousy, whether it is irrational or due to a misunderstanding. It can help you to be more empathetic and understand your partner’s actions instead of immediately assuming they are attracted to someone else. Furthermore, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be employed by therapists in order to teach couples to recognize negative thoughts and replace them with more realistic and supportive ones.
If you are looking for a therapist, visit Mindshift Psychological Services. Check out our website to learn more about our services, or you may contact us at (714) 584-9700 to schedule an appointment.