Relationship jealousy is complex and can often be misunderstood. Most people think of it as a negative label and an emotion that has a negative impact on your relationship.
In this article, we will explore the impact, identifying its triggers, distinguishing between healthy and unhealthy jealousy, and discussing effective strategies used in couples therapy to reduce these feelings.
While some level of jealousy is normal and can even be considered healthy, excessive or irrational levels can be detrimental to a relationship’s well-being and here’s why…
Let’s start with the…
These are influenced by lots of different factors, including and not limited to
➡️ Fear of abandonment
➡️ Past experiences, and
➡️ Lack of trust.
Insecurities about your appearance, comparing yourself to others, or the fear of losing a partner’s affection and attention can amplify these feelings.
Traumatic experiences or betrayal in past relationships can heighten sensitivity to potential threats and it’s easy to fall into the trap of catastrophizing even when you have just small intuitions about your partner’s behaviour.
Lack of trust, whether due to past infidelity or those smaller breaches of trust; simply not doing what you said you’d do, can also be a repetitive trigger.
In its healthy form, it can serve as a signal that something important is at stake in a relationship. It can act as a reminder of the love and desire you feel to protect the bond that you have with your partner.
Healthy jealousy plays out in relationships by communicating openly, reassuring each other, and using it as an opportunity for personal growth.
It encourages partners to express their concerns and fears honestly and work together to address them. This fosters a sense of security and commitment, leading to increased trust and increased intimacy.
On the other hand, unhealthy jealousy is marked by possessiveness, controlling behaviour, and irrational suspicions. It is fueled by excessive insecurity, fear, and a lack of self-esteem.
This can manifest itself by constantly monitoring your partner’s activities, invading their privacy, or isolating them from friends and family.
This type of behaviour erodes trust, creates tension, and can lead to emotional abuse.
There’s no doubt that this negatively impacts the relationship, often leading to feelings of resentment, unhappiness, and even the deterioration of the bond that connected you together in the first place.
How to Stop Being Jealous
There are various strategies used in couples therapy or relationship coaching to help individuals and couples overcome jealousy and build healthier relationships.
My top 3 strategies:
Open and Honest Communication:
Establishing a safe and non-judgmental space for partners to express their feelings of jealousy is essential. A relationship counsellor would encourage both people to openly communicate their insecurities, fears, and concerns. By sharing these emotions, partners can gain a deeper understanding of each other’s perspectives and work together to find constructive solutions.
Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship, and overcoming jealousy requires rebuilding and strengthening it. Professionals guide partners through exercises that promote trust-building, such as gradually increasing transparency and accountability.
This may involve setting boundaries, sharing personal experiences, and gradually rebuilding trust through consistent and honest communication.
Jealousy often stems from insecurities and unresolved personal issues. A relationship coach might encourage individuals to engage in self-reflection and identify the root causes of their jealousy.
By exploring their own emotions, beliefs, and experiences, individuals can gain insight into the origins of their jealousy and take steps towards personal growth. This might involve developing self-confidence, improving self-esteem, and seeking individual therapy to address other underlying issues.
Jealousy is a natural human emotion, so its impact on relationships can vary greatly depending on how it shows up. In its healthy form it can contribute to the growth and strengthening of a relationship, developing greater trust and intimacy.
Unhealthy jealousy can erode the foundation of trust, leading to resentment and unhappiness.
Healthline offer great advice on how to not be jealous in your relationship
The solution to Jealousy…
Through open communication, trust-building exercises, and self-reflection, couples can create healthier relationships by addressing and reducing feelings of jealousy.
Remembering, a healthy balance of trust, communication and growth to help each other along the journey.
I love helping couples work through these issues together and it’s very satisfying to see them leave me feeling like they are both playing for the same team.
You can find out more about the Relationship Reboot Program here.
If you would like help to reduce any feelings of jealousy in your relationship, or you feel you are in need of some coaching guidance, drop me a message and we’ll open up the conversation.