It's only natural to get jealous from time to time, but too much of the little green monster could tear a relationship apart. Here are ideas on how to control those feelings.

There’s no logic to jealousy. It’s an emotional response whenever you’re worried about losing something or someone important to you. This differs from envy, which is wanting something that belongs to someone else.

If you only get slightly jealous once in a while, it can be a reminder not to take each other for granted. Talking about it is hard since it can make you feel vulnerable, but it's important. One open conversation could sort out the problem and prevent it from popping up again.

Jealousy can make you feel angry, sad, or resentful. It might lead you to try and control your partner: Where are you going? When will you be back? Who’s that text from? That’s a sure way to drive away a partner.

Admitting jealous feelings can be hard and even leave you feeling ashamed or embarrassed. Understanding the feeling is the first step in the right direction. So before jealousy overwhelms you, try to understand the feeling, where it comes from, and what you can do about it.

Here’s an exercise suggested by therapists. When an emotion arises, give it a label. See what happened to make you feel that way and then think if your response was valid. You might find your reaction didn’t make sense.

The reason for the jealousy might also not be your partner, but an internal experience you haven't dealt with. For instance; you’re shy, your partner is the life of the party. So you feel jealous when they chat and laugh at a party while you stand in the corner. What can you do? Talk about it. Tell your partner how it feels. Ask them to help you get over the shyness by drawing you into conversations, for instance.

You have different personalities, so you might also not show and experience love the same way. Think about how you show love and what your partner does that makes you feel loved. Get to know each other’s love language. It will keep you connected and work against fears. As one advisor says: Part of loving your partner well is to show love in the way they feel it most profoundly.

In a healthy relationship, both of you should feel free to have outside friends of any gender. That also goes for people who might be attracted to your partner or people they find attractive. If it bothers you, talk about it. Calmly explain your feelings and discuss how to find a solution. Don't accuse, talk, and set the boundaries.

One sure way to start feeling insecure is comparing yourself to other people: look how lovely they are, how much better they look, all the stuff they do together, how successful they are.

Help each other remove any feelings of self-doubt. Say how you appreciate something your partner did, affirm the good things. This way, you help each other feel confident and valued.

If you’ve been jealous before, you might know it goes away after a while. So don’t get too anxious about it. But if jealousy persists and starts to damage your relationship, be brave enough to find professional help.

Do you…
  • Question your partner excessively, asking things like ‘Where have you been?’, ‘Why did you take so long?’ and ‘Who were you with?’?
  • Call them several times a day to check up on them (often using feeble excuses like, ‘Do we need milk?’ or ‘I forgot to tell you…’)?
  • Spy on your partner – checking emails, phone records, Facebook posts, etc?
  • ‘Punish’ your partner by withdrawing, sulking, and saying things like, ‘Oh, you actually have time for me for a change’?
  • Become clingy – never leave your partner’s side at a party, or always want them to go shopping with you?
  • Need constant reassurance that your partner still cares for you, and ask questions like ‘Do you still love me, baby?’ or ‘If you had to choose between me and your family...?’
  • Doubt your partner’s sincerity or mistrust them when you have no reason to believe they’re being unfaithful?
  • Feel possessive – get angry, sulk or withdraw if your partner makes new friends or spends time with their friends or family without you?

If you answered ‘yes’ to four or more of the above, you could benefit from couples counselling.

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HOW TO DEAL WITH YOUR JEALOUSY HOW TO DEAL WITH YOUR JEALOUSY Reviewed by Michelle Pienaar on January 15, 2021 Rating: 5
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