Jealousy is the green monster that can tear a person apart. Everyone knows some story about a couple who broke up because one or both parties were jealous. If unchecked, jealousy can take over your relationship. You get to the point where you are paranoid because you don’t trust your partner. You have to know where they are, what they are doing, and (most importantly) who they are with. If you are having a problem with jealousy and you want to learn to control it, here are some useful steps you can try.
Jealousy Starts With You
For people who suffer from jealousy, they have to understand that it all starts in your head. You are the one making yourself jealous, not anybody else. Jealousy is not something that someone gives you. It is not something that you find one day. Jealousy comes about because of your own feelings.
Reasons for Jealousy
Most of the time, people are jealous because of low self-esteem. They have a low opinion of themselves and they think that someone they love will leave them for someone better. This brings on feelings of jealousy at their partner every time that person does something or talks to someone that might take away their attention.
Another reason for a person being jealous is that perhaps they were cheated on in a past relationship. This is a bit easier to understand. If you were hurt once, then it is only natural that you wouldn’t want to get hurt again. Thus, the feelings of jealousy at certain times when you think your relationship might be in jeopardy.
Finally, you might have good reason to be jealous. Your current partner might have cheated on you at some point. It would be understandable to be jealous of them because you are afraid they might cheat again. However, learning not be jealous in cases like this can be difficult but just as important. Being jealous and paranoid all the time is unhealthy but mentally and physically. You need to learn to deal with it better for your own health reasons, not for anybody else’s sake.
Communicating Your Feelings
Every solid relationship needs to be built on communication. You have to communicate how you are feeling to your partner. You cannot rely on them to guess as to what you are feeling. Nine times out of ten they will either guess wrong or not notice that anything is wrong at all.
If some action that your partner takes makes you jealous, you need to tell them. Don’t just get mad and clam up. This solves nothing. Even if your partner has done nothing wrong, you need to inform them that what they did made you jealous. You need to understand that this is a problem that you are working on but in the meantime, your partner could take measures to avoid the behavior until such time as you feel okay with it.
Learn To Trust
If you don’t trust your partner, then you don’t have a good foundation for a relationship. Besides loving someone, you need to be able to trust them. If they tell you something, such as where they are going and who they are going with, you need to be able to trust that they are telling you the truth.
If you are having jealousy issues, then this is a good place to start practicing. When your partner does something or tells you something, instead of questioning them or grilling them for details, let it go. Try to assume that they just told you the truth. Once you do this a couple of times, it should get easier.
On the flipside, trusting someone means that they need to be trustworthy. If your partner has been caught in lies before or at least omitted important information (such as who they were with), then it makes it harder to trust them. If your partner has proven to be untrustworthy then you have a whole new problem on your hands.
Don’t Be Controlling
Many people who suffer from jealousy tend to be very controlling. You want to make all the decisions in a relationship and control everything that your partner does. Here is a tip: being a control freak will only drive the person you love away. There is only so much a person can take before they start to stand up for themselves and say ‘no’.
Start out by letting your partner make some of the decisions. Whether important ones such as financial matters or insignificant ones such as where to go eat out, give them some free rein. Putting the breaks on your control issues will get you to relax and make your partner fell like their decisions matter.
Build Up Your Self Esteem
This is the big one. As long as your self-esteem is at a sub-level, you will continue to wrestle with jealousy and other issues. Building your self-esteem is one of the harder things to do. It helps if you have someone bragging on you or giving you compliments all the time. But if you are doing it yourself, then you just have to brag on yourself.
When you do things, like maybe tasks around the house or your duties at work, step back and evaluate what you are doing. Did you do the job to the best of your ability? If so, then try to feel good about how well you did. Give yourself a little pat on the back every time you do something well. If no one else is going to do it, it might as well be you.
Another thing to do to build up your self-esteem is to try something new. Pick up a new hobby, learn a new recipe, try on new and different clothes. Learning something new builds confidence. Confidence leads to higher self-esteem.
Think Of Their Feelings
Have you ever thought about how your jealousy makes your partner feel? Every time you grill them about where they have been or who they were talking to, have you ever thought about how it makes them feel? They likely are hurt by accusations and being the target of your jealousy.
Being in a relationship with a jealous person is no fun. It can lead to your partner feeling frustrated, stressed out, and tired. They may get to the point where they anticipate your jealousy and become paranoid themselves. Being jealous just isn’t healthy for either party in a relationship.
Before you blow up and put your partner through your version of the Inquisition, stop and think about how you are making them feel.
Try To Relax and Think Positive
Positive thoughts are the key. People who think negative thoughts always assume the worst is going to happen. If you are a negative person, you are naturally going to think that your partner is being unfaithful. You are going to think that they will leave you for someone better. This is what negative thoughts do.
Try to think in a positive way. Think of the best outcomes in your relationship. Assume that your partner is where they say they are. Assume that they are with who they say they are with. Try to believe that your relationship is solid and that your partner is faithful to you.
You may think this is a bit naïve but it is just an exercise to put yourself in the best frame of mind and to get you to relax. If you are relaxed, then your partner will feel it, too and your relationship will be easier. If you are paranoid, negative, and uptight all the time, it will be reflected in your relationship.
Get Some Help
Some people just can’t do it alone. It doesn’t mean that you are weak or that you may be riddled with insecurities. It just means that you likely don’t possess the right knowledge and skills to get over your jealousy all by yourself.
If you are having trouble coping with jealousy and it is wreaking havoc on your relationships, then try getting some professional help. You can go to a counselor or even a psychiatrist to discuss your problems with jealousy. They can help you by giving you cognitive exercises to do and help you build your confidence. Getting professional help may be the best (and last) option for people who want to learn to have healthy relationships and to trust their partners.