Jealousy; Defeating The Green-Eyed Monster

Posted on November 11th, 2009

A2G2186Jealousy is almost guaranteed to be a factor in any relationship you enter.  Though it comes in many forms, all are extremely detrimental to the health of your relationships and your emotional wellbeing.  It is important to learn how to deal with jealousy in a useful, nourishing, productive way.  With a little bit of hard work and dedication, the green-eyed monster can be defeated.

Jealousy, in many ways, is not actually a result of the actions of a partner, though it may seem to be initially.  Instead, it is the form in which our own insecurities – about things like desirability, adequacy, and worthiness – manifest.  It can appear in numerous forms (or several different forms at once), such as anger, fear, sadness, envy, and anxiety. 

The first step to overcoming jealousy is to identify its cause.  Ask yourself questions about your experience (and be completely honest with yourself when you answer!).  What situations cause you to feel jealous?  In what forms does your jealousy appear?  How are you currently reacting to experiencing the negative emotion?  What effect is it having on your relationship?

Be prepared to be confronted with a wave of powerful, unpleasant, unpredictable emotions – this is a very sensitive situation with no simple solution.  Because every individual experiences jealousy in a unique way, experimentation is required to learn to tackle jealousy in the way that works best for you.  Expecting instant change is likely to lead to disappointment, so try to be patient and concentrate on fully understanding your needs and the needs of your partner.  The feelings of both people in the relationship must be considered in order to arrive at a viable solution, and it’s possible that compromises will need to be made to ensure that everyone’s needs are adequately met.

One common destructive thought that often occurs during this process is that if your partner was truly happy with you – or if you were a better wife, lover, or girlfriend – he wouldn’t have any desire to get involved with anyone else.  This is not only frequently incorrect (because men are perfectly capable of loving someone and being in a satisfying relationship while still being interested in a physical relationship with someone else), it’s incredibly harmful to you emotionally.  Do not allow yourself to think that you are to blame for your partner’s actions, and that you are solely responsible for the success or failure of your relationship. 

Once you have discovered what is triggering your jealousy, you can begin to eradicate it.  Put it into perspective – the things that are making you jealous are just a small part of your otherwise good relationship!  Now you can fix the situation by either 1) Talking to your partner and agreeing on what behavior is acceptable and what is unacceptable or 2) Taking a psychological approach and treating your jealousy the way a psychiatrist would treat a phobia.  To do so, expose yourself gradually to situations that you know will make you jealous until you feel comfortable in them and have learned to suppress the emotion.

If you accept that jealousy is a natural part of relationships, you can learn to defeat it!

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Posted in Relationship Talk

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