Have you felt jealous of your partner? If so, you are not alone. Here are 5 tips on how to reduce jealousy and maintain a healthy relationship.
Many couples struggle with jealousy from time to time. While this feeling can often be construed as negative, it can also bring a relationship closer together. However, improving your relationship by facing the reality of you or your partner’s jealousy must be done in appropriate steps. Read the steps in this article to learn about healthy ways to deal with the jealousy of your partner.
Figure Out Why You Are Jealous of Your Partner
Jealousy can seem to appear out of nowhere. You might not have even thought about the reason for your it. It is important to find out what is causing your jealousy so that you can resolve it and move on with your partner. Some common reasons for jealousy include lack of trust and increased competition.
When it comes to trust, there are basic things you probably trust to get from your partner in your relationship–faithfulness, honesty, love, and communication. If your partner lied to you about going to a work party when he or she was actually staying late to work with an attractive coworker of the opposite sex, you might wonder if there’s something more going on.
Also, competition is a very common reason for jealousy in a relationship. If you and your partner both work long hours and your partner makes more money, that could really anger you. Another example would be if your child likes your partner more than you. You might think, what does my partner have that I don’t?
Lack of trust and competition can be huge stressors for people in general. These things can lead to abuse and manipulation in a relationship. So finding out what, exactly, triggered jealousy in your relationship could save your mental health.
Be Vulnerable with Your Partner
It can be easy for you or your partner to think you can read each other’s minds because you have been together for so long, but the truth is that neither of you has this superpower. So, yes. Communicating your feelings is very important to help you and your partner get to know each other better and satisfy each other’s needs. When you communicate your feelings, you are being vulnerable with your partner. According to Colorado-based psychologist Dr. Lee Land, being vulnerable is really scary for this reason.
Vulnerability often involves exposing ourselves personally in a manner that could potentially lead to feelings of shame, embarrassment, self-criticism or other uncomfortable emotions.Quote from Dr. Lee Land to Huffington Post
How to be Vulnerable in Your Relationship (Even if it Scares You)
As you can see, being vulnerable is not easy. However, it can also be very rewarding for your relationship. Dr. Land describes the benefits this way.
Through emotional openness and vulnerability, people can improve their connections in close relationships and develop true intimacy.Quote from Dr. Lee Land to Huffington Post
How to be Vulnerable in Your Relationship (Even if it Scares You)
Since vulnerability helps couples “develop true intimacy,” it can help them regain trust in each other. Trust in a relationship makes vulnerability easier. Thus, the communication necessary for a long-lasting relationship becomes easier and more natural.
If you currently struggle with being vulnerable or communicating in general, pick something easy to open up about. For instance, tell your partner one thing you like about them. You can even suggest one thing you would like to do together. One compliment or suggestion for an activity can lead to a greater discussion. Eventually, you will be able to open up about the feelings you have been struggling with and why.
Allow Your Partner to Help You Through Your Jealousy
The nice thing about being in a relationship is that you do not have to go through all your struggles alone. You might feel like you have to carry the burden of heavy emotions and leave your partner out of it. However, this will make you feel miserable and trapped. Thus, you might start to regret the relationship.
When your partner asks if something is wrong, do the previously mentioned step by being vulnerable. Then take it further. If your partner offers to help you with your emotions, tell them what you are feeling and how they can help. Ask for reassurance that you are valuable because you want to make sure you are doing enough in the relationship. Your partner should make you feel as though you do not have to compete with each other. Ask if you can have the full day to spend with your child so that you can feel more connected. If you are religious, ask your partner to pray for (or with) you.
When your partner helps you and your jealousy decreases, your relationship will become stronger. You will become more motivated to help your partner as well. Jealousy on both of your ends will become less of an issue. Thus, you will become happier and more confident. You will feel like you can take on problems that arise in the future.
Talk to a Therapist
If the above steps do not help, it might be time to talk to a therapist. It would be very beneficial to see a couples therapist. However, it is not necessary when one of you has reservations about it. A big reason some people shy away from couples therapy is that they think they should be able to handle their issues on their own. However, there is no harm in asking for help. In fact, couples therapy could actually be essential in helping you resolve conflicts.
“Each partner gets an opportunity to express their grievances in the presence of a therapist which will help the therapist in [making] sure that each person hears and understands each other.”The Benefits of Couples Therapy by The International Psychology Clinic
As you can see from the quote above, a therapist acts as a referee for couples. This makes it easier for one partner to own up to a mistake, offer assistance, or ask for assistance or changes to be made from the other partner. You might leave the therapist’s office realizing that without help, you wouldn’t have been able to resolve the conflict on your own. Any type of therapy can be humbling and eye-opening.
If you are open to starting couples therapy, it is important to find the right therapist. Many therapists primarily work with children or single adults. So when you are doing your research, make sure the therapist’s specialty is couples therapy.
Join a Support Group
Several years ago, I started going to a support group for people with mood disorders. One of the first things I noticed was that there was so much compassion, respect, and empathy. Many people have been in situations similar to my own, and they have taught me how to get through them. When I asked for advice, they offered advice without being forceful. I still attend meetings and learn something new every time. There are many other types of support groups, including groups for couples and people who specifically struggle with self-esteem.
If you decide to go to a support group and your partner refuses, or if you think you could benefit from a support group specifically for people with self-esteem and jealousy issues, try going to a group by yourself. Going to a support group by yourself can help you feel like you have some control in your relationship when you thought you didn’t have any. You might also make a close friend who can check up on you from time to time and vice versa. Your partner might notice a change in you from your support system and decide to go to a couples support group with you.
Remember that support groups do not always help the very first time you attend a meeting. It might take two or three tries for you to really feel comfortable opening up to other members. But when you find a support group that clicks with you, keep going to it. It could help with your relationship in the future.
I hope these steps help you handle your jealousy effectively so that you and your partner can have a happy and healthy relationship. Please remember that you have a lot to bring to offer your partner You deserve to be with someone who makes you feel like you do not have to compete or feel jealous because you are valuable and loved.