Jealousy and relationships
“If you think she is so good looking why you don’t just leave me and hook up with her?”
This outburst came after Haley witnessed her boyfriend looking at another woman at a party. Exchanges like these are usually attributed to jealousy. Continued jealous behavior could end a relationship needlessly.
You can change your jealous behavior and thinking by changing your thoughts. Jealous thinking starts with a thought. Just because we think something does not make it true. Ask yourself...where is the proof?
Jealousy can be fueled by fear of losing your partner to another person. Jealousy is a natural emotion. Being jealous does not necessarily mean that we have low self esteem. When our partner is being unfaithful, action does need to be taken.
Those with high self-esteem will not allow someone to treat them in this manner. Individuals with lower self esteem may just ignore the cheating partner’s behavior.
What happens when we are jealous:
- We fear rejection
- We worry that our partner is interested in someone else that is more appealing.
- Jealousy may be used as a defense mechanism to prepare for real or imagined rejection.
- We may act on out our jealous thoughts with jealous behavior and/or angry outbursts in a frantic attempt to protect our relationship. This behavior will hurt relationships more than help them.
Tips to cope with jealous behavior:
- Understand that just because you feel jealous does not mean you need to act on your feelings.
- Take a few slow, deep breaths to calm yourself when you feel jealous.
- Ask yourself...is this my imagination or is there proof?
- Sit back and observe the situation - are you blowing things out of proportion?
- Avoid the silent treatment or withdrawing from your partner. This is more likely to hurt your relationship than help.
If your concerns appear to be valid then share your feelings with your partner. Relationships are built on trust, honesty and open communication. It is not possible to force someone to love us or prevent them from being attracted to someone else. It is important to understand that we can encourage the outcome of a situation but we can not control the outcome. Understanding this concept will set you free.