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How To Overcome Jealousy In Relationships
Brad Browning here. Today, I’ll be talking about jealousy and how to overcome jealousy in relationships. This is a huge topic that definitely can’t be covered fully on a single piece. So I’m just going to scratch the surface here and give you some key tips for dealing with jealousy.
You probably won’t be surprised to hear that jealousy is an issue for many, many married couples.
In fact, a recent study found that one-third of couples who attended counseling cited jealousy as a primary cause of their marriage problems. So clearly, jealousy is a major problem for a lot of married couples.
Let’s talk about some ways you can keep jealousy in your relationship check and avoid damaging your marriage.
Before we jump into that though, I want to quickly explain the difference between normal healthy jealousy, the kind of benign jealousy that’s present in almost every romantic relationship and unhealthy jealousy which is an often irrational and highly toxic to a marriage.
Healthy jealousy stems from a sincere care and commitment to a relationship.
This is the kind of completely natural jealousy that we all suffer from occasionally. And it’s not something that you should be worried about. Recognize that it’s perfectly normal to feel a jolt of jealousy when you see your partner laughing and enjoying conversation with someone of the opposite sex for instance.
We feel these kinds of emotions because we’re invested in the relationship with our partners and we’re essentially guarding our territory.
It’s when people begin to act on these emotions or when jealousy becomes irrational that things move into the unhealthy sphere.
Irrational jealousy tends to me more serious and tends to be a chronic issue that can erode the fabric of a marriage.
If your marriage is on a downhill slide as a result of jealousy problems, please visit my website and watch the free presentation on the homepage. In that video, I reveal some little-known facts about marriage and offer some tips on how begin rebuilding a healthier, happier marriage, one that’s free of jealousy and that’ll stand the test if time.
Irrational jealousy is the kind of jealousy that’s really bad news for any relationship.
This kind of jealousy can have a lot of different causes usually related to insecurity or low self-esteem. I’m not going to go into the psychology behind it but it’s important to know that most people who develop jealousy issues often have underlying insecurities that are resulting from past experiences.
Whatever the cause maybe, if you are the person who struggles with jealousy issues, then you have the ability to make changes to your behavior that will put this problem to rest.
The first step is to acknowledge the jealousy issues and the damage they are causing to your relationship.
Since you’re reading this right now then I assume that you’ve done this already so congratulations on taking the first big step towards resolving them.
The second step is to recognize that in most cases, your feelings of jealousy are irrational and unwarranted.
Unless your spouse has actually admitted to infidelity or you’ve caught them in the act then your jealousy is irrational. Recognize that your jealous feelings aren’t based on reality. They’re stemming from underlying insecurities and not from actual behaviors of your spouse.
Once you’ve accepted that you’re feeling jealous for no good reason then it can be a bit easier to control those feelings and stop yourself from acting on them.
Every time you feel jealous about something, for instance– when your spouse is texting someone of the opposite sex that you haven’t met– remind yourself that your jealousy is baseless and irrational.
You probably texted somebody of the opposite sex recently too, right? And I’m guessing it wasn’t because you were secretly having an affair with that person. The same is almost certainly true for your spouse. There’s absolutely no reason to think that they are doing anything shady or cheating on you.
Until you have clear evidence that proves otherwise, you must remind yourself that all feelings of jealousy are irrational and unwarranted. Realizing that your feelings of jealousy are actually really dumb is an important step in the right direction.
The most important step is what you do about your jealous feelings.
No matter how intense your feelings of jealousy are, you absolutely must internalize them and avoid acting on them.
Do whatever it takes to keep yourself from acting on jealous feelings, literally bite your tongue. Tell a friend in confidence. Write down your feelings in a private diary. It really doesn’t matter as long as you’re not doing something destructive as a result of your jealousy.
Again, when jealousy hits, remind yourself that these emotions you’re feeling are irrational and then acting on them will damage your marriage.
You can also sit down with your partner and have a mature, civilized discussion about jealousy. There are often things that you could both do to help keep any jealousy issues in check.
Say you get jealous when your spouse goes out with co-workers every Friday night, for example. Instead of getting angry and trying to stop your partner from attending this work get-togethers, you could share your feelings with your spouse and maybe ask if you can tag along one Friday to help alleviate your concerns.
Make sure your spouse knows that you understand the irrational nature of your jealous feelings and they’ll likely be willing to take steps to help you rein in those emotions.
Building a string level of trust between you and your partner is very important in any marriage. Now, it’s also extremely important to controlling jealousy issues as you might imagine. Now, I’m not going to discuss building trust in-depth here in this video but it’s obviously a crucial aspect of reining in jealousy problems.
Please visit my website for more advice on building trust and strengthening the bond with your partner to ensure that your marriage lasts until death do you part.
What To Do If Your Partner Is The Jealous One
Let’s talk briefly about what to do if your partner is the one who struggles with jealousy issues.
If you do have a jealous spouse then the first thing you need to do is assess whether or not you’re doing something that’s causing those feelings.
Are you an extremely private person who prefers to keep your emails and text messages confidential from your spouse?
Or do you avoid checking in with your spouse when you’re out of town on business?
There are a number of possibilities, so take a good, hard look at your own behaviors and try to identify things that you might be doing or saying that could potentially be contributing to your partner’s jealousy.
Then, talk with them about these issues and consider making changes to help alleviate your spouse’s concerns.
Even if you feel like you’re not doing anything wrong, for example, using the scenario I mentioned earlier about going out for drinks after work with your colleagues every Friday, consider stopping that activity temporarily to show your commitment to the marriage and your partner’s feelings.
Explain to your spouse that you feel like their jealousy is unwarranted but you’re willing to take a break from whatever things you’re doing that are causing the jealousy if it will help.
You don’t have to back down and let your partner control your life and prevent you from doing things that you enjoy, but being willing to compromise even temporarily can help build trust and prove your commitment.
Speaking of proving your commitment, it can also really help to show your love and devotion to your spouse through words and actions by regularly telling your spouse how much you love them, complimenting him or her occasionally and explaining how much he or she means to you.
This can really help to eliminate some of your partner’s insecurities. This kind of thing is good practice in any marriage, regardless of whether you’re overcoming jealousy issues but it’s especially important if your partner is struggling with an irrational jealousy problem.
Finally, if jealousy continues to be an issue for either you or your partner, consider getting some guidance from a marriage coach– whether that’s in a form of in-person visit to a couple’s counselor with your spouse or simply through one-on-one dialog with a marriage coach like myself. It can be a very helpful way to come up with solutions to potentially damaging jealousy problems.
I do offer personal coaching to a limited number of clients. If you’re interested of working with me or you want to see my current availability, please visit my website.
All right, well hopefully this has given you some useful ideas and tips for how to overcome jealousy in your relationship. If you have any other ideas or if you want to ask questions, please feel free to do so in the comment section below.
And that is it for now, thank you very much and best of luck!