Essential tips for preventing the green-eyed monster from taking over your relationship.
When it comes to jealousy in relationships, most folks are either ashamed to admit to being affected by it, or they wear it like a badge of honor. (If you’ve ever said, “I can’t help it, I’m just a jealous person,” remember: jealousy is a feeling, not a personality trait. You can work on it if you want.) The truth is, jealousy is often a secondary emotion, and identifying your underlying needs is often the best way to address it. Here are some dos and don’ts for taming the green-eyed monster.
Do try to understand the needs you have that are feeling unmet. Jealousy often arises when we are feeling lonely, disconnected or unacknowledged. Does it feel like your partner isn’t making time for you or prioritizing your relationship? Is there a lack of clarity about their feelings or your future together? Are you trying to communicate but not feeling heard? This can all result in feeling jealous of the people, places and things that seem to be getting your partner’s attention. Make the time to share this with your partner, but don’t blame your feelings on them. We’re all responsible for our own feelings, and when someone is immediately put on the defensive, it can be hard to hear your otherwise reasonable requests for time, connection and more.
Do be honest with yourself about trust. Do you trust your partner? Have they done anything to make you question that trust? If there has been past infidelity, it’s important to decide if you are willing to forgive them and, if so, to work together to repair that breach, preferably with a coach or therapist. If your feelings of distrust come from something outside of the relationship or in your past, it’s important to separate that from your current partner, while also giving yourself space to heal. Don’t use your lack of trust as an excuse to snoop. Going through someone’s phone, email or DMs is an invasion of privacy, regardless of your reasoning. It’s also really difficult to move forward from that kind of dishonesty. If you truly can’t trust your partner, then it might be time to consider if this is the right relationship for you.