Jealousy in a relationship: Easy come but not always easy go. Excessive jealousy is one of the quickest ways to bring down even the strongest partnerships. Let’s be clear, though. Jealousy in small amounts is very common, and the conflict can often be resolved through open communication, making the relationship even stronger in the long run.
Nevertheless, when jealousy is more than just a fleeting emotion, it can pose substantial problems to both partners. So where, specifically, does jealousy come from? And most importantly, what can we do to better understand it?
Where does jealousy come from?
Although it’s overly simplistic to tell a jealous person that “it’s all in your head,” it is true that jealousy often arises from insecurity and paranoia more so than it arises in reaction to concrete actions from your partner. Insecurity is the most frequent trigger for jealousy, and usually, the jealous partner is acting out because they fear they will lose the partner or relationship.
This isn’t always the case, however. Sometimes, small actions like forgetting to return texts, canceling plans, or engaging in any sort of secrecy can concern your partner.
Jealousy isn’t always romantic, and many find themselves feeling envious of a friend’s relationship with their peers or a sibling’s closeness to their parents. Essentially, it all boils down to concern over losing someone you care about. Let’s take a deeper dive into these specific triggers, why you may be experiencing them, and how to manage these negative feelings before they become toxic to you and those you love.
How to get rid of jealousy
Jealousy can be a difficult beast to tame, but with a few deep breaths and honest conversation, you can quell jealousy whether it’s your own or someone else’s.
Some tips and tactics for doing just that include:
- Admit your feelings: It’s far easier said than done, but acknowledging jealous feelings is the first step. If you’re the one feeling jealous, it’s likely that the other person has not realized your concern. By talking about your concerns, you can work together to make sure you feel secure in the relationship. On the other hand, if you’re on the receiving end of jealous behavior, initiate a conversation with your partner who is acting overly possessive. Listen to where their insecurity stems from and reflect on your own actions to better understand what you can do to strengthen the relationship.
- Release the past: Jealousy may also be the result of pain from a previous relationship. If someone has experienced abandonment or infidelity, they may hold even tighter to new and existing relationships. This possessiveness is meant to be protective but often results in a toxic relationship that isn’t built on trust.
- Know when to get help: If these conversations and interventions can’t do the trick, it may be time to seek out professional assistance. Find a therapist in your area and talk about these difficult feelings. They can work with you to better understand where your fears stem from and how to cope with negative thoughts and behavior. If possible, seek out couples therapy and discuss these issues with a professional who can share more strategies to make the relationship prosper.
Vulnerability is difficult, and sharing your fears and insecurities with someone takes a lot of strength. In order to move forward, it’s crucial for everyone involved to reflect on themselves and their actions, then engage in a productive conversation about how to best move forward. Jealousy is normal, but toxic or possessive behavior is not, so it’s always better to get down to the bottom of these issues before they spiral out of control.
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