Being jealous in a romantic relationship can really kill the love you and your partner have for each other. At first it might seem cute that your SO is evoking the emotion, but after awhile, you'll probably see the negative aspects of it pretty clearly. Thankfully, there are ways to learn how to deal with jealously in relationships. You just have to know where to begin.
Overall, being in a relationship with a jealous partner shouldn't necessarily be a deal breaker. Some people have trust issues due to past relationships or breakups, and it's often possible to work through these problems together if both partners are committed to trying. To start, it's best to figure out why your partner is feeling jealous in the first place, especially if you have't given them a reason to mistrust you. Additionally, there are different levels of jealously you should be aware of. According to LIVESTRONG, jealously is a normal human condition, but it can definitely be unhealthy in certain situations. Healthy jealously is when someone allows this emotion to encourage them to make them a better person in some way. For example, if your friend is a little jealous that you just got a promotion, they might want to work just as hard as you to achieve a better position at their own job. But if your significant other is being aggressive and trying to control what you are doing, then that is considered to be unhealthy, and if you feel like this is a recurring situation in your own relationship, please contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline.
But if you feel like your partner's jealously needs to be tamed only a little bit, you might want to try to work together with your SO to fix the issue. While it might give them the reassurance that there's no need to carry that emotion around in the relationship, it can also create a closer bond between the both of you. If your partner is turning green with jealously lately, here are six ways you can help them work through it.
1. Talk About Your Partner's Fears And Anxieties
If you feel like your partner's jealously is really affecting the relationship, it might be best to sit down with them and ask exactly what's going on. Make sure you're listening when they tell you what exactly makes them jealous, and don't be afraid to express how their actions make you feel. According to PsychCentral, California licensed marriage and family therapist Danielle B. Grossman said, "Do not try to minimize, negate or ‘fix’ the fears. Do not try to bully your partner’s fear into submission. Do not belittle, humiliate, shame, and threaten the fear." Essentially, don't attack your partner when they're choosing to confide in you. Be empathetic and give them your undivided attention.
2. Don't Get Defensive About Your Own Behavior
If your partner starts to accuse you of something that's not true, don't feed the fire by getting in an argument right away. Take a step back and evaluate the situation. If you start to get defensive, your partner will probably misinterpret your reaction or mirror your emotions and get even more angry. According to Psychology Today, instead of getting defensive, try to talk to your partner calmly and problem-solve the situation together. You want to create a closer bond between the two of you and settle the fear that your partner has, so reassure them that your their to work with them, and you're not going anywhere. If you are considering ending the relationship, though, for whatever reason, this may be the time to be open and direct about that as well.
3. Show Extra Affection
After you've discussed their jealous tendencies, try to show your partner extra love during this vulnerable time. According to eHarmony, this is the time to be generous with your affection. For instance, touching your significant other more may help him or her mentally heal faster. Even though what your partner is feeling might not seem rational to you, you want to be as supportive as possible by showing them how much they mean to you.
Of course, this doesn't mean that you should continue to take abuse from them if an extreme amount of unhealthy jealousy is present. As mentioned earlier, if your partner's jealousy is so bad that it has led to things like forcing you to avoid hanging out with certain friends, or them never wanting you to leave their side because they're afraid you will cheat, then the issue is serious, and you should consider seeking help, or possibly leaving the relationship all together.
4. Create Boundaries
Setting boundaries with your partner is not a negative thing. A lot of healthy relationships create these guidelines to know where each person's emotions lie and what's important to each other. According to PsychCentral, psychologist Leslie Becker-Phelps, Ph.D said, “You need to know what you like and dislike, what you’re comfortable with versus what scares you, and how you want to be treated in given situations.” Afterwards, try to be clear about you and your partner's needs and be direct moving forward.
5. Be Available And Responsive
Even though this issue is something your partner needs to fix on their own, it can help the situation to be as responsive as possible when they reach out to you. According to relationship website Truth About Deception, if you're there when your partner needs you most, this can help calm their jealous habits. Without a doubt, this can take a lot of effort, but if your significant other notices that you're available and receptive, the trust between the two of you will only grow stronger.
6. Continue To Revisit The Issue And Be Patient
This is not an issue that will be fixed overnight. Try to be patient with your SO and show them that you're willing to work on this problem together by being supportive and continuing to discuss their fears. According to Reader's Digest, try to be patient when you're practicing new ways to communicate with your partner. While it can be time-consuming and very emotional, don't let that stop you from trying to work things out. Celebrate the small victories with them and try to take it day by day until, hopefully, it isn't a issue anymore.
There really is no easy way to deal with a jealous significant other, but if you want the relationship to work and the jealousy is not at an unhealthy level, both of you can put the effort in to make it last. Talking with your partner about their emotions and why they are feeling jealous is a great way for them to be vulnerable. Be empathic to how they are feeling, but don't be afraid to set boundaries when they need it. Once you discuss everything, things can become easier for the both of you. Trust goes a long way, so if you're not giving them a reason to distrust you, then this little bump in the road can probably go away.
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