How to Stop Being Jealous in a Relationship
No matter what you may have heard, no amount of jealousy is healthy in a relationship.
Jealousy stems from insecurity and a lack of trust between you and your partner, and it often leads to controlling and manipulative behavior. Since we're human, it's difficult to eliminate jealousy altogether, but the goal should always be an envy-free relationship.
If you find yourself struggling with jealousy and feel that it's ruining your romances, keep scrolling for our best tips on how to stop being jealous in a relationship.
1. Monitor Your Thoughts
We can't always control our emotions. Feelings slip in and out, often before we've fully realized where they're coming from or how we might react to them. While you might not be able to stop yourself from feeling jealous, you can monitor your thoughts and be on the lookout for any indications that the little green monster is about to take over.
Monitoring your thoughts allows you to catch jealousy early, whereas trying to convince yourself that you're not jealous or ignoring your envious feelings only limits you from predicting and, hopefully, halting your reaction. Being on the lookout for jealous feelings allows you to get in front of them and control what might happen next, instead of making things worse by letting your envy run unchecked.
(Aladdin via Walt Disney Pictures)
2. Look for an Underlying Reason
The most important thing you can do when you're feeling jealousy brewing inside you is to look for an underlying reason. Maybe you're jealous because you and your partner haven't been able to spend as much time together lately. Maybe you're feeling insecure about your appearance and your self-doubt is manifesting as envy.
Whatever it might be, looking for the cause of your jealousy often reveals that it has very little to do with your partner, and everything to do with your own insecurities in relation to you and your relationship. When you can spot those underlying reasons, your jealousy will quickly dissipate as you deal with the source of the problem, rather than allowing yourself to project your worries onto your partner and avoid dealing with the real issue.
3. Imagine How You Would Feel If the Situation Were Reversed
Jealousy often leads to a lot of negative behaviors in a relationship. You might throw wild accusations at your partner that can impact your communication, you might become manipulative and withdrawn or you might even start to create rules for how your partner should behave. Before you allow jealousy to dictate the future of your relationship, think about how you would feel if the situation were reversed.
If your partner suddenly demanded that you not speak to the dude in your math class, or if they randomly served you with the silent treatment until you were practically begging for their forgiveness, it's understandable that you would be pretty upset. Think about how you would want to be treated and show your partner that same courtesy, instead of allowing your envious emotions to complicate and potentially ruin your relationship.
(New Girl via FOX)
4. Separate the Feeling From the Behavior
Jealous feelings and jealous behaviors are very different things. As we said above, we're all only human—we can't always stop ourselves from feeling envious, even when we know it's completely irrational. However, we can control how we react to those feelings, and that makes all the difference.
You can feel jealous, acknowledge that feeling and file it away to discuss later without allowing it to dictate your interactions with your partner. If you can stop yourself from engaging in jealous behaviors, you're already halfway down the road to stopping jealousy all together. It teaches you self-control, and it gives you time to examine your feeling and determine if it's valid before you spiral into a jealous rage that could severely damage your relationship.
5. Remember That Jealousy Won't Change Anything
Unfortunately, this is where we have to get real about the truth of relationships. In all honesty, relationships are scary primarily because your partner could leave at any moment. They could cheat on you, they could meet someone else or they could simply decide that the relationship isn't worth it anymore—that's always the risk we take when we date someone. The thing is, no amount of jealousy is going to change the outcome of your relationship.
If your partner is going to leave you, it's eventually going to happen, despite any envy-fueled rants. Our point is, jealousy isn't going to change the outcome of your relationship, so why allow it to control your actions and create unnecessary problems? Healthy communication and effective conflict techniques are what you should be worried about because those might actually help your romance to last, whereas jealousy will just destroy it.
Not sure if envy is taking over your romance? Click HERE for 7 signs there's an unhealthy amount of jealousy in your relationship.