It’s normal to feel jealous from time to time. It’s part of being human. But, if you don’t address these feelings they can turn toxic—often leading to damaged relationships.
It doesn’t matter if a couple has been together for a few weeks or several years, jealousy can crop up at any time. Jealousy stems from our own personal insecurities—how you see yourself, your self-confidence or even how you experienced previous relationships. It is a frequently discussed topic in couple’s therapy.
Luckily, there are several ways to get control of this potentially harmful emotion and overcome jealous tendencies.
Understand Your Jealousy
Jealousy can seem related to anger, and can be, but often it’s more about a fear that you’ll lose your partner. This fear can lead to negative thoughts about yourself, your partner, or the person you’re jealous of. This can spiral over time, making things worse. By better understanding yourself and the reason for jealousy, you can stop this negative trend in your relationship.
Recognize the Good in Yourself
We all have days where we feel less than others. We look at those around us and think they are better than us. Jealousy is a self-confidence issue. If you recognize the positive qualities and step into the power and strength that make you a good person, spouse, or partner you can feel more confident in your relationship.
We often fail to give ourselves credit for the positive things that make us who we are. Every individual is unique and brings their own distinct talents into a relationship. By focusing on those positives you will boost your self-esteem and be more equipped to ward off jealous feelings.
Remember You Are In Control
You might not be able to control how you feel but you can control what you do with those feelings. When we feel jealous our brain is telling us that we aren’t good enough. This makes us want something we don’t have (or think we don’t have).
This is a signal that we need to take back control and not feed our insecurities. Don’t feed that flame of resentment. Don’t allow your imagination to overpower reality. Recognize that jealousy is often based on unfounded irrational thoughts and it’s important to decipher them with reality.
It might seem easiest to ignore your jealous feelings in hopes they will go away on their own. But, as with many strong emotions, if we ignore it for too long it can keep building, leading us to make poor decisions. Instead, when you notice you are feeling jealous, ask yourself why. Why do you feel this way? Why is this situation setting you off? Then, remind yourself acting out in jealousy can be harmful to your relationship.
Talk About It
Share your jealous feelings with a neutral party, a friend you can trust, a marriage counselor, or other trained mental health professional. Talking it out can often help you analyze your feelings better. Talk to someone who is good at helping you see things more clearly. Writing it down can also be a helpful tool. Sometimes seeing it out on paper makes it easier to assess.
Let Your Partner In
Jealousy is common in relationships. Whether provoked from success, demands on time, or an outside person, it needs to be addressed to keep your relationship healthy. Let your partner know you trust them, and explain that your feelings come from a place of insecurity within. Or if you can’t figure out exactly why you feel the way you do, consider attending relationship or couples counseling to address the issue before it becomes toxic.
If you and your partner have been struggling with issues and feel stuck in your relationship, couples/marriage counseling can help.
The Relationship Suite
We are a group of skilled therapists specializing in couples/marriage counseling. Since Covid started we have been working with couples providing Online Couples Counseling in New York, New York City including Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Long Island, South Hampton, East Hampton, Montauk. Schedule a complimentary consultation by clicking HERE.
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