Here’s a secret few in the self-help industry are willing to tell you: personal growth is hard. It’s even harder when you’re in a relationship and both of you need to grow on some level. And yet many of us don’t even realize how we may be fault when it comes to jealousy. We think that our jealous feelings are a result of what the other person is doing, or something that’s out of our own control.
At Kupple.com, we not only want to help couples to stay together, but to improve. That’s why we’ve put together this little primer on the issue of jealousy, and why it can sometimes seem like relationship poison.
But first: why avoid jealousy?
After all, isn’t a little jealousy healthy, like having a little bit of red wine at the end of the night – but not too much? Those jealous feelings help you know that you still have feelings for your loved one, that there’s a degree of passion in the relationship.
This is true, to a certain extent. Jealous feelings are normal; if you want to be with someone, it follows that you don’t want them to be with anyone else. But you’d be amazed at how quickly these brief feelings can become destructive in your relationship.
For example, consider what jealousy makes us do. We often grow paranoid when we’re jealous, anxiously asking our partners questions about where they’ve been, the nature of their friendship with someone else – and no answer ever satisfies someone who’s jealous.
It might even push us further. When we’re too jealous, we might start arguments and tighten our grip on our loved one – only making them resent us more and more as they feel pressured to behave a certain way. Ultimately, it eats away at the relationship.
Okay, so you’re sold on the fact that jealousy usually leads to more bad things than good. So how can these feelings be avoided?
·Have a strict no-jealousy policy. Sure, even if you have those feelings once in a while, you have to have the self-discipline to let your significant other live their own life once in a while. This means having a strict policy over yourself rather than maintaining a strict policy over them. It’s far healthier for the relationship.
·Make sure you’re both on the same level of commitment. It can get incredibly awkward when one person feels jealous of the other…meanwhile, the other person doesn’t even feel committed to that person. Jealousy in this case is totally unwarranted. So make sure that you’ve both committed to each other in some way before you decide to feel jealous. If you find yourself jealous over someone you’re not even in a relationship, you know you need to get a hold of yourself.
It’s okay to tell your spouse about your feelings of jealousy – as long as you don’t drag them down by turning these feelings into complaints. Communicate openly, relax more, and resist the urge to control your loved one. It will make for a healthier, happier relationship – and life.