Overcoming jealousy in relationships
Healthy intimate relationships are one of the biggest joys in life, bringing companionship, laughter and passion into both partners’ lives. When your relationship is based on trust, it serves as a lifeboat, anchor and sail that keeps you afloat, secure and filled with purpose. When jealousy corrodes the trust and respect in your partnership, the relationship becomes a weight that hinders personal progress.
Understanding how to stop being jealous in a relationship is a prerequisite for a healthy union. No matter what baggage the other person brings to the table, you can work on yourself to tame jealousy and create a meaningful partnership.
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Why am I feeling jealous?
To truly discover how to not be jealous in a relationship, you must understand that it isn’t about your partner – it’s about you. You must gain a deeper self-awareness about your own beliefs, attitudes and emotions, then learn to transform them.
At its core, jealousy in relationships is about low self-esteem. When you don’t feel confident in yourself or feel that you deserve the love of your partner, you project those insecurities onto your partner. These are limiting beliefs – false beliefs we hold about ourselves and our true natures that hold us back. When you learn how to replace them with empowering beliefs and confidence, you’ll learn how to stop being jealous.
There may be other issues that trigger your jealousy. If your partner broke your trust, you may start feeling jealous when they talk to a member of the opposite sex or even go out with their friends. It’s true that trust must be earned, but it’s likely your jealousy still stems from insecurity that was provoked by your partner’s actions.
If you’re jealous of your partner’s successes, perhaps there’s an unhealthy element of competition that needs to be eliminated or you need to take a look at how you feel about your own accomplishments. But in every one of these scenarios, ultimately you’re projecting your insecurities onto your partner – and it’s your insecurities that need attention.
Negative effects of jealousy in relationships
How does jealousy impact romantic relationships? It goes against the 5 Disciplines of Love – universal principles for building a trusting, healthy union. The discipline of unconditional love and compassion becomes impossible to sustain, because jealousy impairs your ability to love without barriers. It’s also impossible to be truly vulnerable when jealousy is an issue – and vulnerability is another prerequisite for a passionate and loving relationship. If you can’t learn how to not be jealous in a relationship, you’ll never truly connect with your partner on a deep, honest level.
Jealousy also creates tension in the relationship. When you are constantly suspicious, your partner may not be completely open with you for fear of igniting your jealousy. Even when they’re not doing anything wrong, your envy clouds discernment, and it becomes hard to tell the truth from mere suspicions.
You can’t give your partner the freedom to live life when you’re jealous, nor can you truly feel free to live your own life when you’re dealing with a jealous partner. Jealousy can creep into all areas of your life, making it hard to enjoy anything.
This tension can affect the physical, emotional and mental health of both partners. Chronic stress can increase risk for hypertension and heart problems, decrease immune function and even shorten overall lifespan. The lack of enjoyment you feel in your relationship can turn into anxiety and depression. Studies have even found that jealousy in relationships ends up negatively affecting relationship commitment – the opposite effect of what the jealous partner wants.
When jealousy is given full sway in a partnership, neither party thrives. And if you don’t learn how to stop being jealous, you could drive your partner away for good.
How to not be jealous in a relationship
Your partnership will suffer if you let jealousy go unchecked. Understanding jealousy in relationships requires being honest with yourself and your partner. Get to the bottom of your jealousy and create a healthier relationship dynamic.
1. Be honest about jealousy’s impact.
It’s impossible to solve a problem if you refuse to acknowledge it. Rather than pretending you aren’t feeling jealous or your jealousy isn’t a problem, be honest. How do you feel because of your insecurities, and how are they hurting your relationship? It might be difficult to acknowledge the problems your envy is causing, but take heart in the fact that you’re taking the first step to a healthier relationship.
2. Ask what your jealousy is telling you
Psychology Today provides a family therapist’s view on how to stop being jealous: Rather than view jealousy as a problem, look at your jealousy as a solution. Jealousy (or any other relationship issue) is a window of opportunity we can peer through to gain clarity. Humans feel deeply – it’s the source of our greatest joys and greatest sorrows. We developed these emotions for a reason: they are there to tell us something.
Instead of shutting down the jealous behavior outright, seek to understand it first. What problem is the jealousy attempting to solve? Working backwards from there will help you get to the bottom of how to stop being jealous. By getting to the real problem, you’re able to address it and find lasting relief.
3. Discover the Six Human Needs.
It’s likely that your jealousy is telling you something about your Six Human Needs. These are the needs that must be met in order to create a fulfilling relationship. They underlie every decision we make – and jealousy is a decision. It isn’t a result of your partner’s actions or something that was done to you in the past. It’s a result of your unique values and your mindset. You can learn to control it, but you must go to the source: your own thoughts, emotions and needs.
4. List your insecurities.
Mastering how to stop being a jealous boyfriend or girlfriend starts with looking at yourself. What insecurities are driving your jealousy? Are you unsure of yourself due to perfectionism? Are you comparing yourself to others? You’re not making this list to shame yourself – you’re owning your role in the relationship.
5. Cultivate self-confidence.
Once you’ve made a list of the insecurities driving your jealousy, write down an antidote to each one. If you’re living under the shadow of your partner’s ex, make a list of all the traits your partner loves about you. If you constantly compare yourself to celebrities, unfollow them on Instagram for a week. By giving yourself space from feelings of inferiority, you’ll be able to develop the self-confidence you need to overcome jealousy.
6. Consider the source of your insecurity.
Mastering how to not be jealous in a relationship is often a matter of healing the wounds of the past. If you’re struggling with jealousy due to an unresolved issue like a childhood trauma or addiction, get the support you need to overcome it. With the right help, you can transform your struggles into sources of strength.
7. Be honest with your partner.
If you’re struggling with jealousy, your partner has probably already noticed. Your partner is most likely also contributing to the problem. By practicing effective communication, you’re acknowledging your contribution while also holding your partner accountable – and giving them the opportunity to support you as you work toward a solution.
8. Build healthy coping skills.
Sometimes, it can be hard to let go of jealousy in relationships if you don’t have healthier ways to relate. Provided your partner isn’t giving you a reason to be suspicious or jealous (ie. by cheating on you or habitually lying), it’s up to you to tame the source of your jealousy. Recognize that you don’t need jealousy – you’re just used to it. Practice self-care and nurture your physical, emotional and mental health. When you prioritize healthy coping mechanisms, they become the norm and eventually replace jealousy.
9. Discover The Ultimate Relationship Program.
It often isn’t easy to learn how to stop being jealous. Jealousy is such a deep-seated emotion that it often feels like we have no control over it. So where do you start? The key is to think of your relationship holistically. Jealousy is just a symptom of a larger disconnect. What’s really going on between you and your partner?
The Ultimate Relationship Program will take you back to basics, teaching you about concepts like polarity and the Six Human Needs – the building blocks of all romantic relationships. You’ll look inward at your own desires and limiting beliefs before looking outward at your partner. You’ll finally eliminate your fears once and for all and begin to approach your relationship from a healthy, positive place.
Want to stop feeling jealous?
A Results Coach can help you examine and overcome your limiting beliefs, so you can feel fulfilled and confident in relationships.