Ah jealousy. Some of us know it all too well. For a lot of us, it comes in the form of wanting what others have:
- Ugh, I love her hair! Mine sucks.
- I wish I could live in a place like that.
- Why can’t I have a natural skill like hers?
In some ways, jealousy can help spur you to take action in life. For example, if you are jealous of your friend’s job, you might realize that you want to better your situation, and hopefully, you will work harder to get a better job for yourself.
But in terms of relationships, jealousy can become toxic. In relationships, jealousy isn’t about having what someone else has … it’s about trying to control your partner and be the only person they have feelings for or want or interact with.
Want to know more about just what damage jealousy can do? Read on.
Ways That Jealousy Can Ruin Your Relationship
- It automatically means you don’t trust your partner.
Trust is in essential part of any relationship, and if you are acting jealous about, for example, your partner spending a lot of time with another person of the opposite sex, you are basically saying: “I don’t trust you.”
- Your partner will feel smothered.
A little bit of jealousy means that you simply love your partner dearly, and you don’t want anyone else to have them the way that you do. This is okay. But if you are constantly worried and asking questions about your partner going out or spending time away from you, they will start to feel smothered.
- You will seem insecure and unconfident.
Again, a little bit of jealousy is okay, but when it gets out of hand, it will seem like you have no confidence or self-esteem whatsoever. This is quite unattractive to basically anyone, so if you want to stay attractive, reign in your jealousy.
- The mutual resentment will build.
Over time, your jealous attitude will make your partner resent you, but you will continue to resent them as well because you will be well, jealous. Things will build and get out of hand.
- It often causes depression and anxiety.
Jealousy can cause you to feel very insecure about yourself, and this can spiral into a lot of unnecessary anxiety and even deep depression. Many times, it’s all your doing and the jealousy is completely unfounded, but you get anxious and depressed anyway.
- It causes isolation in your relationship
If you’re not allowing your partner to see so-and-so, and he doesn’t like the thought of you hanging out with another so-and-so, what are you guys going to do for fun?
- It perpetuates an irrational way of thinking.
Part of having a solid relationship foundation is being able to think on the same page—like a team who is working together for the same goal. But crazy jealousy is definitively not rational. We’re talking when you get jealous that there are any women whatsoever at his place of employment … even if he doesn’t even talk to them.
How to Banish “The Green Eyed Monster” Within You
Because everyone has a at least a healthy level of jealousy,
- Count your blessings.
If your jealousy stems from feeling like you aren’t pretty enough or smart enough or talented enough, you’re losing your self-esteem, and you need to start counting the good things about yourself because it is sure that there are many.
- Learn how trust works in a relationship and get better at it.
Some people have the misguided impression that trust is a guarantee from the other person. To the contrary, trust comes from you—the one doing the trusting. You do not know 100 percent for sure that the other person will do what they say. But you have to decide that you are going to believe them.
- Make your own friends outside the relationship.
If you find that you are just jealous about friends that your partner is hanging out with, get your own friends! It’s a great way to even the score and make you feel more comfortable.
In the end, there’s one more piece of advice to impart here: The feeling of jealousy is not entirely unfounded in reason. In other words, there are indeed some times when you feel jealous because of evidence that makes you believe something is going on…
And this is when you need to listen to your jealousy, and calmly and maturely approach your partner and ask them what’s going on. Again, just make sure that you’re staying levelheaded and don’t act the first time your partner is home late from work. Being able to have calm and mature conversations with your partner about something that’s bothering you is vital, and if you have a good partner on your hands … they will understand your worries and help work things out with you.