Dealing with irrational jealousy can be a destructive process, particularly in a newly formed relationship. Jealousy is a natural human emotion and one we often cannot control.
A debate regarding this subject is currently going on in my sites forum about the difference between healthy and unhealthy levels of jealousy. Jealousy is called the green eyed MONSTER for a reason.
A certain degree of jealousy from our partner can be flattering, it shows they care about us but when it gets out of control without good reason it can be very self destructive and may well end your relationship completely.
Can we control our feelings of jealousy and can we even recognise when those feelings are out of control? Like the drunk that ‘must’ drink but refuses to admit to themselves that they have a problem, are chronically jealous people unable to recognise that their behaviour is destructive?
I would like to share an excellent example of how jealousy can destroy not only a relationship but also how it can effect your partners self esteem, my thanks to Jan for her permission to publish her comments.
“Sometimes a persons own insecurities and how they feel about themselves causes them to feel negative emotions – ie if a person genuinely feels ugly, no amount of compliments about how they look will change their perception of themselves; this can be to a greater or lesser degree … ie a teenager may feel fat – no matter how much friends or relatives reassure the teenager – they eat less and less … they constantly look in the mirror and see a fat person looking back at them; this becomes an illness … an obsessive eating disorder. At this extreme – the individual involved cannot be helped by friendly reassurance or ‘positive’ feedback from people close to them.
The same applies to many areas of a persons psychological make-up – a person who finds it impossible to feel good about themselves can find it equally impossible to believe that they are worthy of love; this may be a mild insecurity that does indeed respond to reassurance … or it can be a deeper insecurity that will be a great burden to them and will manifest itself in a number of ways – jealousy – possessiveness – depression – and will have a detrimental effect on the relationship they are in… their partner, after continually trying to reassure them, and finding no improvement – will start to retreat. Being the partner of someone who does not trust you and watches your every move and needs constant boosting of their ego becomes very wearing and stretches ones patience to its limits. A ‘High maintainence’ relationship like this soon loses it appeal. In a normal, healthy relationship, the mutual reasurances and positive input strengthen the bond between the couple.
However, if one or both of the people involved are suffering from deeper emotional insecurities it is not so simple and the more they reassure each other, the more reassurance is needed … it becomes a destructive relationship.
For example — Tim does not feel good about himself (for whatever reason) and he drinks a lot to help boost his confidence; his partner, Jane, is an attractive lady, confident, hardworking and popular. She thinks the world of Tim and has eyes only for him. He, however, because of his feelings of low self esteem, finds it difficult to accept that someone like Jane truly loves him. He is suspicious of her every move – he gets angry if she speaks to anyone of the opposite sex, he rings her 6 times a day … he over reacts if she is late in from work … Jane wants him to be happy; she repeatedly tells him how much she loves him. She starts to avoid any conversations with men in the pub or out socially. She finds herself looking at the floor in order to avoid being accused of ‘looking at a man’ – She starts to ring Tim as soon as she sets of from work to put his mind at rest … she is feeling the strain of his constant interrogation of her but because she loves him she puts every effort into keeping the peace. However, she starts to feel insulted at his lack of trust in her …. she has never done anything to warrant this constant attack on her faithfulness to Tim … he starts to make her feel that she must be some sort of slut … does she really give Tim the impression that she is ‘up for it’ and is not to be trusted? She finds her self esteem is slowly depleting … she feels anxious about what she wears (is she dressing like a tart?’ )…. anxious about wearing make-up ‘Is she courting male attention?’ and before she knows it, she is in a relationship where she feels every day she is walking on eggshells trying to keep Tim from getting angry. She has stopped going out with friends (Tim interrogates her upon her return) … she has stopped enjoying socialising with Tim (as soon as he has had a few drinks he starts being unpleasant and accuses her of flirting or ‘eyeing up’ some bloke in the pub )…
Jane is half the person she used to be … despite all the effort she put into the relationship, despite all her reassurances, the love, the tenderness… Tim has become worse. Jane now has low self esteem … she feels unworthy of being loved …”
Jealousy in a relationship is more often than not about your own self esteem, not about the actions of your loved one. However they are your loved one, why would you want someone you love to feel bad about themselves, why would you want to be the cause of their low self esteem. Of course you wouldn’t and if you could control your jealousy you would see the effect it is having on someone you love.
If you have a jealousy problem the first step is to admit that your jealousy is a personal issue and something that is both destructive to you and your partner. For help on recognising and dealing with jealousy please check out the links below, they may just save your relationship.
Truth About Deception offers advice about recognising and dealing with your jealous feelings.
It is not only ladies that check mobile phones, go through pockets and throw a fit the moment their partner glances at someone from the opposite sex. Askmen.com has an excellent article offering Top 10: Ways to deal with jealousy it is worth a read if you have a problem keeping your jealousy under control.
Jealousy can get out of control, so if you are aware that you are acting in an unhealthy jealous way but feel unable to control it yourself then please visit your doctor and ask to be referred to a psychologist. That doesn’t mean you are weak, mad or a bad person, it simply means you have an emotion that you are finding hard to deal with. Imagine how good your self esteem, life and relationship could be if you could rid yourself of your irrational jealousy.
If you are in a relationship with a jealous partner and are not behaving in a way that should result in jealousy then try to talk to them, read about jealousy and what causes that level of jealousy to emerge. Urge your partner to seek help for the sake of you both, whether that is through a self help programme or a professional. However do not allow their irrational emotion to cause your self esteem to falter, this is a ‘them’ issue and no amount of trying to change on your part is going to stop their need for constant reassurance or feelings of jealousy.