How to handle a jealous partner & your own jealousy

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How to handle a jealous partner

When someone becomes driven by their jealousy, it’s quite annoying and unappealing. Yet, jealousy is a terrible emotion to experience. It causes a powerful fear of being abandoned or betrayed by someone you care about.

Occasional feelings of jealousy can be natural and sometimes are a response to bad past experiences. So when your partner is jealous, it’s best not to be defensive but to be kind and to assuage his or her fears.

If your partner is leering or flirting with others excessively, then you could mention something. Remember it’s important to speak from a place of reason and calm, not hostility and insecurity.

When someone is frequently or excessively jealous, and starts becoming controlling, it’s critical to set boundaries and stand your ground. You have to be clear that you are not willing to be controlled or submit to unreasonable demands.

If unwanted behavior continues after you’ve had a conversation about it together, it’s unlikely that you can change the other person. Possessive jealousy tends to destroy a relationship through hostility and control. So you may have to limit or even terminate the relationship before it gets out of control.

How to handle your own jealousy

If you are the person experiencing jealousy, understand that occasional feelings of jealousy can be natural and sometimes are a response to past abandonment or betrayal. However, it’s important to note that it’s natural and in fact healthy for men and women to notice and look at other attractive people, to engage in harmless mild flirting, and to have some friends of the opposite sex.

But it can be threatening to people who get jealous easily. When you feel threatened and respond by attacking your partner or friend, you look insecure, which is very unappealing and ineffective in sustaining a successful relationship. So develop the self-discipline to avoid acting on your jealousy. If you can respond with confidence, life will be more enjoyable, and your partner will find you much more attractive.

Frequent or severe jealousy shows insecurity and can wreck a relationship. So it is critical to gain self-control and maintain your self-confidence. You are much more attractive and appealing to be with when you don’t feel threatened by the presence of other attractive people and friendships. You are also much more effective in sustaining a healthy relationship when you stay calm and comfortable in your skin.

Sometimes jealousy is a signal to pay attention to what’s going on. Look at all the circumstances objectively. If your relationship is taking the backseat to new friendships, talk about to your partner rationally. Also consider whether you have been paying adequate attention to your relationship, and discuss your desire to spend time together in a positive way.

If your relationship is taking a backseat to another outside friendship, then it might be time to talk about what’s going on, which is much most effective when you avoid becoming accusatory or defensive.

If your relationship continues to take a backseat to an outside relationship or if there is lying or cheating going on, despite reasonable conversations and efforts, it may be time to move on. Anger and controlling behavior will not improve the situation.

Excessive jealousy destroys relationships. It leads to controlling and possessive behavior, which leads to a limited and miserable relationship. It can also lead to abuse and violence. If you experience frequent anger and jealousy, take control of your life by getting help or counseling.

by Dr. Alison Poulsen

Healthy Relationships and
Effective Communication


Read “Pursuing passions or partnership? ‘You should spend time with me instead of going fishing!’”

Read “Jealous Partner: ‘How can you be so jealous! You’re being ridiculous.’”

Read Sam Vaknin’s “Romantic Jealousy: ‘I can’t think of him/her with another man/woman.’”

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