If you’ve been a jealous person your entire life, you know better than anyone how toxic jealousy can be to a relationship. Maybe some of your previous relationships ended precisely because you didn’t know how to keep this feeling at bay.
They say that love is blind, but jealousy is much more blind, since, although we have clear evidence that our partner loves us and is loyal to us, jealousy can continue to open the way, taking away all our trust, as well as peace of mind of our partner.
Some people consider that a moderate degree of jealousy is normal.
But it is important that we learn to distinguish between a romantic sense of mutual territoriality, and a dynamic in which one or both members of the couple are constantly restricting the freedom of the other, questioning their actions, their friendships, and even their thoughts.
Hundreds of jealous people lose their partners day after day because they cannot control their jealousy, and hundreds of people who truly love their partners and are faithful must stay away from them because they cannot deal with their attitudes.
The problem with people who are very jealous is that they frequently lose the dimension between what are possessive attitudes (which in themselves are wrong), and attitudes that border on the emotional hijacking.
Many men already consider it perfectly normal to ask their partners to cover up as much as possible when going outside, forbid them to talk to other men, or even order them to sit facing the wall in a restaurant so that they cannot see or be seen by someone else.
Finding yourself in such a dynamic can in no way be healthy since the jealous person spends much of his energy all day trying to control the other.
In turn, the trapped person loses much of the freedom and autonomy they need to develop as a happy and independent human being.
Relationships determined by jealousy tend to begin with a deceptive excess of concern and attention on the part of one of the members, same as the other even coming to consider it flattering.
In fact, this is how the story of many women begins who at first felt pleased by the excess of concern and jealousy of their partner, and ended up living a hell in which they could not even talk to the neighbor without risk of seeing their spouses go into a rage.
What does jealousy mean in a relationship?
At the bottom of jealousy lives the fear of loss. Many jealous individuals are actually afraid of losing their partner and everything they stand for.
When we have put a lot of our self-esteem and our personal worth on someone else, because we are unable to put it on ourselves, the idea of losing it or sharing it with another seems unthinkable.
This fear of loss leads to a great level of insecurity and fear, which in turn translates into “attitudinal jealousy.”
Another of the peculiarities of jealousy is that they have a natural propensity to escalate instead of diminishing.
A jealous person will not stop being jealous when he establishes a serious relationship with his partner and even marries her, because there will always be some new doubt, a potential rival, or some paranoid thought.
That is why the jealous person tends to go further and further with their possessive attitudes.
Reviewing the personal things of our partner, following her, prohibiting things, and accusing her of infidelities without sustenance, is something that gradually diminishes the individuality of the other and the happiness of the couple.
Needless to say, this is extremely damaging and only leads to unstable and dangerous dynamics.
One of the most difficult issues with jealousy is objectivity. Just as there are very jealous people everywhere, there are also unfaithful people everywhere. So how do we know when our jealousy is justified? When are they the product of our paranoia and our insecurity?
Losing yourself on this fine line is very simple and can happen to anyone.
However, one of the attributes of a healthy relationship is precisely the pillar of trust, which allows us not to get carried away by unfounded suspicions. If this trust does not exist, it is because there is something wrong in the relationship that we must work with our partner.
Stop feeling jealous is very difficult. They become a kind of vice. But with some will it is possible.
Review and follow these 7 tips that will help you manage jealousy and, incidentally, become a happier and more relaxed person.
1. Trust your partner
Yes, we know that it may sound trite and that this is exactly what you cannot do.
But if you think about it in a more objective way, you have two options: either you lock your partner in a basement monitored by security cameras (which a psychopath would do to you), or you trust her, what do you prefer?
Indeed, there will almost always be the possibility that our partner lies to us or does things behind our backs (it is something we cannot control).
But learning to live with that level of uncertainty is the only healthy solution, not trying to lessen this uncertainty until there is nothing left of it.
Part of what determines relationships as a couple is the level of trust, otherwise, the relationship is not equitable, and if two people do not trust each other, they should not be together.
You may continue to distrust your partner for quite some time, but you must find a way to act as if you trust them.
And we don’t mean that your partner thinks you trust them while you are secretly looking for a way to monitor her, but that you really stop doing it.
When you are tempted to commit a jealous act, such as following your partner, checking their cell phone, or their statement, try to immediately distract yourself with something else or seek help from a friend or family member.
2. Stop comparing yourself to other people
And above all, avoid comparing yourself with the ex-partners of your current partner. You are going to get absolutely nothing profitable out of it.
You can be sure or sure that these people were better than you in some ways and that you are better than them in others, what else do you need to know?
You cannot change the past, and you must understand that, if after your experiences your partner decided to be with you, it is for a reason.
The ghosts of ex-partners cannot damage your current relationship, and no matter how hard you push for details of what those relationships were like, you are not going to change the past.
You must understand that around us there will always be more attractive, wealthy, intelligent, funny people, etc., but remember that love rarely has to do with the qualities that you are questioning or in which you are comparing yourself.
True love is not built from the image or money of the other person, but from coexistence, trust, and intimacy.
Just as you can turn to see another person to delight the pupil without this meaning that you stop loving your partner, your partner has the right to admit the qualities of others without you going into anger.
3. Prepare for the worst
Many people reach impressive levels of cellopathy because they are unwilling to admit the possibility of losing their partners. Paradoxically, it is this irrational fear of losing someone that often leads them to lose him.
There is absolutely nothing you can do to forcibly hold a person, at least nothing that is legal or healthy. The only way to let that fear stop controlling your actions is to face it.
In order to face the fear of losing someone, we do not need to stop loving them, we need to stop desperately depending on them.
If we depend on our partner to feel good about ourselves or find our worth, losing it will not only be losing a relationship but an indispensable part of ourselves.
Therefore, you must start building your security and self-esteem from yourself and not from a third party. Again, this does not mean that you stop loving, just that you stop depending.
4. Don’t try to counteract your jealousy by making your partner jealous
If there is a way that a relationship marked by the jealousy of one of the members goes even worse, it is that he decides, in addition, to provoke jealousy in his partner. However, this is quite common.
Since jealousy is an unpleasant feeling that is linked to resentment and anger, it is not uncommon for people to decide to take revenge by making others think that there is a third party in contention.
Some even go so far as to actually flirt or be intimate with someone else, not even because the person likes them, but as a simple act of revenge that most of the time, moreover, is not even founded.
Even if you have proof that your partner has been unfaithful to you, this does not mean that you also have to be unfaithful or that you have permission to be unfaithful.
The fact that someone else makes a mistake does not give you a reason to make the same mistake, and the philosophy of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” has never brought happiness to anyone.
5. Stop confusing paranoia with reality
Jealousy, like many psychological problems, from hypochondria to paranoia, is fueled by the destructive use of imagination.
Imagination is great if you use it for your benefit, not to confuse your mind all the time and believe things that are not real.
Imagination and fear are bad allies since they cause you to generate fatalistic ideas in any gap of uncertainty.
An example: maybe your partner comes home late on a Friday on pay. Although the most logical and obvious explanation is that there was a lot of traffic, a jealous person may become convinced that half an hour late is equivalent to that his partner was seeing someone else.
When this happens and we let our imagination convince us without having any real proof, not only do all the angry feelings related to the hypothetical infidelity that we are considering appear.
But there is also a huge feeling of revenge frustration at not being able to prove anything to the other person.
This feeling easily leads to underground aggressiveness or aggressive passive games.
6. Remember that your partner is a human being, not an object
While it is normal for many couples by now, forbidding the other to do things or trying to make them feel bad when they do them is completely off-limits to a healthy relationship.
Human individuality is sacred, and it is this very individuality that ultimately allows us to generate nurturing and meaningful relationships of friendship and as a couple.
If you try to put barriers or chains around your partner’s tastes and activities, you can achieve only one of two things: that he allows it and becomes an incomplete human being or that, as much as he loves you, he chooses his mental health over the relationship with you.
Fully owning a person will not bring us happiness, much less the other party. Also, love has to do with someone being with us because they are free to do so, not because we are forcing them.
7.- Use your imagination to feel better, not worse
Try this exercise:
Close your eyes and take a couple of minutes to relax. Now, think about the type of scenario that makes you the most jealous. Perhaps you are imagining that your partner is in a restaurant with someone else, joking and laughing at you.
Now take a deep breath and focus on sequentially relaxing the different parts of your body in turn. Just imagine seeing yourself calm, relaxed, and even disinterested in such a situation.
As counterintuitive as it may seem, what we are doing is training our body so that it does not react violently on an emotional level when this scenario appears in our heads.
Since these images tend to exist only in our imagination, what we must do is train our body system so that we do not react to them and continue to promote them in a never-ending circle.
Remember that, although jealousy affects your partner and the relationship, who is harmed the most and the quality of life that is most impaired is yours.
All that energy you take up feeling jealous and trying to audit your partner in every aspect, you could be using it to do great things for yourself.
The best way to get someone else’s love is to love ourselves first.