Secretly wanting to spy on your partner, constantly having the feeling that something is not “right” or that you can’t trust your partner. Your mind is filled with anxiety and thoughts of jealousy.
Sometimes it can even get so worse that you’re not able to focus on your work or on the things that once were so fun to do with friends.
These are some of the effects that jealousy can have on your life when you don’t look at the root of where it comes from.
Do you recognise yourself in this? Let’s dive deeper to discover where jealousy comes from and how you can deal with jealousy in a healthy way.
What causes jealousy in a relationship?
According to Centerstone, an organisation in improving mental health, “there is not one root cause for someone’s jealous behaviours or feelings, but there are a few reasons why someone might feel this way.
This includes: insecurity, past-history or fear of loss. Jealousy can be triggered by these and might create tensions within your relationships.
Knowing what signs to look for and how to manage jealous behaviours are the first steps to working through these obstacles.”
According to Lauren Cook-Mckay, Vice President of Marketing at Divorce Answers, low self-esteem and insecurity are two of the most common reasons why you feel jealous.
These feelings of not being good enough for your partner can lurk in the shadows and influence your day to day life deeply.
- Trust issues
Besides this, Lauren also explains that another reason why you might feel jealous is having a lack of trust because of your past relationships experiences. These trust issues can stem from negatieve or traumatic experiences.
- Poor communication or misunderstandings
Your mind is very good in seeing what it wants to see. Sometimes we can assume that our partner means something, while in reality, they mean something completely different. Therefore, communication is key.
Personality traits (neuroticism, perfectionism, or possessiveness)
Being very possessive of your partner can also cause a lot of jealousy in the relationship.
When we’re not able to trust our partner because we lack trust in life in general or because of our past wounds, we’ll always be overly focused on our partner. We’ll never feel completely free from inside.
Is jealousy a sign of love?
According to, Focus On the Family, you can have a healthy jealousy for your partner and you can have unhealthy jealousy for your partner.
For example, healthy jealousy is when your partner is flirting with someone else and touching is involved.
This triggers a reaction in you and you express to your partner that this makes you jealous and at the same time insecure.
You know that this is something you need to heal yourself and at the same time have better boundaries about within the relationship so you openly communicate about this.
Unhealthy jealousy, causes you to go obsessive over your partner, overthinking in such a way that you can’t function anymore, lying, over-controlling behaviour and even feelings of paranoia.
This is behaviour that is unhealthy and destroying, for yourself and your partner, long term.
What are Effects of jealousy on relationships?
- Emotional distress
According to Centerstone, continuous jealous behaviour that goes by unnoticed, causes an increase in anxiety and depression symptoms such as nervousness, irritability and other physical symptoms.
You also might feel like you’re a victim of the waves of your emotions. Feeling pulled and taken away with every jealous thought or feeling that comes up regarding your partner.
- Interpersonal conflict
It’s almost impossible to healthily connect with each other if one of the two persons in the relationship is carrying a lot of jealousy and negativity towards the other person.
Jealousy might lead towards a lot of tension, conflict and in the worst case an ending between both partners.
- Relationship dissatisfaction
Experiencing jealousy in the relationships that hasn’t been dealt with, might lead to a lot of downward feelings. Which causes you to not feel your best self in the relationship and with your partner.
- Negative impact on self-esteem
When you’re feeling jealous, it most often comes from a low self-esteem and insecurity, as mentioned before. These feelings of jealousy can further move backwards your self-esteem when they aren’t honestly assessed.
- Social isolation
In the worst case scenario, the feelings of jealousy can get so destructive, that all you (unconsciously) want to do is spy on your partner and marinade in the thoughts and feelings of jealousy towards your partner.
It even can get so worse, that doing normal things isn’t so satisfying and joyful anymore, because you’re so influenced by distrusting your partner and the feelings of jealousy.
How to Stop Being Jealous in A Relationship
Let’s discover a couple of ways to start dealing with the intense feelings right away.
1. Heal Your Past Wounds
When you’re honest with yourself and where your feelings of jealousy and distrust are coming from, you’re able to get to the root of the issue.
When you’re able to see that you struggle with fears of being abandoned, with a past relationship that causes you to distrust people or any other past wound that’s influencing you, you’re able to free yourself.
First of all, acknowledge the pain your hiding by feeling it. Learn from the past by changing the narrative you’re telling yourself, keep engaging yourself in activities you love and keep building yourself up.
2. Question your assumptions & insecurities
Are you living from a place of fear or from a place of truth? Is this what you’re thinking about your partner (the distrust, the jealousy) grounded in experience and facts? Or is it your mind making it up?
There is a big difference between your assumptions about the reality and the reality itself. This is why you should always question the stories you tell yourself.
You can do this even with your partner after you have done some inner-work yourself to meet your partner with vulnerability about what you’re struggling with.
Besides this, Susan Heitler, clinical psychologist, explains that the jealousy you’re feeling can come from:
– Projection: anxiety stemming from your own temptation to cheat.
– Protection: due to distrust of one’s partner.
– Competition: wanting to earn the partner’s love and keep it.
Do you recognize yourself in any of the causes? How can you start to see through your own self-sabotaging behaviour and meet your partner from a place of truth instead of fear and control?
3. Resist your urge to act on your obsessive thoughts
This is where mindfulness can come in handy. Learning to observe your thoughts will allow you to not act on every impulsive or obsessive thoughts that comes through.
You’ll learn how to stay in your centre, how to feel your feelings, without getting dragged away in every thought that comes through.
4. Embrace a deeper sense of self-love
When you learn to allow yourself to feel all of your feelings and to feel good enough with or without your relationship, you’ll discover a deeper sense of unshaken love that can’t be touched by others.
This comes when you learn to embrace and deeply know from inside, that no matter if your partner chooses for you yes or no, you are good enough.
5. Communicate & ask for reassurance if you’re worried
First of all, vulnerability about your feelings is the key. You need to openly communicate about your feelings with your partner. Let your partner see you. Let your partner hold you.
Over time this will build the emotional intimacy that is needed to really have a strong foundation. From this place, you can set boundaries that feel great for both of you for what you feel is appropriate and what isn’t.
If you find it hard to communicate about this with your partner, here is a sentence that you can use right away to openly communicate about your feelings: “Hey, are you able to talk right now? I would love to express what I feel.”
“I feel when xyz happened, I wasn’t important for you. I felt like I didn’t exist. This causes a lot of jealousy inside me on this other woman. How was this for you?”
When a partner truly loves you, he or she will do anything she can to listen to you, find a solution and get you out of your mind. Besides this, i’s important to always follow your gut feeling.
You need to take in account that when you deeply listen to your gut and not to your mind, your gut can also be right and you can’t trust your partner.
6. Use calming techniques to manage your emotions
Calming practices can give us our centre back amidst the chaos of the waves. Using the following techniques can help you to balance your emotions and find calm amidst of the chaos.
– Going for a walk, a yoga class, or exercise.
– Express yourself creatively. Painting, writing, etc.
– Ask a trusted family member or friend for support
– Listen to music that calms down your mind.
Which of the practices above are you ready to implement?
7. Make an effort to see things from your partner’s perspective
Sometimes we can get so stuck in our own perspectives, that we don’t see or don’t want to see it from another angle. In times of deep jealousy, try to open yourself also for the truth of your partner.
Try to see it from their eyes. When you can truly do this, this might changes the game and the story that you so confidently are telling yourself.
8. Consider seeking a professional support
If you’re jealousy is really having a deep impact on your life that you’re not able to work, focus or experience joy with friends or family, this is a clear indicator that you need to ask for professional support.
Healthy jealousy is okay and every healthy relationship will have this, but experiencing jealousy in such a deep, destructive way that you’re constantly busy with what your partner is doing, checking out on their instagram and social media, is destructive.
For your health and the other. There are many specialised therapists out there, that can help you come to the root of the issue and deal with your jealousy in healthy ways.
9. Analyze your expectation
Do you have such high expectations that it’s impossible for your partner to fulfil them?
For example, if one of your expectations is that your partner “will never ever talk to a woman”, otherwise you get jealous, this is an unhealthy expectation.
This is also an expectation that is almost impossible to fulfil for your partner. Therefore, it’s good to ask yourself: Are my expectations realistic? Or are my expectations too high? Can I meet my partner where he is?
10. Get to know his circle
Knowing his inner-circle might help you to understand him better and see him in a different light. You’ll get to know him from a different angle and this can give you more comfort.
Talking with his friends can even give you relief on who your partner is as a person and that can cause your feelings of jealousy to lower down.
Understand the six human needs to be happy in a relationship:
According to Tony Robbins, there are six Human Needs plus 4 additional needs that need to be met in order to create a fulfilling relationship.
It’s likely that when you feel jealous inside your relationship, it’s saying something about your human needs that haven’t been met.
The next time you feel jealous, check if one of the following needs haven’t been met:
– Certainty. Feeling certain about the relationship that you have with your partner.
– Uncertainty. The need for unexpected things and uncertainty. Variety in the relationship.
– Significance. Feeling significant in the relationship with your partner.
– Connection and love. Feeling loved and connected to your partner.
– Intimacy. Feeling intimate and close to your partner.
– Humor. Being able to laugh and flow through life errors together.
– Contribution. The way you and your partner are contributing towards each others lives.
– Validation and support. Feeling validated and supported by your partner.
If you like to read more deeply about all the needs that are there, head to this link from Tony Robbins to read more about the human needs.
What You Should Do now?
Amidst temporary heightened emotions, the choices you make can have long-lasting negative consequences. So, it’s better to hold back on making rash decisions.
One of the most important things that you should do when dealing with jealousy, is to take responsibility for your own feelings and your own thinking patterns.
Look back towards where your jealousy is stemming from, heal the past wounds that keep you stuck in a destructive cycle of disconnection with your partner.
Keep yourself open and vulnerable about your feelings and let your partner in when it feels hard. Relationships take communication and they are hard work, in order to really thrive.
Just know that you have the power to overcome your jealousy and create more connection, safety and growth within yourself and within the relationship with your partner.