Jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the flavour, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances, can be life-threatening – Maya Angelou
I do like the above quote as I think that there should be a very small hint of jealousy in a relationship. A flicker of very occasional jealousy shows that you love your partner and that you cannot stand the thought of even the tiniest possibility of being without them.
Too much jealousy is never a good thing
The problem is that more often than not, jealousy in a relationship is too much and will end up destroying the love and trust that you have together. If you trust your partner and are confident in your relationship, then there is no real reason to be worried about who they are talking to or what they are doing when you are not there.
Being jealous can lead to very controlling behaviour. Checking a person’s phone or computer, wanting to know where they are going and how long they will be, who they have spoken with and what they said. Putting restrictions on your partner such as not letting them go out without you, putting a tracker on their phone or banning them from having social media accounts.
This type of behaviour towards the one you love can be soul-destroying for them, which is ironic when the person who is jealous does actually love their partner with all of their heart. They are just so scared of losing them and think that they are not good enough to be loved in return.
When Jealousy is causing a problem
The first step is to work out where the jealousy is coming from. Is it because there is no trust in the relationship due to previous affairs, or is it down to the person’s past relationships ending badly? Or maybe it is more connected to how the person who is jealous feels about themselves.
If it is about how the person who is jealous feels about themselves, then they need to work on their own self-esteem, as deep down they do not feel that they are good enough for their partner. There are lots of resources available online or at your local library to help with this, or seeing a counsellor could be beneficial.
If the person is jealous as they have been cheated on in past relationships and they are scared of history repeating itself, then counselling would be a really good idea. It is unlikely that they will be able to make any relationship work unless they can learn to work through past issues and resolve them.
Finally, if they are jealous as there is no trust in the relationship, as there has been cheating than couples counselling would be a good way to help move the relationship forward if that is what both people would like to achieve.
When you are being suffocated by jealousy
If you are the one who is being suffocated by the jealousy of your partner and it is making you unhappy then I would recommend trying to support them to get help as I described above. However, if they do not want to get help or acknowledge that their behaviour is unacceptable then you need to seriously consider ending the relationship. Everyone deserves to be in a relationship of trust and love where they are not dictated to or controlled by someone else’s issues.
Never underestimate the power of jealousy and the power of envy to destroy. Never underestimate that – Oliver Stone
This post is part of my blog series: The A-Z of a healthy and happy relationship.