Jealousy in a relationship is not unheard of. In fact, it is a fairly common emotion. It can either bring the couples closer or cause them to drift apart. It is not something to criticize or chastise. Jealousy and relationships go hand in hand.
So is jealousy healthy in a relationship, or is jealousy bad?
Healthy jealousy in a relationship occurs when the partner handles it with maturity and communicates appropriately. However, not having a proper handle on this emotion can lead to envy, and complicate if not destroy, the relationship.
Abraham Buunk, a renowned Professor in Evolutionary Social Psychology at the University of Groningen, stated that jealousy is a destructive emotion. Therefore, understanding what triggers jealousy, what does jealousy stem from will help you prevent this emotion from ruining your relationship.
What is jealousy?
Although jealousy in a relationship can lead to envy and a whole plethora of negative emotions, it is different from envy. With envy, you feel disdain for what has happened or is happening, but with jealousy, you’re battling with things unknown and letting your imagination ruin your relationship.
“Jealousy is a complex emotion marked by insecurity and fearing the loss of something important. It is highlighted by feelings of abandonment and anger. Jealousy is distinct from envy (although the two are often used interchangeably) in that envy is the want of something that belongs to another person.”
As defined above, jealousy is usually triggered when you’re about to lose something or someone important.
So do not beat yourself up if you always ask the question, “why do I get jealous easily?” You are afraid of losing the person you love.
However, it is essential you don’t let fear take over your thoughts and destroy your relationship. Is jealousy healthy in a relationship can only be answered by the couples. Only the couples have the power to determine how to handle their jealous feelings.
First, you need to know what causes jealousy. Do you struggle with trusting your partner? Is it a result of failed past relationships? Or from your parent’s failed marriage that led to your lack of faith in love, relationship, and family?
If you ever want to get something working again, you must first find out what exactly is faulty.
Jealousy is present in every relationship, be it a romantic relationship or the relationship between a child and parent or siblings.A child as young as six-months can show signs of jealousy if a parent starts to pay more attention to another child.
So do you usually ask the question, is jealousy normal, or is jealousy healthy in a relationship? Yes, it is.
What makes you take that turn of the neck to peep into your significant other’s phone? Why are you more anxious than usual when it’s late, and your partner isn’t yet home? Or are you wondering why you get jealous so easily?
Finding out where does jealousy stems from can help you control it.
There are two very common places where jealousy can arise from:
When your partner is secretive, shady, and distant.
Several other reasons could invoke jealousy like
Partner being distant,
A more attractive neighbor, or friend at the partner’s workplace.
Sometimes jealousy in a relationship can originate not from something your partner did but from insecurities. Insecurity is an enemy to progress; it breeds comparisons that can tear a relationship apart.
There are times you just want them all to yourself but remember thatindividuality in a relationship is essential.
You should trust and respect your partner enough to know that activities or interests you’re not a part of don’t mean something nefarious is going on.
Is jealousy healthy in a relationship?
To answer the question, is jealousy healthy in a relationship? Yes, a little jealousy in a relationship is healthy. So if you find yourself asking the question, is jealousy normal?
Remember that jealousy is not only normal and expected in every relationship, but there is healthy jealousy.
Note that jealousy in a relationship can also be unhealthy. If jealousy is to alert you of a threat, it is safe to know that you can misinterpret some situations. To know how to handle jealousy properly, you need to know if it’s healthy jealousy or unhealthy jealousy.
So, where does jealousy stem from, is jealousy an emotion?
Jealousy is an emotion created out of love, insecurity, lack of trust, or obsession. A healthy relationship filled with respect and trust will trigger healthy jealousy. There is excellent communication, firm trust, a listening heart, and a friendly partner in a healthy relationship.
However, jealousy based on insecurities is unhealthy jealousy. The psychology of jealousy in relationships acknowledges that we all want to be the center of attention for our partners.
So we may feel a little bit left out if such attention is focused on another person, no matter how brief. However, how you handle such a situation is what will either break or make your relationship.
What does healthy jealousy look like?
The triggers of jealousy are to alert you of a threat to your relationship. What causes jealousy could be your partner’s behavior or a person.
Positive jealousy in a relationship simply means you love and are scared of losing your partner. If you feel a spark of jealousy, let your partner know. This way, the action that caused such a feeling can be dealt with.
Your partner will feel loved, cherished and know the relationship means a lot to you in this kind of situation. The conversation will signify you’re in the relationship for the long haul. It will also build trust and help you and your partner become closer.
When you’re not getting the attention, you are used to, jealousy kicks in. But this doesn’t make you a bad person; you just need reassurance from your partner. This is where communication steps in. Simply explain your feelings to your partner and watch that healthy jealousy diminish.
Watch this video to help you determine if jealousy is healthy in a relationship:
How to handle unhealthy jealousy?
If your relationship lacks trust, communication, or a partner who doesn’t listen, it can be hard to get a hold of your jealousy, making it unhealthy.
Does this mean jealousy is bad or is jealousy healthy in a relationship?
Jealousy becomes unhealthy when you lose control of your thoughts, and you make up assumptions that are birth attitudes, fights that could ruin your relationship. Jealousy affects all relationships, but it is up to the couples to determine if it will affect positively or negatively
Ensure that you’re not self-sabotaging every good thing your significant other does by attaching their action to negative thoughts. Before you can handle unhealthy jealousy, it is essential to answer the question, what does jealousy feel like? Some of the signs include:
Over controlling your partner
If a partner attempts to control all aspects of the other partner’s life due to lack of trust or insecurities, that is unhealthy jealousy. Overcontrolling your partner’s life can lead to reading their messages, email, preventing them from visiting specific places or going out without you.
According toDr. Parmar from community psychiatric,
“Feeling over possessive about your partner, not letting them meet other people or their friends freely, monitoring their activities and whereabouts frequently, jumping to negative conclusions if they don’t respond to your text or call are some of the warning signs of unhealthy jealousy,”
It’s normal to get jealous if you notice somebody flirting with your partner. Discussing it with them can allow you to handle the situation correctly. However, if a normal conversation with a friend or a co-worker can spark jealousy in you, you need to reevaluate your feelings.
Don’t create impossible scenarios in your mind or go through your partners’ phone. Worse yet, don’t stalk and monitor them. If you keep on creating scenarios based on a text message you saw that meant something entirely different, then your relationship can crumble.
What to do when you feel jealous?
COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, AND COMMUNICATE some more.
No matter the number of times you hear and read this, communicating your fears, worries, trust issues, and insecurities will save you from losing your relationship.
Communicate with your partner if you suspect something; if you don’t, the worry can eat you up and turn your jealousy unhealthy. Be patient, understanding, and embrace good communication. Listen to your partner’s worries and fear and tell them yours too.
Understand where does the jealousy stem from
When you start imagining your partner cheating on you, put the brakes on your thought. Go back and determine what brought about such thoughts and what caused the jealousy. Was it something your spouse did, or are you just being insecure?
Ask yourself where does jealousy stems from. Only when you find the source can you handle the unhealthy jealousy in a relationship.
The answer to the question is jealousy healthy in a relationship, or is jealousy normal? Is “YES.” Don’t fret when you find yourself being jealous of minor things; it happens to everybody.
However, don’t try to handle it by yourself, as it can lead to unhealthy jealousy. You cannot solve your problems alone, most especially when it involves a relationship because it takes two people to make it work.
Talk to your partner about it and lay all your cards on the table; only doing this will the relationship move forward.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.