Is your spouse unreasonably jealous? Or are you the one in the marriage who feels jealous when your spouse focuses on other people or interests? Whoever is the one that exhibits this behavior, jealousy in marriage is a toxic emotion that, when carried too far, candestroy a marriage.
But you might get swayed by media influence and wonder if jealousy is healthy in a relationship, as they show it in the movies or television series.
Contrary to what the media portrays in romantic movies, jealousy is not equivalent tolove. Jealousy mostly stems from insecurity. The jealous spouse often does not feel they are “enough” for their partner. Theirlow self-esteem makes them perceive other people as threats to the relationship.
They, in turn, try to control their partner by preventing them from having any outside friendships or hobbies. This is not healthy behavior and can doom the marriage eventually.
Some authors see the roots of jealousy early in childhood. It is observed among siblings when we call it “sibling rivalry.” At that age, children compete for the attention of their parents. When a child thinks that they aren’t getting exclusive love, jealous feelings begin.
Most of the time, this wrong perception goes away as the child develops and gains a healthy level of self-esteem. But sometimes, it persists ultimately transferring over to love relationships when the person starts dating.
So, before we move on tohow to stop being jealous and how to overcome jealousy in marriage, let us try to understand what causes jealousy in marriage and insecurities in marriage.
What is jealousy in marriage?
Being jealous in marriage is not a new concept. Jealousy in marriage is a feeling of insecurity or fear that one’s partner is attracted to or interested in someone or something else. Jealousy can be normal and healthy if it motivates couples to appreciate and protect their relationship.
However, jealousy can also be unhealthy and harmful if it leads to controlling, accusing, or ignoring the partner. Jealousy can be caused by low self-esteem, unrealistic expectations, or past experiences of betrayal.
Jealousy could be fueled by both offline and online activities.
According to a Pew Research Center survey, 23% of adults whose partner uses social media say they have felt jealous or unsure of their relationship because of the way their partner interacts with others on these sites.
Causes of jealousy in marriage
There can be several reasons for jealousy in relationships. The feeling of jealousy creeps up on a person due to some occurrence but might continue to happen in other situations as well, if not tackled carefully at the right time.
The jealous spouse may have unresolved early-childhood problems of sibling rivalry, and negative experiences with partner indiscretions, and transgressions. Apart from childhood issues, it is also possible that abad experience in a previous relationship withinfidelity or dishonesty leads to jealousy in the next one.
They think that by remaining alert (jealous), they can prevent the situation from repeating itself. Instead, it gives rise to insecurity in marriage.
They don’t realize that this irrational behavior is toxic to the relationship and can result in driving the spouse away, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The jealous pathology creates the very situation that the afflicted person is trying to avoid.
What are the signs of jealousy in marriage?
Jealousy in marriage can be detrimental to the relationship, causing insecurity and mistrust. Here are five common signs of jealousy and their explanations:
Unhealthy jealousy leads to possessive behavior, restricting the partner’s freedom and constantly questioning their interactions, creating an atmosphere of control and suffocation.
Jealous individuals may frequently accuse their spouse of infidelity or inappropriate behavior, even in the absence of evidence, driven by their own insecurities and mistrust.
Monitoring and snooping
Marriage and jealousy are two complex situations to handle together, forcing a person to indulge in unethical activities. Jealousy can manifest in intrusive behaviors like checking texts, emails, or social media, invading the partner’s privacy due to fears of betrayal.
Heightened sensitivity to interactions
A jealous spouse may react intensely to any interaction their partner has with others, interpreting innocent interactions as potential threats to the marriage.
Emotional and verbal outbursts
Jealousy often leads to emotional volatility, including anger, aggression, or emotional withdrawal, as the jealous spouse struggles to manage their overwhelming feelings of insecurity and fear.
How can I deal with jealousy in my marriage?
How to deal with jealousy in marriage?
Dealing with jealousy in a marriage is crucial to maintain a healthy and trusting relationship. Here are five points to help you address jealousy:
Self-Reflection: Explore the root causes of your jealousy, identify insecurities, and work on building self-confidence and self-worth. Reflecting on thoughts and feelings is important to know how to stop jealousy in marriage.
Open Communication: Discuss your feelings of jealousy with your partner, express your concerns, and work together to establish trust and understanding.
Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries with your partner to alleviate feelings of insecurity and ensure a sense of safety within the relationship.
Seek Support: Consider couples therapy or individual counseling to address underlying issues and learn healthy coping mechanisms.
Focus on Empathy: Practice empathy towards your partner, trust their loyalty, and cultivate a mindset of appreciation rather than suspicion.
Here’s a monk’s approach to “How to stop jealousy & comparison”:
Jealousy in marriage can be a complex and challenging issue that affects many couples. This next section addresses frequently asked questions about jealousy, providing insights and guidance for navigating this common relationship challenge.
How does jealousy manifest in a marital relationship?
Jealousy in a marital relationship can manifest through excessive possessiveness, constant accusations of infidelity, monitoring or snooping behaviors, heightened sensitivity to interactions with others, and emotional or verbal outbursts driven by insecurities and fear.
How does jealousy impact a marriage?
Jealousy can have a detrimental impact on a marriage. It erodes trust, creates insecurity and tension, hampers communication, leads to arguments, and may even escalate to controlling behaviors, ultimately jeopardizing the overall health and stability of the relationship.
It calls for an action
Whether you or your spouse is experiencing anabnormal level of jealousy in marriage, rational jealousy, or irrational jealousy, as discussed by Georgia State University, it is recommended that you seek some kind of help if you keep the marriage healthy.
Even if you sense that the marriage is beyond saving, gettingtherapy would be a good idea so that the roots of this negative behavior can be examined and treated. Any future relationships you may have can be healthy ones.
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 Read more in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
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.