Jealousy is a potential relationship-destroyer. If you lose your control over this emotion, its ugly head will wreak havoc and slay your relationship. Dealing with jealousy is something that you can learn. For a healthy and long-lasting relationship, you must know how to deal with jealousy.
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The Green Eyed Monster
While jealousy has its good side, people will often refer to it as the green- eyed monster. This is because when it shows its head, it is usually hideous than agreeable.
The monster usually consumes and overwhelms those who allow it to rule their relationships. It leads to a myriad of negative emotions in the jealous party and these emotions include fear, anger, hatred, dejection, and depression.
In its extreme form, this green-eyed monster can even drive a person to kill. Jealousy gone haywire is one of the motives why certain people commit crimes of passion.
Why People in a Relationship Become Jealous
What makes people in a relationship jealous? There are a myriad of reasons and factors. Here are the root causes:
- Fear of losing your partner or the relationship to someone else – this is perhaps the most common reason why people in a relationship feel jealous.
- Relationship as possession – most people in a relationship equate their intimacy, sex, or romance to property relations. People with this kind of thinking and perspective view their partners and their relationship as possession or with a sense of ownership
- Defense mechanism – jealousy is also a defense mechanism for those people that want to protect their interests. If what they want is to stay in a monogamous relationship, they use jealousy as their defense.
- Personality disorders – psychoanalysts consider jealousy as a personality defect. They also see it as an indication of a person’s deep-rooted insecurities.
- Reflection of higher values – some psychologists and relationship experts, meanwhile, view jealousy as a reflection of one’s higher values of love, honesty, commitment, and monogamy.
Ways to Control and Manage Jealousy
You do not have to surrender to your jealous emotion. The main reason jealousy becomes negative is because people tend to behave accordingly. Note that feelings and behaviors are two different things.
Choosing to submit to what you feel with a corresponding jealous behavior is what gives jealousy its bad name. You do not have to act on how you feel. It is within your power and your means to manage and control your jealous emotion.
Here are effective ways to help you how to deal with jealousy in a relationship:
- Recognize and accept your emotions. One of the very first things to do is to recognize and accept your feelings of jealousy. This will help prevent the emotion and its negative effects to have power over you.
Denying the emotion only strengthens it, but accepting it weakens your jealous emotion. You can regain control with one simple step- accept it.
- Learn how to differentiate your feeling of jealousy with reality. What you feel may not always reflect what is happening in real life. You may feel jealous about your partner for whatever reason, but it does not automatically follow that your partner is cheating on you.
If it helps, there are things you can do to calm you and increase your assurance that there is nothing to be jealous about. Here are two things you can do:
- Talk to your partner’s friends, relatives, or family – these are the persons who can give you the best information about your partner. You can have your peace of mind talking to them and realizing that your jealousy is unfounded.
- Accompany your partner – go to events that your partner normally attends or join typical activities so you can see for yourself if there is any reason justifying your jealousy.
- Reexamine your views on relationship. Sometimes, the jealous emotion emanates from unrealistic expectations of your partner and the relationship itself.
An example of this is the expectation that you own your partner’s attention and attraction. Another example is that if your partner appreciates another person of the opposite sex, and you feel jealous about it, there is something wrong in your relationship.
- Work your way to increase the security of your relationship. Increase your communication with each other, and communicate well. Read our full article on “how to overcome insecurity” for more information.
Avoid misunderstandings, arguments, and confrontations as much as possible. Instead, be more understanding, honest, and affectionate towards your partner.
Work your problems together. Rather than blaming each other or finding who is at fault, focus both of your energy towards finding the best solution.
- While recognizing your jealousy, learn how to disobey it. There is no right or wrong when it comes to feelings or emotions. You are entitled to feel jealous, and no one can fault you for it.
However, it is critical that you do not let your feeling dictate your actions or behavior. Just because you are feeling it does not mean that acting on your emotion will justify your jealousy.
- Learn how to take risks. Entering a relationship is in itself a risk. There are no absolutes and certainties when it comes to relationships. In giving your heart to someone, you are also giving the person the capability to break it. That is the risk.
While there is not much that you can do about your partner, you can always do something about yourself. Preventing heartbreak is a challenge that you must be willing to face and overcome.