It’s happened to all of us at some time or another. We get jealous. Jealousy is one of those natural human emotions that you feel at some point or another in your life. I’ve experienced plenty of jealous moments in my life and I’m sure you have as well. In a relationship, jealousy can be one of those things that drive a couple apart over time. It can be that unspoken problem that is always lingering within the relationship and does irreparable harm. Since people are always going to be jealous, the question is not how to keep people from becoming jealous but instead how do we handle the jealousy that comes along in a mature manner?
I remember the first time I became jealous when in a relationship. I was eight and my second-grade “girlfriend” ate lunch with another boy instead of me. I was so angry and upset that I refused to speak to her for the rest of the day and as you know with elementary school romances that’s equivalent to a month in a real relationship. Suddenly she was that boy’s girlfriend and not mine. So I saw from a very early age that being petulant and ignoring the other person is a recipe for disaster.
Now that I’m an adult, I still get jealous, although not nearly as much as I did when I was younger. I think when you are secure in your relationship you become a little less possessive, but when jealousy does rear its ugly head, watch out! And because you are invested in a long-term relationship there is more to lose if you overreact or fly off the handle.
There are a few things that I would suggest you not do when trying to address a jealous situation. The first is fighting. No good will come from this and more than likely you will come off looking like a possessive and obnoxious ass from surrendering to your baser instincts. I also wouldn’t suggest any other type of confrontation with the person whom you were jealous of, even those not involving fisticuffs. Most people are not walking around looking to sabotage relationships on a daily basis, so they probably won’t even realize what might have been occurring in the situation. Again, you’ll probably come off looking like a possessive ass and will only serve to upset your partner.
I think when addressing a problem of jealousy within a relationship the first thing that has to happen is that the jealous party needs to communicate their feelings to the other person. They may have no idea that you are feeling this way and if you are not telling them what is making you upset, you are just setting yourself up for failure.
Most of the time if you let your lover know what is making you so upset they will be understanding and reassure you that you have nothing to be jealous of. She was chatting with a good looking man and laughing at his incredibly corny joke? You might be jealous but once she explains the situation you realize he was some vice-president from the home office that she had to pretend to like for business purposes. That girl who was tossing her hair around and giggling while talking with your man? You’re now ready to act like someone from “The Real Housewives of...” and fight for your man? She might be an old classmate and they’re talking about their kids. Giving your lover a chance to explain their actions will more than likely help your jealous urges and diffuse the entire situation.
But let’s say that doesn’t work, or doesn’t clear up the entire situation. Perhaps it was something innocent that your lover was doing, but now they are mad that you felt threatened or jealous. This could come back to a trust issue that is lurking within other areas of the relationship, or they could simply just be pissed that you were jealous in this instance. Now you are the one who has to be understanding and reassuring. This will probably lead to an intense discussion about the trust within your relationship and it could be good to clear the air in general about trust issues. When we get jealous we are being possessive and worried that something we love will be taken from us. But also, if we are worried about that we are also worried that the person we love might be willing to leave us; hence the possible trust issues that arise. I don’t think this is applicable to every situation involving jealousy, but your love might not see it that way. They might want to know why you didn’t trust them in that situation. If you still trusted them but were simply feeling possessive, you will need to reassure them and explain your thoughts behind that emotion and reaction. It’s a tough conversation to have, especially if you were the one that was feeling aggrieved only a few moments before, but in a healthy and mature relationship this type of conversation is necessary and will help your relationship grow and become even stronger from it.
Jealousy is something that we will always have to deal with. It is just a basic human emotion that we have to deal with. But that doesn’t mean that we have to deal with it in a childish or immature way. By communicating, you will solve 99% of the problems related to jealousy and I say that’s a pretty good percentage.