Relationship Tips for a Happy Marriage Part 67: No Jealousy Allowed
Jealousy can be harmful to even the most healthy relationships. It brings up feelings of insecurity and anxiety over losing the person you love. These feelings turn into accusations and counter accusations; spouses begin to questions each other’s whereabouts even when there is no need to and this leads to a communication breakdown.
Healthy and Unhealthy Jealousy
Believe it or not, all jealousy is unhealthy. It is natural for married couples to want to safeguard their marriage from external threats. This healthy jealousy portrays commitment to the marriage.
Mild and occasional jealousy is healthy as it reminds us not to take our spouses for granted. It makes us want to make them feel valued and heightens our feelings of love and intimacy towards them.
Unhealthy jealousy, on the other hand, manifests itself as a desire to control everything in the marriage. A jealous spouse uses lies and threats to manipulate his or her partner. These actions often stem from a place of self pity and perceived worthlessness. In order to be happy, couples must learn how to overcome unhealthy jealousy in relationships.
How to Deal With Jealousy in Marriage
When You Have a Jealous Spouse
Before you can deal with jealousy in your marriage, you need to acknowledge its existence. The only way to do this is to communicate with your jealous spouse. Make your partner feel accepted and encourage him to share his feelings even if they make you uncomfortable. You could, unknowingly, be doing something to trigger feelings of insecurity in your partner.
Be open to discussing your friends at work and outside work with your spouse. Any secrecy about such friendships could lead your jealous spouse to believe you are hiding something. Open communication is the most effective way to deal with jealousy in marriage.
Unfortunately, open communication is not always enough to quash jealousy. Your spouse may still feel insecure about certain friendships no matter how open you are about them. This may mean that you have to end the friendship.
Having to give up a friendship because your partner is jealous may seem unfair but your commitment is first and foremost to your marriage and then to your friends. However, the jealous spouse shouldn’t get off scot-free either.
When You Are the Jealous Spouse
When jealousy begins to affect your marriage as well as relationships outside it, it is time to seek counseling. Keep in mind that, if left unresolved, unhealthy jealousy can lead to divorce.
Sometimes, jealousy has absolutely nothing to do with the actions of the other spouse. It could be the result of deep-seated psychological issues such as childhood abandonment that can only be dealt with through counseling. Counseling also helps the other spouse to understand the jealous spouse better.
Counseling alone is not enough to eliminate jealousy in marriage. As the jealous spouse, you have to be committed to change. Acknowledge that your actions are harming your relationship and vow to be a better spouse.
Are you married to a jealous spouse or are you a jealous spouse? Whichever you are, the above pointers are enough to get you started on your journey to healthier relationships. Do not put it off any longer.