Intimate Relationships & Jealousy


Every person has areas of vulnerability in their personal life that can lead to jealousy. Jealousy is a common emotion that happens to every person at some point in their life.

What’s a healthy way to deal with jealousy? Instead of bottling it up or lashing out at your partner, instead use this emotion as an opportunity to connect with your partner. For intimate relationships to be successful, vulnerabilities must be communicated and honoured by both partners.

Voice your vulnerabilities

Often jealousy is more about your vulnerabilities than the actions of your partner. If there are painful experiences in your past, such as a partner cheating on you, this can leave you more open to experience jealousy in the future. Be honest with your partner about these painful experiences so that they can understand why their behaviour is triggering to you.

Acknowledge and stop unhealthy behaviour

Jealousy can be problematic if it affects your behaviour and your feelings toward your entire relationship. Here are some signs of unhealthy jealous behaviours:

  • Checking your partner’s electronic devices without permission
    Insulting your partner
    Thinking without reason that your partner is not attracted to you
    Excessively questioning your partner on their whereabouts throughout the day
    Accusing your partner of lying when you have no evidence

If you recognise any of these behaviours in your relationship, attempt to understand the vulnerabilities beneath. However, these behaviours are destructive. Boundaries need to be set between you and your partner regarding privacy and respect. If you need a little extra help doing this, a trained therapist can help. The more you talk, the healthier your relationship will become.

Ideas for repairing a relationship

It’s important to communicate feelings of jealousy to your partner. But, talking about such sensitive subjects can be difficult. You may feel ashamed or confused by your own jealousy. You may also be afraid of your partner’s reaction. Luckily, with clear, positive and respectful communication will give you the best outcome. Here are a few tips when talking about jealousy:

  • When you talk about your feelings, stick to “I” statements. Avoid saying things like “you always” or “you never,” as these statements sound more accusatory.
    Talk about your feelings about the specific situation and avoid blanket statements about your partner’s character.
    Ask your partner for what you need instead of focusing on what you don’t need.

    Does your partner have a specific relationship that makes you uncomfortable? Speak honestly with one another about friendships, work relationships and acquaintances. For further reading, here are a few more ideas for repairing a relationship.

Understand jealousy and begin to heal

When you understand the reasons why you or your partner get jealous, you can begin to manage your behaviours in a way that is understanding and constructive. Recognise and accept your partner’s enduring vulnerabilities, as well as your own, to strengthen your relationship.

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