How to Stop Being Jealous

by Sandra on October 7

Jealousy is a sign of a healthy relationshijealousyp.”

Jealousy is natural.” 

If you are not jealous, you don’t really love someone.”

Bull. Fucking. Shit.

If your partner looks at someone else and you get angry, who do you think is at fault?

Taking it a bit further, if your partner flirts with someone else and you get upset, angry or feel bad, whose problem do you think that is?

Before you read any further, a warning: This article cannot be unread. Sure, you can ignore it, you can decide it is a load of crap and try to continue to live your life as normal. It won’t work. Once you read this, there is no going back. There is no undoing. This is only for those who are brave enough to look at themselves, work on themselves and be honest with themselves.

Ready? Ok, let’s continue…

The answer is YOU. It has nothing to do with your partner at all. Sure, it is a lot easier to blame your partner (“if you didn’t, then I wouldn’t…”), but it is not fair, and more importantly, it will not solve anything.

The roots of jealousy lie in insecurity. Not always necessarily insecurity about your relationship or even about yourself, but about something that is lacking in your own life

Jealousy vs Envy

Although commonly thought of as synonyms, I personally like to differentiate between jealousy and envy. Envy is the feeling of wanting what someone else has, without necessarily wanting to take it away. On the other hand, jealousy is the feeling of not wanting the other person to have what they have.

This is an important distinction because it tells you something about where to start looking in order to resolve those feelings.

For example: My husband and I were doing great as a couple; we had a good life and enjoyed each other’s company. However, whenever he would go out with his guy friends, I would get angry and upset.

After talking to friends and doing a lot of introspection, it turned out that wasn’t because I didn’t trust him, or because I wanted him to stay home, but that I felt lonely and missed going out with my own friends. Once I solved that, by making new friends and going out more myself, I could genuinely be happy for my husband when he went out with the guys as well, even if that day I would stay at home watching TV. This is a clear case of feeling envious and solving the lack in my own life resolved that feeling of anger and hurt effortless.

It is all inside you

If I could guarantee you, beyond a doubt and with 100% certainty, that your partner would not cheat, would not leave you, and would find you to be the most attractive person in the world for the rest of their lives, would you still be jealous? Be honest here.

The answer is no. You wouldn’t. That is why it doesn’t bother you when a guy would talk with your husband or when your wife has an intimate conversation with her sister—because you do not perceive them as a threat to what you have.

It may be that you have a very good reason to be insecure. Maybe your partner has cheated on you in the past, or you’ve been cheated on by someone else. Or maybe even you yourself aren’t faithful and are projecting this on your partner.

By working on your own feelings, getting to the bottom of what it is that you are actually afraid of and countering that, you will see your feelings of jealousy disappear. This is not easy—it is difficult to take a good look at yourself and realize that you are the one who has to make a change.

And yes, sometimes that change might be to leave the relationship if it turns out you cannot trust the other person. But that change will be from a place of confidence and looking for improvement, not a place of insecurity and fear.

How to know what is really going on

This is where the difficult part comes in. There are some questions that you can ask yourself, or a good friend can ask you, to help you get to the bottom of your feelings. You do have to be 100% honest. No excuses, and no hiding from harsh truths.

Questions you can ask yourself:

  • What about this situation is bothering me exactly?
  • Why exactly does that bother me?

The important thing is to reach a point where the answer is about you, not about the other person. If the answer is “I don’t trust him/her/whoever” it’s not about you, it’s still about the other person. Even answers such as “I don’t want to lose him/her” are still about the other person.

Keep digging deeper. Why don’t you want to lose them? Why don’t you trust them?

Once you get to an answer that is 100% about you, such as “I don’t want to be alone” or “I cannot handle it if I get betrayed,” you can begin to work on that.

When you know that although you prefer to be with the other person, you will still be okay eventually if you are alone. You don’t have to be jealous that they spend time with someone else. You can trust that they are in the relationship, committed like you are.

What if it is really about them?

There is both good news and bad news here. The bad news is that it is never really them. The good news is that once you figure out what inside you makes you feel jealous and solve that, the solution presents itself.

Say for example that you have a partner who cheats—that might make you feel jealous because you feel insecure about their love for you. This might lead you to the conclusion that you are afraid to be alone, or that you don’t love yourself enough.

Once you reach that conclusion and you work on yourself so that you are not afraid to be alone anymore, or you have a higher level of self-love, making the decision to stay in that relationship or not becomes a lot easier. Your decision is not about jealousy anymore, but about what you are looking for in a relationship, and if the other person is willing to provide that.

There is no right or wrong answer here. You could notice that once you are not afraid to be alone anymore, you prefer to transform your relationship to an open relationship and stay with your current partner even when he has other partners. Or you could decide that fidelity is important to you, and end the relationship to look for someone who is more compatible with you.

It’s a process

Getting to the bottom of your own feelings is a process and not an easy one. It takes a lot of courage to look at what is lacking in your life and take steps to fix that. It’s also not always a very quick process. It took me months to find friends to be with and activities to participate in.

It is completely valid to ask your partner to take into consideration that you are having issues with something while you are making those changes. Not necessarily to ask them to stop doing that activity that bothers you, but maybe do it less, invite you along, or find a middle road that doesn’t make you feel bad. However, your partner accommodating you should never be an excuse to not work on your own issues in the mean time!

If you try to take it out on your partner, and make them do or stop doing things so that you can be more secure, you will only end up feeling more insecure and make yourself and your partner miserable in the process.

In what areas of your relationship are you jealous and what is it that you are insecure about?

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Sandra

Sandra is a 33 year old mother, wife, life coach. As a Dutch national living in Mexico she is trying to find ways to make most out of life. She’s passionate about simplifying life, yet loves her luxuries and non-minimalistic lifestyle.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

LuAnn February 24, 2016 at 9:30 pm

awesome post Sandra you make some valid points and provide great value here thanks for sharing

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Devon June 20, 2016 at 9:34 pm

This is a really really wonderful article. I knew it was an issue within myself and not the fault of my boyfriend but until I read it articulated so nicely I couldn’t find relief from my chronic jealousy. Thank you so much for your insight

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