Jealousy in Relationships: Romantic or Toxic?

jealousy in relationshipsWhen you’re in a romantic relationship, it’s important to understand what jealousy is, how it can affect you, and how to control it. If you don’t, you may ruin your relationship or, at the very least, cause toxic behaviors. If you are experiencing toxicity in your current relationship or would like to understand how such behaviors occur, be sure to check out Udemy’s 7 Days of Self-Love: You Deserve More course; insecurities and the need for control are common causes of jealousy, so learning to love yourself is a valuable skill and can help ensure that your relationships are healthy and you are able to control your jealousy.

Understanding Jealousy

First of all, you should be aware of what jealousy is in regards to romantic relationships. This type of jealousy is an emotion that can best be defined as negative thoughts, such as insecurities or anxieties, related to losing something of value. In this case, the “something of value” is a romantic partner. Jealousy can also be defined as an emotional reaction to a perceived threat.

For example, a person in a relationship may become jealous when they see their partner giving another person a lot of attention or when they hear their partner talk positively about another person often. In this case, the person is seeing the other person that their partner is giving special attention to as a threat.

Jealousy can have several different causes, including:

  • Lack of self-confidence/Insecurity – If you don’t believe that you are worth being loved, it is likely that you also assume that your partner would rather be with someone else.
  • Fear – If you’re constantly afraid of losing the person that you love to someone else, you are most likely experiencing jealousy as well. For example, a person who has been cheated on by a previous partner may be especially cautious with their new partner in order to make sure that they don’t lose someone that they love again.
  • Comparison – If you constantly compare yourself to others (this goes hand-in-hand with lack of self-confidence and being insecure) and believe that you are not good enough, it is likely that you will feel jealous.

When you are jealous, the emotions you experience can make you feel mentally unstable and even worthless; for this reason, it is important to catch yourself when you start to feel jealous and remember that you are worth loving.

While it can be difficult to experience jealous thoughts, it can also be very difficult to be with a partner who is constantly jealous. There is a difference between healthy concern and out-of-control jealousy. It is important to remember that the root of jealousy is insecurity/the need for control. There are several “red flags” that you can watch out for in your partner’s behavior, including:

  • Constantly “checking up” on you – When your partner doesn’t know where you are, they may contact you because they are genuinely concerned about your safety; this type of behavior is normal and healthy. However, if your partner constantly texts or calls you while you are out or makes you “check in” often, he or she is likely jealous or insecure in an unhealthy way. Healthy couples trust each other and do not need to check up on each other constantly.
  • Looking through your phone – When you are in a trusting, healthy relationship, there is no need to look through your partner’s phone and vice versa; you both already know that you are happy and committed and the fear of infidelity is nonexistent. When a person is overly jealous and/or insecure, they may look through their partner’s phone to make sure that they are not texting or calling anyone who may pose a threat to the relationship.
  • Constantly accusing you of flirting – If you are in a healthy relationship, you probably won’t flirt with anyone other than your partner; if your partner feels like you are flirting with someone, they may pull you aside and talk to you about it. This should be no major obstacle for a healthy couple because these types of situations can simply be misunderstandings that are easily resolved with open communication. However, if your significant other accuses you of flirting with nearly anyone you talk to, your relationship may be unhealthy due to their jealousy.

It should also be noted that many of the signs of jealousy can also be the signs of an abusive or potentially abusive relationship. If you see these “red flag” behaviors in your partner often, it may be in your best interest to exit the relationship before it gets any worse. You can learn about additional unhealthy, jealous behaviors on Udemy’s 8 Signs Of Jealousy For Every Relationship course.

Dealing With Jealousy When It Occurs

However, jealousy can seem justified at times. If you cheated on your partner, would you expect them to trust you again immediately? It’s doubtful, but even when infidelity has played a role in your relationship, you still should not resort to controlling, overly jealous behaviors. This will only make your relationship more toxic.

Often, it is in the best interest of both parties to end the relationship. However, when two people have the ability to maturely discuss what has happened and the person who has cheated is truly remorseful and will not cheat again, the relationship can possibly be salvaged. If you have experienced infidelity or would like to learn how to succeed in spite of difficult situations, take Udemy’s Succeed Because Of What You’ve Been Through Level 1. You can use your experiences to become a better, happier person instead of using them to hurt and control others.

While there aren’t many actions you can take to eliminate your partner’s jealous behavior, there are a few actions you can take to rid yourself of your jealous thoughts and actions, including:

Trust In Your Partner

First of all, you should analyze your partner’s behavior and decide whether or not he or she is a trustworthy person; otherwise, you may not be able to believe your partner. Does your partner have a history of infidelity? Is your partner charismatically deceptive? Does your partner lie and then make excuses for their behavior, showing no remorse?

If your partner does these things, it is likely that he or she is not a trustworthy person; you may need to step back, evaluate your decision to pursue a relationship with him or her, and possibly end the relationship. However, if your partner has not given you reasons to believe that he or she would deceive you, you should trust your partner instead of becoming irrationally jealous and insecure.

Don’t Play Mind Games

Mind games only diminish the trust in a relationship and pit two partners against one another. Relationships are about working together, and, if you are playing mind games, you are doing just the opposite.

Don’t Let Your Imagination Run Wild

When your partner comes home late from work, for example, you may assume the worst. You might begin to think that you partner has lied about his or her whereabouts and has been spending time with someone else behind your back. If your partner is trustworthy and your relationship is healthy, you should avoid irrationally imaginative scenarios that your partner could be involved in. When you are jealous for no reason, it can take a huge toll on your healthy relationship and turn it into a toxic one.

Do Not Become A Possessive Partner

You should not restrict your partner and constantly keep them from doing the things that they want to do. In a healthy relationship, this issue probably won’t arise often because your partner wouldn’t want to do anything that would make you uncomfortable. However, a jealous partner may be upset about something as minor as their partner going to the grocery store alone. This type of behavior is unacceptable, controlling, and is the result of insecurity, fear, and jealousy.

Jealousy can be difficult to conquer, especially when you have been hurt in the past. However, it is important to keep it under control so that your relationship does not become unhealthy. Often, books and movies portray overly possessive, jealous behaviors as romantic and passionate; however, these types of behaviors are actually very harmful and tend to coexist with other abusive behaviors.

If you are overly jealous and controlling of your partner, it is important to become self-aware and work to change your behavior. That way, you can start working toward having a healthy relationship. On the other hand, if your partner is overly jealous and controlling and refuses to show remorse or become self-aware, it is likely that your best option is to end the relationship.

Most importantly, you should be with someone you trust. When you have mutual trust in a relationship, there is no need for excessive jealousy and insecurity, and you can coexist in a healthy, happy way. To learn more about how you can sustain a healthy relationship, take Udemy’s The Ultimate Relationship Coaching Program course or Udemy’s 30 Day Journey To Relational Health course. The quality of your relationships can greatly affect your attitude and happiness; take a course at Udemy.com today to learn how to overcome jealousy and attract healthy relationships.