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Jealousy is a natural emotion that arises when someone feels insecure about their connection, whether that relationship is with a friend, romantic partner, or sibling. Everyone experiences jealousy at some point, but problems can arise when jealousy evolves from a healthy emotion to an irrational and unhealthy one.

Excessive and irrational jealousy can eventually destroy a relationship. Learning how to deal with insecurities and jealousy in a relationship would be best to overcome these emotions and strengthen your connection. Here’s a look at jealousy and tips on dealing with it in a relationship.

What is jealousy?

Jealousy is a reaction to a recognized threat to a valued relationship, whether imagined or real. Some jealousy can be reassuring in a relationship and might even be programmed into us. However, excessive jealousy can be scary and overwhelming, mainly because it can lead to dangerous behaviors like digital dating violence, stalking and physical abuse.

Without addressing it, there’s no reason to think that jealousy will get better. Jealousy isn’t an emotion that can be eliminated with wishful thinking. It goes to the core of the self and has deep roots, taking awareness and effort to overcome these emotions.

If you’re experiencing jealousy, addressing it before it gets out of hand is essential. Both you and your partner can learn how to handle jealousy healthily. Here are some tips on dealing with jealousy in a relationship.

Understand that some jealousy is normal.

There will be situations and people that threaten the security of your relationship. Whether it’s a flirtatious coworker or a job requiring a lot of travel, it’s normal to experience some jealousy. The important thing is that you take time to discuss your concerns and agree on some boundaries that will protect your hearts and relationship.

For example, you may both agree that limiting contact with that flirtatious coworker is essential for the relationship’s health or that talking before bed while one spouse is on the road will ease concerns. The key is discussing the issues calmly and coming up with solutions as a couple.

Get to the root of the jealousy.

When one partner feels jealous consistently, it’s vital to find out why that’s happening. For example, does the jealous partner feel insecure because you’re not spending enough time together as a couple? Or does the relationship have trust issues because of infidelity? Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Try to understand the root of the jealousy and what can be done to fix it.

Create a trusting atmosphere.

One of the best ways to fight against jealousy is to create a trusting atmosphere. This process starts when both partners are honest and trustworthy. In other words, they’re committed, faithful, and truthful. Reliable people don’t lie about how they spend their time. They also don’t cheat on their partner or spouses. If you both fight these pitfalls, relationship trust will flourish and shut out jealousy.

Develop a healthy attachment.

A relationship involves spending time together, showing affection and building an attachment. Any threats to your connection should be cause for concern. Jealousy is appropriate when it signals that the relationship is at risk.

Realize when jealousy is abusive.

Jealousy in response to a genuine threat to the relationship is expected. However, if one partner is jealous for no reason, it could be a red flag, mainly if the jealousy includes unrealistic expectations, extreme anger, and unfounded accusations. What’s more, this kind of jealousy isn’t a one-time thing. It’s a repeated pattern of behavior.

Another sign of unhealthy or abusive jealousy is an attempt to exert control over the other person and make outlandish accusations. If you’re regularly defending yourself against your partner’s accusatory or unreasonable questions, that’s a red flag. It would be best to get help immediately before things spiral out of control.

Coping with your own jealousy.

If you’re the one experiencing jealousy in your relationship, you might want to think about why. For example, do you fear your partner will leave you or struggle with self-esteem? Has your partner cheated in the past, and you’re worried it’ll happen again? Either way, you should deal with your feelings. The best way to do that is to find a therapist or counselor who can help manage your jealousy healthily.

Like most other difficult emotional experiences, jealousy can trigger growth if treated correctly. Addressing jealousy can be the first step in greater understanding and increased self-awareness for you and your partner. Steps to overcoming jealousy typically include admitting that you’re jealous, agreeing not to spy on your spouse, accepting that jealousy hurts your relationship, and seeking professional help as a couple if necessary.

When jealousy becomes unhealthy, it can create toxic marriages and destroy relationships. For this reason, if you’re experiencing overwhelming jealousy interfering with the relationship’s health, it’s essential to find a counselor or therapist to help you understand why jealousy exists. A professional can give you the tools for coping with jealousy healthily.

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