Is Jealousy Healthy in a Relationship?

Written by: Ankita Kathad – (Clinical Psychology)

Last updated date : September 15, 2022

Table of Contents Article title – DBT for anger
  1. Chapter 1
  2. Chapter 2
  3. Chapter 3
  4. Chapter 4
  5. Chapter 5
  6. Chapter 6
  7. Chapter 7
  8. Chapter 8

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Jealousy is a common and powerful emotion in any relationship. It can be related to one’s own insecurities or the partner’s actions. Sometimes jealousy is a chance to improve your own insecurities and connect with your inner self. At other times, it has the power to break a relationship. So is Jealousy healthy in a relationship or harmful? In this article, we try to answer this question. We also discover ways to deal with jealousy in a relationship.

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Chapter 1:
Why Do We Get Jealous?

There can be many reasons why you feel jealous in a relationship. Three main reasons why we can get jealous in a relationship are as follows:

Fear

Fear is a common cause of feeling jealous. Maybe we fear that the partner is losing interest in us. Maybe we fear that the so-called ‘best friend’ is flirting with our partner. Fear makes us feel less powerful. However, this fear is a message for us to work on ourselves. This fear is also a sign of poor connection with our partners.

Vulnerabilities

Often, we are insecure about our own attributes. We may feel so due to low self-esteem or low confidence in our abilities. Additionally, we may feel that someone else who is more attractive may woo our partners. Moreover, we may feel that we lack the attributes to keep our partners happy.

Our Partner’s Actions

Sometimes, our partner’s actions are key causes of our jealousy. They may act in a way that evokes the feeling of envy among us. They may spend more time with others than us. The partner may show more interest in others than us. They may speak very fondly of the other person in front of us. Sometimes, when the partner is more successful than the other one, there can be jealousy in the relationship.

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Chapter 2:
Is Jealousy Healthy in a Relationship?

Although jealousy is a negative emotion, it isn’t always a problem. When we look at it from an evolutionary point of view, it helped us survive the competition. For instance, in the past, there were many suitors for a partner. The primary aim was to make sure that the partner stays in order to reproduce. This is where jealousy was useful because it helped the insecure partner take extra effort to maintain a relationship. Jealousy is an emotion found in most of us. When we feel jealous of someone, it means that someone else is putting our relationship at risk. Jealousy makes you take some action to save your relationship or introspect. In this case, jealousy is healthy in a relationship.

Sometimes, there are genuine reasons for you being jealous. Your partner’s actions can make you feel insecure. For instance, they hang out more with an office colleague than with you. In this case, jealousy helps you understand why this must be happening. Here it helps you take constructive steps in order to improve your relationship with your partner.

However, there are times when jealousy becomes unhealthy in a relationship. It comes to a point where it breaks a bond. When a jealous partner becomes consumed by the jealousy, they can ruin their relations. For instance when a jealous person becomes violent with the other partner.

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Chapter 3:
When Jealousy Becomes Unhealthy

Jealousy can become toxic in a relationship if it remains unchecked for a while. It can become a cause of frequent fights. It can make a partner possessive about the other. The jealous partner will stop the other one from doing anything. For example, they will stop them from wearing good clothes or disallow them from going out late at night. This can make the relationship suffocating for the other partner. Too much jealousy is therefore destructive.

An unhealthy relationship can make the partners hate each other. Here are some examples of unhealthy jealousy in a relationship:

  1. As a jealous partner, your mind is always occupied with the thoughts of your partner’s activities. You may think of where she is or who she is with.
  2. You start controlling your partner’s life.
  3. Jealousy in a relationship is unhealthy when you start stalking your partner constantly.
  4. As a jealous partner, you abuse the other one because you feel cheated.

For some people, their partners feel jealous because they care. However, in many situations, jealousy just becomes a very strong reason for separation. Here’s how to deal with jealousy in a relationship.

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Chapter 4:
How to Deal With Jealousy in a Relationship

There are many constructive ways of addressing jealousy. If jealousy has become unhealthy in a relationship, it should be communicated, or else a small crack can create big troubles in your bond.

Introspect

When you find yourself being the jealous one in a relationship, take a step back and think. ‘Is this jealousy healthy in my relationship?’ Try to analyze why you are feeling that way. Is it because you have not been able to spend a good time with your partner? Have you been busy lately? Is there some unfinished business between you two? Try to understand what are the possible causes.

Communicate

Another healthy way to deal with jealousy in a relationship is to communicate. Talk to your partner about your insecurities. Tell them how it makes them feel when they see them getting close to others. It is important to listen to how the partner feels. It will be a good exercise to understand their point of view. If there is something that triggers your, you can let your partner know about it. You can also communicate with them about what needs to change in a relationship.

Work on Your Insecurities

If you think that your jealousy is because of your own insecurities then you can work on them. For instance, if you have low self-esteem, try to work on it. If you feel low on confidence, communicate it to your partner and try to work on it. These insecurities are the root cause of jealousy in many cases. People often do not accept them and respond to their partner’s actions in the form of jealousy.

Talk It Out!

If you feel it’s not the right time to talk to your partner, talk to a friend or trusted one. Talk to them about how you feel. Sometimes, a third person can give you a good perspective. In many cases, directly taking the issue to the partner can cause a rift in the relationship. In such cases, a friend or family member can help you understand the situation better.

Trust

A relationship is built on the foundation of trust. You must ask yourself if the partner has really given a reason to mistrust? or is it you who is simply getting suspicious based on small events. Any relationship can be stopped from falling apart if partners trust each other. Blind trust is never healthy or recommended but placing some amount of trust can save you from a lot of hassles.

Don’t get carried away

When you feel jealous, you may act in unhealthy ways. Some people engage in drinking alcohol or abuse their partners. It is important to stay calm when feeling jealous. An adverse reaction to the feeling of jealousy can only worsen the bond. It can make the partner hate you. Therefore, before holding a meaningful conversation, be calm. When you are calm, you can choose the right words while communicating with your partner. Moreover, it also proves your maturity.

Endnote

Jealousy is healthy in a relationship to some extent. It proves that you value the person and want them to stay in your life. Healthy jealousy in a relationship also indicates that there is some improvement that is needed. It can simply mean that partners love each other. However, jealousy in a relationship is a strong driving force for people to hate each other. If you are feeling low on self-worth and if that’s what makes you a jealous partner, there are courses at Epsychonline, that can help you out. These courses are curated by experts and are self-help in nature. Courses, like Low self-esteem, can be very helpful to work on your self-esteem. There, are many articles that explain different emotions in a relationship. Do check them out.

Reviews 4.1

Learn evidence-based DBT for Anger skills

69 Lessons

6 hours

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

€9.00 €12.00

25% discount