Jealousy. We all feel it. It's human. Sometimes, it's when we see a friend who has the brand new car we've been itching for. Sometimes it's when someone we love has the life we want for ourselves. Whenever the green-eyed monster comes out to play, it strikes us all at one time or another.
What happens when jealousy takes over a relationship? What do we do when we can't help but feel jealous about things our partner does?
Here are some tips for overcoming jealousy in a romantic relationship -- before it eats you alive.
1) Pinpoint the reasons for your jealousy: is it based on a past event? Has your partner lied to you? Once you have a reason, you can begin to work on the solution. Awareness of the reasons for your jealousy is important.
2) Identify what role your insecurities are playing in this -- is this based on a previous relationship? Has your partner REALLY done anything wrong? Is this a problem with low self-esteem?
3) Tell your partner about your jealousy using "I feel" statements. Feelings aren't up for debate, and an open line of communication -- WITHOUT being accusatory -- is key here. It could be as simple as, "I feel jealous when you spend so much time with your friends."
4) If your jealousy is stemming from something to do with a past relationship, remind yourself that you're in the present. You are no longer in that relationship, this is a new partner, and as such he or she should be given a chance.
5) Really let yourself feel the jealousy. Don't tell yourself you shouldn't or should "be over it" (that's one of the quickest ways to guilt). Become hyper aware of the reasons for the envy. Facing it head-on will cause jealousy to lose some of it's power.
6) Remind yourself that you are worthy of love and that you love yourself. Focus on being the best you can be -- it'll help attract the right partners as well as allow you to completely commit to a relationship.
7) Write it out. Doesn't matter if you think it's stupid -- the act of writing something down (especially when it's negative) forces you to organize your thoughts. Try a word cloud, if writing is too much.
8) Before going off on your partner, sit with your jealousy and ask yourself: is this someone/thing worthy of my energy? What would this person/situation really do to me? Why do I feel threatened?
9) When you feel the jealousy really take hold of you, change what it is you're doing. Get up, go for a walk. Load the dishwasher. Change your thought patterns by doing something else. Then you can look at the situation more objectively.
10) If you simply cannot get past the jealousy, try going to a therapist who can help you sort out your feelings. Finding an objective third party is ALWAYS a good thing to have! That way, you can develop more positive ways of coping with the green-eyed monster.
Have you been jealous before? How have you overcome it?
Image via williamshannon/Flickr