Jealousy is a very common topic but is also very persistent. It can poison a relationship to the core, even a relationship with good potential. A small amount can be healthy, but when there’s too much it becomes a problem. How do you deal with jealousy if it becomes too much?
It is both painful to the person suffering jealousy and his or her partner as well. A tiny bit of it can be healthy though, it shows your partner cares about you. None of it is somewhat suspicious, it feels odd, like your partner is completely indifferent to you. Jealousy is like salt, a little bit of it adds flavour to the relationship, too much of it makes it inedible.
It is a pathology
Nobody gets sickly jealous as a hobby or only to make the partner’s life harder. It can happen to everyone, do not feel bad if you feel this way. The jealous person is like a scenarist trapped in his own horror story in which he is constantly betrayed. No matter what other people do or say to explain their innocence, the paranoia is just too strong.
Even if their partner stays home all day and doesn’t see anyone else, the jealous person will start to torture themselves about their partner’s thoughts “They don’t look happy with me, they want to leave.”
Jealousy is mostly the desire to own the other person. You can’t let them get away. Behind this need to control, we can find affective dependance. One’s jealousy can take root in the childhood, with the relationship to the mother. This is a kind of love relationship the child doesn’t want to share. Jealousy in love can also be a recollection of childhood.
Psychoanalysis also claims jealousy can be a form of unconscious desire to cheat on the partner. Since this desire is unbearable, the defensive mechanism is to project this intention on the significant other.
Are men or women more jealous?
Regarding the frequency and the intensity, they are both equal. However, their type of jealousy differ. According to psychiatrists, women become either depressed or hysterical. Men, on the other hand, tend to have a more obsessional and paranoid jealousy. The latter is harder to cure.
Men tend to be territorial about women, therefore, the thought of betrayal can cause an intense feeling of invasion, another man owning their woman. To women, the idea of having their man cheating on them is experienced as a failure of making their man happy enough, thus causing deep confidence issues which have either depressive or hysterical outcomes.
Either way, those aren’t feelings you should be ashamed of if you happen to experience them. Be open about them to your partner. Express what you feel when you have jealous thoughts as clearly as possible, this should give the necessary tools to your partner to help you deal with them.
Learn to trust yourself more
Working on self-confidence is necessary. It is probably the most useful key to overcome your pathological demeanour. Jealousy often comes out of the feeling that your are not worthy of your partner and his or her affection.
Since you think you are not good enough, the fear of losing your partner to someone better can become real and very painful. You can reach new levels of confidence by achieving successes in other areas of your life. Being productive thus rewarded at work, getting in better shape or mastering a new skill will make you feel better about yourself and therefore more worthy of your partner.
You can help your partner fighting jealousy and your partner can help you fight yours. The first step is to acknowledge the issue. Then, daily small gestures to help to build up confidence. Saying nice things such as “I’m proud of you”, “You make me happy” or “I’m lucky to have you” can strengthen confidence and undermine the jealous feeling.
The goal of this work is to reaffirm your own worth. You must be able to say “I deserve to keep my partner” or “If they leave, I know I can find love again.”