Whether it’s a mild or major case, jealousy can have a big impact on your relationship. You may feel jealousy when you experience the heightened threat from a rival. Most of us become jealous when we see our spouse having a great time with a person of the opposite sex – especially if that person seems a little too friendly. No matter how much your spouse may attempt to reassure you, another person’s interest in him or her raises all your red flags.
Jealousy can be either healthy or unhealthy. Healthy jealousy is a means to guard your territory and comes from a sincere care and commitment to a relationship. On the other hand, unhealthy jealousy manifests itself through lies, threats, self-pity, and feelings of inadequacy, inferiority and insecurity.
Healthy jealousy guards the heart of a marriage because it:
God calls you to respect your spouse’s jealousy that is a warning of danger ahead. If your spouse is a secure person and desires to protect your marriage against cracks, you need to listen. Confront the issue head-on by finding the reason for the jealousy, then making changes to keep you both out of danger.
Wives: Trust your husband’s instincts. He knows how men think, what they want and how they pursue it. So, it would be foolish of you not to heed his warning.
Men: Trust your wife’s instincts. If she suggests that another woman is behaving inappropriately, your wife is probably right. Most women have radar, an innate alertness to nonverbal communication and an ability to translate body language and tone into emotional facts. Your wife probably is able to see these things clearly, so don’t criticize or blame her warnings on insecurity.
Unhealthy jealousy is altogether different. It stems from comparing yourself to others and feeling inadequate, unimportant, inferior and pitiful. Some spouses have experienced a lot of loss in life – whether divorce, death or abandonment in childhood – and they may bring unresolved issues into the relationship in the form of jealousy. Yet when a person carries this jealousy to pathological extremes, it will dominate a relationship.
A chronically jealous spouse will try to control a relationship through exaggeration, self-pity, lies, threats and/or manipulation. When the other partner resists, the jealous person reacts by becoming even more controlling. Then the other partner resists further by confiding in a friend or seeking relief outside the marriage. Sometimes this can become a downward spiral.
Here are just some of the effects of unhealthy jealousy:
When jealousy becomes unhealthy it is destructive and frustrating to contend with. Love is not jealous and possessive. True love enables you to aim for what is best for the other person – not what is best for you.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
So how do you deal with unhealthy jealousy in your marriage? Here are some tips for both spouses – whether you have or are a jealous spouse.
If you have a jealous spouse:
If you are the jealous spouse:
Among the things jealousy makes you do, one of them is get right off your ass and work towards achieving a certain target yourself. If you’re jealous of a friend’s success, it’s basically resentment that you aren’t there yet, and that is motivation enough to make you go for it.
Realising that you’re jealous makes both you and your partner realise how much they mean to you and how the thought of them with someone else stings you right in the gut. A little bit of jealousy in the relationship is healthy and it makes you keep the love alive.
A pang of jealousy and wishful negative thinking is usually followed by a pang of guilt, and this leads you to assess what situation the opposite person is in. You get a sense of understanding as to how they got where they are and that it’s not difficult for you too.
If you keep at it, your jealousy will eventually abate. You understand that whatever hardships they’ve gone through, those moments passed for them, and now they’re here. Nothing is permanent and everyone will have their moments of glory.
Learn to turn around jealousy and question yourself why you felt that way in the first place. It’ll make you curious about how the opposite person got to their level of success and possibly even inspire you to work harder so that you can be the subject of jealousy for others.
When you get jealous of people’s achievements, you obsess a lot over them and the entire case. Obsessing over positive things is a plus point, because it will lead your attention to spike and eventually lead you to focus better.
Being overly jealous in a relationship means that you’re insecure and that should serve as a warning sign to either keep yourself in check or back off on the emotional front, because everyone knows that insecurity stems from a lack of trust, and no relationship can survive that way.
Jealousy actually lights up a significant portion of your path ahead of you. If you’re jealous of a person and the current position they are in, that is an indicator of where you want to be. This is a reason why many use jealousy to their advantage and set goals.
You have to be extremely careful not to let that emotion overpower you when it comes to decision making. This is because jealousy is one of the most powerful emotion that can make us lose control when you are continuously fed with the same thought about losing something.
Jealousy can make you take decisions in life that you will regret your entire life. They blind you with thoughts that are self-inflicted and make you look at the world through distorted lenses. It has a lot to do with self-esteem that you would want to uphold. Under the influence of such, many people actually follow the wrong path in order to get what they want, or take revenge in some cases. They make you do things that you didn’t think you were capable of – from arson to murder. How evil.
Healthy jealousy drives good competition. But sometimes, things get a little too over and you sink deeper into the competitive nature of everything. A jealous person is fearful of losing out to people. Hence, they would tend to be overly suspicious of many things and inflict a fair share of tension and stress to themselves to ensure they surpass others. This would ultimately affect health and thus give rise to many health problems such as heart attacks, headaches, migraine and many more.
Moreover, negative thoughts that are usually self-inflicted would develop you into an over sensitive person who is prone to depression and anxiety, making you mentally ill as well Hence, jealousy can wear you out both mentally and physically and that is why you should try to keep it under control.
Be it friendship or relationship, jealousy tends to occur.
Getting a perfect partner in a relationship is a big challenge. If you are lucky to have gotten one, things can turn out to be slightly tricky with a tinge of jealousy somewhere in the relationship. Jealousy will inculcate a fear of losing your partner and it will then start affecting the trust you have built throughout the process and gives you a negative vibe to everything. It is the grave of affection.
Jealousy can also destroy friendships, when you get jealous about things that your friends are excelling better to you. This is especially when someone close to us gets what we want but not ourselves. You can feel bad about it, but never let it get over you as it could just ruin the friendship.
Jealousy at workplace for other colleagues can affect your career in a bad way. While it gives you the drive to put in your best every single time, it can also lead to unethical acts like trying to outshine others using unscrupulous methods. Your competitive nature that is fed by jealousy would make people avoid you – for they are afraid that they would be your next victim, and you end up having no friends at work.
If you are a jealous person, then chances are that you will be left all alone in the end because no one would be interested in your company as they do not want to be the victim of your next jealousy act. You will have no one to share your feelings of jealousy with anymore, as friends are sick of hearing how you are going to take down that other friend who had done better than you in the finals.
Jealousy will take all the people who love you, away from you, leaving you alone. Thus, it is a vicious emotion that can ruin your life unknowingly.