A Little Jealousy is Not Bad, But….

In even the most well adjusted of relationships there’s likely to be at least a little jealousy. Some would even argue that without that hint of envy and possessiveness a relationship might be lacking in intensity, but there’s a line that divides a natural need for closeness and fidelity from overbearing suspicion, and when that line is crossed it can spell extremely bad news for any relationship. If you feel that your partner is being unreasonably jealous, it can cause a sense of resentment to build up which can threaten your relationship’s very foundations.

If this rings bells with you, the first thing to consider is whether your partner actually has any grounds for being jealous. Is there room for doubt about your commitment to the relationship? Are you still in contact with old flames? Do you readily respond to flirting from strangers or are you more circumspect? Different relationships have different levels of tolerance for such things, but if you feel your partner’s jealousy is above normal acceptable levels then it might be time to take careful, considered action.

Jealousy is generally a symptom of insecurity. If someone feels under threat of being abandoned, or has previous experience of being betrayed, they can easily become irrationally possessive and suspicious of even the most minor and innocent of daily interactions. Although this reaction is understandable, it can unfortunately become a self-fulfilling prophecy: as tensions in the relationship mount because of the lack of trust, the chances of a betrayal, or behaviour that looks like a betrayal, increase. Someone under constant suspicion can close up, choosing to guard their privacy rather than risk rocking the boat, behaving with secrecy. This will only increase the atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust and is a vicious circle that can be very hard to escape from.

If you’re in a relationship that’s suffering from your partner’s jealousy, there will come a point where you have to make the hard decision on whether it’s worth continuing. If your conclusion is ‘yes’, then there are some ways to deal with unreasonable jealousy.

1) Listen to your partner’s fears without judgement. Acknowledge that they are real, and even if you are totally innocent of any wrongdoing, if you’re part of the relationship you’re part of the problem and need to be part of the solution.

2) Resist the urge to withdraw from an overly demanding partner. Being the target of constant suspicion will naturally make you feel defensive, but if you react to this by hiding things then this will only make the situation worse. Be upfront and honest about everything you do, and if this provokes a bad reaction, then so be it. Only honesty from both sides can work in a long term relationship.

3) Prove your trustworthiness and reliability by making a supreme effort to be supportive, understanding, and considerate.

4) Defend yourself against unfair accusations if necessary, but try not to escalate the situation or provoke with accusations.

5) Provide constant reassurance that you’re trustworthy and committed, both verbally and by your actions.

All of this will take time, but if you want to save a relationship that’s threatened by abnormal jealousy then patience, care, and love will be essential. by PSwiftUK