John Gottman spoke about “insatiable jealousy” in relationships. He mentioned,
"I believe that every person has areas of enduring vulnerability. For a marriage to succeed, these vulnerabilities need to be understood and honored"
Jealousy can become a big problem in relationships so, instead of avoiding it, jealousy can becomes an opportunity to connect and learn together. In her book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, Brene Brown writes, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity.”
When we understand the reason we get jealous, we can manage it in a way that is compassionate and constructive. If Jealousy is difficult to talk about, have a counselling session with Matt at Redlands Counselling Service in Capalaba.
Recognizing and embracing your partner’s enduring vulnerabilities, as well as your own, will strengthen your relationship.
Understand your triggers
Jealousy in a relationship can be more about your own vulnerabilities than about your partner’s actions. For instance, you may be prone to jealousy if you’ve had painful experiences in your past. It’s important to talk to your partner about these experiences so you can be mindful of each other’s triggers and respect them.
Jealousy may be driven by low self-esteem or a poor self-image. If you don’t feel attractive and confident, it can be hard to truly believe that your partner loves and values you. Other times, jealousy can be caused by unrealistic expectations about the relationship. It’s not healthy for partners to spend 100% of their time together. Kahlil Gibran mentioned that, “you need spaces in your togetherness to sustain your bond.”
Remember that feelings aren’t facts, they are just interpretations. Therefore, ask yourself, are you imagining things or allowing your mind of fear to find information to enhance your narrative? I encourage you to ask yourself, “Is that true, is that really true?” Is this really happening? If the answer is no, let go of the negative thoughts. Acknowledge them before consciously dismissing them. To book in a session for Marriage Counselling at Redlands Counselling Service click on this link. https://redlandscounsellingservice.com/book-online
Feelings of jealousy can become problematic if they affect your behavior and your feelings toward the relationship as a whole. Here are some signs of unhealthy jealous behaviors.
- Checking your spouse’s phone or email without permission
- Insulting your spouse
- Assuming that your spouse is not attracted to you
- Grilling your spouse on their whereabouts throughout the day
- Accusing your spouse of lying without evidence
If you recognize any of these behaviors in your relationship, seek to understand the vulnerabilities beneath. If you need a little extra help doing this, I recommend working with Redlands Counselling Service for Relationship Counselling. Click here to book
Use jealousy for good
Jealousy in a relationships can also be a very real and reasonable reaction to your partner’s actions. Remember that in a good enough relationship, people have high expectations for how they’re treated. They expect to be treated with kindness, love, affection, and respect. They expect their partner to be loyal and honest.
If the answer to the question “Is that so?” is yes, then it’s important to tell your partner how you feel before your jealousy turns into resentment. When your bring it up, stick to “I” statements and avoid saying things like “you always” or “you never.” Talk about your feelings about the specific situation and avoid blanket statements about your partner’s character. Say what you need, not what you don’t need.
For example, “I feel anxious when I don’t know where you are or who you’re with when you’re out. I need you to text me and let me know.”
The more you talk, the healthier your relationship will be. Is there a specific relationship that is making you uncomfortable? Are you finding that you are being stonewalled or that your partner’s behavior has recently changed?
You and your partner should be open and upfront with each other about friendships and work relationships. Transparency will help you feel more secure. If you’re not sure about boundaries, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “How would I feel if I heard my partner having this kind of conversation with someone else?” If that would hurt, then a boundary is being crossed.
Show one another how much you value each other by putting your relationship before your work, your coworkers, and your friends. Every time you do this, you build trust.
By understanding what is driving your feelings and honoring each other’s endearing vulnerabilities, you can use jealousy for good.
For more information call Redlands Counselling Service on 1300 241 667 or email Redlandscounselling@gmail.com