Every couple faces their distinct difficulties, but one of the most common issues seen in relationships is jealousy. This was a huge problem in my most recent relationship: my partner would become enraged any time I went out or hung out with my friends without him. Why? Because he was envious of the fun I was having, as well as the people I was having fun with. He wanted to be my sole source of joy—and so he perceived every other aspect of my life as a threat.
This was a particularly unhealthy relationship, tainted by jealousy and many other issues. While the relationship certainly did not last for much longer, we did manage to recognize and work through his feelings of jealousy together. That’s not to say it is an easy process, but it is doable—especially when you have the advice of therapists, life coaches, and wellness experts. Is jealousy proving to threaten your relationship? Follow these 4 professional tips for overcoming those feelings and fostering a healthy relationship once more:
1) Contemplate your insecurities.
Marriage and family therapist Dr. Racine Henry says the primary step to overcoming jealousy is to consider your insecurities: “Begin by asking yourself what you believe your shortcomings are as an individual and in a relationship. Do you feel unattractive? Are you self-conscious about the money you make? By working on your low self-esteem and improving your own opinion of who you are, you will feel less threatened within your relationship.” Once you’ve done this, you can move on to establish trust with your partner, but first with yourself, according to Dr. Henry: “You need to trust yourself and your own instincts so that you’re able to trust another person.”
2) Channel envy into motivation.
“I believe that we can transform feelings of jealousy by choosing to instead focus our energy on finding inspiration in the very thing that we are envious of,” says life and wellness coach Melody Pourmoradi. “When we are jealous, we literally feel blocked, stagnant, and unable to find a way through our negative thought patterns. The next time that jealous feeling comes ups, make every effort to see yourself in the other person and know that their light is only a reflection of the light that already exists inside of you. Believe that if your partner/friend/boss can achieve a certain goal, you also have the ability to attain goals that you wish to achieve. When you shift the way you perceive your jealousy, you too can step out of this fear-based mode and step into a more empowered approach to moving forward and healing your relationship.”
3) Focus on your growth and accomplishments.
Caleb Backe, Health and Wellness Expert at Maple Holistics says the key is to acknowledge feelings of jealousy, but then focus on one’s personal growth: “Many of us go through struggles in each stage of our lives and the fight to escape can take a lifetime, but by looking externally, we are prone to falling into traps of negativity—still with no knowledge of ourselves. In truth, the only way to overcome issues such as jealousy is to look internally and become aware of our true feelings. The best way to move past these troubling feelings is to make time for reflection and to stop valuing ourselves in terms of the external, such as measuring peoples’ successes in superficial proportions of likes and popularity.”
4) Adjust your mindset.
“Jealousy only exists within the scarcity framework. We get jealous if our significant other looks at another opposite-gendered person for too long because we believe that must mean that we’re not attractive enough anymore,” explains Licensed Psychologist Jisun Fisher. She recommends you merely change your mindset to resolve this issue: “When we think about what we want in a relationship, jealousy actually makes sense only if we believe that what we want is limited, or from a zero-sum game. If, instead, we think from a place of abundance, jealousy loses its life-source. As soon as we let go of an obsessive need to possess—because love is abundant—all of a sudden, the experiences that led to the jealousy in the first-place cease to exist.”