Imagine you’re at a social event and you see your significant other talking to his/her ex. You get a bit suspicious and decide to go over to make sure nothing out of the ordinary is happening. Within the conversation your partner and the ex start laughing about an inside joke. You feel excluded and a bit angry. You’re hurt, but you don’t know why. The night ends and you’re upset with your partner for a harmless interaction.
Why are we Jealous?
Jealousy is a reaction to the fear of losing someone or something. Envy is also related to jealousy in that we are upset that someone has what we cannot at the moment.
In the example above you may have felt jealous and envious of your partner giving attention to his/her ex. In order to get to the root of jealousy we must understand the situation further. In that moment you may have felt:
Envious of your partner’s ex because they shared a connection that you were not apart of
Afraid of losing your partner to someone he/she had a past with
This is a rational fear, but also a dangerous place to be. Answer this: Would you rather listen to someone calmly stating their opinion, or acting on emotional impulses? We rather listen to a calm person because they are able to clearly state their issue in an effective way.
No one likes to be accused of something they didn’t do. Showing negativity toward your partner for something they are unaware of is irrational. Another question to consider is: How do you know if your partner isn’t thinking of getting back together with their ex? You don’t.
We cannot control someones thoughts or feelings, but we can control our own. You will only be a victim of fear if you let it take control of you.
How To Control Your Jealousy
Stop to think before you react. Yes, your partner is doing something you don’t like. Instead of thinking, How could they do this to me? or They must not want me anymore. Take a moment to tell yourself, What am I afraid of? If you cannot think clearly in the moment excuse yourself and go somewhere quiet.
Understand what you can do to control your fear. The best way to stop worrying is to relate. It’s a strange technique but it works. Understand that you are human and so is your partner. Put yourself in his/her position. Imagine you are talking to your ex and making polite conversation. Now ask yourself: Do you want to leave your current relationship? Are you purposefully trying to hurt your partner?
We must rely on trust. If you or your partner is not happy in the relationship we must trust that they would communicate this issue with us. If you have reason to believe this person may be cheating then I recommend reading this article here.
Seek Validation. Your partner may not be giving you the attention you need at the moment, but set a time to regain validation. We seek validation in many ways, and I’ve mentioned these ways in a previous blogpost called Why We Should Stop Saying I Love You. If we value quality time we may say to our partner: Let’s go for a walk after the party or Lets go out to brunch tomorrow morning.
If this is still bothering you then communicate. Plan an appropriate time to talk alone. An opening dialogue is best when using “I” statements. An example would be, I feel uncomfortable when I see you talking to your ex. Remember that you are not trying to blame or control your partner. Your goal is to express your feelings and strengthen your relationship.
These steps help us control our impulses and put energy into our relationship. By being in control of our actions we have the ability to do anything.