Jealousy and insecurity can often create issues where there are none
“We had just got into bed when my phone beeped. It was past 10pm. My husband asked me who the message was from. I checked and told him it was from a friend. I started to reply when suddenly he snatched the phone from my hand. I asked him what he was doing. He said I was lying and was cheating on him with another man. I was shocked. He started scrolling through my phone. I tried to explain to him that that wasn’t the case. But he didn’t listen to me. Instead he pulled up messages from all of my male friends and started accusing me of having intimate relationships with all of them. When I protested, he threw my phone on the ground and broke it. He said he would not let me go to work or anywhere else alone from then on. I pleaded with him not to do this but he refused to listen. He turned his back and went to sleep, while I cried myself to sleep.”
It is natural for some amount of jealousy and insecurity to exist in a romantic relationship. However, when it begins to affect the peace of mind or the daily functioning of either one or both partners, it needs to be addressed.
Feelings of jealousy can show up in different situations, such as when a partner interacts with the opposite sex, has a social life separate from his/her partner or spends time on personal interests on his/her own. In other words, when a significant other seems to be having “fun” without his/her partner, it can give rise to feelings of insecurity and of not feeling needed or wanted.
In response to these feelings, a jealous person can often try and control his/her partner’s life by deciding what is or isn’t allowed, putting limitations on where they can or cannot go and who they can or cannot meet. Although the partner might agree to these restrictions to prevent conflict, such impingements are extremely harmful to the relationship in the long run. It can lead to feelings of resentment and bitterness. Over time, the relationship stops being a source of happiness and instead becomes something to be tolerated.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by feelings of jealousy, here’s what you can do to prevent it from ruining your relationships:
- Understand yourself: Delve into your feelings and figure out where they are coming from. What is the thought that accompanies these feelings? Are you feeling unwanted and unloved, or do you fear that your partner will find abandon you for someone else?
- Open communication: Communicate your fears and worries with your partner. Explain your fears and insecurities, and give your partner a chance to address them. This will also clear up any misunderstandings or misconceptions that you might be carrying about what your partner feels for you.
- Focus on personal interests: Although we seek out relationships for companionship, it is neither necessary nor healthy for a couple to do everything together. Seek out personal interests and hobbies that you enjoy on your own. When you begin to find joy in your own company, you will not resent it as much when your partner does the same.
- Invest in the relationship: Take time out for each other and do things together as a couple. Shared experiences can help strengthen the relationship and build trust over time. Remember, the more joyful moments you share, the stronger you will feel in moments of insecurity.
- Seek help: If you find yourself struggling to trust your partner and to push away your insecurity, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. There are various options available for individual and couples’ counselling, both online and in-person. An objective viewpoint can be help you to see things from a fresh perspective.
Healthy relationships are built over time and with effort. But if you are mindful of the possible pitfalls, you can catch the problems before they become too big to manage. Together, you can pave the way to a joyful relationship!