Recent events have forced me to contemplate a major source of conflict in relationships: jealousy. It’s crazy the extent to which some people will go to feel in control of the person they love. From my experience, the tighter hold you feel you need on your partner, the less hold you have on the relationship.
And I’ve also learned that jealousy stems from one person’s insecurities, fears, doubts, baggage, etc. and very often has nothing to do with their partner. Yes, partners can be the trigger, but you always have a choice in how you react.
“The more incomplete we feel, the more obsessed we become with owning someone on whom we’ve projected all our missing qualities, hence the more jealous we become.” – Gloria Steinem
Now, don’t get me wrong, I was a jealous chick in my late teens, early twenties. But I outgrew that useless emotion and refuse to shake hands with the fiendish brute ever again. Why?
Jealousy is a complete and total time suck. (Just like worry and guilt.)
It does not make you feel better and it certainly doesn’t solve any problems. Once I figured out how pointless it is to “What if…” all the time, to second-guess my worth in a relationship, I felt tons lighter (emotionally) and free for the first time. There was no longer an overwhelming drive to know everyone my partner talked to, where they went, what they did – I just trusted that things were on the up and up – I respected my partner enough to give him space to breathe, live, have fun without me. For the first time I knew and believed that I was worth being with and, if he was smart enough to see that, then everything would work out.
“The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves.”
Why waste valuable time wondering, sneaking, trolling, second-guessing when you can simply talk about your concerns with your partner? What? You can’t talk to each other? Then why the hell are you married or committed to that person in the first place? Fundamental compatibility seems to be grossly overlooked in today’s relationships.
“Why do people persist in a dissatisfying relationship, unwilling either to work toward solutions or end it and move on? It’s because they know changing will lead to the unknown, and most people believe that the unknown will be much more painful than what they’re already experiencing.”
The key to a relationship’s success, in my humble opinion, hinges upon:
Without those three attributes as the foundation for your relationship, you’re in for a bumpy ride. And I haven’t even taken into account the fundamental compatibility and emotional baggage you both bring to the table, which will inevitably affect your ability to maintain that foundation. In other words, until you are the best you possible (or are consistently working to become that improved person), and you love who you are, then no partner will ever live up to your standards, they will never be able to enjoy being with you, and you will most certainly push them away with your behavior.
“Jealousy is simply and clearly the fear that you do not have value. Jealousy scans for evidence to prove the point – that others will be preferred and rewarded more than you. There is only one alternative – self-value. If you cannot love yourself, you will not believe that you are loved. You will always think it’s a mistake or luck. Take your eyes off others and turn the scanner within. Find the seeds of your jealousy, clear the old voices and experiences. Put all the energy into building your personal and emotional security. Then you will be the one others envy, and you can remember the pain and reach out to them.” – Jennifer James
Do you get jealous? What triggers it?
(This doesn’t mean only romantic relationships. It could also be work, friends, etc.)