A little jealousy gives a relationship some spice, but too much jealousy can be destructive in any romantic relationship. Jealousy occurs when a spouse feels threatened by a third person whom he or she believes is a rival and a threat to their relationship. Jealousy can either be healthy or unhealthy and it can be either be based on real threats or just imagined threats. Unhealthy jealousy which is usually unnecessary and unreasonable can ruin a marriage.
When jealousy becomes unhealthy?
Jealousy is healthy when it pushes couples to be more loving, more sensitive and committed to each other because they value each other too much that they don’t want to lose one another. Unhealthy jealousy on the other hand makes the relationship troubled. Unhealthy jealousy or unnecessary accusations of infidelity pushes the jealous spouse to think and act irrationally. Extreme jealousy can push a spouse to have irrational thoughts and display unacceptable behaviors. These unacceptable behaviors may include stalking the accused spouse, checking and monitoring the accused spouse’s personal belongings like phones, clothes, bags, diaries, social media accounts, etc. for evidences of sexual infidelity, cutting off spouse’s relationship with friends, unexpected visits to spouse’s workplace, confronting or interrogating the spouse and the worst is committing violence to make the accused spouse confess.
How to deal with unhealthy jealousy? There are ways to deal with irrational jealousy. The following tips can be very helpful.
Recognize that your irrational jealousy is the problem and not your spouse. A jealous spouse usually recognizes that his or her jealousy is unreasonable and based from unfounded evidences but find it hard to control the suspicions or the feeling of jealousy which makes him or her miserable. The jealous spouse believes that if his or her suspicions can be proven right then he or she will feel better. Unfortunately, this is not possible because irrational thoughts or suspicions cannot be refuted by rationality. In this case, you have to choose to trust your spouse more and recognize that your irrational jealousy is the problem.
Understand the underlying reasons behind your irrational jealousy. There is a reason behind why a jealous spouse constantly accuse and believes his or her partner is committing sexual infidelity without valid reasons. One reason could be a jealous spouse may have seen one of his or her parents engaged in marital infidelity when he or she was young. Fear of abandonment is another reason if a jealous spouse had experienced being abandoned or left alone by loved ones. Feeling of inferiority or inadequacy may be the reason why you constantly compare yourself to others. For instance, an older spouse with reduced sexual capacity due to his age may feel insufficient to satisfy a younger wife sexually and may feel threatened or extremely jealous of younger guys around. Alcohol or substance abuse may also affect one’s reasoning and tend to be more suspicious or jealous. Understanding the reason behind your irrational jealousy can help you address the triggers of your unhealthy jealousy and find the treatment that will work for you.
Refuse to engage in irrational thinking and make an effort to stop irrational behavior. Whenever you have those thoughts of jealousy and you are starting to accuse or interrogate your spouse again, stop immediately and distract yourself. Tell yourself to stop this unnecessary jealousy over and over again and remind yourself how this unhealthy jealousy is hurting your relationship. Write down the wonderful things your spouse did for you to remind yourself how much your spouse loves you. Talk to a friend. Keep yourself busy doing things you love. Do whatever it takes to ward off those irrational thoughts and prevent yourself from doing unacceptable behavior. You cannot succeed every time because you cannot change the way you think and act overnight but you have to keep trying until you finally succeed in changing your irrational thoughts and behavior. Reward yourself each time you succeed in conquering your irrational jealousy.
Get professional help. Irrational or unhealthy jealousy can be hard to handle or control on your own so do not hesitate to seek professional help. There are counselors and therapists that can help you deal with this unhealthy jealousy. The longer you delay seeking help, the longer it will torment you and your relationship. If you want to save your marriage, act now and seek professional help before things becomes too late.
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