Jealousy–everyone has experienced it at some point. Known as the green-eyed-monster, feeling jealous is no fun at all, especially when it factors into relationships. But as long as we are able to keep it under control and not let it influence our life, jealousy doesn’t have to interfere with our happiness. However, when you let your jealousy get out of hand, it can have a devastating effect: both on you and your relationships.
Surprisingly, some people see jealousy as a good thing. They believe it makes relationships stronger and shows that the really care about the person whom they are feeling jealous over. Generally, though, the opposite is true. Jealousy can ruin lives and relationships, and here’s how.
1. Jealousy stems from deeper insecurities that make you bitter.
First of all, jealousy always stems from something below the surface. Usually, jealousy happens because we are insecure with ourselves. We feel that we aren’t good enough for our partner, and that worries us into thinking he might leave us if someone we perceive as better comes along The truth is, jealousy isn’t really caused by anyone else, they are caused by internal conflicts, self-consciousness of our perceived flaws, and a lack of confidence in our own assets. The root emotions that cause us to feel jealous often permeate several areas of our life, and they can lead to damaged relationships of all sorts, not just romantic.
2. Jealousy causes you to treat your partner unfairly.
“It’s not that I don’t trust him–it’s her that I don’t trust.” I’ve said these very words myself, and perhaps you have as well. And, okay, it may be true that you have trust in your partner. You know him and he’s never given you reason to distrust him, so why are you still treating him like he’s going to do something wrong? When you display jealous reactions over innocent acts like him chatting with a female friend that you don’t know, you’re implying that you don’t really believe that he’d handle the situation favorably if the woman made advances on him. He just wants to have a purely innocent, platonic friendship with someone, but you’re making him feel like doing so is criminal.
3. Jealousy makes you a possessive, controlling person.
Remember how angry you used to feel as a teenager when you wanted to hang out with some friends at the mall, but your mother wouldn’t let you and couldn’t even give you a legitimate reason for it? That’s exactly how you are making your partner feel with your jealous behavior. Your irrational fears that something might happen if you let him go out for a drink with the guys without you are turning you into a controlling girlfriend, and no one wants to be in a controlling relationship. Your jealousy should not cost your man his happiness. By letting jealousy rule your relationship, you are creating resentments in each other, and dooming all of your relationships to unhappiness and failure.
4. Jealousy causes you to suffer from imagined pain.
How does being jealous make you feel? It’s not a good feeling, is it? Being jealous is an icky feeling, making your stomach turn into knots and causing you to feel angry, insecure, and hurt–and usually, there’s no real reason for you to feel this way. Jealousy causes you to imagine the worst of every scenario. He’s grabbing a drink at the bar after work with his friends… where a pretty woman might hit on him… and he might not realize she’s flirting until it’s too late… and before you know it, he’s cheating on you with her. What is the likelihood that will actually happen? It’s not very likely, unless you’re dating a very shady guy(and if you are, you should dump him already). All your internal pains and frustrations are being caused by nothing more than your imagination.
5. Jealousy will cause you to end up alone.
No one wants to be around a jealous person. The constant accusations over innocent behavior makes you very unattractive, whether as a romantic partner or as a friend. Jealousy is a completely useless emotion and is nothing but toxic to relationships. When you constantly are making irrational comments about the fears that your jealousy has caused, you alienate yourself from the people who care about you. Jealousy is nothing but a relationship saboteur, and if you don’t get it under control, you’re going to end up pushing people away and find yourself all alone.
I am a jealous person. I consider it one of my big issues. I get jealous when my friends have other friends, and I can be very insecure when it comes to my husband having relationships of any nature with other women. The first part of working on an issue though, is recognizing that you have one. I don’t like what jealousy does to me, and I’m working on overcoming it because I’ve seen firsthand how it can ruin lives and relationships, and I don’t want to end up being like that. Instead of making excuses for your jealous behavior like “it just means that I really care about him,” it’s time to recognize that jealousy does way more harm than good and put a stop to it before it ruins your life.