How to deal with jealousy in a relationship

Taryn Davies
Published: September 9, 2017

Jealousy is a completely normal emotion, but it can be painful and difficult to control, and extreme jealousy can destroy relationships and damage your health, so here’s how to deal with it.

A small amount of jealousy can be good, if it’s mild and well-managed it can help a couple appreciate each other and add to the passion of a relationship. But too much can be toxic and put pressure on the relationship that isn’t needed.

India Kang is a dating and relationship coach and author of two bestselling books ‘Why Men Ask Dumb Dating Questions,’ and ‘How to Date – Single Girls’ Dating Manual.’   She shares her tips on how to deal with jealousy in a relationship:

Dealing with jealousy

“Often, when you’re in the throes of a new love, it’s normal to want to share with all your family and friends. And, why shouldn’t you? You’ve finally met ‘the one.’ and you want everyone to know.

“I advise you do the opposite. The best way to deal with jealousy in a relationship is to keep things to yourself. Many ancient sages advised that ‘silence is golden.’ And that ‘you disperse your forces when you talk too much about your business.’

“Of course, I’m not expecting you keep silent forever. I advise my clients to keep things quiet - at least until both parties are committed, and talking about planning a future together.  Until then resist the urge to overshare. And, on the same note, keep your relationship off your social media too. The world doesn’t need to know, not yet anyway. If you must share, share with one or two trusted friends only.

“To avoid any jealousy within your own relationship; don’t talk about any past relationships, don’t act secretive and don’t do anything that unnecessarily arouses suspicion. For example, I had a client who would plan nights out with her friends, head out and turn her phone off. She wouldn’t tell her husband where she was going. She said she was ‘keeping him on his toes.’  All it did was make him suspicious.”

How to deal with jealousy in a relationship

Tips to overcome jealousy

Talk to your partner

Tell them about your feelings without blaming them. Let them know what makes you feel worried and jealous. Prepare what you want to say, and talk to your partner in a non-threatening, neutral atmosphere.

Put yourself in their shoes

One of the best ways to deal with jealousy in a relationship is to learn to put yourself in your lover’s shoes. What would you have done if you were in your lover’s place? Would you have behaved the same way? Try to always put yourself in their shoes and try and understand what your partner is going through. Perhaps, your partner is just being nice or trying to make a good impression.

Putting yourself in their shoes also allows you to see how they might feel about how you’re acting, you might see your behaviour in a different light.

Stop comparing yourself to others

Some (not all) jealousy is driven by low self-esteem. There are better looking, richer, funnier, smarter, younger people around than just about all of us, but these are qualities of a 'product'. If he or she loves you, it will be because of an extra, indefinable quality you have that they couldn't even explain - some deep part of your humanity they connected to which transcends looks, youth, wealth, and so forth. Stop trying to 'work out' why they can possibly like you.

How to deal with jealousy in a relationship

Change your attitude

Recognise that healthy couples have separate interests. Try not to get jealous if your partner decides to spend an evening with friends rather than you, make your own plans and look forward to even more to talk about when you’re back together.

Stop confusing reality with your imagination

Jealousy, like many psychological problems (from hypochondria to paranoia), is driven by the destructive use of the imagination. The imagination is great...if you use it for your own benefit, not if it messes with your mind. When you stop getting emotional just because you've imagined something, you'll take a hefty step toward regaining control of that jealousy.

Create balance

If your social life revolves around your partner it’s inevitable you’ll feel jealous when they want to do their own thing. By developing your own interests, re-igniting friendships, and carving out some independence you can take some pressure off your relationship.

Learn from past behaviour

If jealousy has caused issues in your previous relationships try to recognise this and use past experience to help you make positive changes in your current relationship. Nobody wants to make the same mistakes twice.

Accept some uncertainty

Uncertainty is a part of relationships. You can't ultimately control someone's feelings.

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