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Jealousy Counseling and Treatment

Jealousy Counseling and Treatment

Jealousy is the feeling you get when you think your relationship is at risk. It is different from envy where you want to have what someone else has. Jealousy is a negative emotion that can be challenged to have an improved quality of life. You can feel jealous in romantic, family and even friendship situations. The jealousy can be rooted in a lack of self-esteem and personal insecurities or previous experiences of infidelity. It can negatively affect your relationships as the trust is compromised. Infidelity in relationships is not just limied to sex, it also consusts of emotional cheating.

Like any emotion, jealousy comes with physical and emotional symptoms ranging from changes in weight, sleep pattern to anxiety and increased levels of stress. You can stop the feelings of jealousy by addressing why you are feeling jealous in the first place. A jealous person may also show controlling behavior to gain control over the situation. It is important to challenge the negative thoughts and beliefs you have to help you feel better and to aid the relationship at hand.

What Makes You Feel Jealous?

Jealousy kicks in when we feel like a relationship that we have is at risk. It is usually rooted in fear. One may fear that the relationship they have is not as valued to the other person as it is to us. You may feel that you are putting in more effort or energy into the relationship than your friend, partner, or family member. It comes from the fear of losing that person because they may not be as invested as you are. At times it can be a sign that the relationship needs work so that you can feel secure. It is usually a sign to dip deeper into the relationship and see what exactly it is that is causing you to be jealous.

Feelings of jealousy may also come from low self-esteem and own insecurities. If someone feels like they are not good enough and don’t see why someone is in a relationship with them, they are more prone to feeling insecure and getting jealous. It is important to understand that jealousy is a part of us and it's not necessarily bad. It helps one survive as it motivates us to take action. It can be helpful to acknowledge that you are feeling jealous and then take action to address the root of the jealousy. Acknowledgment is the first step to addressing jealousy. It can be hard to do so but know that jealousy is natural and it is okay to feel jealous. Though you still need to work on addressing the root cause of jealousy so you can feel better about the relationship and feel more at peace.

How it Affects Romantic Relationships

If a partner is jealous, they are more likely to become insecure about the relationship. It can lead to a lack of trust and cause all sorts of problems. A jealous partner constantly looks for reassurance and may not give you the space needed in a relationship. The partner can also resort to violating boundaries to get answers and to feel secure in the relationship. It is also possible to want control over the relationship and to put restrictions on what the other person can do. This can create a lot of issues in the relationship as the other partner does not get the freedom to do things freely and to be trusted. A lack of trust is a major issue in a relationship. A jealous partner is not one to trust and not having trust in a relationship is problematic as trust is foundational for a relationship.

If left untreated, the behaviors associated with jealousy can create a lot of issues in the relationship. The feelings of love and trust can be compromised which results in more arguments and contributes to greater insecurity leading to more jealousy. It is a cycle that keeps getting worse if not addressed. If the jealousy has already caused much damage then it is worth reaching out to an expert to seek help.

Sexual vs. Emotional Infidelity

At times the feelings of jealousy start to appear because a partner was caught cheating. Infidelity from a partner can make someone feel insecure and impact their self-esteem. The person may feel like they lack something that caused their partner to cheat. It is important to understand that someone else’s actions are not your responsibility. If a relationship has been impacted by cheating, there is an increased chance of jealousy as the trust has been broken. It is important to understand that cheating can be sexual or emotional. Oftentimes infidelity is associated with physical cheating but it also includes emotional cheating. Both can have a negative impact on the relationship and especially on the trust between the partners.

How to Stop These Feelings

As with any negative feeling, it is important to investigate the reasons behind why you are feeling the way you do. Jealousy is often rooted in a lack of trust in the relationship or low self-esteem and insecurities. Exploring these feelings can give you a good idea of what you need to address and the jealousy will fade automatically as the root cause gets addressed. It is not always easy to know what to work on and it is okay if you don’t know why you are jealous. You can always consult a psychotherapist. Psychotherapy can help you understand the reason why you are feeling jealous. A psychotherapist can help you come up with a plan to feel more secure in a relationship and to tackle the problem areas that exist within the relationship. Couples therapy is also an option if the relationship has been impacted by jealousy.

Expert help can make a big difference. Dealing with complex emotions can be hard. A psychotherapist can help you explore these emotions, make sense of them and why you are feeling the way you are. It is especially helpful if you have already tried to improve the feelings of jealousy but have not succeeded. Having an expert help you can make a big difference. Typically the relationship starts to flourish once the jealousy has been addressed. Other times, it is best to start with couples therapy if there is infidelity involved in the relationship.

Is It The Same as Envy?

Jealousy is not the same as envy. Jealousy is feeling like your relationship is at risk, feeling scared of losing someone. Meanwhile, envy is wanting something that someone else has. They are two different feelings but are often confused with one another. Not liking when your friend does not invite you to a party can be jealousy if you feel left out and are scared that your friend does not value you as much as you value them. However, if you wish to have your friend’s life, that would be envy. Similarly, seeing someone’s perfect life on social media might make you envious as you want that life but you are not jealous in that situation. It is important to distinguish between the two as with doing so, you will not be able to address why you are feeling a certain way and that is required for you to take steps to feel better.

The Emotional and Physical Symptoms

Jealousy can have many symptoms. The symptoms depend on how intense the feelings of jealousy are. Emotional symptoms can include an increase in stress level, feelings of insecurity, lack of confidence, and self-esteem. Prolonged feelings of intense jealousy can result in mental health issues like anxiety or depression. Most of the time jealousy is associated with emotional symptoms but prolonged periods of jealousy can impact the physical body. Just like stress can impact your body, so can jealousy. There can be changes in weight, stomach issues such as stomach aches and headaches.

What are the signs of Controlling Behavior?

There are quite a few signs of controlling behavior that you can look out for. One of the major ones is feeling like everything is always your fault. Additionally, the controlling person often restricts the partner from seeing or hanging out with the people they love. No matter what you do, you are always criticized. They tend to hold a lot of grudges and bring those up against you. A tendency to gaslight, to make you believe that you are wrong or your feelings are not valid. At times people who are struggling with jealousy may exhibit controlling behavior to try and control the relationship to not lose the person or to make them invest in the relationship as much as they did but it rarely works and leads to more damage.

Challenge Negative Thoughts

Jealousy comes with a lot of negative thoughts. It is important to address those thoughts to be able to feel better. You can do so by identifying the negative thoughts surrounding the situation and then coming up with a plan to tackle them. It can be helpful to create a support plan to know exactly what to do. It is recommended that you spend time on activities that improve self-esteem. If you are unsure how to address these thoughts then it is worth talking to a counselor or a psychotherapist. An expert can help you come up with ways you can challenge your negative thoughts and beliefs.