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How can I get over jealousy in a relationship?

15 Answers
Last Updated: 11/16/2020 at 4:05pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Jill Kapil, PsyD


I have over 9 years of clinical experience, specialize in anxiety, and am passionate about my work. My approach is collaborative, empathic, supportive, and goal-oriented.

Top Rated Answers
June 18th, 2015 2:07am
1) It may sound trite, but how about you believe your partner? Yes, take them at their word. If they do lie to you, then they are not making a fool out of anyone but themselves - remember that. It's been said that trust is the cornerstone of any relationship. It's very insulting for your partner to have you always doubting their word or decency of behaviour. Constant questioning by you can even be as destructive as having an affair in the long run. You'll still distrust your partner for a while (out of sheer habit), but find the strength to start acting as if you believe them. If you've been checking that they really were where they said they've been, then stop doing that. When they tell you they love you, believe them. 2) Easier said than done, but stop comparing yourself to others Some (not all) jealousy is driven by low self-esteem. "How could they love me? I don't understand how someone like them could be attracted to someone like me!" We none of us are supposed to understand exactly why someone loves us. Does the Mona Lisa painting know why it is so valuable? Of course, you may be able to appreciate attractive qualities in yourself, but consider this: 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. Some of the most loved people in history have been well down the list when it comes to looks or wealth. Stop trying to 'work out' why they can possibly like you. 3) It might be a terrible thought, but be prepared to lose them I said that not all jealousy is driven by low self-esteem; and that's right. People with quite high self-esteem can experience intense jealousy if they tend to feel they themselves must always be the centre of things. People like this tend to look at other people as material property. And maybe they just don't want to share that 'property', even as far as letting their partner innocently smile or socialize with another person. Perhaps as a kid they were a little spoilt. But people are not objects or toys to be constantly guarded. To love someone properly, we need to be prepared to lose them. What? Am I mad? Sounds like it, you might think (and I do have my moments), but hear me out. Anger, fear, and jealousy drive out love; and love needs a strong dash of fearlessness to flourish. Okay, so you fear losing your loved one to someone else (and possibly fear how this will make you feel about yourself). If you must keep using your imagination, use it to imagine the 'worst' happening and you still being okay; not just surviving, but thriving in this imagined scenario. Fantasize about how well you'd react, how whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Write down 10 positive ways you'd like to respond and how you'd build your life up even better if this relationship were to end. Fear is much greater when we feel that 'all our eggs are in one basket'. Don't build your whole life around any one person. "How can I live without you?" is too daunting - really imagine how you would, if you had to, live without this person. But don't leave this list lying around to be found by your partner, as this may start them feeling insecure. :-/ 4) Don't - just don't - play games Jealousy is excruciatingly uncomfortable. People sometimes try to make themselves feel better by trying to get their partner jealous. Don't do this. Flirting with other men or women all the time in front of your partner; constantly saying how attractive, fun, and witty someone you work with is; and going out of your way to talk about past lovers just demeans you and won't make either of you feel better in the long run. This isn't to say you have to pretend that no other attractive people exist in the world, but you can acknowledge this without using it as relationship ammunition. If your partner is ever unfaithful to you, that is a reflection of them, not you; and if this were to occur, it's better that they don't have the 'ammo' to turn around and say: "Well, you were always talking about..." or "Can you blame me? Because you were always flirting outrageously with the auto repair man (girl who works in the bar)..." Keep your dignity long-term and ditch the game playing. 5) Stop confusing make-believe with reality 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. Stephen King has a stellar career from making stuff up and writing about it. But he distances himself (thankfully for him!) from stuff he creates in his head. He doesn't believe everything he writes is real just because he imagined it. Right now, I can imagine an alien invasion headed right towards Earth. I can vividly 'see' the pesky aliens about to land the mother ship in my local park, but I don't believe it. Stop trusting your imagination so much. Think about it: Your partner is home later than you thought they were going to be. You start to imagine them having an intimate drink with that handsome guy you saw working in her office or that luscious sister of his new gym partner you happened to see one time. You become angry, upset, frightened - without having any evidence that what you imagined is real. They come home and you react 'weirdly' by being very cold or you have an outburst of anger toward them. They become defensive and angry back in turn. I recall seeing a YouTube video of a dog becoming very angry - with its own leg. The more its leg moved, the angrier it got with it - not realizing that it, the dog, was moving the leg. We laugh when we see a dog do this, but psychologically people do a variation of this all the time. When you stop getting emotional just because you've imagined something, you'll take a hefty step toward regaining control of that jealousy. 6) Lengthen the leash Okay, since we're talking canines, here's another dog reference. Start relaxing with lengthening the 'leash'. If your partner wants to spend the weekend with his or her friends, let them. Keeping them 'imprisoned' will only build their desire to escape your possessiveness. Let them have their freedom (and no, this is not the same as letting them walk all over you). If you are out with them, let them chat to their attractive colleague (bearing in mind that they may not find their colleague as attractive as you imagine). If you suspect your partner is trying to make you jealous, then short circuit this by relaxing about it; but how? 7) Use your imagination to make you feel better, not worse Try this exercise: Close your eyes and relax. Now think about the type of scenario that makes you the most jealous. Is it knowing your partner is out and you imagining them with someone else? Is it seeing them talking and laughing with someone else? Now, breathing deeply and focusing on relaxing different parts of your body in turn, just imagine seeing yourself looking calm, relaxed, even disinterested in that type of situation. Because ultimately in life we only have ourselves to answer to, and you can only truly control yourself. Visualize your partner doing all the things that made you feel jealous and see yourself not responding with jealousy, but rather with calm detachment. The more you can do this, the less jealousy will be able to mess with you.
June 2nd, 2015 3:22pm
Simplemente haciéndote cargo de esos sentimientos. Lo perjudicial no es sentir celos, lo perjudicial es lo que haces motivado por ellos. En definitiva hacete cargo de tus sentimientos y toma decisiones teniendo en cuenta a la relación.
January 18th, 2015 1:08am
First it would be good to talk with a supportive listener or friend to determine if your jealousy is rooted in something your partner is doing. Like any other emotion, it's good to listen to jealousy to hear what it is telling you. Perhaps you are feeling more insecure than usual lately, or perhaps there is something going on that you need to pay attention to. You could talk to your partner about what you are feeling. There may be things they can do to help and reassure you. Sharing emotions in a loving relationship leads to greater intimacy. You could also try reassuring yourself of your partner's love and care by recalling kind words and actions. Unfortunately jealousy is an emotion that will come up in any relationship. Accepting it can go a long way in calming it's intensity. It will pass once we are ready to fully experience it and let it go.
January 23rd, 2015 3:22pm
Honestly, the root of jealously lies in fear. I remember being feeling deeply insecure at one point in my life, and this affected my relationship. I was extremely jealous at times because I feared that I would lose him. My biggest thing was being made a fool of in front of others. I feel like when fear lessens, then so does the jealousy. I stopped comparing myself to others, started believing my partner’s words, and started believing that my “reality” was all in my mind.
May 5th, 2015 2:03am
Jealousy is natural. Feeling secure in a relationship is something that usually takes a lot of time to learn, but it helps if your partner(s) assure you that you are who they want to be with. Talk about it with them. In the end, it comes down to you. Keep telling yourself that you are good enough. Try to develop a deeper level of trust with your partner(s) and eventually there will be no doubt in your mind that they want to be with you. A little sense of possession is natural in monogamous relationships! But once it starts making you feel paranoid or affects your self-esteem, be aware and work on it! You are good enough and you are loved!
December 15th, 2015 5:43pm
If you find that you are overcome with feelings of jealousy within a relationship, be that a romantic, social or a family relationship it would be helpful if you were able to talk with the person involved (e.g. your partner, brother, sister, friend) and to explain what you are feeling and what is triggering it. After all, they may not be aware that something they are saying or doing is causing you this distressing emotion. When you talk be unthreatening and don't making accusations. Be as neutral as is possible, perhaps having this conversation in a restaurant or coffee shop or quietly in private would be most appropriate. Think about and prepare in advance what it is you need to say and as you think about this see if you are able to identify the cause of these jealous feelings. Try to understand why this or that this particular thing, or event is making you feel this way. What is the trigger? It is hard to do but try to step back and be impersonal about it. Analyse that trigger and the feelings you experience as objectively as you can. Jealousy can become all consuming and destructive. It might be a good idea if you are besieged by this and it is destroying relationships if you were to seek therapeutic help and learn coping strategies that will aid you when you are faced with these feelings. Perhaps in therapy you can explore the causal origin and discover if the jealous feelings you have are the result of some event from your past. Good luck.
June 13th, 2017 7:41am
a.) Jealousy is natural. No need to force yourself to get over it. b.) Understand that each person is an individual. If they cheat on you or decide to appreciate somebody else over you, then let them be. Just leave them and find somebody else. A relationship is a social contract. If they aren't willing to uphold their end of the contract then the relationship isn't valid. That's all there is to it, no need to be jealous. c.) If this is about jealousy over how your partner thinks another person is smarter or prettier, remember this, they chose to be with your ugly dumbass so honestly it doesn't matter what they say. They're probably just being insensitive. Having said that, if their behavior starts becoming verbally abusive, constantly putting you down by comparing yourself with others, leave them. You don't need that garbage.
November 21st, 2017 12:19pm
Jealousy is an unhealthy negative emotion as opposed to envy. In envy you admire something or someone. When you admire a quality in someone then you give yourself an opportunity to find something enviable in yourself too. This leads to overall well-being of yourself.
June 14th, 2015 10:28am
Start fresh with a new relationship. Forget about the past and start with a new love :) Trust me it will make you so much happier in life
December 29th, 2015 3:45pm
First of all - you need to trust your partner. That's the key - TRUST. Easier said than done, yes. But if you look closer, trust is one of the foundations of a relationship. So you gotta trust your partner. And then, remind yourself that you are loved, that you are enough, and that you don't have to compete with anyone alse because you know that your partner loves you and trusts you. :D
March 21st, 2016 6:04am
Jealousy is built up based on miss trust. Trust is really important in a relationship to experience growth. Try trusting your partner more that at the end he/she belongs to you.
April 5th, 2016 4:13am
Think about it this way, their past relationship ended for some reason. That person wants you now and nothing else. Even if they're still close friends, remember that they recognized it doesn't work, they're not in love, and they want you now. It'll all be okay, and it's a normal feeling to have.
November 14th, 2017 8:22pm
Jealousy is hard...but it depends on where it's coming from. If you're jealous of your partner interacting with someone, that's a heart problem. It's not their fault. Unless you sense that there's something greater than a friendship. But if not, let them be! They are not your property! They do not belong to you! They are there to love you and only you, yes, but you cannot take control of everything they do. They are allowed to have friends too.
March 10th, 2020 3:47am
Having open and honest communication in a relationship helps alleviate jealousy as you are being honest and building trust. Not having any fear about having some conversations that could be uncomfortable is a good way to move forward. Opening up these channels will strengthen your relationship and encourage growth. It is important that we keep growing as a couple when in a relationship as we can become stagnant and start neglecting some of the other important aspects of the relationship. Open and honest communication is not always comfortable. It really does help a relationship to move forward though so it is important to nurture this aspect.
November 16th, 2020 4:05pm
Hello! Jealousy is an feeling, like any other but it can be very dangerous towards relationships. Jealousy can leave you feeling unsafe, insecure and overprotective in relationships. I wouldn't suggest "getting over it" as much as I'd suggest finding the root. When do you feel jealousy in your relationship? Writing out when and specific examples can help. What is causing it? Maybe in your last relationship, you got cheated on so many times, that jealousy has become your protective blanket to fall under because the trust shattered your security, trust, and love and made you suspicious or feeling like green-eyed monster. Once you realize a cause, looking for other people's experience and advice would help. Feeling something is normal but acting on it is a different category. Once you've seen how other people dealt with it, you can try to implement this into something you should work on personally and it'll benefit the relationship.