Jealousy is one of the most common problems that affect romantic relationships and marriages. In some cases, they make coexistence unpleasant and unnecessary quarrels arise quite often, and in others they give rise to real couple crises when everything “explodes” and it becomes clear that something is wrong. Of course, the ideal is to prevent this last situation from happening and to act quickly to prevent the bond of love and cohabitation from wearing out for this reason.
In this sense, in the following lines I will explain what they are the psychological keys to take into account to control and manage jealousy in relationshipsas general advice to apply on a daily basis, but which does not replace couple therapy.
How to control jealousy in a relationship?
As I mentioned before, the best solution to jealousy issues in a courtship or marriage is to attend a couples therapy process. Thanks to this type of psychological intervention, normally divided into several weekly frequency sessions, both members of the relationship benefit from personalized professional support adapted to their case, as well as a space in which communication flows better because he has the psychologist the mediation. Ahora well, beyond the all-important resource of couples therapy, there are some general tips that will usually help; are the following
1. Make it clear that this is not an equally shared problem
When a person is very jealous and is in a relationship, it’s basically their problem, not their boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife. The other member of the relationship may show a good predisposition when it comes to helping their partner overcome their problem, but it’s not your responsibility nor would he be expected to be involved in the same way, and any blame this generates from someone who suffers from jealousy is actually a form of psychological manipulation that should be avoided at all costs, as well as an extension of his jealous behavior.
Ultimately, making it understood that the other must “collaborate” so that we are not so jealous is to demand that he adapt to these claims to control his behavior, which not only does this not serve to resolve the situation, but it perpetuates this dynamic of jealousy and gives them legitimacy.
That said, the following tips are for when both people want to do their part, but do so remembering that the jealous person is ultimately responsible for resolving the issue. In addition, we will also assume that although problems have arisen due to jealousy, the relationship has not become one of physical or emotional abuse, since in these cases the main priority is to end the relationship. relationship and to prevent attacks from continuing to occur
2. Identify and list typical behaviors related to jealousy
It is not enough to understand that there is a problem of jealousy: you have to know how to go beyond the abstract and specify what type of particular behavior this translates to. For that, It’s good to write a diary together on what is happening in the relationship, taking care to do so in the most objective language possible, so that it is not a source of permanent discussions. You must write more or less brief notes in which you tell the good and the bad of what you have experienced together during the day.
At the end of each day you should identify the specific actions that are caused by jealousy, if any, and mark them with a color that you identify with that issue. Once a week, preferably on the same day and at the same time, you should reread what you have written in the last seven days and review these examples of jealousy aloud, to familiarize yourself with them.
3. Test your fears
Jealousy often stems from fears and insecurities experienced by the person who feels this discomfort of not being able to control the other person. In this sense, it is important not to fall into the avoidance of this discomfort, because this would only serve to limit the freedom of the other member of the couple and to feed this dynamic of jealous behavior. It’s important that you both know that you can devote time to your own interests and personal relationships without the other needing to be presentand you act accordingly from the start.
4. Praise and show interest in the advances of those who have suffered from jealousy
It is a way of encouraging this progress towards a good coexistence; It’s true said thanks and congratulations should not be expressed as thanksbut as the satisfaction of a process of personal development and affective maturity from which those who get rid of jealousy benefit.
Looking for professional psychological help?
If you are interested in individual psychological support or for couples, I invite you to contact me.
I am Tomas Santa Ceciliapsychologist specializing in the cognitive-behavioral model, and I offer my services in person at my clinic in Madrid and through video call sessions.
- Bevan, JL (2004). General partner and relationship uncertainty as consequences of expressing another person’s jealousy. Western Journal of Communication. 68 (2): p. 195 – 218.
- Shackelford, TK; Voracek, M.; Schmitt, DP; Buss, DM; Weekes-Shackelford, Virginia; Michalski, R.L. (2004). Romantic jealousy in early adulthood and later in life. Human nature. 15(3): p. 283 – 300.