Are you a jealous partner?
In the spectrum of human emotions, jealousy is almost certainly one of the most complex, frustrating, and uncomfortable. It is a natural, complex emotion that encompasses feelings ranging from fear of abandonment, sadness, and suspicion to rage, anger, and humiliation. This can even lead onto bouts of depression and anxiety and even violence.
It affects both men and women and is generally triggered when a person perceives a threat to a valued relationship from a third party. The threat may be real or even imagined.
Of all the emotions humans show, jealousy is one of the most common and unsettling. It tends to bring out the worst in us, even though most of us know better. It's an age-old problem, having been recorded since biblical times, and no doubt experienced even before that.
We have to consider that jealousy is not always a negative emotion, if channelled correctly it can actually inspire us to get past the issues we may be dwelling on and move forward in a more positive way. It can alert you to a deficit in your relationship and help you become mindful of potential outside threats.
Evolutionary psychologists regard it not as an emotion to be suppressed but as one to heed—as a signal, a wake-up call that a valued relationship is in danger and that steps need to be taken to regain the affection of one's mate or friend. This then values jealousy as a necessary emotion, because it preserves social bonds. It motivates people to engage in behaviours that maintain important relationships.
In a loving relationship, jealousy can sometimes be justified. If your partner has had an affair and has betrayed your trust, for example, that is a serious issue. If you are jealous because you’re involved with someone who doesn’t seek monogamy, while you do, then your jealous feelings may be a good reason to leave the relationship and seek someone whose relationship goals are more compatible with yours.
Jealousy is not limited just to romance. It can also arise among siblings competing for parental attention, among co-workers, or in friendships.
To help minimise jealousy you could try the following:
Talking directly and openly about feelings
Discussing strategies to minimise jealousy
Practicing honesty in your relationships
Examining whether the jealousy is caused by external or internal factors
Working to improve lacking elements within the relationship
Taking time to make the other person feel special and valued
To find out whether you are a jealous partner, try our fun questionnaire here