5 Healthy Ways To TOTALLY Get Over Your Jealousy Issues

Photo: WeHeartIt
Love, Self

Look, it's not easy to ditch the rage, even when you recognize it's slightly irrational.

Jealousy is crippling in a relationship, especially if no cheating is actually happening. Sure, sometimes jealousy is justified, and if your partner keeps doing things that make you feel uncomfortable or not cared for, maybe it's time to get out of that relationship.

However, if your jealousy is misplaced or directed toward situations that really don’t warrant it, it's tough on both of you. On you — because you never feel free of the fear that your lover is doing something he shouldn’t, and on him — because he doesn’t deserve the mistrust you keep throwing his way.

So what to do? Well, you’ve got to deal with jealousy in healthy and productive ways. It might seem hard, but if you’re willing to try strategies for dealing with jealousy, you can probably move on in life and love and have the happy, healthy relationship you always dreamed of. Here are some practical suggestions:

1. Journal about it.

When you’re experiencing feelings you can’t push away, it can really help to sit down and write about them. Be specific, jotting down your exact feelings and the exact situations that caused them. Feel free to use as many details as possible, and don’t worry about how you sound. These are your private thoughts and it’s important to get them down on paper.

Often, simply pouring out your thoughts to a diary is an effective way to deal with jealousy on its own. However, it's also helpful to then analyze what you’ve written. Do you think it’s logical upon reflection? Would you sympathize with a girlfriend who shared these thoughts, or tell her to stop wasting her time?

If you really feel there’s a problem, you can now approach your partner about it in a healthier and loving way.

2. Talk to your partner.

Sometimes a situation really does require a conversation. Often, women who are wondering how to deal with jealousy feel that talking is a last resort because it proves how paranoid and unlovable they are, but don’t fall into this trap. Being open about your feelings and sharing them with someone who supposedly loves or likes you is never a bad idea. If they don’t take you or your pain seriously, they probably aren’t right for you anyway.

It might seem like there’s never a good time to bring something like this up, so just choose a moment where you’re both free and relaxed and aren’t already fighting about something else. Be honest, open and calm. You may even be surprised by how receptive your partner is to your feelings.

3. Understand the difference between irrational and justified jealousy.

This is easier said than done, of course. Again, journaling can help you crystallize your feelings and pinpoint irrational behavior more easily. If, for instance, you repeatedly see references to ways your partner is “looking” at people, you might want to think twice. On the other hand, if you see many specific inappropriate or hurtful phrases, that's cause for action.

Don’t feel bad if you can’t figure this out on your own. Many factors are at play, including your emotional baggage (maybe you’ve been cheated on before) and your partner’s baggage (maybe he was too tightly controlled before and is now acting out with you). You can speak to a counselor on your own or together, or just lean on a girlfriend for support and help figuring it out.

4. Make your peace with opposite-sex friendships.

Opposite-sex friendships happen, and they are often totally platonic. Your partner may genuinely like another woman for friendly reasons. Perhaps they share interests you lack (which is okay!) or work together.

It’s important that you make space in your relationship for your partner to have friendships with members of the opposite sex. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t have healthy boundaries. You have the right to expect that your partner doesn’t go out alone with female friends. Similarly, you should be clear about when you want to spend time together. As long as it’s not every waking second, it’s fair to want his attention. Lastly, your partner must also be okay with you having male friends or he’s being a hypocrite. Not cool.

This is a good opportunity for you to explore friendships with members of the opposite sex as well. Such affection is rewarding and fun, as long as you play by your own rules.

5. Accept your thoughts and feelings

Though you might not want to hear it, dealing with jealousy sometimes just requires that you get over it, as I teach on my site. That’s not to say you push your feelings aside and ignore them because that’s unhealthy and they’ll come back to bite you. Rather, spend time acknowledging your feelings within yourself.

Affirmations can help. You may repeat to yourself things like, “It’s okay for me to feel this way, but not to act on it,” or “I feel this way right now, but I won’t forever.” This is a soothing way to get confirmation for your feelings from someone you care about: yourself. If it helps, you can even say these things out loud or in front of a mirror. Don’t feel ashamed if it takes you a long time to move past the feelings; that’s perfectly natural and your efforts are commendable.

If you’ve been wondering how to deal with jealousy for a while, don’t let it plague you any longer. The above tips are psychologically sound and healthy ways to deal with jealousy and move on with a happy, healthy and romantically stable life.

Sign Up for the YourTango Newsletter

Let's make this a regular thing!

Once you're comfortable using them, it's time to take it up a notch by using some of the powerful tips and techniques from this instructional video on building sexual tension with your man through talking dirty to him.