Put An End to the Suffering
Jealousy is an emotion which we do not control, but that we have the power to manage. Some people have excessive jealousy that has important impacts in their different relationships whether they be professional, social, friendly or sexual. On the other hand, some only have issues in one of theses types of relationships. Since jealousy can influence multiple aspects of our lives and each have a variety of dynamics that differ, we will be focusing more on sexual and loving jealousy.
Impacts of jealousy on couple’s relationships
It isn’t necessary to have excessive jealousy for the couple to have difficulties with the matter. Jealousy always emanates from insecurities from the person who feels it, but will blame others to justify their behaviours. This creates conflicts about trust, unjustified accusations, interrogations, an excessive need to be reassured of the other persons loyalty and limiting someone’s freedom. Certain people or couples will even go as far as try to limit the other persons thinking by demanding they do not fantasize about other people than them as they would consider it cheating or just feel bad about it. They can limit the other persons social activities and who they can hang out with to maintain the potential of infidelity as low as possible. Theses examples are even more frequent when both partners are jealous.
These restrictions demonstrate that their is a lack of self-esteem and trust towards one’s partner that will have dire consequences in the long run if the couple remains together. Eventually, the partners don’t feel they have freedom in the relationship and they eventually can’t stand it anymore, even though they might both be imposing their jealousy on the other. Inevitably, fights will start to emerge more and more about this issue and others more or less related so as to jeopardize the false harmony they originally thought they had. There are couples who maintain a relationship in this type of dynamic. Although, you have to ask yourself if you are truly happy? How happy can you be when you are feeling constantly insecure about your partner’s whereabouts and who they hang out with? Do you feel free to do what you would like, without having to ask your partner’s permission? How do you appreciate the feeling of constantly being monitored by your partner and having to do the same?
Jealousy will eventually create dissatisfaction for one or both partners. Jealousy can decrease one’s sexual desire and affection for the other if the jealousy and the consequences pile up. The partner who isn’t jealous will not want to reassure the other continuously, will get fed up about the interrogations, they will start lying to get the illusion that they have freedom. For most people, the feeling of constantly having to reassure the other person’s insecurities takes a toll on the admiration of the other and pity tends to replace it.
How to stop jealousy?
Jealousy is an emotion that makes us suffer and it can be quite hard to manage. We more often prefer to get rid of it than to explore its origins, because the exploration of its origins leads to things that we prefer to remain blind to ourselves about our personalities. Jealousy is not only a destructive force for our relationships but also ourselves. It feeds on us from the inside to be exteriorized by nefarious behaviours in our relationship. First off, like any other interpersonal difficulty, we must take responsibility for what we contribute to the dynamic. We must stop putting the blame on our partner and confront our own fears and insecurities about the issue. We must accept and recognize our own personal value as a person and a partner in the relationship. We must learn to validate ourselves and self-soothe rather than constantly ask our partner to do it. This task is difficult and requires some time to master, especially since humans are more easily capable of being hurt and insulted, as well as rejected than remembering compliments and signs of affection and love. A jealous person tends to need to be constantly reassured and validated by their lover rather than doing it themselves.
Jealous behaviours exist primarily to seek out a sense of love from our partner. In fact, a person with low self-esteem needs to constantly be reassured of the love from others. They will sometimes use inadequate and harmful ways to obtain this false sense of love and affection from others. When we are validated and appreciated by others this temporarily soothes are insecurities. In the long run, this can have negative impacts on the couple who want to be satisfied on a personal, relational and sexual level. Couples where both partners are capable of validating themselves by acknowledging their own value, faults and their partner’s will avoid the suffering emotion of jealousy.
Recognizing our strengths and accepting our weaknesses is a very hard task for some. It may sometimes require the help of a sex therapist in therapy. Here a few reflexions to have about your relationship dynamic:
- What do you bring to your relationship and your partner?
- What does your partner appreciate from you?
- What makes you feel insecure and impacts your jealousy?
- What are the ways you self-validate to feel good about yourself?
- How could you better manage your jealousy?
Many false perceptions and beliefs about relationships can create difficulties with jealousy. First, we must understand that we cannot answer all our partner’s needs and vice versa. It is unrealistic to believe that, as some needs must be fulfilled by oneself or other people such as family, friends, work, etc. This reality is hard for many as it requires that we are not the ONE & ONLY, UNIQUE person in our partner’s life. This search of feeling profoundly unique in someone else’s eyes creates an expectation that is only bound to create frustration and resentment. In the case where this perception and expectation is destroyed by the realities of being in a relationship, behaviours of jealousy arise to try to maintain our false belief about being unique. People who are jealous have a hard time accepting this fact about relationships. It is undeniable that lovers do bring unique elements to each other, but it is an error to think that we can answer every single need our partner has as well as our own.
What to remember
Jealousy brings lots of distress in a couple and endangers its stability as well as sexual and personal satisfaction. Jealous behaviours are to be avoided at all cost:
By recognizing our own qualities and accepting our shortcomings;
By mainly validating ourselves rather wait for our partner to do it;
By having realistic expectations and perceptions of our partner, ourselves and relationships.
People who want to live a satisfying relationship and sex life must work on all aspects of their jealousy to overcome the inevitable downfall of the relationship. This self-healing will only make you feel better about yourself and to be more appreciated by your partner.
To be able to love another person, one must first learn how to love oneself in every aspect.
Sex therapist & psychotherapist in Downtown Montreal
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