If you are the partner of a jealous person you know how hard it can be to cope with their outbursts while trying to manage your own emotions in a healthy way. It’s important to understand that your partner’s behaviour is not an expression of love and that while you cannot control their behaviour you CAN control your reaction to it. Take time to learn about jealousy and ask yourself the following questions: when do the feelings of jealousy develop, how are they expressed and how do your reactions impact your partners behaviour. While you are never to blame for your partner’s jealousy, knowing the answers to these questions may help you understand why they behave in such a jealous manner.
Why Are They So Jealous?
Often, jealousy is the manifestation of past experiences which result in an anxious attachment style. This attachment style is characterized by feelings of inadequacy and results in fears that the other party in a relationship will leave or stop loving them. Typically, these fears stem from childhood and relate to the ways in which the individual was raised and the experiences they had in their family of origin. Perhaps their childhood was riddled with parental destructive narcissism, sibling rivalry or abandonment. While it’s impossible to pinpoint the exact experiences that may have resulted in your partners jealous behavior it’s important to be aware that these issues are deep rooted and have nothing to do with you.
When does Jealousy Become Abuse?
It’s extremely important that you know how to distinguish between jealousy and abuse. In moderation jealousy is an inevitable emotion and can be part of a healthy romantic relationship. However, if your partner’s jealousy becomes confrontational, manipulative or controlling they may be crossing the line into abusive tendencies. Warning signs of emotional abuse include, but are not limited to:
- constantly monitoring cellphones or social media without permission;
- isolating your partner from family and social circles;
- possessive behaviour; and
- holding past sexual behaviour or relationships against your partner.
Emotional abuse can be difficult to identify and sometimes takes months or years to identify an abusive pattern. Remember, it’s never too late to seek professional help.
How to Cope with a Jealous Partner
Talk to your partner about their fears and anxieties and try to understand where they are coming from. If your partner feels they can share their emotions with you (without judgement) they are more likely to confined in you in a positive manner when they are feeling jealous. Call out when your parent is acting jealous and try to have them identify where these feelings are coming from and if there is a bigger issue at play.
Disclaimer: The content provided in the blog posts of Jones Divorce & Family Law is general information and should not be considered legal advice. Please contact a lawyer for legal advice tailored to your specific situation. All articles are current as of their original publication date.