Jealousy: Why it Arises and How to Fight it
Jealousy: Why it Arises and How to Fight it
She is the uninvited guest in many relationships - the tormenting jealousy. Nobody likes to admit it, neither to themselves and certainly not to their partner. Because being jealous is not exactly sexy - and threatens what is most important to us: the relationship with the person we love. We react suspiciously, angry or even reproachful. If that happens once or twice, it doesn't matter. But if jealousy becomes a constant theme in love, in the worst case it can lead to separation. Why do you react jealously at all? Cheating is not always the cause - there is often much more to it. However, we can learn to deal better with jealousy.
Forms of jealousy
Films and series have given us a very dramatic picture of jealousy. In reality, however, jealousy usually has little to do with stalking, brutal acts of revenge or mountains of laundry flying out of the window. Jealousy can be very different. Dr. Wolfgang Krüger, psychotherapist and author from Berlin, distinguishes between three forms of jealousy1.
Most people have probably already experienced the mild form of jealousy. It only occurs occasionally and mostly relates to specific situations. For example when he meets with his ex. You actually know that there is nothing to worry about, but there is still this uncomfortable feeling in the stomach. Most of the time, the worries evaporate quickly without putting any great strain on the relationship or the partner. This form of jealousy is still considered healthy.
It is different with the middle form of jealousy. The person concerned feels a permanent feeling of worry here. Even the smallest occasion is enough to arouse insecurity: a casual conversation with the neighbor, a long phone call with the colleague. Incidentally, this often conceals self-doubt and low self-esteem.
With the massive form of jealousy, the whole thing increases again: every behavior of the loved one is observed with suspicion, the most normal situation is made a reproach for infidelity. Secretly checking WhatsApp messages and emails as well as spying on them can be part of this. In this case, the jealousy is very pronounced and is difficult to justify rationally.
By the way: men and women think very differently when it comes to jealousy. According to David M. Buss, professor of psychology at the University of Texas, this is evolutionary. According to this, men are especially afraid of sexual infidelity, while women are emotionally jealous - they are afraid that their partner could fall in love again. Evolutionary biologists generally assume that jealousy is in our genes. Since time immemorial, men have wanted to ensure that their genetic makeup is passed on. Women or mothers, on the other hand, want their child to receive the necessary care from the father.
Why do you get jealous?
Sometimes the reason for the mistrust is obvious: If the partner has an affair, it is difficult to regain trust. But people who have never been cheated or injured also suffer from jealousy. Low self-esteem and self-doubt are common causes of jealousy. Jealousy usually has less to do with the partner than with one's own insecurities. Those who are self-confident and aware of their own strengths and advantages are less likely to begin to doubt - and they also don't compare themselves. Jealous people tend to compare themselves to others, even with friends or at work. In love, this means that you see your ex as a "potential threat" to the relationship, for example. Affected people also feel fear of loss and fear that the partner could choose someone else because they are not lovable enough in their eyes.
Another cause is a dependency on the partner. Those who make their happiness dependent on others react more quickly to jealousy than someone who is independent in life. Finally, negative experiences and experiences in childhood can also be the reason for jealousy. These causes are very deep and can unfortunately usually not be eliminated without professional help.
Maybe also interesting: These zodiac signs are considered to be particularly loyal!
How does jealousy feel?
Jealousy is a strong emotion and nothing more than a stressor for our body. Those who react jealously can get angry, upset, sad and even panic. Those affected often feel shame too. The feelings can be so strong that they also express themselves physically - through a pulling in the stomach, feeling of pressure on the chest or headache. More severe physical complaints such as palpitations or breathing difficulties are also possible. Those who struggle with jealousy for a long time can also suffer from insomnia and depression. Many often underestimate that jealousy (if it is strong) is very stressful in everyday life, robs energy and joy of life. You shouldn't suppress or suppress your feelings - you should take them seriously.
Is it normal to be jealous in a relationship?
Jealousy has a negative reputation - and of course, control and possessiveness have no place in a healthy relationship. However, many psychologists distance themselves from calling jealousy "not normal". After all, jealousy is in our genes (more on this under "Forms of jealousy"). So a certain amount of jealousy is quite normal. It serves as a warning signal in relationships - for example, if the partner actually cheats.
Fight and overcome jealousy
What can you do when you are jealous? The good news: You can work on jealousy. The first step should be to accept your jealousy. Although you feel ashamed of it and prefer not to admit it, it is important not to suppress these feelings any longer. Only with acceptance can you learn to overcome your jealousy. These tips will also help you overcome your agonizing feelings:
Finding the causes: If you know where your mistrust and your own insecurity come from, you feel less powerless when they come over you at the most inopportune moment. So it's best to take the time to find out what is causing the jealousy. Was it a negative experience from the past? Are you generally dissatisfied with your life? It can help to write things down or to talk to a good friend about them.
Strengthening self-confidence: "Only those who love themselves can also be loved." Even if this wisdom sounds a little trite, there is some truth in it. Because self-confidence and self-confidence are extremely important in overcoming jealousy. Those who leave their self-doubts behind also doubt their partner less.
Maintain friendships: Those who have a strong social network and do not make themselves dependent on their partner are significantly less likely to be jealous. It is important to lead your own life with your own hobbies and interests.
Strengthening relationships: In a partnership in which one lives at a distance from one another and does not communicate openly, distrust is only encouraged. Especially with long-term couples, small appreciative gestures in everyday life (e.g. making compliments) and the sex life are often neglected. Instead: Talk to each other openly, build closeness and create time for togetherness.
If you heed these points and deal with them, you can get a grip on your jealousy better. Important: be patient and indulgent with yourself. Someone who has been jealous all their life will not be "cured" overnight. The way is long - but it's worth it. A happy relationship, inner serenity and contentment are the reward.
What can I do if my partner is jealous?
Jealousy is not only stressful for those affected, but also for the partner. If you constantly have the feeling of being questioned, questioned or even accused of fraud by your better half, then of course it is tough. Even if you are angry and hurt, you should still seek the conversation. It is important that both parties can express their thoughts and feelings. Together you can work on it and try to strengthen the relationship so that jealousy is no longer an issue.