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Wildlife

How to Cope With Jealousy in Relationships

By Mary Serphos,
Licensed Psychotherapist, Certified Health Coach

Those who harbor feelings of jealousy usually fear the loss of a partner to another and want their mate to remain faithful. Someone who reacts with a jealous edge typically blames their partner for giving attention to others.

When this painful and complex emotion arises, it’s often a sign that a relationship has become disconnected or that our own feelings of self-worth have been compromised.  In either case, jealousy is a warning sign that we need to either tend to ourselves or to the level of closeness in the relationship.

Sometimes a little jealousy can be an unavoidable part of a healthy relationship, but unchecked jealously can be devastating. The degree of jealousy can be a gage for our own emotional health or the health of a relationship. Usually jealousy is tied to past or current feelings of low self-esteem, betrayal, fear and anger.  Here are some ways to help cope with this intense emotion, from mild to extreme instances.

 


Relationships can end in tragedy when communication or respect
are lacking. On June 20, 2010, Leonela Obregon Castrillo was killed
in Las Delicias by her ex-boyfriend, who later committed suicide.

When Jealousy Arises, Respect Your Partner By Communicating Clearly

One way to cope with jealousy in a relationship is to voice your concerns. Sometimes just talking with your partner about these feelings will lead to a solution and then strengthen the relationship. If you are suspicious or fearful, express these feelings. Take time to reflect about how to put your thoughts into words and communicate clearly. Blaming your partner, especially when it’s unjustified, can often lead to unintended negative consequences such as resentment, anxiety, and distrust.

For example, if you're in a relationship with someone who's a natural flirt, he or she may not be aware of how those actions affect you. Let your partner know that you feel uncomfortable when you witness the flirtatious acts and ask them to modify this behavior. It’s natural to have strong feelings and if this is the case, be honest with yourself and your partner and reach out for reassurance. If you've been hurt in a past relationship and now you are in need of extra support, it’s important to understand how that relationship might have affected you. Healthy relationships are based on mutual respect; therefore, being open about activities and attitudes and asking for validation from your partner builds trust and confidence.

When Jealousy Spirals Out of Control

You run the risk of harming your relationship if you allow jealous or possessive behaviors to go unchecked.  When feelings of jealousy are so strong that they seem to take control, it is important to pay attention and take mindful steps to help alleviate these feelings. You may be reacting to past betrayal, abuse or mistreatment rather than an overt behavior on your partner’s behalf. If you've honestly examined your relationship and discovered no just cause within the relationship for the way you feel, work on redirecting your thoughts and building self-esteem. Reach out to friends and loved ones who you trust and can talk to openly, or talk to a professional counselor.

It is important to be aware that making unjust accusations, exerting control, and using any emotional or physical mistreatment is not representative of love or of a healthy relationship. Instead, these actions are responses that stem from low self-esteem and a need to exert control. These behaviors should never be ignored or minimized. If you or your partner exhibit any of these concerning reactions and you are unable to improve the relationship after taking the steps mentioned above, it might be time to consider terminating the relationship, especially if you feel unsafe.


 

More Health News

Authorities warn of surge in Dengue infection in Guanacaste

The emergence of 200 cases of dengue fever in the past three weeks in Guanacaste has the Ministry of Health asking residents to be on alert, especially in the areas of Liberia, Santa Cruz, Abangares, Nicoya and Carillo, where most of the infections have occurred.

Aftershocks Anxiety and Tension Management Tip 4

In the wake of the Samara earthquake and its repeated aftershocks and with so many people’s anxiety levels remaining high, VON is sharing with their readers, some of the somatic awareness techniques that have proven useful to many.

Aftershocks Anxiety and Tension Management Tip 3

In the wake of the Samara earthquake and its repeated aftershocks and with so many people’s anxiety levels remaining high, VON is sharing with their readers, some of the somatic awareness techniques that have proven useful to many.

Aftershocks Anxiety and Tension Management Tip 2

In the wake of the Samara earthquake and its repeated aftershocks and with so many people’s anxiety levels remaining high, VON is sharing with their readers, some of the somatic awareness techniques that have proven useful to many.

Caja Will Study Alarming Rise in Kidney Disorders in Guanacaste

Officials at Costa Rica’s Social Security System (CCSS- Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social) have reported an alarming increase in potentially fatal chronic kidney disease cases in different parts of the country. Guanacaste is the most affected region.

Aftershocks Anxiety and Tension Management Tip 1

In the wake of the Samara earthquake and its repeated aftershocks and with so many people’s anxiety levels remaining high, I have been inspired to share with groups in Nosara - and now to the readers of VON with this short video - some of the somatic awareness techniques that have helped me and have proven useful to many others.


 

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