How to stop jealousy ruining YOUR relationship

How to stop jealousy ruining YOUR relationship: Expert reveals how to tackle 10 problems including feeling threatened by a work colleague – and says you SHOULD let your partner check your phone

  • Jealously can destroy otherwise happy relationships if it is not addressed 
  • Relationship expert Neil Wilkie reveals what is at the root of the toxic feeling 
  • Shared 10 jealousy warning signs – and how to tackle each one together 

As all too many couples discover too late, jealousy can destroy a relationship if left unchecked. 

Whether it is questions over a new starter at work or demands to read through messages, behaviour that undermines one partner’s trust of the other will ultimately end in heartache. 

Speaking to FEMAIL, Neil Wilkie, a British relationship expert and psychotherapist, explained the actions that can be taken to resolve jealousy – and it starts with understanding its origins. 

‘Jealousy in couples is a complex mixture of feelings, thoughts and actions resulting from a perceived threat to the relationship,’ explained Neil, creator of online couples therapy programme, The Relationship Paradigm.

‘It often comes from the belief that your partner is or may become emotionally involved with another person.

‘There is both romantic jealousy, where there is perceived romantic interest between your partner and another and sexual jealousy where the perceived interest is sexual in nature.’

Here, Neil discusses what might be causing jealousy, including why it might become more intense at certain times of the month, and how to tackle the 10 most common jealousy red flags…

Neil Wilkie, a British relationship expert and psychotherapist, explained the actions that can be taken to resolve jealousy – and it starts with understanding its origins. Stock image

Identifying the root of your partner’s jealousy

As there is no reality on emotions, only perceptions, the jealousy may have a firm grounding or may be caused by previous relationship problems still resonating in the current relationship.

Jealousy will normally involve the following emotions:

  • Hurt that your partner prefers someone to you
  • Anger at a perceived betrayal
  • Loneliness
  • Uncertainty over the future
  • Fear of loss of something important
  • Distrust
  • Sadness over the future
  • Low self esteem
  • Insecure
  • Rejected

Jealousy in a relationship may be rooted in the primeval drive to procreate and ensure the survival of the human race. Male jealousy in a heterosexual relationship could even peak around the ovulation cycles.

Be warned: Jealousy does NOT mean your partner cares more 

It may be felt that jealousy is showing that you love your partner and want to protect them from undesirable advances, as is shown in many parts of the animal world.

It is emotionally much more complex and it there is a danger of crossing the boundary from ‘protection’ to ‘ownership’.

Jealousy is toxic and unless dealt with at an early stage it can escalate and destroy the relationship.

It will often be unsaid until a tipping point is reached and the elephant in the room can no longer be ignored.

Take a look at yourself before you attack 

Before you try and help your partner deal with jealousy you need to look at yourself and question whether your actions with others have created the jealousy. 

Is there anything that you have said or done with an opposite sex friend that you would not want your partner to know about?

Neil suggests you should give your partner access to your phone and messages if they have questions and issues with jealousy. Stock image

10 warning signs your partner is jealous (and how to deal with them)

Questioning

You are being asked more questions like ‘where are you going, why and who with?’. Be very open and explicit about your schedule during the day and the conversations you are having at home.

Checking your phone

They are wanting to look at your emails, texts etc. Let them; give them all your passwords, otherwise the trust will be affected.

Hurtful comments

They are now saying things to you that feel wrong or unfair. Pause between the stimulus and response. Do not become aggressive or defensive. Say something like, ‘I am sorry that you feel that way, what can I do to help you feel differently?’

Change in sexual frequency and style

There is either more sex (they want to prove themselves better than the perceived threat) or less, because they are withholding to punish you. Be gentle and ask questions like ‘What do you enjoy about when we make love’ and ‘what could be even better?’

Silences

You should be able to pick up a change in the energy between the two of you but may not know why. Laughter and lightness may have been replaced by silence and heaviness. You may also have asked them ‘what’s wrong’ and, unsurprisingly, got the answer, ‘nothing’.

Ask the question ‘How are you feeling right now?’ and wait. When they have answered with a feeing, ask ‘and anything else?’ and wait. Keep asking this until they run out of feelings. Now you know how they are feeling.

Checking up on their perceived rival

They may start asking more questions about the friend/colleague that they are jealous of. Answer any questions, openly and honestly whilst finding out what is underlying the questioning. Give them reassurance of what your relationship with them is.

Rudeness

They are being more abrupt and saying things that are out of character. Take a deep breath and say something like; ‘When you say that, I feel sad…’

Reduced affection

The touches, hugs, looks, nice words have faded and become cursory. Avoid getting into a downward spiral. It is important that you are gentle and continue to be affectionate, to reinforce your love for them. Try and achieve 20 second hugs to build connection and get their oxytocin flowing.

Violence

Calmness is disrupted and plates broken, and doors slammed. These are all signs of the stress leaking out.

Violence to people is unacceptable and needs to be firmly dealt with. For other actions, stay calm and reassure them that you love them and want to help. If necessary, walk away until they have calmed down.

Making you feel guilty

You are being made to feel bad for going out, enjoying yourself or being happy when they are not.

Avoid feeling guilty, it is the most useless emotion. A natural reaction would be to join them in their misery spiral. Alternatively, it will be easy for you to start doing less with them and more without.

Invest in time together having fun and building connection. Create a dream board and make the long term come alive. 

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