Feeling jealous is nothing to be ashamed of. After all, it’s a normal part of life! Each and every one of us will experience jealousy from time to time, and the forms it can take are seemingly unlimited. Whether it’s the strange discomfort you feel at the sight of your partner’s ex, an irrational worry about what they’re really up to on a work trip, or sudden anxiety over a harmless new friendship in their life, jealousy can hit when you least expect it. It’s common enough to where, most of the time, we simply let it go before it affects our moods or our behaviors. We can recognize that jealous thoughts aren’t rational ones, which makes it easy to move on from them as they appear in our day-to-day lives. However, for some of us, it’s not that easy. If you suffer from serious jealousy, you know that it can sometimes hit with such force that it begins to consume your entire relationship, and you become increasingly controlling in an effort to avoid losing your partner. To make matters even worse, being controlling always has the opposite effect, and before you know it, your relationship has crashed and burned. If you want to avoid this, you’re going to have to find out how to stop being controlling and jealous!
Overcoming such an intense, seemingly uncontrollable emotion can seem next to impossible. However, the truth is that with enough hard work and willpower, you can do it. It may not be easy, but the stakes couldn’t be higher, so you owe it to yourself to give it everything you’ve got! But how do you even begin to stop feeling what you’re feeling? Well, during my time as a love and relationship expert here at Happily Committed, I’ve helped plenty of people get their jealousy under control, so I know what works and what doesn’t. That’s why you can think of today’s article as a sort of guide to getting started on this process. I know these tips and tricks can help you succeed.
How to Stop Being Controlling and Jealous
If you want to know how to tackle this problem, you’re going to have to know where to target your efforts. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions out there about what causes jealousy and how to get rid of it, so before we go any further let’s talk about the real root of jealousy. Normally, when the feeling hits, it always feels like it’s been sparked by something “on the outside”: a trigger that you have no control over, like something your partner might have said, an unexpected new friendship in their life, or any number of things that interrupt the status quo and make you feel uneasy. Obviously, you didn’t plan to feel jealous, so it seems like whatever situation is making you feel that way has simply appeared on its own in your life! However, the reality is it truly has nothing to do with what’s going on outside, no matter how much it might seem that way. The real root of jealousy is always internal, and it’s something you’re going to have to face sooner or later: insecurity.
It’s a common misconception to think that you can control jealousy by stopping and preventing whatever triggers it, but ultimately, it’s wasted effort. You’ll only be spinning your wheels, getting nowhere, because you’re targeting all your effort in the wrong place. Even worse, this attempt to stamp out the things that make you feel jealous is the root cause of controlling behavior that can ruin your relationship. It’s crucial to understand that your partner isn’t causing these feelings, and neither are their actions, because otherwise you run the risk of driving them away by pressuring them to solve a problem that they have no means to solve. Ultimately, it’s up to you to work on changing yourself, and addressing your insecurities, if you want this feeling to stop. But how do you even begin to do that?
Stopping Jealousy in its Tracks
If you want to gain control over your jealousy, one of the first things you need to do is learn how to reframe it even as it’s happening. This isn’t an easy task, especially when those pangs of fear and hurt spring upon you unexpectedly, but learning how to do it is really a vital step towards getting things under control. Basically, when the feeling hits, try to turn the mental spotlight away from whatever caused it, and back onto yourself. Learning how to look inside takes practice, but trying to remember that the root of the feeling is under your control can help you get a handle on it. Reframing things in your mind won’t stop the feeling from happening, but it’ll stop you from spiraling out of control and making things worse. More importantly, it’s the first step towards addressing your insecurities instead of trying to control the situation or even your partner. Once the spotlight is firmly on you, you can begin going deeper towards solving the problem.
Ask Yourself, ”Why am I so Jealous?”
Do you trust your partner? If you’re feeling jealous about one of their friendships, something they’re doing without you, or even one of their past relationships, ask yourself first whether your partner has ever given you a real reason not to trust them. Based on the clients I’ve worked with who face the same issues, I’m almost certain that the honest answer is “no”. Asking yourself this question means you’re already turning your attention away from your partner and their behaviors, and back onto yourself.
This is when you can start to ask yourself things like, “what about this situation makes you feel so jealous?”, “what do you see in this other person that you feel you can’t offer to your partner?”, or even “if this situation was reversed, would your partner be right to feel jealous? Why or why not?” Basically, imagine that you’re asking someone else to explain their feelings of jealousy to you: what would you ask if you want to know every part of it? The truth is that insecurity is different for everyone affected by it, and it’s going to take some time for you to really understand the specifics of your case. Asking yourself questions like this is key, because they begin a process of elimination that can help you see things clearly. Once you do, you’ll have a clearer idea of what to work on.
There is one thing worth mentioning when it comes to these types of questions: if your partner has genuinely given you a reason not to trust them, then your task may be more about rebuilding trust than it is about overcoming insecurity. I’d recommend checking out our course in how to fix your relationship, or our program on overcoming infidelity.
Make Comparisons to Help Understand Your Jealousy
One effective way to pinpoint the root of the insecurity that’s causing you so many problems may seem a bit unorthodox: compare yourself to the thing that’s making you jealous. I know that sounds like it might simply make you feel worse, but if you do it right, it should have the opposite effect. That’s because often insecurity comes in the form of feeling threatened, and that “threat” reaction is triggered by something we subconsciously feel is stronger or more attractive than us. Ultimately, insecurity makes us feel like we may lose someone we care about to something better than us, and our brain tries to “warn us” by making us feel jealous. Acting on that warning leads to controlling behavior, which ultimately only pushes your partner away. So before that, right when jealousy hits, is where the comparison method comes in: by comparing yourself to the thing that’s making you feel jealous, you might be able to pinpoint whatever it is that you think is “better” than you. You’ll probably find, as most people do, that seeing it for what it is reveals how silly the feeling is! Insecurity is not a rational thing, and knowing how to shine a light on it can help us take it less seriously. However, far more importantly, the comparison method can help us pinpoint what it is that we should work on within ourselves to build up our confidence. By doing so, it’s much harder for anything to make us feel threatened, which ultimately means that we experience less jealousy. In the end, this is the most direct road out of jealousy and control.
Don’t be Jealous, Be Better
When you feel good about who you are, there’s very little that can make you doubt yourself or your role in your relationship. Building up your sense of self-worth, and working on the things that make you feel like your best self, is ultimately the best way to overcome and even prevent jealousy! It may be hard to know where to begin, but my advice is this: start with the things that involve a sense of accomplishment. Most passions revolve around getting better at something, and putting in the work on a long-term goal that’s close to you is the surest way to build up your confidence. At the same time, put in the work to build up your partner and their own goals. By helping them develop their own sense of self-worth and confidence, you’ll be strengthening the core bonds of your relationship, which will also have the roundabout effect of making you feel less subconsciously concerned about losing it. With time, you’ll find that this method of overcoming jealousy is far more effective than trying to tackle the feeling outright.
How To Get Over Jealousy
As this article comes to a close, I want to reiterate one thing: ultimately, it’s up to you. Your partner may be able to support you in this journey, but they aren’t going to be able to do anything to prevent your feeling jealous. You aren’t going to be able to change anything by trying to control them. Instead, learning how to find your own internal causes of jealousy, instead of searching for external ones, is your way out from underneath this feeling. With enough patience and determination, you can stop dealing with jealousy in your relationship for good.
Remember, this isn’t going to be easy, and it’s okay to ask for help. As always, you can reach out to me or any of the other coaches here at Happily Committed by clicking here. We’ve made it our mission to help people just like you identify their roadblocks, and craft the game plans they need to overcome them. If you’re having trouble, just reach out. We’ve love to help.
With that being said, let’s go over some of the things we’ve talked about today:
1. Stopping Jealously starts with turning the spotlight onto yourself as it’s happening, and knowing that it’s not being caused by your partner: it’s being caused by insecurity.
2. Once you’re looking inward and not outward, ask yourself, why am I so jealous? Asking and answering as many questions as you can about your feelings can help narrow down what’s causing them.
3. If you want to understand your jealousy, try the comparison method to pinpoint what exactly you feel threatened by. Once you know what it is, you can work on it!
4. Try to remember, “Don’t be jealous, be better.” Your way out of this feeling isn’t through controlling your partner, it’s through building up your own confidence.
After all that, just remember one last thing: this is going to take time, and effort. It’s not going to be one big gesture, or a single flashy moment, that reverses course on this problem. It’s simply going to take putting in the work, step by step, until you eventually get where you want to go. I know you can do it.
Your coach when you want to know how to stop being controlling and jealous,