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How to Deal with Jealousy

Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD - Blogs
By Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhDPsychologistJanuary 16, 2015
From the WebMD Archives

Even when you are with the most trustworthy partner, jealousy can take over your mind and soul. You might find yourself paranoid, spying on your partner, and driven to do things that you know deep in your heart are coming from a really ugly place. How can you combat these crazy feelings and find your sanity again?

First, recognize that the green-eyed monster has taken over. Face that your actions are coming from your own insecurity and mistrust. And acknowledge that this jealousy is making you unhappy. Once you are honest with yourself about your jealous feelings, you can start addressing them.

We say that people are “green” with jealousy because this is the color of sickness. And you can choose to heal that sickness rather than allow it to infect your relationship. Though it is far from easy, you can start to do this by admitting your struggles to your partner. Acknowledge your pain. And concede that the problem resides inside you, not in the actions of your partner.

If your partner is supportive, consciously accept their love for you – really take it in. And, moving forward, when you feel pangs of jealousy, try to redirect your thoughts to your partner’s loving words and actions.

If your partner is not supportive and you’re not able to talk as a team to address this issue between you, then you have a problem bigger than your jealousy. You would be wise to address this breakdown in communication. If you cannot do it alone, then you might want to consider couple therapy.

When you and your partner do address the problem together, you’ll be able to make progress toward healing. By focusing on your partner’s love and by practicing self-acceptance, you can begin to loosen the grip that jealousy has on you. Then, when you feel jealous feelings pop up, you can start identifying where those feelings might be coming from, such as fear of reliving being cheated on by a previous partner or insecurities that first began as early as childhood. And as you become aware of the roots of your jealous feelings, you can work through them (perhaps even with the help of therapy) and find deeper happiness in yourself and with your partner.

Entries for the Relationships blog are for general educational purposes only. They may or may not be relevant for your particular situation; and they should not be relied upon as a substitute for individual professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need help for an emotional or behavioral problem, please seek the assistance of a psychologist or other qualified mental health professional.

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About the Author
Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD

Dr. Becker-Phelps is a licensed psychologist in NJ and NY, and is on staff at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Somerset. She is dedicated to helping people understand themselves and what they need to do to become emotionally and psychologically healthy. She accomplishes this through her work as a psychotherapist, speaker and writer. She is the author of Bouncing Back from Rejection and Insecure in Love.

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