She Said: Oh, I’m Jealous

Sarah Irby, Editor in Chief~

The green-eyed monster runs rampant in relationships, and it is often successful in destroying them. Jealousy is not attractive, but it’s something that a lot of people struggle with in relationships. In the end, it’s mentally taxing and harmful to everyone involved, so let’s try to stop.

I’ll be the first one to admit that I’ve had jealousy issues in past relationships (although some of them were completely justified), and that’s one reason why I have kept myself away from serious commitments. I am aware that I need to work on myself and get my sometimes ridiculous emotions in check.

Jealousy and fear are best friends. When you are jealous, you are anxious and worried, and that grows into fear of what could happen. You fear losing your partner, you fear looking like an idiot in front of others, etc. etc. Imagination is a powerful thing, and it’s often what leads to jealousy in the first place.

I mean think about it. You see your man being friendly with a female coworker, and immediately you start putting the puzzle together with pieces that only give the illusion that they fit. He comes home late from work one night, and your mind automatically recalls how friendly he was with that other woman, and you think he’s obviously lying to you when he says he just got caught up on paperwork. But realize this: Your overactive imagination is creating this scenario; it isn’t reality.

Jealousy is often unjustified, and it has to do simply with the fact that you’re insecure, you’ve had bad experiences in past relationships and/or you’re under the impression that you “own” your partner simply because you’re together. Here’s a thought – maybe just trust your partner when they tell you something. I mean, you’re in a relationship for a reason, and like I’ve said before, real relationships can’t exist without trust. And I know, that can sometimes be easier said than done, but think of all the stress and emotional turmoil you’re creating for yours

You jelly-

Illustration by Genevieve Griffin

elf when you’re constantly wondering if your partner is being faithful to you.

When something makes you jealous, you can feel the anger and anxiety rising inside you, and even if you recognize that it’s absurd, it can still be difficult to get under control. Then you start treading dangerous waters with your actions. You act pouty as a form of punishment, or to try to get the message across that you’re mad or hurt; you seek reassurance by constantly asking your significant other if they’re cheating on you or if they still love you; sometimes you lash out for reasons unbeknownst to them. It all leads to a lot of confusion and resentment, and eventually a break-up.

 

We also sometimes use jealousy as a coping mechanism in situations so that we can attempt to protect ourselves from being hurt. Sometimes we use it to try to coax an answer out of our partner, and sometimes it leads us to make rash decisions, such as prematurely ending a relationship, just so that we can save ourselves from the pain we believe to be inevitable.

Don’t be disillusioned; jealousy is a normal human emotion, but we have the power to control how we react to it. You can be bigger than your emotions. Just because you feel it, does not mean you have to act on it. I’ve played the pouting games, I’ve lashed out, I’ve begged for reassurance, and guess what? It never worked. The other person never responds well, which just leads to even more doubt than before, which in turn leads to being more frightened and that much more unhappy in your relationship and in general.

So when you get overly jealous, try taking a step back to examine what you’re feeling. Accept that it’s a thing and ask yourself why. Is it justified? What can you do to relieve yourself of this burden? Jealousy never really makes a situation better or improves a relationship – it only makes things worse.

Take time to work things out with your partner and express your feelings in a composed manner that is conducive to solving problems. I guarantee that if you voice yourself in this way rather than attacking the person you love, the outcome will be much more pleasant. Not to mention, you won’t have all those painful emotions just bottled inside. Jealousy is normal, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy for our minds and our relationships.

So, my best advice is to send that green-eyed monster packing before he can do his destruction.