Slaying The Green-Eyed Monster: How To Handle Jealousy In Relationships

green eyed monster
Image by: Nomadic Lass
By H. Daniels

While a little jealousy can show that you care and can add a bit of enthusiasm and gusto to your relationship, how do you know when it is too much? There is a fine line between adorable jealousy that can show your man that you’re still passionate toward him and maddening jealousy that can cause anxiety, resentment, and can lead to some really bad control issues.

In the beginning, it can be a bit adorable. “Aww, are you jealous of him?” It can be endearing but it can also drive you crazy. Where is that line and how can you avoid it?

#1) Where Does It Come From?

The root of jealousy in a relationship lies in a fear of losing someone who is important to you. Once that fear lessens, so should the intensity of the jealousy in the relationship. If it continues to grow stronger every day, then you know that there may be a problem.

There may also be feelings of inadequacy:

“You’re going to leave me for someone who is better…like her, or her, or her…”

When it comes to something like this, it is necessary to reciprocate and show your love often in the beginning of the relationship (more-so than later on in your relationship). Show him that he is the man that you want to be with.

In these types of situations, it is also important to help him with his self-esteem. Help him realize just how awesome he is as a person. Remember that men suffer from low self-esteem just as we do. If this type of problem persists, then some couples’ counseling might be in order.

#2) Ex-Boyfriends

This is something that you guys should talk about in the early stages of your relationship because (unless every single one of your exes — and your man’s — are dead), something from your past will resurface for one reason or another.

I can’t give you a definite answer for the ex-boyfriend problem (that problem being “Are we allowed to ban our significant others from contact with their exes?” or something along those lines). That depends on the two of you.

Sometimes, you can have great relationships between you, your man, your ex, his new girl, and your man’s ex. I’ve seen it happen. But in order for that to happen, you must trust each other whole-heartedly.

So discuss this. Talk about the options. Talk about the scenarios and what you expect from one another. It’ll be worth the fight (if one does occur) in the long run. There won’t be any blurred boundaries.

#3) Ways To Handle Jealousy

If you are in a relationship with someone and you feel as though you aren’t sure where the boundaries lie, talk about it. Defining those boundaries early will help you learn about each other, help define your relationship, and may help ease your fear of loss.

Other tips (if you are worried about your jealousy in the relationship) are to:

    Believe what your man tells you. If he tells you that he’s not having an affair with his secretary, then he probably isn’t. Trust him.

    Stop comparing yourself to others. Remember that he fell in love with you for a reason.

    Be prepared for loss. I know that sounds a bit harsh, but if you’re prepared to lose him, you can afford to live a little. If you are prepared for this, there is also less of a chance that you will take him for granted.

I also suggest that you think about how your man feels. If you want to have coffee with a male coworker or friend, and you know that it would make your man uncomfortable…but you do it anyway (you just do it behind his back). Hmm, what does that say about your relationship? Will you still be upset if he finds out and gets angry or feels betrayed?

#4) How Much Is Too Much?

If your man is telling you what to do, who you can see, who you can’t see (despite your feelings or your say), and is using words like “allowed” or “forbid“, there is a problem. The line between jealousy and control isn’t hard to see when you are on the outside of a relationship looking in. However, if you are in the relationship, you might not even see that line until you or your man have crossed it.

If you love each other and you or your man have started to show signs of “controlling behavior”, a couples’ counselor may be in your future. In fact, I insist on it.

There are certain pillars that should be the beginning of a foundation for a healthy relationship. These pillars will go from the ground up to the attic and they are: communication, respect, love, and trust. Those pillars will help keep your relationship strong. As long as these are rock solid, your relationship can withstand almost anything. Jealousy plays with the foundation of both trust and respect.


  1. Ashley Amber
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