Jealousy is your brain’s way of asking you to love yourself more.
Jealousy is one of the main issues many relationships face nowadays — romantic, platonic, and familial alike. We have all felt it at one point or another!
Here’s the thing — the green-eyed monster (eyyy, Shakespeare) is a natural feeling and part of the human experience; in fact, I can make the argument that jealousy is instinctual. In its most primitive form, jealousy can simply be the “knee-jerk” reaction to protecting what we feel is ours. So, feeling jealous in itself isn’t the problem — the problem comes in when we react to that feeling in a negative or controlling way.
Before I get further into this topic, I want to make a little disclaimer: I am a huge advocate for working issues out in committed relationships, and believe that most issues can be worked through when both partners commit to doing so. I am writing this post assuming an honest and trustworthy partnership where both parties are complying with their loyalty agreement; whatever that may look like. Because, yes — jealousy is felt even in the most honest of partnerships.
Okay, moving on!
I want you to think back on a time where you felt jealousy in your relationship — maybe Becky with the good hair texted your significant other one too many times or Chad with the muscles won’t stop liking your girl’s pictures on Instagram. How did it make you feel? Did you feel less loved, less attractive, or betrayed? How did you react?
Maybe you didn’t even bring it up, but still gave your significant other the cold shoulder and left them wondering why you didn’t kiss them goodnight. Maybe you did bring it up, but blamed your partner and got into a huge argument over the situation. Or maybe you took a more controlling route, and asked your partner to block Becky’s number or Chad’s account for the sake of your own peace of mind. Be honest! Newsflash: we have all been a little toxic at some point, because we have all been through trauma. However, our partners shouldn’t have to pay for the insecurities those traumas harbored in us.
When we react to our feelings of jealousy, we emasculate our men and we disrespect our women. We are giving them the message that we do not trust them and that we underestimate their ability to remain loyal. “Oh, I trust you babe — it’s them I don’t trust!” — please. I am calling you out on your BS! Either you are lying to them and are unaware of it, or you are lying to yourself. More often than not, you are doing both. And you know what? It’s okay. Once again, we have all been a little toxic at some point, because we have all been through trauma that still remains unresolved.
Managing personal feelings of jealousy can be tricky, and at times, difficult. But as long as we remain grounded and open to doing the internal work to understand where our jealousy is coming from, we will be able to overcome it. In the end, most of the situations that trigger our jealousy aren’t about our partner or the third party — they’re about ourselves.
If you have ever felt and reacted to jealousy in a negative way, that is your brain sending you the message to love yourself more. To focus on yourself more. It is your inner, wounded child saying, “Hello! I am hurting and I need you to think about where these reactions are coming from!”. Some of us don’t even like our partners going out without us because we don’t like them having fun without us — that is a huge warning that we should be focusing more on OUR OWN joy, you queens and kings!
Next time you feel jealous, I recommend you do this: feel the jealousy in your body; don’t resist it. How does it feel? Does your heart race? Do you feel a wave of anxiety course through your whole body? Do you sweat? Feel it; observe it — but DO NOT react to it. Do not judge it. Recognize it, and honor it as yours. Now, it is up to you to find out where that trigger is coming from, and it is up to you to heal that wounding. Care for yourself and hold space for your emotions, and always respect your amazing partner’s freedom.
Is it your partner, and not you, who is struggling to manage their jealousy? Respectfully set some boundaries — boundaries are sexy! I cannot stress that enough. Kindly inform your partner that you are getting beer with the boys or that you are going dancing with the girls. Give them the message that you respect and value your freedom. Their jealousy is not your problem to solve; chances are, if they watch you rise, they will rise too.
Until next time!