"Pure love and suspicion cannot dwell together: at the door where the latter enters, the former makes its exit."
- Alexandre Dumas
Lasso the green-eyed monster
Jealousy is an overpowering emotion that often leads to irrational, desperate acts. Anyone who's ever been caught in the grip of the green-eyed monster (and it's a rare person who hasn't) knows that it can be consuming to the point that it destroys everything in its path - relationships, trust, personal integrity and self-esteem. But even in it's more subtle forms, it can have a devastating effect on our personal lives. Jealousy can: become a distraction from the more important things in a relationship, like communication; create feelings of bitterness; lead to power struggles and even spark depression. Yikes!
How do you know if your feelings of jealousy are normal? Tiny pangs of envy are usual, but how we choose to express those feelings and how they effect us is where the danger lies. If jealousy nags at you, causes you to act in any way that may be disruptive to the relationship, or has a negative influence on your own sense of well-being, then you have a jealousy problem.
The key to giving jealousy the boot once and for all is identifying the root of the emotion, which is usually one of two things: lack of self-esteem or confidence, or, in the case of romantic jealousy, actual feelings of doubt regarding the partner's loyalty. If you are in a relationship and you have suspicions that your partner is not completely committed, then you may want to take a look at the relationship itself and address the issues with your partner. If it's a continuous problem and you don't think you can ever trust him/her, reconsider whether you want to stay in the relationship. (Trust is of utmost importance!) Be very careful, however, before reaching this conclusion: are you sure the feelings are not stemming from your own lack of confidence? Do you have real reason to doubt your partner? Only you can make that decision, but if you suspect the jealousy is stemming from uncertainties about your own worth, ask your partner to support you in your efforts to overcome this roadblock. When you have worked on your confidence, you will find you no longer have any reason to feel threatened by others.
by T.L. Scribe