In relationships, jealousy can be one of the most difficult things to overcome. If you feel like your partner’s relationship with other people, specifically family and friends, are threatening your own bond with them, then it’s likely you’re experiencing feelings of jealousy or envy that aren’t conducive to maintaining healthy relationships in the future.
So what can you do about this? How can you stop being jealous in your relationship? The first thing to do is understand why you feel the way you do and what your partner can do to help address these concerns.
See also: Phone rules for guys in a relationship
1) Realize that jealousy can happen to anyone
If you are prone to jealousy, it can be tempting to look down on others who have similar feelings. After all, they aren’t as strong as you are—they’re allowing their emotions and fears get the best of them.
Instead of criticizing these people, it is more productive (and kind) to realize that anyone can experience jealousy at any time for various reasons. Realizing your struggles do not make you weaker than others helps reduce feelings of animosity towards yourself or others.
2) Learn to acknowledge your feelings
You can’t change them. All you can do is acknowledge them, says Julie Tilsen, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Red Flags or Red Herrings?
Spotting Manipulative People Before You Get Involved. Once you recognize that jealousy stems from feelings of low self-esteem or lack of confidence, you’ll be more able to fight it.
3) Change your mindset
One of the most powerful ways you can fight jealousy is by challenging yourself to make it work. Can you learn to love your partner’s friends or family? Do you feel comfortable with your partner spending time at work with a coworker that you don’t like?
While it may not seem possible, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone will help reduce (or eliminate) any feelings of jealousy that stem from doubts about what might be going on behind closed doors. Make sure they really trust you and your relationship before giving them any reason not to.
4) Try things out of your comfort zone
One of my favorite things about relationships is that they force you outside of your comfort zone. You have to learn how to talk about your feelings, forgive each other and understand what you can do better as a couple.
All of these skills will help you not just with your relationship but with all of your future relationships as well. If there’s anything I wish I had known before getting into relationships, it would be just how good they make me feel when I am able to actually use what I have learned.
5) Reflect on your relationships past
Why do we get jealous? Sometimes, it’s because we’re worried that our partner is going to cheat on us (and, for many people, that’s enough of a reason). But often, we can’t explain why. The secret here is understanding your own psychology.
Think about previous relationships—has jealousy ever been an issue? What was it about those relationships that made you jealous? Were you insecure with yourself or unsure of your feelings for them?
Figuring out how exactly you felt and why may help you figure out why you feel and act that way with your current partner. Know yourself; knowing yourself will help eliminate some of those pesky emotions like jealousy.
6) Practice Self-Reflection
You might not be aware of it, but many times jealousy is driven by deep-seated feelings of inadequacy or self-doubt. If you find yourself frequently jealous of your partner, ask yourself what’s really bothering you about their relationships with others.
Are there aspects about them that you admire and wish you could incorporate into your own life? Or are there things about them that make you feel inadequate?
Perhaps if you can figure out why you are jealous of your significant other, then it will be easier for you to stop feeling that way. Being able to recognize and admit how we truly feel will go a long way towards eliminating our undesirable emotions.
Meditation can help us calm our minds and appreciate where we are now instead of focusing on what we don’t have. If you’re struggling with jealousy, try taking 5 minutes each morning before starting your day to meditate.
Find a quiet place and focus on your breathing while repeating positive affirmations like, I am relaxed, I trust my partner completely and I am grateful for all that we have. Once you feel relaxed, ask yourself these questions to challenge any negative thoughts or feelings about your relationship
8) Focus on yourself first
If you’re jealous of your partner, it’s likely because they have something that you don’t—and it makes them happy. Before you can overcome jealousy, you need to take care of yourself. This means focusing on your own happiness first.
Once you find your own groove and feel content in who you are and what you have, then focus on how your partner is feeling and how they can be happier. When we really do our best for others, we end up doing our best for ourselves too.
9) Discuss with your partner and be open about it
You can’t keep worrying that your boyfriend is going to leave you for his ex-girlfriend. It’s not healthy, it’s not productive and it’s definitely not helping you stop feeling jealous.
Talk with your partner about how you both feel on your relationship and try to deal with these emotions before they get out of hand.
Be open with him and talk about what makes you feel insecure and see if he might be willing to help by doing or saying something that would make you less worried.
If he isn’t understanding or can’t do anything, then maybe it’s time for some space from each other so you both can gain some perspective about your relationship.
10) Accept the relationship for what it is
Often times, we think that if our partner would just do certain things differently (act differently, love us more or spend more time with us), they’d become our dream partner and then we get jealous when they don’t change.
The truth is you might never have your dream relationship, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live happily ever after with someone who isn’t exactly what you dreamed of.
To stop being jealous in a relationship and feel better about your partnership, accept your partner for who he/she is and be grateful for all of their positive qualities instead of feeling resentful about what you think are flaws.
Every relationship is different, and there is no magic pill that will solve jealousy once and for all. But there are steps you can take to help yourself feel secure.
Separate what your partner is doing from who they are as a person. Remind yourself that if you love someone and trust them, then it should not matter what they do with their time or who they’re with when you’re not together—and it shouldn’t affect your opinion of them.
Try journaling about why you’re jealous and how you can control those feelings; talk with friends or family members; seek out support from other people in similar situations—all of these tactics have been shown to help people dealing with jealousy issues find solace.