As we all know, relationships are complicated things. There are so many ins and outs of our unique personalities that come into play, some of which only start to come to light after things gets serious.
One of the most difficult personality “quirks” (and accompanying behaviors) to deal with is jealousy. If you’ve struggled with this yourself, or even spent time around jealous couples, you know how destructive it can be.
But compared to other problems that can arise in a marriage, jealousy issues have one stark difference – for the people causing the problems, they feel like they’re doing the right thing.
A jealous spouse may think they are protecting the marriage, protecting their partner, helping them avoid mistakes, or even think they have to “defend” their position in the relationship.
In reality, jealousy almost always stems from insecurity. When one member of a couple insists on keeping tabs on the other, constantly worries about infidelity, or focuses an inordinate amount of energy on the behaviors of their partner – all of it may be reflecting a lack of trust and self-esteem, especially if the spouse being scrutinized hasn’t done anything to betray the good faith of their partner.
It all comes from a fear of losing the relationship, yet jealous behavior actually puts the marriage at a much higher risk of falling apart!
So, what can you do if you have a jealous spouse?
First, determine if the jealousy is simply reactive – are you doing anything that would cause them to feel this way? Are there behaviors you can curb to minimize the problem? If the jealousy is unfounded (sometimes referred to as “suspicious jealousy”), however, tackling the problem is a little more challenging.
As with many other problems, the solution begins with communication. What is the jealous spouse so afraid of? Do they have an experience in their past that makes it difficult to trust people? Getting to the root of the issues will take some open and honest discussion, and this means that the spouse asking the questions needs to be compassionate and understanding, not judgmental or demanding. Vulnerability lies at the heart of jealousy, and that makes it tough to talk about.
Beyond finding the sources of self-esteem and trust issues, one of the best ways to deal with jealousy is to help your spouse develop self-confidence! The more confident a person feels about what they bring to a relationship, their own levels of attractiveness, and their overall “value” to their spouse, the less they will worry about losing their partner to someone else.
Jealousy has a way of making bad situations worse, and creating problems out of completely innocent behavior.
Jealousy is tense, illogical, and drives a wedge between happy couples through accusation, obsession, and ultimately, resentment from the person on the receiving end of the jealous behavior. No one wants to be treated like they’re dishonest, no one wants to feel like their every move is being scrutinized, and the pressure of such treatment can make even the most patient people snap.
To prevent this type of rift from forming in your marriage, be aware of the causes (and solutions) of jealous behavior, and keep yourself in check when you’re feeling a little bit threatened or jealous. Seek to understand why you or your spouse may be feeling the way you are, and you can prevent jealous behavior before it starts.
For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!
Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com
I am an unmarried woman whose trust has always been betrayed. How do I move on from that when developing a lasting relationship? For as soon as we get closer, I start asking questions which annoys the person, and I just wish they could understand. I feel that the betrayal will be a recurring decimal. I realize that some men and I say that to be kind and not to pass sweeping generalizations, only want to know they have your trust and that is the greenlight to pursue an affair and follow their lust. They say they will hide all signs, some have even told me that if they cheat, a woman can't find out, and to me that's very very deep. It is mentally disturbing. Once they build up the woman's trust in them, they won't ever believe any thought that cheating is occuring, they will dismiss it and some will even be afraid to ask or say anything. One man told me that they will tell the woman what she wants to hear, until they tell her what she is afraid of hearing or until found out. Only someone really covered under the blood of Christ and seeking his help day by day, someone who communicates with his wife or partner on these issues openly, someone who truly cares and someone who wouldn't like someone to do the same to them will suit me for a lasting relationship. If someone is going to wind me up every now and again about this,telling me what they think I want to hear, I will begin to lose my confidence in that person, in the relationship,etc. It is abusive. I believe that there need to be a lot of seminars to help each gender but more men, sharing the dynamics of man/woman relationship, respect for each other and the relationship, the dynamics of attraction between opposite sex, that even tho one is in a relationship, they might see someone very or more attractive, it is normal, but that doesn't mean that they must enter or embrace a relationship with that person. They must realize that yes butterflies might kindle, but they must be conscientuous. The seminars must hone on the physiological responses of these real events, they are natural, carnal, respected and act not upon them. Women have an important part to play as well in recognizing these issues , helping and not nourishing it. Women must learn to respect themselves. £ quarters of the problems would not have arisen if women stood up for proper principles.
Hello, Neri - I apologize for the experiences you've had. I assure you, not all men are like that. Most of our advice is geared towards someone in a relationship, and not starting over again from one. I would suggest you look for a man within your religious organization since that seems to be of importance to you.
My husband re connected with an old friend of his about a month ago. They were best friends back then and hasn't seen each other for about ten yrs. Well he also became friends with his younger sister. I was un ware that he was. Calling/ texting. Mostly texting each other. Long story short my insecurities came when his co worker was sending text messages that had naked woman. Became a problem, asked him to tell him to stop, he did but keeped the pictures. Asked if he would delete them, he was pissed but he did delete them. Then the porn on his cell phone, again another problem. After that i became insecure about myself, how i looked, was I not enough for him. It worried me. Now he's been text his friends sister. They would text from 4am until he went to work. Then on his morning/ lunch breaks and continued until midnight 1am. During those times he would also text me. Im very concerned about the messages being sent. I asked him what was going on between them, he tells me they are just friends and it was easy for him to bs with. My mother says he's sick, not like a pervert would be. I dont know how to handle this, is it emotional cheating?
My hex husband had an affair and after I discovered by chance their emails ( I had no idea he was being unfaithful so I was not jealous or looking for any emails in his emails. He sent them from a site both of us could go in but I hardly ever used....) I confronted him and he said he was going to end it. Later I found out he did not. My insecurity came to the open when he asked for the divorce and he left even when he came back after several month of separation, I forgave him thinking he was really being truthful. One year later he asked for the divorce legally again ( when my daughter was almost 18 and he did not have to go back to work and pay more monthly) and this time he divorced for good. His excuse to proceed with the divorce: I wanted to "control" him and "manipulate" him. The truth he never loved me deeply like I did. He used me and abused me financially, which I found out is legal to divide by 2 every thing in both names including what I had before marriage and placed in his name as well, thinking the marriage commitment on his part for sure as mine was for life.... He did say I was too naive... When I accepted him back was out of love and forgiveness, I was thinking he was angry because I had questioned his judgment after he gave a "friend" male (??) close to 200 thousand without a collateral or even a signature notarized. His excuse for divorcing after he had the knowledge he would end up a millionaire after the divorce.... He said I do not trust any one....Should I have not been insecure?? When I trusted I was betrayed. So I understand the lady that has a very hard time believing men can be truthful....even people I have met through church, want a sexual relationship without marriage, in other words no commitment. If with commitment in the church they betray you then outside the marriage? So how to trust?? Rebuilding trust in oneself in who to believe and who to trust is certainly a challenge. Is it possible? How? When I think of all the wonderful times we had together there is always a question in my mind was it real? How to trust again?
A "real man" will treat his woman with respect love loyality and treat her like a queen if she is good to him as well. Otherwise dump his pussy ass and find a real handsome man !!! I did and I am very happy. I call him my Prince Charming it makes me sad and sick to see alot of my female friends deal with losers and a man not considered to be a real man. Plenty of fish in the sea ladies !!!
Happy you found someone, Sandra!
Hello, Loren - It sounds like you both need a heart to heart. https://www.strongmarriagenow.com/my-husband-chats-online-lady-trust-him-watch-dr-danas-answer/
Hello, Unicor - Protect yourself and make sure you are emotionally recovered before looking for another relationship. https://www.strongmarriagenow.com/6-common-marriage-mistakes-women/
I think people have to be strong in faith and spouse need to be open to being friends to each other and build trust respect and deal with all there issues so your not blaming the other mate if your not takeing care of your mate in the relationship no nagging no critical Spirit that destorys the relasionship. Check yourself before you blame.
Hi, Kathy - We agree that it's better to focus on the good things in your life! https://www.strongmarriagenow.com/surprising-power-happiness/