Anger Management: Jealousy

Jealousy is one of the major “social” emotions. Like anger, it can be very destructive when not processed and expressed properly.

Answer the following questions:

  • Do you get jealous a lot? When was the last time you felt jealous, and with whom?
  • Why do you think you get jealous?
  • Do you think your jealousy is helpful or not helpful? What has it accomplished for you? How has it helped or hinder your ability to get your interpersonal needs met?
  • The last time someone was jealous around you, how did they act? How did they make you feel?

How to cope with a jealous partner:

  • It is normal for your partner to feel insecure when you appear interested in other members of the opposite sex. If feeling jealous prompts your partner to communicate with you so as to clarify your intentions, address some your relationship problems, or simply end the relationship, that’s a good thing.
  • Healthy relationships are based on trust. If your partner’s jealousy is unfounded and leads to abusive and controlling behaviors on their part, then there is no trust.

Your partner has a right to know, generally, where you spend your time and with whom. However, persistent questioning about your whereabouts are signs of pathological jealousy. Pathological jealousy is always about the other person, never you. Explaining yourself over and over only makes your partner suspect that you are a persistent liar. Be willing to discuss any other relationship issues that might be contributing to your partner’s unhappiness, and offer support. If you have to, suggest that they get into therapy to work on their jealousy. However, trust is not negotiable, and no one has a right to abuse and control.

John Hamel, LCSW