Prayer For People Who Are Struggling With Jealousy
Struggling with Jealousy After a Divorce in Your 50s or 60s? Help Is Here!
If you divorced in your 50s or 60s, you’re familiar with that feeling. Some of us know it all too well, both during divorce and afterwards.
It rears its head when one of your grown children, after spending the weekend with your ex, tells you about the “new friend” that is at your ex’s house.
Or, when you hear about the trip your ex is taking to Europe while you’re struggling to make ends meet.
The Green Eyed Monster that consumes us when what we should really be doing is focusing on our own divorce recovery.
You’re not alone when it comes to dealing with jealousy after a divorce at 50 or 60. I’d to share with you two very ugly truths about this emotion.
One: Jealousy Is Selfish
Have you ever known someone that was always concerned about “me, me, me” and never bothered to ask about your day, or your hopes and dreams? Well, jealousy is that person. It’s a barrier that causes you to worry about something (your ex’s new life) that you have no control over.
Instead of focusing on yourself, jealously is there, bringing out thoughts , “Oh, look at their wonderful life! Oh, look at all the things they’re doing that are amazing!”
What do you benefit from focusing your energy on what the other person is doing? What do you benefit from thinking about how good your ex has it, while you feel you were screwed over?You already know the answer. Being jealous is of no benefit. So why is it still something that we can’t seem to shake while trying to move on from divorce?
The truth hurts and you’re about to learn why.
Two: Jealousy Is Also Lazy
Do you know what’s easier than working on yourself?
Sitting there, stewing over how much better your ex has it.
One of the many reasons why jealousy brings out the worst in us is because it diverts attention away from putting ourselves first. Instead of doing the hard work of focusing on how we can move on, jealousy leads us astray. It takes us down the easy road of being reactive about things beyond our control.
Moreover, while you’re worrying about that, you waste precious time that could be spent focusing on the most important thing – yourself.
It’s easier to say, “Oh, it should be me taking that vacation instead of my ex” than to focus on your own finances and schedule, and plan a vacation that fits your lifestyle and budget.
It’s easier to say, “That jerk already has a new partner! It’s not fair!” than starting to take care of yourself, learning how to plan for your own future, focusing on getting your rut and getting your life back on track.
See what I mean?
Jealousy is sapping you of your move-on energy. It’s a lot easier to remain bitter over something you can’t control than it is to be responsible for your own happiness and move ahead under your terms.
But I’m Jealous! So What Am I Supposed to Do?!
I know, I know… You are human, and you may be hurting, especially if your marriage lasted decades. But there’s something you can do about it.
Exercise: Turn Your Jealousy into Productivity
The next time you’re feeling jealous about whatever your ex is doing – or if anything happens in your life – do the following:
Pinpoint exactly what is making you jealous. These are your jealousy triggers.
“I heard from my son that his father is going to Europe in the fall, with his new girlfriend, and I’m here having trouble paying rent. What the hell?”
Dig deeper. What is it exactly that you’re jealous of? List it, and be honest with yourself. Jealousy rarely has anything to do with the other person.
It has everything to with what you’re doing and how you’re thinking about yourself. It is an emotion that has no power when you are being mindful and proactive with your own life.
“I am jealous because I am hurt. I feel hurt because we never did anything fun or adventurous or travel in our relationship, and now I feel left out. I am also jealous because I feel that financially, I cannot treat myself.”Ask yourself what you can do instead. How can you divert the precious energy you are spending being jealous into something actionable for you?
“My feelings are hurt, and maybe I can’t fix that pain myself. The next time I am triggered, perhaps I can reach out to friends or family for support, or instead direct that energy into doing an activity that I to do.”
“As far as finances go… sure, I can’t go anywhere exotic right now. But I can start looking at my finances and budget, and maybe start planning a getaway or a nice trip for myself that is within my budget.”
The road to divorce recovery in your 50s and 60s isn’t always easy, but with a healthy mind frame, you’ll be able to move on to the amazing life you deserve.
Do you struggle with divorce jealousy after age 50 or 60? What are some of the triggers that make you feel this way? What will you do to turn that jealousy into self-care?Please join the conversation below!
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Bible Verses About Jealousy: 20 Important Quotes
The battle that rages inside all of us is that even when our intentions are good, we still have a sin nature and often yield to sin. One of those sins is jealousy, which is closely related to one of the “seven deadly sins” called envy or covetous.
There are a number of verses that deal with this topic because when we fall into jealousy or envy, we will often spiral down very quickly in our spiritual life. It is easy to fall into jealousy in our materialistic society. The mantra of culture seems to be to keep up with the Jones’. Grab all that you can.
Put yourself first in all things. Consider what Scripture says about jealousy and envy…
Bible Verses Where Jealousy is Contrasted with Good Characteristics
Song of Solomon 8:6 Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD.
1Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it his not arrogant
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
James 3:14-15 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
Scriptures Where Jealousy Leads to Destruction
Genesis 4:8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.
Psalm 37:1-3 Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade the grass and wither the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Proverbs 6:34 For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge.
James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
James 4:1-2 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.
Proverbs 14:30 A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.
Bible Quotes that Show That God is a Jealous God
Exodus 20:5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me
Exodus 34:14 (for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)
Deuteronomy 4:24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
Psalm 79:5 How long, O LORD? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealousy burn fire?
Verses About Jealousy and Sin
Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
Proverbs 27:4 Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?
Acts 7:9 “And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him
1Corinthians 3:3-5 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it his not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful
Ephesians 5:3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.
4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.
5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Romans 13:13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.
There are many more examples that I could point to in Scripture. If we are honest with ourselves, we all get envious or jealous at times. Sometimes it may be subtle in our own minds as we wish things were different. Maybe we question God about some of the circumstances in our life.
God can handle any question that we may have but we need to ask if we are honestly seeking an answer to a struggle in our life or questioning the ways and will of God. That is a fine line. Thankfully, we serve and love a great God. He is the God of the Old Testament and the New Testament.
He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He loves us so much in spite of our sins. My prayer today is that we all would evaluate our own life and if convicted by the Holy Spirit about the sin of jealousy, that we would ask forgiveness and repent of our sin.
God wants to give us freedom over our sin that comes through the shed blood of Jesus. Praise Him!
Take a look at these other similar type articles:
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13 Powerful Prayers for Overcoming Jealousy
There are many reasons why an individual may experience jealousy. These powerful prayers for overcoming jealousy will help you to find peace and heal your heart from any discontent.
Wonderful Counselor, I bind that spirit of jealousy that’s attempting to consume my life. I curse it out completely in the name of Jesus, for it is more than cruelty and overwhelming fury. Remove it now, mighty God, along with the hatred, anger, fear and insecurities that fuel it.
Loving Lord we know that the jealousies of the flesh are ruinous and evil – and are abhorrent in Your eyes and yet You display a good and godly jealousy over Your children, and the things of God that are precious in Your sight.
Thank You Lord that You are jealous in that way over Your love for me – I thank You also for the godly jealous displayed by Paul over the church of God and pray that we too may develop a desire him, to pray for Your protection of the church, from the evil ways of Satan who desire to lead believers astray – in the same way that he deceived Eve in the garden of Eden.
Help me more and more to develop a godly passion – a godly jealousy over the things of God. Help me not to perpetuate truth through compromise, nor water down the gospel of grace in order to maintain a false unity – but rather Lord I pray that I may develop a passion for the truth as we seek to share the gospel of grace with all who are wiling to listen, in Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Father, I am not glad. I am jealous. So, please, make me glad in You. Change my heart by the power of your Spirit. I’m not turning to anyone or anything else. Just you. I lift up my jealous, sinful soul to you Forgive me through Jesus. Strengthen my faith. Help me.
Everlasting Father, I desire to be as holy as You are. Set me free of the thoughts that consume my mind which cause the jealousy to arise. Substitute the negativity and cruelty within my heart with Your peace and love, and gentle kindness.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I pray for wives who struggle with jealousy. I pray they would not be jealous of other marriages, other women, or of their husbands.
I pray that instead of being jealous of their husband’s opportunities, job, friends, or anything else, they would be confident through their faith in You! Instead of letting jealousy root in their heart over what another wife has or a friend has, that thankfulness in the gifts You have given would satisfy. Remove and carve from our hearts any bit of jealous that resides in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Father, come and be the all consuming fire in me! Consume all my flesh Lord, that I will be free from all envy and jealousy, that I will only look to YOU for all I need; that I will serve only an audience of ONE. I pray I will be more and more YOU, and walk and talk You. Conform my mind and thoughts to Your thoughts Lord. Take complete control of me Holy Spirit that I will not do my own will, but only Yours!
Loving Father forgive me for my feelings of jealousy which I know are not righteous and very detrimental, to my well-being, my health and my relationships. Keep me from looking at the attributes and achievements of others and wishing I had their gifts and graces. – Help me Lord to develop an attitude of contentment and peace, which I know only comes from You.
Lord sometimes my stupid jealousy has caused rifts between dear friends and me – and even has contributed to problems with my own family.. and this desire to have what belongs to others – or to enjoy the popularity and charisma that others seem to have, has become at times so stifling that I don’t know which way to turn – and I know that this is not Your will for my life.Forgive me for my jealousies and help me to develop an attitude of gratitude for all that I am and all that I have. And Lord I pray that You would give me the grace to change my thoughts from those of envy and jealousy to right thinking and pure thoughts.
Lord I know that it says in scripture to think about whatever is true, and good, whatever is right and pure, whatever is lovely and admirable, and whatever is excellent and praiseworthy and to fix my mind on such things. Help me Lord to change my thought pattern from the bad to the good – for I know that all things are possible with you and I ask this in Jesus name. Thank You Father. Amen.
Prince of Peace, help those who are struggling today. May they experience Your love and show love in return to all they come into contact with.
Help me to not be envious towards my neighbors and friends but rather to be happy for them and encourage them to go even further. Cleanse me of anything that breaks Your heart, oh Savior.
Help me live a righteous life, Heavenly Father. Because on this day I declare it, I decree it and speak it into my life, in JESUS’ mighty name, Amen!
Dear Lord we bring before You the many people that are enmeshed in a web of envy and jealousy, which we know has a very detrimental effect on the lives of all who are caught up in its destructive ways.
Lord we know that jealousy is a cancer that rots a person from the inside out and we know that jealousy is a root that gives birth to other fleshly evils and unwholesome desires – and Lord, we ask You to look down in compassion and pity all who have succumbed to this ruinous route.
Lord we know that all good things comes from You and we pray that in Your grace You would seek out those that do not yet know You but who desire to turn from their envious and jealous attitudes – and draw them into a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus. And Lord, if they are believers who have jealous streaks in their heart we pray that You would convict them of their need to turn from this destructive path so that they may return back into fellowship with Yourself.
Lord If there are any hidden jealousies that are tucked away in my own heart, I pray that in Your grace, You would bring them to my attention so that I may confess them as my own struggles, even if I am unaware of them or have camouflaged them in my foolish pride.
Thank You Lord that You died for each one of us and do not turn Your back on any who cry out to You for help… so in Your love and compassion we pray that even now You would draw very close to those that are sinking in a cess-pit of jealousy and draw them into Your arms, in Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Dear Lord, Please help me. I get jealous of my own husband. I get jealous of the time that he has, the things that he gets to do or doesn’t do, I get jealous of the opportunities he receives, and it hurts. I need to appreciate what you have given specifically to me, embracing it and responding to it all with joy in Jesus name, Amen.
Father, Please give me the GRACE to overcome any immoral fleshly activity in my life that would fuel dissension and jealousy.
Remove any pride that would cause me to think myself more deserving or better than others.
Help me to “Put on” the Lord Jesus by coming into Your presence daily and worshipping You, and communicating with You in prayer and studying Your word, that My mind would be renewed.
Dear heavenly Father, I so often look at other people and simply wish I was them, or had what they have – and Father it seems to be developing into an obsession, which frightens me Lord. Help me to overcome this obsessive jealousy of wishing I was someone else and of being envious of their opportunities and personalities.
Lord I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that You scheduled every day of my life and that You even know the numbers of hairs on my head – and in my heart I know that You died for ME… because you loved ME. Help me Lord to be content with ME and who I am and please help me to overcome this desire to always be someone else.I pray Lord that every time a feeling of jealousy or envy starts to creep into my thoughts, that You would help me to take that thought captive and hand it over to Jesus – and help me instead to fix my mind on You – and call to mind that You died on the cross and rose again because of Your love for ME.
Thank You for loving me and I pray that I may learn to become the person You made me to be – and be released from always wishing I was someone else. Thank You in the name of Jesus Christ, my Saviour. Amen
Father, uproot in me any of the works of the flesh, that would war against Your holiness in me! Bring to me, the Spirit of burning and burn off all the flesh that would yield to jealousy and envy, cruelty and hatred.
Father do not allow your turtledove to be turned over to the wild beasts of the earth! Rescue me from all darkness! Fill me with more of Your love, peace, kindness and patience. Overwhelm me with YOUR LOVE, that I would not think or act in worldly ways.
Give me GRACE to deny my flesh and to walk in the light as You are in the light.
Here is a great video from Pastor Rick Warren where he discusses how to triumphant fear in the relationship and find peace and comfort.
About the Author of this Blog Post
Crystal Ayres has served as our editor-in-chief for the last five years. She is a proud veteran, wife and mother. The goal of ConnectUs is to publish compelling content that addresses some of the biggest issues the world faces. If you would to reach out to contact Crystal, then go here to send her a message.
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others and Overcome Jealousy
From my “Ask me Anything!” newsletter e-mail I got a lot of questions from you about how to stop comparing yourself to others. So as promised, I’m going to take this opportunity to answer your questions here on the blog, so others can benefit from it as well.
Here are two examples:
I always keep on comparing myself to others who are doing well and feel so discouraged. What do you think I should do?
And a closely related question:
“I am a single woman in her thirties and I have a relative of whom I have always been jealous. She is self-confident and outgoing, quite attractive, a mother etc.
I find I spend a ridiculous amount of time feeling inadequate at the thought of her and envying the things that she has. These thoughts can become obsessive and of course they get in the way of positive personal development.
What is the nature of jealousy and how do you eliminate it?”
Ok, so first of all: You are not alone. Jealousy of others (Envy) is a very common personal issue and a lot of people are struggling with it. I experience it in my larger circles of friends a lot and it’s always a little difficult to handle, for both sides involved.
Why Do You Compare Yourself to Others?
I believe at the core of comparing lies the fear of inferiority. Feeling inferior or inadequate is really hard to tolerate, so we do anything to check if there is a slight chance of being inadequate. This need to validate yourself leads to comparing, in the hope to come to the conclusion that you are ok. Then you know that you are enough.
The need to be better may be healthy competition, but more ly it also stems from the inability to accept that someone else is better. If you are comparing this would mean the other person is superior to you, and therefore you are inferior.
But all this is inner confusion coming from not being centered.
The Real Cure
The real cure to jealousy and the way to stop comparing yourself to others is to become centered inside. [Tweet this!]
What does that mean? It means that you realize on a deep level that you can’t possibly be inferior.
As I already said in the post You Are Enough: “At the core, we are all equal. Nobody is more worthy than somebody else. This is the truth.”
You are a unique human individual and have the same essential rights as everybody else. Ultimately there is no such thing as inferiority or superiority. Everyone who tries to tell you otherwise is just ridiculous and has just disqualified him-/herself.
You just need to recognize this truth inside of yourself and trust yourself on it. Your true nature is not defined nor touched by these little aspects over which you used to compare yourself with others.
Ways to Break Free from Comparing Yourself
If you are really lost in the habit of comparing yourself all the time, the first thing you want to do is to break your state. Change both your physical (maybe take a walk or run) and mental state. Force yourself to focus your mind on something else.
1. What is Right for You?
In order to break the cycle of comparing and envy, you need to focus on yourself again. You need to find your own strengths and build on those.
Center yourself around what is right for you. What fulfills you and makes you happy? What are your personal goals? How can you grow? Where do you excel and shine as a human being?
Then you create your own compass to guide you. You don’t need any external approval anymore, because you can give this to yourself by fulfilling your own high standards.If you start living on your own terms this, you develop this inner strength and comparing yourself won’t feel even necessary any more.
2. Become Content with Who You Are
Be proud of yourself.
Look at the sides of yourself which you are already proud of. What did you do right? Where did you get complimented on?
From there you can easily find ways to focus on what is great about you and then build on top of it.
3. Become Content with What You Have
Truly wealthy is not who has all the things but who is content with what she/he has. The emotion of gratitude makes room for new things to come into your life. On the other hand the emotion of jealousy is pushing things away from you.
That doesn’t mean that you will suppress your desire to get ahead. But you want to appreciate what you already have. Besides that, having a lot of things is not that desirable in the first place. Simplify your life to become more content.
4. Bring up the Courage to Develop Yourself
Sometimes I see that people almost neglect parts of their live because they think that they are not good at it. This may be true to your looks, your intellect, your ambitions and general abilities.
You have to bring up the courage to put your best foot forward and to develop your own, individual potential. If you never try and exercise a specific part of yourself, this only would confirm your limiting beliefs about it, instead of developing this part at your own pace.
Almost everything can change and sometimes it’s just the act of allowing yourself to change. The moment you start, you’ll probably discover that in fact the reality looks much better than you thought it to be.
Your Options to Deal with Your Jealousy
When you feel jealousy and envy, you still have some options to deal more constructively with this emotion. The worst thing you could do would be to feel self-pity and to start to hate the person of whom you are jealous. You have better options…
1. Get Inspired
Use jealousy for yourself to grow. Don’t channel it against the other person and then feel bad about yourself.
Use any negative emotional energy as an inspiration and transform it into positive drive for change. [Tweet this!]
The one thing that you should not do is to mitigate and then use this “acceptance of who you are” as an excuse not to work on yourself. This is a danger and there is a fine line here.
If you are not satisfied with an area of your life, change it. [Tweet this!] Instead of saying this is who I am and then feeling bad about it, think about where you want to be and start to grow into this direction. Jealousy only happens if you buy into the idea that you can’t change anything. So get inspired and go.
2. Let Go of the Arising Jealousy
Of course you will encounter people who are better than you are. This is life.
It only gets difficult when you channel this experience into this emotion called jealousy, because you instantly fear feeling inferior. But you don’t have to. You have a choice.
You can also just enjoy that someone else is doing great too. A mature human being is able to acknowledge the successes of others and even enjoy them. If you follow your own goals and successes and do the best you can to – for yourself – then this is giving you the basis for inner contentment. Then you can shine and let others shine too.
So in summary, you have several good options to deal with jealousy if it arises in you. You can stop comparing yourself to others by practicing the 4 points from above. And you can especially end this validation seeking by understanding that at your core you are already perfect as you are. This encourages you to just life your own life, and not look at what others are doing.
The real reasons why people get jealous – and why jealousy is so powerful
Jealousy is one of those demons that just seems to take everything over when it is felt – even when you know on the inside that your jealousy doesn’t make sense somehow, it often still rips through and takes you hostage. Many people even go so far as to call jealousy an innate emotion, as though, no matter what, we will always feel some jealousy sometimes, and there’s nothing we can do to help that.
Some people even think jealousy is a healthy thing, because it means that you care. You know that you are in love, it is said, when you feel tremendous pangs of jealousy about that special love that you share being shared with somebody else.
Without jealousy and other associated negative involuntary emotions, the relationship might as well end, it is said, because then you have no more passionate divine spark.
If you don’t ever get jealous, it must mean that you can turn your emotions on and off at a whim, and thus no more organic drive exists to feel.
I want to correct some assumptions here – because it is obvious, if you look around you enough, that there are people who do not ever really feel jealousy. I am one of them.
Such people do not have shallower emotions; rather, they have an inbuilt understanding that channels negative emotions away from feelings of jealousy.
This holds a lot of hope for those other folks who tend to become prisoner to jealousy’s grip: it’s not an inevitable process.
The difference between envy and jealousy
Envy happens when you see somebody else experiencing something you’d to have. You get a wishful feeling inside, you want what they have. But this feeling does not necessarily lead to jealousy, you see; you can be envious of somebody’s situation and make common cause with them.
For example, say one of your friends is doing a workout routine and has gotten into really good shape. You envy them, and thus you come up to them and ask them what their secret is, and maybe even whether you can join them and do what they do.
This is an example of an envious response that leads not to jealousy, but rather to motivating, progressive thinking.Jealousy is different; it is an altogether negative, regressive state of mind. The jealous thought says “I want what you have, and thus until I have it, you shouldn’t have it either.
” This is very different from simple envy, because now the emphasis is not on you moving forward, but rather on keeping the other person back.
That’s why jealousy can be so destructive and all-consuming; the jealous individual gets into a state of mind that presumes the right to control other people’s pleasure! Yikes. Even if they say nothing at all, the feelings are still there, and the air becomes heavy with them.
Little feelings of jealousy are understandable sometimes, and I will talk about why in a minute. However, once we get into a situation of chronic jealousy, I don’t think it is extreme to say that there is potential abuse down the road, since jealousy involves that sense of entitlement to control.
There’s definitely a really big incentive out there for folks that are prone to jealousy to work on themselves to minimize the recurrence of such all-consuming feelings. Jealousy is not an emotion that should be embraced as a sign that strong love exists.
In fact, it’s the opposite; jealousy comes from a perspective of self-preservation, not love towards others. Now let’s talk about why that is.
The real roots of jealous feelings
Most societies seem to characterize jealousy as a natural reaction to when something sacred or important to you is shared with someone else (the primary example usually being romantic, sexual, or otherwise intimate love). This has things completely confused.
Jealousy’s force does not derive from the sharing of something special to you; rather, it comes from the feeling that you are about to lose that special thing that is being shared – that, by sharing it, you are in danger of losing it.
This aversion to loss is quite natural! Of course, even people that feel no jealousy also have times when they fear losing something precious. It’s part of the human experience.I remember at one point asking myself: people don’t usually seem to get jealous if they are best friends with somebody that also has another “best friend,” so why is there such a strong norm about being in a romantic/sexual relationship with somebody who maintains such a relationship with others?
It is clear to me now that this perspective has to do with fear of loss – something that the property-oriented thinking that predominates around romantic relationships is really good at setting us up for.
Whether it’s dogmatic monogamy or a “one male, multiple females” version of polygamy, social norms strongly dictate to us that intimate relationships = property relations.
Now, you may be thinking that this is a ridiculous idea, but really, think for a moment about how marriage is regulated: you have to get permission from a judge to get married or divorced. The government must recognize you and your partner as being organized into a family unit – you cannot do this yourself.
Then there are those creeping terms we use in language to indicate relationship ties which surreptitiously bring ideas of ownership to mind: “my one and only,” “till death do us part,” “he’s mine,” “she’s spoken for,” and other such expressions bring with them the burdens of rigidness and restrictions consistent with a “contract” – because hey, that’s what marriage truly boils down to, isn’t it? You can have the deepest, closest relationship which is not a marriage, and you can have an unintimate, unpassionate “marriage of convenience,” on the other hand – but there’s no escaping, either way, that marriage is, even in popular discourse, regulated by the government, and thus not innately some sacred thing that you create with your partner. All these norms and expectations floating in the background about what a relationship is supposed to be does have a huge effect on how we orient to such relationships – even when the thought of marriage is nonexistent, especially in normative, heterosexual contexts.
Now, if we take this ever-present background of relationships = property, it becomes a lot easier to see why feelings of loss and envy get confounded into jealousy. The reality is that you cannot control how your partner feels or what they want.
Despite all the chatter out there that talks about how to “keep your man” or how to “stop her from walking out,” the truth is that you don’t have this control.
Loss and breakup can happen at anytime, and “putting a ring on it” or moving in together will not erase such thoughts and possibilities.Want to know what does help? Honest, open communication – in which, rather than facing loss with a restrictive jealous mindset, we become open about our fear of loss, and can talk about it more calmly.
It may be very hard to do this sometimes, because that exposes you to being vulnerable – but guess what? Vulnerability is part and parcel of intimate relationships! You’re vulnerable all the time, whether you it or not, and I say that it’s better to have a handle on that vulnerability and be able to manage it, rather than it suddenly flaring up and managing you.
If you tend to get jealous, I challenge you to monitor yourself: see if you can find the grain of fear that you are going to lose something precious to you that fuels your jealousy. I guarantee you, it’s always there. What other reason could you possibly have for wanting to restrict somebody you care about from enjoying themself?
Jealousy Can Destroy a Relationship
What makes you jealous? Discover what causes jealousy and then learn how to handle jealousy.
Anyone who has ever been in a serious relationship has probably felt the green-eyed monster creep into his or her thoughts at one time or another. Ah, jealousy. It can cause insecurity, detachment, and, often, just plain immaturity.
No one wants to admit that they are a jealous person, and, admittedly, some people are better at curbing their jealousy than others. But, as much as we try to fight against it, sometime you just can't help but feel it.
What's worse is that jealousy can often make you act out against your partner even if your partner is innocent and has no idea why you are angry or, worse yet, it can foster your own low self-esteem.
Whatever the reason, whether valid or not, jealousy can be a huge factor in a disconnection between couples.
Sometimes it is flattering when a relationship partner gets a little jealous, but a boost to the ego is a far cry from the fights and resentment that can come from real, hidden jealousy.
This sort of jealousy is never a good thing for a relationship and communicating your own jealousy to your partner without sounding irrational can be tricky. The question remains: How can you learn to recognize jealousy and deal with it without jeopardizing your relationship?
Jealousy is Sparked from Insecurity
The closer you become with your partner, the more you have to lose by breaking up. If you are not aware of your own qualities or not confident in your own attractiveness as a relationship partner, insecurities can develop.
If your insecurities are not addressed with your partner, they only fester and grow.
It is true that there is a small percentage of jealousy that comes from a valid feeling, but, most of the time, jealousy comes from personal insecurities that have grown because of lack of communication.If your own insecurity or low self-image makes you think badly of yourself, you often begin to wonder what your significant other sees in you.
You will start to question why your partner would want to stay with you and fear that he or she will inevitably meet someone «better».
The fear that your partner will wake up one day and realize there is someone better out there can lead to suspicion on your part.
When suspicious thoughts begin to enter the mind of an insecure person the green-eyed monster will begin to rear his ugly head.
You may find yourself questioning your partner's actions or becoming too needy of your partner's time and attention. If you don't discuss your insecurities with your partner, questions may begin to fill your head.
Why does he always come home later on Tuesday nights…who is he seeing? Why does she always talk so much about that new co-worker…does she him?
Because these questions and the motives behind them (your own insecurities) are not brought to the forefront, you may start to see problems that aren't really there.
If suppressed long enough, often a jealous person will «flip out» when, in reality, their partner has done nothing wrong. A friendly conversation can look flirting or a hug may seem to go on a little too long even though it is innocent.
And, unfairly to your partner, you will overreact in anger or heavy emotion.
How To Prevent and Let Go of Jealousy
So, how do you prevent these thoughts from flooding your mind or from even occurring at all? The first thing you need to do is open the lines of communication with your partner.
Tell your loved one calmly and openly that you love him or her but, because they are so important to you, you are feeling anxiety or insecurity about the relationship.
Chances are your partner will reaffirm how much he or she loves you and you both can discuss the reasons why you are with each other.Unless there is a bigger problem that requires legitimate worry (in which case it is a good thing you started talking!), admitting your fear of losing your partner will open up a door of communication that can actually bond the two of you closer together. If you sense jealousy from your partner, learn to offer reassurance about your relationship more often.
After you have communicated your feelings with your partner, you will better understand the reasons why your partner has chosen you and be far less ly to second-guess your partner's intentions. You will be reassured of the fact that your significant other is in a relationship with you because he or she loves you, not because they are waiting for someone better to come along.
You love your partner, and, your partner loves you. It's that simple. When you stop wasting your time thinking of reasons why your partner will leave you, you can start to understand the many reasons why your relationship is stable and satisfying for the both of you.
If you can admit that you are someone worth loving, you can focus on building and strengthening the love between you both.
Writer, H. (2008, December 14). Jealousy Can Destroy a Relationship, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/relationships/jealousy/jealousy-can-destroy-a-relationship