How to Overcome Jealousy in a Relationship


Last Updated: April 30, 2024

Relationship Advice

Learning how to overcome jealousy in a relationship is an important step in feeling satisfied and safe with your partner. But it’s not as easy as turning off a switch! In reality, navigating jealousy is a process that takes time, understanding, and communication. But the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll find relief.

Let’s talk about some simple steps to start warding off the green-eyed monster!

Understand that jealousy is a natural emotion

For many years, jealousy has been cast in a negative light. To be sure, it’s an uncomfortable feeling that, when unaddressed, can have destructive consequences in your relationship. But, it’s also liberating to admit that jealousy is a normal human emotion, just like anger, joy, and fear.

Instead of shying away from our own jealousy, it’s actually healthy to take a closer look at it. Here are a few questions that can give you a baseline to begin understanding your jealousy:

  • How often do you feel jealous?
  • Is it triggered by certain actions by your partner?
  • Does jealousy appear when you spend time with certain friends or when you’re on social media?
  • What other emotions bubble up when you’re feeling jealous? Anger, sadness, and anxiety are all common emotions related to jealousy
  • What behaviors and actions are related to your jealousy? Do you feel tempted to look through your partner’s phone? Test them? Call them repeatedly?

Understanding the triggers and depth of your jealousy is an important first step in working through it.

Ask yourself, “What is your jealousy telling you, really?”

Evolutionary psychologists believe that jealousy developed as a useful warning call to let us know that our relationship is under threat. But exactly what that threat is can be rooted in reality, false perception, or even our past experiences. So, the next step is to look deeper into possible root causes to your jealousy. Here are a few questions to get started:

  • Have you experienced infidelity in the past?
  • Has there been infidelity in the current relationship?
  • Do you struggle with low self-esteem in general?
  • Did you experience low self-esteem during childhood? Bullying, for instance, can lead to confidence issues as an adult
  • Do you tend to believe that people judge you or look down on you?
  • Do you have feelings of imposter syndrome, like you don’t deserve to be in this relationship, job, or friend group?
  • Has your current or past partner ever made you feel insecure about yourself?
  • Are you getting mixed signals from your partner?
  • Have you experienced a recent change in employment, weight, health, or social connection?

These questions can start to give you clarity about whether your jealousy is rooted in your own personal struggles with self-worth or a current problem in your relationship.

Talk to a counselor or therapist


Working through your jealousy with a professional can be immensely helpful! That’s because jealousy can be such a strong emotion that it can be difficult to see things clearly and objectively.

A counselor or therapist can coach you through your feelings and help you feel more prepared for your conversations with your partner.

Talk to your partner

No matter whether you feel that your jealousy is internal or external, it’s a good idea to talk to your partner about what you’re going through. Now, we get that the idea of bringing up this subject with your partner is hard! You don’t want to come off as the crazy jealous person in the relationship.

But, the truth is, if you don’t bring your jealousy to light, it’s going to come out in other ways. You might find yourself being passive-aggressive, disrespecting their right to privacy, or fighting about irrelevant things out of frustration.

Here are a few ways that you can talk about jealousy without your partner getting defensive:

  • “This is hard for me to talk about but I want to be honest with some feelings of jealousy I’ve been having lately.”
  • “I know that it may not be your intention, but sometimes I feel jealous when I see/hear…”
  • “I’m working on my feelings of jealousy, but it would help me to hear/clear the air about…”

By bringing up the subject in this way, you can treat it as an issue to work through together rather than an accusation.

Actively work on your own self-esteem

As we mentioned, jealousy often comes from one’s own feelings of inadequacy or low self-esteem. There’s no trick for boosting your self-confidence, but here are a few steps that can start the process:

  • Interrupt negative self-talk. Be mindful of your inner dialogue. When you drop something, for instance, is your first instinct to chastise yourself? Instead, try interrupting that negativity with patience and kindness. You might say, “Oops! Everybody slips up sometimes. No big deal.” Once that gets more comfortable, you can even start giving yourself some positive self-talk, in the form of compliments in the mirror and praise when you’ve accomplished small tasks.
  • Spend time with friends who make you feel valued. Your friends can be a source of your mental well-being! Set aside time to be with them and soak in the positive feelings you get from their quality time. And, when they offer you compliments, accept them!
  • Introduce more movement into your day. Whether it’s walking, biking, or joining a yoga class, exercise can naturally boost the feel-good chemicals in your brain. You’ll feel good, and that will make it easier to feel good about yourself.
  • Make time for your hobbies. When you’re sitting at home not doing anything, it’s a lot easier to get lost in a jealousy thought spiral. Instead, focus your mental energy on the hobbies that bring you joy. As you get better at your hobby, you’ll also start to feel more confident.

How to overcome jealousy in a relationship when your partner is the jealous one


In this article, we’ve offered a deep dive into what you can do to deal with your personal feelings of jealousy. But how can you navigate your partner’s jealousy?

First of all, remind yourself that unless you have been unfaithful, their jealousy has nothing to do with you. Your role will be to support them as they work through it themselves. Here are a few things you can do to help them through it:

- Boost their self-esteem. Even if it feels like your compliments land on deaf ears, don’t stop offering them! Tell your partner that you value them and the relationship and that they are safe with you.

- Maintain regular communication. Jealousy can pick up steam when your partner doesn’t hear from you for hours on end. You don’t have to talk with them constantly, but sending a text here and there to let them know you’re thinking of them can go a long way.

- Be firm with your own boundaries. With a jealous partner, you may feel the pressure to be an open book, granting them access to your phone and being available for check-ins 24/7. But this kind of behavior doesn’t actually cure jealousy and can damage your own mental health and the integrity of the relationship. Gently remind your partner that you have a right to privacy, independence, and alone time.

Jealousy is tough, but it doesn’t have to ruin your relationship!

There’s no denying that jealousy is a hard emotion to deal with. But, it’s not permanent. When you and your partner start to think of jealousy as a normal human emotion that can be managed instead of saying “that’s just the way I am/they are,” then you can start to build a healthier relationship! And asking yourself how to overcome jealousy in a relationship is an important first step!

Related Posts