I am in the middle of yet another jealousy drama right now. Both me and my partner are jealous and none of us really want to admit it. This made me curious about what jealousy actually is.
Most people have experienced jealousy at some point in their life. Jealousy, this small and uncomfortable feeling inside your chest when your partner seems to be emotionally or sexually interested in someone else.
Jealousy is a natural part of a being in love and in small portions it is quite charming and it actually helps to maintain monogamous relationships. The risk to experience jealousy in a relationship grows with time. When the attachment bond increases between two partners, the very thought of losing this bond is painful in itself.
When you fall in love and initiate a sexual relationship with a partner, it affects the hormone level in both of you. Hormones creates your feelings and the love hormones makes you relaxed, connected, motivated and alert. Increased sexual activity secretes more love hormones in the body and unconsciously you make your partner into an anchor that triggers the release.
The mere thought of your beloved makes you motivated, excited and relaxed. If there is a risk of losing your access to those pleasurable feelings you might be scared.
When the relationship to your partner deepens and especially with increasing sexual activity, another hormone starts to play an important role.
An attachment and bonding hormone is released during deep sex and this hormone has different effects on men and on women.
After deep sex, women will be addicted to their partner and scared to be abandoned, while men will be territorial and protective. The attachment hormone vasopressin is secreted in women when the cervix is stimulated, and in men the thrusting movements during sex will trigger the release.
It is natural to feel protective and addicted in a deep love relationship.
But if one or both of the partners in the relationship carries an old trauma, the jealousy can grow. And unrestrained it can become like a storm of rage and sadness that controls your whole being. This kind of jealousy is deeply harmful.
In men who experience jealousy the testosterone level increases and with that, aggression. For both men and women the stress hormone cortisol plays an important role in jealousy, creating a feeling of fear and anxiety.
If you grew up in a negative environment, your caretakers or peers negativity shaped your self esteem with their negativity. The deeper the wound, the more your critical inner voice will affect you as an adult. Especially in your intimate relationships. Old wounds will make you more sensitive to jealousy.
The jealousy leads to destructive thoughts and feelings, driving you to compare and judge yourself. Jealousy might flood you with feelings of disaster and despair. Maybe you will feel fear of being abandoned for not being good enough. The stress in the body leads to a powerful negative inner voice, that many times is more painful than the actual situation.
Feelings of jealousy might have a great impact the way you behave. You might become distrustful towards your partner and imagining them lying. You might find yourself asking suspicious questions, or trying to control your partners feelings and behaviours.
Acting out your jealousy is a very bad idea, it will hurt and undermine your partners’ love and stir up their own feelings of distrust and fear of abandonment. And that’s why jealousy is so contagious.
Hey... I am really jealous... What should I do?
Learn how to manage stress in your life. The risk of extreme jealousy is greater when you are under tension.
Be aware of the fact that you are jealous. Listen to that quiet inner voice telling you what is going on: “Why is he working late?” “Why is she on the phone again?” “What is he doing when I’m away?”
Then observe your behaviour closely. Many times the very first reaction after feeling jealous is withdrawal from your partner. In this gap your mind shapes it’s own reality. Stay present with yourself, with reality and your partner.
Calm down and focus on what is most important in your relationship. What you really want. Do you want to feel love? Safety? Connection?
Don’t act out. Acting out your jealousy is proof to your subconscious mind that you have the right to be afraid and that there is a real reason for your fear.
Talk about it when you are not in affect. Tell your partner about your vulnerability, your fears and do not mention your partners behaviour or feelings as a reason for your jealousy. Take full responsibility for your feelings. If you can’t talk to your partner about it, talk to a friend or a therapist - but remember to detach your partners acts or feelings from yours.
Fuck. Having sex brings you closer together and makes your body relax. Give yourself some pleasure.
Work with your underlying insecurity and childhood traumas to prevent further jealousy.
If you use violence or control when you are feeling jealous or assuming that your partner is unfaithful. Seek immiedialty help from one of many organisations for those purposes.
I am in a relationship with a jealous partner... How can I deal with it?
Be present and listen to your partners feelings and thoughts without judgement or attempts to explain your self.
Be understanding to your partner and research your self if there is something in your behavior that consciously or unconsciously triggered your partners feelings. Sometimes we hide the truth not to hurt our partner, and then the gap between the truth and that what is expressed is big enough to create confusion. Be also aware of, if you subconsciously wanted to trigger your partners jealousy to get something out of it.
Be honest. Tell your partner about what you feel and what you want.
Show affection and love and stay present even if your partner withdraws.
If your partner is using violence or control you should seek immiedialty help from one of many organisations for those purposes.
Do you want to work with your own jealousy, book a session for yourself or together with your partner.
Are you interested in the science of jealousy, check this out: