"Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own..."
"Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own... Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition."
- Robert A. Heinlein
God calls on Christian men and women to rise above jealous thoughts and feelings. Many are able to find spiritual motivation for this through the Bible and through prayerful contemplation. Even then, however, jealousy can be difficult to deal with. It is an extremely common but also an extremely unpleasant emotion. Intense jealousy can actually make you feel physically sick! Furthermore, it can strike at any stage of a romantic relationship, whether you have just started seeing each other or if you have been together for years.
Because there really is no way to hide such a strong emotion, it can creep into your relationship and cause a lot of trouble. Jealousy is particularly damaging because, more often than not, there really is not any good reason for it.
If you are struggling with jealousy, then it can be helpful to try to understand it better. With a bit of self-reflection you can quickly find out whether your feelings are justified, or if you should work on trusting your partner more.
Is there a time and place for jealousy?
If you know that your partner has been cheating on you, then you have every right to feel hurt, betrayed, and jealous. However, even in this situation you owe it to yourself to do more than just sit and stew in your jealousy. If there is no chance that things can work out, then you need to let your relationship go.
Conversely, jealousy can only ever be harmful and toxic if it stems from unfounded suspicions and a lack of trust. If you have no good reason to suspect your partner, then harboring jealousy will only cause you problems.
Do not mistake jealousy for love
Some people mistakenly think that being jealous of their partner's other relationships is a sign of love, but this could not be further from the truth. Love is built on trust and communication, not on harboring suspicions and always expecting the worst out of your loved one. Being possessive of your partner will only serve to drive them away.
How to know if your jealousy is toxic
Chances are that if your partner has never given you any reasons to suspect them of cheating, then your jealousy is toxic. But, if you are still unsure, here are a few more ways to tell:
- You closely watch how they look at other people and how other people look at them.
- You get upset and uneasy at the thought of them being friends or acquaintances with a member of the opposite sex.
- You always need to know exactly where your partner is and what they are doing.
- You are constantly checking who is talking to them on social media sites.
- You've made a habit out of secretly checking their texts and phone calls. This is probably the worst sign of all.
What to do if your jealousy has gone too far
If you know that you've been jealous for no good reason, then the first thing to do is stop. If you went way too far overboard with your jealousy, then you should even consider offering a gift as a peace offering. Let your partner know that you trust them. Perhaps even try talking to them about how you've been feeling (if they do not already know), and about how you are trying to change. Communication is important, and in the long run you will be happier that you faced your issues head on than if you had kept it all