Signs Of Jealousy What To Look For And What To Do About It
Authored by William G. DeFoore, Ph.D.
Many signs of jealousy might at first seem like innocent questions or behavior patterns. You will learn here how to identify these signs and overcome jealousy in your relationship.
It starts with love, then turns into the desire to control, based on the fear of losing the person you love.
(This page contains resources for purchase through Amazon.com, where we get a commission.)
Nobody ever wants to be jealous. It's a miserable feeling, mixed with fear, suspicion, anger and sometimes rage.
So, it's time to begin dealing with jealousy in a healthy way, so that it does not destroy your relationship...or worse.
You have a good mind, and you're going to use it to understand and overcome jealousy.
What Are The Signs Of Jealousy?
As I mentioned, nobody decides to become a jealous person, so that means it's an unconscious process. That's why it's important to know the warning signs so that you can prevent it from getting worse than it has to be.
Since it's unconscious, the jealous person won't know they're starting to show the signs, and will probably plead innocence if it's pointed out.
Questioning your partner's activities and whereabouts, but not in a friendly way. Any couple in love is going to want to know what each other is up to, that's normal. What we're talking about here, is questioning with suspicion and doubt--and usually not believing the answer.
Worrying and fantasizing about what your partner might be doing or saying with another person. This can become "crazy making" for the jealous person, where they can't stop the obsessive thoughts.
This usually involves assuming the worst of your partner. In other words, the jealous person does not give their partner the benefit of the doubt...they assume the worst, and convince themselves it's true. Because of this, another symptom of jealousy would be withholding love, not smiling or laughing or being friendly with your partner.
And finally, you know you're jealous if you're checking your partner's email, text messages, phone logs and receipts--or hiring a private investigator.
Okay, those are the warning signs of jealousy, but what if you've got good reason to be jealous and suspicious? This is the tricky part. Let's explore the answer further below.
Is It Ever Right To Be Jealous And Suspicious?
Jealousy and suspicion are pretty hard to avoid if your partner is flirting, hiding things from you, gone a lot--especially at night, or openly just spending a lot of time with someone they seem to prefer over you. How would you not feel jealous if that's going on?
Jealousy and suspicion are normal reactions in some cases. The question is not whether you feel those feelings, the question is what do you do when you feel that way?
The list above is pretty much a summary of the unhealthy reactions to the feelings of jealousy and suspicion...so, what would be a healthy, mature response to the signs of jealousy and suspicion when you're the one having them?
Good question. Here are some answers:
You need your self esteem to be strong to be healthy in any relationship. So, with your high self esteem intact, you say to yourself, "Well, I'm good. If s/he is dishonest and unfaithful enough to act like that, it's their problem. I will stay focused on being happy and having a good life. If their love for me is true, they'll come around. If not, then we'll see what happens. I'm not going to let the feelings of jealousy and suspicion take over my mind and steal my joy."
A healthy person has a full and fulfilling life, and a lot of resources to turn to if their partner is being unfaithful or disloyal or just irresponsible. So, when the signs of jealousy start showing up, they would perhaps get more involved in things that feel good and fulfilling.
What about anger? Well, of course, anybody's going to feel angry if their partner is acting badly--but a healthy person has healthy anger. That would mean that yes, you would talk about your feelings with your partner, but in a healthy way. These communication skills for couples will give you a step by step way of working through tough feelings without getting into major conflict. For more in-depth help with this, I highly recommend Harville Hendrix' book, Getting The Love You Want, which takes couples through a 12 week process of healing their relationship and creating lasting love. (Available through Amazon.com, where we get a commission).
In summary, the healthy response to signs of jealousy in yourself is, you tell your partner what you want and don't want, and you don't get totally caught up in the jealousy and suspicion--which means you get to remain attractive to your partner! (I'm sure you've noticed, a jealous/suspicious person can become extremely unattractive).
That leaves us with the question, how do you overcome jealousy? Well, it just so happens that I have written an entire web page on that subject, called Overcoming Jealousy--check it out, and become your own best anger management resource.
Signs of jealousy can often be detected early in the romance and marrying process. Be sure and check out this program called Expectations In Marriage. You can listen to free previews below, and order it risk-free right now.
EXPECTATIONS IN MARRIAGE: Healthy Ways to Deal With Disappointment and Anger in Loving
Everyone enters marriage with great expectations. All too often, you may end up disappointed or angry about how things turn out. This program will help you understand your expectations and develop skills for moving beyond your disappointment and become a loving partner to your spouse.