Green With Envy: How to Overcome Jealousy in Your Marriage | Engaged Marriage

Green With Envy: How to Overcome Jealousy in Your Marriage

By Dustin | Communication

Jealousy in MarriageEditor’s Note: This is a great guest post by Thomas Warren.  Thomas asked if he could share his thoughts on jealousy in marriage, and I thought it was a wonderful topic for our community.

Love and trust are the basis for a sound marriage, so if either of these ingredients is missing, you may begin to wonder why you’re in a relationship at all.  While love is something that is maintained emotionally, trust can shaken by both emotional and psychological forces.

You enter into marriage believing that it will last forever and that the person you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with feels the same way.  But then, for one reason or another, jealousy rears its ugly head.

It is extremely common for married individuals to experience jealousy, and in small doses, it can actually ensure that you don’t take each other for granted.  But if the problem persists, you’re going to have to find a way to deal with it or risk reneging on your vows.

So How Can You Overcome Jealousy?

Communication is a good place to start.  This is really the key to resolving any conflict in a relationship (and to keeping your marriage healthy).  If you have nagging doubts, this is the best way to clear them up.

Maybe you saw a photo from your husband’s holiday party where he is apparently ogling another woman’s derriere.  But when you ask him about it, it turns out that he was in the process of helping an elderly co-worker to her feet and just happened to be turning towards the other woman when the photo was snapped.

By putting the event in context, you can effectively clear up any misconceptions.  If you never confront your spouse, your jealousy will only grow.

When Communication Doesn’t Help

If you really don’t have the tools to communicate effectively (i.e. conversations turn into confrontations or arguments) then you should consider marriage counseling (and possibly individual therapy).  You may find that your feelings of jealousy are irrational, that your expectations are unrealistic, that you suffer from issues of control, abandonment, or low self-esteem, or worst-case, your fears of infidelity may be confirmed.

Whatever the case, a professional can help you work through your feelings.  Let’s face it, we all come into relationships with some kind of baggage that we haven’t dealt with emotionally, and it can color your interactions with your current mate.  If you don’t want to end up frustrated, depressed, crazed, or divorced, you have to be the one to deal with your fears and insecurities.  If it turns out your spouse is a serial cheater, you will almost certainly require the expertise of a licensed therapist.

What You Should Not Do

What you should NOT do is hide your feelings and spy on your spouse.  If you suspect cheating, do you really want to stoop to the same level of lying and sneaking around that you’re trying to expunge?

And what if you find your jealousy is unfounded, but you get caught in the act?  Then you have effectively broken your partner’s trust, which is just as bad.  If you really can’t control your feelings of jealousy and you find yourself engaged in nefarious behavior, then it’s definitely time to seek outside help, because you clearly can’t handle the situation on your own.

You and your spouse should be able to work through anything together and come out of the experience stronger and more committed to each other.  And while cheating is a deal-breaker for many individuals, don’t be too quick to throw in the towel.

A strong relationship can weather even the worst of storms if you agree to work together towards a livable solution.

Have you experienced jealousy in your relationship?  How have you overcome it?

(photo source)

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Thomas Warren is a content writer for GoCollege, one of the oldest and most trusted resources to guide students on how to finance and succeed in college.

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About the Author

Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.

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(11) comments

I’m not sure if Jealousy is the right word for what i experience, but i guess that’s one way some people would describe it. Every relationship I had up to getting married, involved me being cheated on, so i have moments where some things will trigger craziness in me. Communication is definitely the best way for me to overcome this. I’m so grateful to be in a relationship where I can openly say “I’m not comfortable with this” whatever it may be, and we are able to talk about why it triggers bad feelings in me, why it shouldn’t, and then develop some new guideline so that I’m comfortable with it in future, or that it doesn’t happen again (depending what it is). Most of the time its just me being sensitive, and just needing to talk it out. But its good to have that. I see other women in relationship who if they ever broached such a topic with their partner would get “Stop being so controlling” or “Just respect my privacy” or “why don’t you trust me” as a response which i think just dismisses the underlying problem rather than fixing it.

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    Dustin

    I’m with you, Mary. I think what you are describing is more of a pure trust issue than jealousy but the two definitely overlap at times.

    Reply
Elizabeth

Both my husband and I try to stick to a policy of “assuming the best”. Mostly because there were hurt feelings early in the marriage. Don’t hear back from a text or email? It is probably not personal. They are just busy.

I agree that communication is absolutely key. After five years of marriage, I have realized it is far better to have a small fight when something happens than let an issue fester and turn into a big problem.

Reply
    Dustin

    That’s excellent advice, Elizabeth. I think you can put maturity right up there with communication as an important component in avoiding unhealthy jealousy in a relationship.

    Reply

I too, struggled with jealousy in the early years of our marriage, but I was jealous over the freedom my husband had to “go and do as he pleased” during the day, while I was “stuck at home with the kids”. His phone calls weren’t constantly interrupted, and he could eat lunch without having to share it with sticky fingers! I know, this is a childish response, but it exposed the immaturity of my heart.

I was convicted seeing the jealousy for what it was – sin. When I saw it as sin, and not just a bad attitude, I had hope for change because Jesus promised to forgive me of my sin and to cleanse me of all unrighteousness. So, I repented to God and to Tom, and amazingly – I experienced freedom. This is something that would have never happened if I only talked to my husband about it.

I was recently tested in this same area, and it has proven to expose even more sin in my heart – but how kind of God to “finish the work He’s begun in me.” He is treating me as a child, and I am grateful!

Reply
    Dustin

    Wow Debi, you always have such powerful testimonies to add to our discussions. Thank you so much for sharing this experience!

    Reply
Green With Envy: How to Overcome Jealousy in Your Marriage | Best Relationships

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I have found that jealousy is one of those emotions that does not respond to logic. No matter how well things are explained or discussed, logic is ineffective once jealousy kicks in.

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Wow @ Debi’s comment. Jealousy = sin.

I’ve experienced jealously mainly because my husband does a ton of different things, and I am a homemaker. Part-time actress, full time homemaker. We’ve only overcome that by me submitting to God and communication with my husband. And me being content in my assignment 🙂

Reply
amy

Well I never used to struggle with feelings of jealousy too much because I could always say that my husband was the most faithful man I knew. Unfortunately he proved me wrong and had an affair. He also has a problem with oogling other women and doing and saying inapropriate things. Since then I have been tortured with feelings of inadequacy, fear and jealousy. The fact that he works very long hours and is rarely home doesn’t help the situation. I have decided to stay with him and work things out because I love him dearly but I must say it has been the hardest thing in my life to go through. These feelings just won’t go away. I’ve told my husband that I would rather be single than go through such rejection but I can’t get myself to leave.

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[…] Green With Envy: How to Overcome Jealousy in Your Marriage : An excellent guest post by Thomas Warren. Review of A Simple Marriage by Dr. Corey Allan : I have not had a chance to read Corey’s book, so I pass on this review for you to consider the book. Based on what I have read on Corey’s Simple Marriage web site, I would expect the book to be very useful. […]

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