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How to Deal With Someone Who Has Unfounded Jealousy in a Relationship

by Karen Kleinschmidt

Jealousy is sometimes unavoidable. It can be difficult if your partner or friend is acting in a jealous manner that you don't understand. The feeling stems from within your friend, and although there are ways to help him, you can't get rid of the feeling for him. Raj Raghunathan, Ph.D., associated editor at the "Journal of Consumer Psychology," explains in "Overcoming Jealousy" that jealousy and envy once helped ensure survival during times when food and other resources were scarce. Because humans no longer fight for resources, too much jealousy in a relationship can be damaging.

Take a look at your own behavior. If your boyfriend suddenly seems jealous, instead of ignoring him or fighting back with annoyance or anger, stay open to the possibility that he may be reacting to you. Ask him about it and listen to his answer without interruption. You may realize that he feels insecure when you hang out with your single friends because they are looking for partners. Reassure him that you are a couple and he has nothing to worry about.

Maintain a positive demeanor with your friend if she seems jealous. Avoid walking on eggshells around her just because she is jealous of your other friends or partner. Set aside time to talk to her on a regular basis and confront her if the situation becomes uncomfortable. In the article, "What Can Jealousy Teach You?" Mary C. Lamia, Ph.D., states "jealousy is triggered as a result of a third party threatening the bond you have with another person." Let your friend know that you value her friendship and want her to be a part of your life.

Realize that the jealousy is the other person's feeling, not yours. Unless you are doing something that is obviously triggering the jealousy, step back and let him have his emotions. Encourage talking, and keep the lines of communication open. Often, the feelings soften with time as the other person understands that what he perceives is based on a feeling, not reality. Your partner or friend may have to seek professional help if he is unable to avoid the obsessive thoughts that sometimes accompany extreme jealousy.

Consider leaving the relationship or taking a break if you are unable to handle your friend's feelings of jealousy. Jealousy can be destructive if it spirals out of control. It can be difficult for the other person to see the damage she is causing.

Warning

  • Leave the relationship immediately if the other person becomes abusive or violent or compromises your safety in any manner.

About the Author

Karen Kleinschmidt has been writing since 2007. Her short stories and articles have appeared in "Grandma's Choice," "Treasure Box" and "Simple Joy." She has worked with children with ADHD, sensory issues and behavioral problems, as well as adults with chronic mental illness. Kleinschmidt holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Montclair State University.

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