Jealousy can destroy a relationship. The constant analyzing, worrying and imagining all sorts of horrible scenarios is exhausting and stressful for the jealous person. For the other partner, being subjected to constant interrogation and being accused of wrongdoing is draining and can quickly destroy any trust in the relationship.
Accept that it is natural to have jealous feelings, says clinical psychologist Craig Malkin in the Psychology Today article "5 Ways to Kick the Jealousy Habit." What isn't natural is to act on those feelings. Learn to express your jealous feelings in an appropriate way, which can actually make your relationship stronger.
Identify exactly what you are jealous about. Perhaps your boyfriend has been in touch with his ex, or talks to other girls when you are out together. Ask yourself why you are reacting with jealousy, advises psychologist Phil McGraw. If you were cheated on in a previous relationship, this could affect your ability to trust your boyfriend. Jealousy comes from a need to have control, says McGraw.
Talk to your boyfriend in a calm, respectful way. Share your concerns without accusing him of anything, suggests Malkin. Say something like "I feel a little insecure right now. Could you cut back on your flirting with other girls please?" By making a reasonable, clear request to your boyfriend, you can make your feelings known, but not come across as bullying or controlling.
Ask for reassurance from your boyfriend if you have specific concerns about his behavior. For example, "I'm feeling a little jealous that you're still in touch with your ex. Can you tell me a bit more about your relationship?" If you have nothing to worry about, your boyfriend should be happy to have a conversation about his ex and reassure you that there's nothing going on. The more connected you feel to your boyfriend, the less you will want to act on your jealous feelings. Keep requests for reassurance to a minimum. If you talk about your insecurity and concerns frequently, your boyfriend may feel pressure.
- Look after your mental, emotional and physical health to help reduce anxiety and stress. Nourish your body with healthy foods and take plenty of exercise. Try meditation or yoga to relieve stress. Spend time with friends and family members who boost your confidence. The happier you are with yourself, the easier it will be to keep jealousy at bay.
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