I was once at a conference with other sex and relationship coaches, in which one of the presenters said “jealousy doesn’t exist”.
Essentially, she argued that jealousy isn’t real: that our culture made it up.
I don’t agree.
Maybe you’ve felt it yourself: seeing your partner getting hit on by someone else, maybe watching her give extra special attention and wink at someone else, gives you very real feelings: a pang, a mix of possessiveness, anger, fear.
Today I’m going to talk about jealousy and insecurity, where they come from, and five proven steps to overcome jealousy in your relationship for good.
But first, what are we talking about when we talk about jealousy?
Jealousy is an overwhelming feeling of insecurity about a potential loss, or inequity in the distribution of resources, meaning you’re getting less than someone else. The term is associated with being possessive of another person, such as a partner or a friend.
And in our culture, jealousy and possessiveness are often revered as signs of romantic love in monogamous relationships. “If you’re not jealous, do you even love me?”.
This is not healthy, nor does it have to be this way. Jealousy itself is an emotion we are taught. It is not something we are born with, because different cultures have different relationships with jealousy, which lets us know this is not an innate human trait.
Which brings me to a really important word that I’m delighted to be sharing with you, which is, compersion.
This word comes to us from the non-monogamy community, and is loosely defined as the opposite of jealousy. Instead of feeling upset or threatened when your partner romantically or sexually interacts with another person, you feel HAPPY for them.
Why manage jealousy?
Most of us experience jealousy, but left unchecked, it can cause damage to our relationships.
Jealousy can cause paralysis in you, but you don’t have to be a slave to this emotion
And Jealousy isn’t limited to here and now… you can be jealous of past relationships – you can be jealous of stuff in the future that doesn’t even exist yet.
5 steps on how to deal with jealousy and insecurity in a relationship
Jealousy hurts, and often turns us into people we don’t want to be.
If you’re feeling jealous or insecure right now (or the next time you feel insecure), follow these steps.
Step 1: Foster self awareness.
Awareness is always the first step. Name the feeling and observe it without acting on it. We feel that rush of jealousy; our breathing shortens, we feel our heart beating in our chest. Call it what it is. “Oh my gosh. I am experiencing an attack of jealousy right now.”
Acting too soon on jealousy is how we end up hurting ourselves and others. Being aware of, “Oh my gosh, I am feeling jealousy in my relationship right now,” not, “My life is over,” not, “I have to divorce my partner,” just, “Wow. I am experiencing jealousy,” is step number one.
Step 2: Perform a reality check
Ask yourself, has someone overstepped a boundary? In other words, has someone actually broken an agreement? Am you really being injured in this present moment?
For example, you’re at a party and you look over and all of a sudden you see your partner making out with another person. If you have an agreement in place that you’re not allowed to make out with other people, this certainly qualifies as having a boundary broken .
But say you look over and your partner is smiling and laughing with another person, but there is nothing that they’re doing that is against your rules. There’s no broken agreement. You don’t have a rule in your relationship that she’s not allowed to laugh at some other guy’s joke.
Now you have an opportunity to ask yourself, “What am I not feeling secure about? Maybe I’m feeling insecure about my ability to make her laugh.”
Maybe you’re insecure about your ability to pleasure her, and you’re looking at this biker dude with his tattoos and swagger and you’re thinking, “Oh my God, this guy is definitely great at sex. Right now she’s probably thinking about how she’d rather have sex with him than with me and I am going to lose her,” you might find yourself thinking, “Why haven’t I been having amazing sex with her?”
And look – if you’re worried about your ability to pleasure her in bed, I made an entire course to teach you exactly how to be the best lover she’s ever had. It’s called “She Comes Too” and it is the female pleasure and orgasm masterclass. It walks you through the four stages of making love to a woman and how to give her incredible orgasms. So if you’re not feeling confident in yourself as a lover, you don’t have to twiddle your thumbs and hope you just get better. Take action to get better at lovemaking by clicking here.
Realize that that story is inside of your head. Even though it feels super real in the moment, it is not real. It’s not reality.
Step 3: Use some tools to ground yourself in the moment
This is how you avoid doing the crazy stuff that I’ve done when I was jealous: calling and screaming at people.
Take deep breaths, go for a long run, journal out your thoughts. Do whatever your mental health needs in the present moment.
Instead of turning the focus outside yourself, turn your focus inside yourself, from where jealousy is arising.
Google “grounding techniques”. We all need to ground ourselves from time to time.
Step 4: Take CARE of yourself and build up your sense of security (not a one-time thing – it takes work)
This step is not a one-time thing. It takes time, work, and dedication. But it’s the best way to achieve a sense of security and self-confidence.
Go work on your motorcycle, go fix your favorite meal that only you know how to slay, go camping by yourself and survive in the wilderness. Do things that help you feel more secure in yourself, so you can feel more secure in your partnership.
Remind yourself that your partner is trustworthy. I mean, only if they are trustworthy, but most of us who are in long-term healthy relationships, hopefully, are with someone who we can trust. That’s why we’re with them.
So, if she has a long history of cheating with you on guys that she met at parties, maybe she’s not trustworthy, but if you’ve been together and she’s never cheated on you and she is laughing and hanging all over that guy, but you know for a fact that she’s trustworthy, remind yourself that she is.
Step 5: Celebrate your success
Celebrate the fact that you didn’t punch anybody in the face. Celebrate that you were able to ground yourself, that you called a spade a spade, and you named jealousy right when you felt it.
Give yourself credit: you have now become aware that you need to take your girlfriend or your wife on more dates. Celebrate that you know what makes you feel secure and how to practice grounding yourself.
If you have seen any of my videos, or if you’ve ever watched any of my masterclasses, you know that celebrating is a huge, huge, huge, and totally underused component to your success.
When all else fails
What if you’ve tried everything and you’re still jealous?
Remember this takes time, I’ve been working on it for a decade now and still plenty of work to do, this is culturally conditioned, plus the wounding of our parents and grandparents… it’s DEEP.
But it’s worth it to heal this for yourself — to do the hard work of dealing with jealousy. It’s the best gift you can gift to yourself.