Most people anchor their self-worth onto something that the world acknowledges as valuable: money, talent, good looks, and fame. The common misconception is that if you have at least one of these, you have a better chance of being loved and accepted as a person.
When entering a relationship, this belief is oftentimes challenged. You find that there are less loveable (in the worldly standard) people but there are better, loveable than you are. If you have not transcended above this belief system, those people who are better than you are pose as a threat to you and your relationship. They can be your object of jealousy. Now what is jealousy?
I deem jealousy as a panic attack whenever a threat comes your way. Also, it can create in you an intense desire to be in someone else’ shoes. When considered within the context of a romantic relationship, however, it can cause someone to doubt their partner and be threatened with their interaction of certain people, the places they go or the clothes they wear.
Jealousy can manifest in different severity:
- Cute jealousy. It is when one gets jealous over their partner ogling someone else’s body or butt. This type of jealousy is reasonable enough. This is perfectly normal to feel and is harmless.
- Healthy jealous. This is also a harmless jealousy and is reasonable. When you feel the need to voice out your concern over your partner’s flirting with someone. It is normal to look after your relationship’s well-being and your partner’s as well. It would even be insulting for your partner if you are apathetic about it.
- Obsessive jealous. This is the unhealthy type of jealousy. This can stem from your past hurtful experience coupled with low self-confidence and low self-esteem. This is accompanied by violence and/or aggression. This type of jealousy is not just a single emotion.
It is in fact a bundle of emotions that are lumped together. It can manifest as anger, hurt, fear, anxiety, betrayal, sadness, agitation, depression paranoia ,loneliness, coveting, envy, feeling inadequate, feeling powerless, and feeling excluded.
You then become obsessed on your partner’s faithfulness to you. Just the thought of you being replaced enrages you and oftentimes make you use physical force. Your tolerance level is extremely low and before long, your partner can’t even look at another person who could be a threat to you, nor can your partner leave your side when you’re out on a date. There is a need for you to know where your partner is all the time and who is with your partner.
Overcoming Obsessive Jealousy
There is no fast and easy rule to overcoming jealousy. There may be tips and steps to be less harmful to your partner but it would be like patching a band-aid onto a gangrene. Obsessive jealousy is simply a manifestation of something more problematic.
To explain this type simply, it is when you attach your self-worth to the wrong things like money, talent, good-looks, and/or fame. These four, though oftentimes overrated in our society and media, is not an end-all solution in maintaining a healthy relationship. Good-looks and talent can be very valuable in catching a boyfriend or a girlfriend, so is the allure of money and fame.
However, in order for a meaningful relationship to last, you cannot dwell on these four things alone. As Exupery said, what is essential is invisible to the eyes. You cannot fool the heart into thinking that the superficial things in life are all that matters. Though there are no fast and easy rule to overcoming jealousy, I have however Laws of Existence that will challenge your wrong belief system.
Laws of Existence to Remember
There will always be someone lesser and greater than you are. Accept this fact . It does not lessen your worth as a person. You are unique, fearfully and wonderfully made by God. If your partner chose you she/he must have seen that uniqueness in you. Perhaps it’s time you discover that also.
Loving does not mean owning a person. Unlike being attached to a toy when we were children, being attached to a person and loving that person does not mean you can own that person. Nor can you dictate to that person.
You can’t dictate how a person feels about you. You can only do things that will endear yourself to your partner but remember Rule # 2. Thus, the saying “All is fair in love and war”. You may be the richest man alive or as handsome and famous as Bratt Pitt, but that is not an assurance for a person to fall in love with you. Yes, that can illicit some crazy screams from the fanatics but that is far from the real thing called love. Ever wonder why the glamorous people in Hollywood still file divorce?
Your partner’s appreciation of others does not lessen who you are. Remember Rule#1 You are who you are regardless of your partner’s perception of you. Sometimes you get hung up on projecting your loveable side for fear that your partner will love you less if he/she knows your imperfection. This can become very tiring. You need to accept your limitations and have a baseline where to go grow from there. By doing this, you’ll respect yourself more. Thereby setting a good example to your partner. A good illustration of this is my relationship with Sai, a Labrador Retriever. Sai cannot cook for me. She cannot talk to me nor understand when I talk to her. Sure I can teach her tricks but that is not the same. My point is, despite Sai’s limitation, it does not lessen my affection for her.
Love yourself. We all have something that we are embarrassed of. Love yourself anyway. If you cannot love and accept yourself, who else do you expect to do that for you.
Nobody can love you the way you want to be loved. You cannot expect your partner to do that for you. It is a media misconception that you love somebody because that somebody completes you. You have to be complete first in order to be able to love completely. Love should just be an overflow of your love for yourself. This way, you cease to be a needy person.
Why We Need to Overcome Obsessive Jealousy
Obsessive jealousy is damaging because it takes away the one thing that holds the relationship together: trust. It also takes away the quality time you and your partner might have together as it would most of the time be spent on fights where you focus on each other’s faults. Instead of emotionally growing as persons, you both will have emotional constipation.
Moreover, the bulk of your time will be spent thinking of scenarios where your partner may cheat on you. You could be wasting the greater part of your relationship thinking what could be happening instead of what is really happening. A wise man once said that “Yesterday is a history, tomorrow a history. Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called a present”. Do not waste your gift on obsessive jealousy.
Ways to Manage if Your Partner Has Obsessive Jealousy Problem
I’ve seen people saddled with having an obsessively jealous partner. This is much more difficult because you can only do so much in reaffirming another person’s self-worth. As I said, obsessive jealousy is just a manifestation of a bigger problem. It is just the tip of an iceberg.
If you experience having an obsessively jealous for a partner, you can try uncovering your partner’s real issue. Come up with ways to teach your partner the Laws of Existence. If your partner is the violent type, you may want to seek professional help that will teach him/her anger management.