Dr. Tarra Bates-Duford
Jealousy & Relationships
Jealousy in and of itself is not really a deal breaker or a bad thing. Jealousy is an innate natural human emotional response to feelings of insecurity, fear, concern, anxiety, loss of value, etc. Jealousy is a natural part of life, experienced by everyone at different points throughout one’s life. Jealousy becomes problematic when it begins to escalate, consuming one’s life, creeping and controlling multiple aspects of life. Jealousy can create feelings of mounting resentment, bitterness, and anger for those feeling betrayed in a relationship. When jealousy creeps into a relationship there is often suspicions by one partner or both partners that the other has found someone more appealing, attractive, engaging, funny, compatible, etc. Feelings of jealousy are a coping strategy used to mask feelings of insecurity. Once feelings of jealousy emerge it is important to ask yourself what is the source of these feelings, what purpose do the feelings serve.
Jealousy occurring in a romantic relationship is the most common form of jealousy. Although, romantic jealousy is the most common there are other forms of jealousy, such as, jealousy surrounding career accomplishments made by another, financial success, academic achievements, family accomplishments, etc. We may become jealous if we feel someone has achieved more in his/her life, has more money, in a happier relationship, luxury items, etc.
In today’s day and time many of our relationship joys and challenges are often played out on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., triggering an angry or jealous response from our partner. Jealousy can be triggered as we opt to allow more people into our social circle, many times of the opposite sex, or someone we think our partner finds attractive or sexy. We unconsciously begin to question the motives of our partner for including this person in his or her social network, are they direct messaging each other behind the back of their partner, are they seeing each other, etc.
In an effort to effectively manage feelings of jealousy in a dating relationship you must do the following:
Assess the quality of your relationship- Are there underlying trust issues
Pre-existing feelings of insecurity- Is there infidelity issues stemming from a past relationship
Assess yourself- Are there recent changes in your life you are unhappy with, i.e., weight gain
Partner behavior- Are there recent changes in your partner’s behavior that suggests his interest may no longer be with you
If you’re in a committed and secure relationship and jealousy continues to prevail you may need to take a closer look at yourself and your past experiences to determine the root cause of your feelings.
Jasmine & Teddy
Jasmine and Teddy have been dating for 8 months, however, for the last 2 months they both have been very unhappy in their relationship. The relationship began to take a downward spiral when Jasmine scored an amazing reporting job with a large magazine. Teddy has been trying unsuccessfully for several years to break into the industry, however, Jasmine was able to break in, and with what Teddy perceives as very little effort. Jealousy, resentment, and feelings of inadequacy has been building in Jasmine & Teddy’s relationship as he begins to become increasingly disengaged from his physical environment and emerges himself into a virtual environment. Teddy has been connecting with more and more women online, women he feels do not represent a threat to him, vocationally. Should Teddy re-evaluate his feelings surrounding the relationship? Or explore the reasons stemming and perpetuating his jealousy?