Unhealthy jealousy in relationships

When we hold irrational beliefs about our relationships, then such beliefs usually make us particularly prone to unhealthy jealousy which is a destructive emotion. As opposed to healthy jealousy, which I believe, can help with our self-awareness and general emotional well-being.

Irrational beliefs are those that are musts/demands (i.e. my partner must only be interested in me); awfulising (it would be awful if my partner was interested in someone else); low frustration tolerance (i.e. I couldn't bear it) and if they are interested in someone else (i.e. I am not worthy).

So, as many clients discover in therapy, experiencing a string of 'failed' relationships often has something to do with the fact that many of us cannot handle constant interrogations and demands. 

Healthy jealousy on the other hand, in my view, is just healthy. What is wrong with wanting an exclusive relationship with your partner even though you do not demand it? You never know, it may even discourage you from taking your partner for granted.

Irrational beliefs are often illogical, unhelpful and false. So it is important we consciously dispute these. When we do this, we notice our feelings begin to change from unhealthy negative emotions to healthy negative emotions. We begin to act in ways which tells us we are functioning okay.

Our thinking becomes more objective, realistic and balanced. Changing our behaviour usually involves a lot of hard work, hours or practice and above all - acting against our well-rehearsed, unhealthy jealous behaviour. A counsellor can help you with this journey. 

This is what we need to do if we want to facilitate healthy personal change.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Walsall, Staffordshire, WS6
Written by Lyn Reed, MA,MBACP(reg),Pro.Adv.Dip.PC, Pgd.Cert. in Supervision
Walsall, Staffordshire, WS6

I offer a supportive, confidential therapy service especially for those living with anxiety and stress. I have acquired considerable expertise and knowledge having worked in the social care field for many years. Having experienced ups and downs myself, I understand life's road can be rocky and therapy often helps us to discover a new way.

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