The Way Through
The way to thread the needle on these dilemmas is some hard self-reflection, really honest discussion, and fair negotiation. Each partner needs to think about what they are bringing to the situation.
Is she being insensitive and perhaps a bit more flirty than she would like to admit? Is she pushing back against his desires for closeness, perhaps especially if he tries to hold her tighter when he is worried about losing her? Is he letting his insecurities convince him that this other guy is better than him? Is he making her pay for the crimes of previous unfaithful girlfriends or unreliable caregivers?
Then they need to talk this through, bravely and honestly. They need to own up to their part of it and also challenge each other when necessary. They need to remember that nothing in a relationship happens in a vacuum and understand that each is responding to the other. They need to bring curiosity and ask lots of questions — of themselves and each other.
Want to know more about what jealousy can do to your relationship? Read Jealousy: How It Can Kill Your Relationship
The jealous partner has the right to make both tangible and emotional requests of his partner and to ask for what he needs in order to feel better. But he also needs to remember that it isn’t only his girlfriend’s job to make him feel better — he also needs to find ways to make himself feel better, whether this means standing up for what he needs or calming himself down.
Meanwhile, his girlfriend needs to be sensitive to his concerns and willing to consider making some reasonable changes. But she needs to know her limits and when she feels like she is working too hard on assuaging her boyfriend’s fears.
Jealousy is normal. Feeling jealous doesn’t necessarily mean anything about you, your partner, or your relationship. But it does mean that one or both of you may need to do some work to address it.
Feeling jealous sometimes is a part and parcel of being in love with someone, and to some extent that’s natural. But, when it starts to hamper your relationship, then know that it is time to fix the jealousy that is eating away at your relationship. Try to understand your partner, and also try to understand yourself, and work together to fix the jealousy that keeps cropping up.
If you want to know more about how you can fix jealousy in your relationship, then check this video out below: