At some point in your life, you’ve probably felt jealous in a relationship. Perhaps you resolved it well, and were able to move on from your jealous feelings. But what if you find yourself on the other end of jealousy? Although some amount of jealousy is normal in most relationships, excessive jealousy can cause unnecessary stress and heartbreak between couples.
If you’ve noticed your girlfriend acting suspicious and resentful despite your efforts to give her reassurance, it’s a sign that she needs help with managing her jealous feelings. This is an important issue that needs to be addressed, in order to maintain the trust and independence that are necessary for true love to flourish in a relationship.
This article will help you understand your girlfriend’s jealous feelings, and help her work through them to result in a deeper, more loving relationship with you.
1. Understand what jealousy is.
Jealousy is a much more complicated emotion than it appears to be. For people who are very secure, jealousy is difficult to understand when they encounter it in their relationship. It seems like their partner is simply being irrational and possessive, and overreacting to issues that are unimportant.
The reality, however, is that jealousy often has less to do with the other person’s actions, and has more to do with the jealous person’s fear of loss. Jealousy is rooted in a sense of fear and low self-esteem.
2. Reconsider your views of jealousy.
To help you deal with your girlfriend’s jealous feelings, you need to be able to consider the concept of jealousy from another perspective: that of someone who’s afraid of losing the one they love. For the person experiencing jealousy, their reactions feel like reasonable responses.
Your girlfriend may be feeling very destabilized and anxious because she’s afraid that she’s losing hold of your relationship. Jealousy could be a sign of how important your relationship is in your girlfriend’s life. It shows that she cares about you.
In some ways, jealousy is a normal reaction that everyone feels from time to time. However, if your girlfriend’s jealousy has started to impact your relationship in a negative way, you will need to take a deeper look at what might be causing these jealous feelings so that you can resolve them.
3. Validate your girlfriend’s feelings.
You can express acceptance and understanding of your girlfriend’s jealous feelings without agreeing with them. If you truly haven’t done anything to cause her jealousy, it’s most likely stressful for you to listen to unwarranted accusations about your behavior.
You’re probably feeling very defensive, maybe even pushed to the limits of your patience. However, this is a time when your girlfriend needs your understanding more than ever. Even though your instinct may be to insist that your girlfriend is wrong for feeling jealous, she needs time and space to be able to believe this for herself.
Be willing to listen to her experience of the situation, without immediately jumping in with your own point of view.
4. Evaluate your actions.
Even if you’re not actually doing anything that would be hurtful or unfair to your girlfriend, are there some healthy and constructive steps that you could take to help ease your girlfriend’s insecurities about your relationship?
Perhaps you have a group of friends who tend to be irresponsible, who sometimes try to influence you to do things you otherwise wouldn’t do. Or, maybe you have female acquaintances who try to flirt with you, and you just haven’t noticed their behavior.
Avoiding risky people or situations would help your girlfriend feel more secure, and may sometimes be enough to completely alleviate her jealousy.
5. Reaffirm your commitment to your girlfriend.
Sometimes, partners who are in a comfortable, stable relationship forget to do things that make their partner feel special. Your girlfriend’s jealousy may be a result of feeling neglected in certain areas of your relationship. It can be embarrassing to tell your partner that you need more attention and affection. Out of fear of appearing needy or demanding, this feeling of deprivation is expressed as jealousy.
Your girlfriend can experience a sense of security when you express your tenderness and warmth. Try to find creative, thoughtful ways of giving your girlfriend extra time and attention, to remind her that she’s also important in your life. This will give her a secure base in your relationship and help her get a grip on her jealous feelings.
6. Help your girlfriend resolve her past.
If your girlfriend is overly suspicious and insecure, this could be a result of traumas from the past. She may have been cheated on by an ex, or experienced a similar betrayal. Reassure your girlfriend that she has the ability to move away from these hurtful experiences, and towards a happy, secure future with your relationship.
If it’s necessary, you could also encourage her to seek professional help. Therapy can be very helpful in healing wounds from the past, and in shifting a person’s way of thinking about situations in the present.
7. Help your girlfriend cultivate a sense of self-compassion and self-esteem.
Of course, you can’t always keep reassuring your girlfriend every time she has jealous feelings. If you’ve taken care to avoid risky situations and done your best to make her feel that you are committed to your relationship, that should be enough to help her resolve her jealous feelings.
If she remains jealous and accusatory towards you even after your efforts to reassure her, this means that she needs to work on her self-esteem, and form her own affirmations so that she can reassure herself when she feels jealous.
8. Encourage your girlfriend’s independence.
A mutual independence is important in a relationship to allow your love to grow. Helping your girlfriend work through jealousy doesn’t mean giving in to all her demands. She may end up taking away important interests and relationships from you, and this will cause you to resent her eventually. Unchecked jealousy will make you feel trapped or confined, while your girlfriend pushes for even more closeness and dependency.
If your girlfriend has neglected some of her own activities and relationships, help her rekindle her interests so that she can build a life outside of your relationship. Feelings of abandonment and isolation can make your girlfriend grasp on to your relationship as the only source of joy and fulfillment in her life.
True love requires trust and self–sufficiency. Two people in a loving relationship need the freedom to be who they are, and to be mindful of their existence as separate beings. The more that you can be generous with the time and space that you give each other, the more you can bring to your relationship.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” – 1 John 4:18
When fear lessens, so does jealousy. With your maturity and mutual effort, you and your girlfriend can create a relationship that is free of jealousy. You can both let love rest calmly and gently in your hearts, without any possessiveness and fear of loss. Although jealousy is an effort to bring your partner closer, only true love can bridge that distance and bring you the security that you’re looking for.
Also read: 16 Ways to Make Your Girlfriend Feel Secure