Jealousy in relationships has a bad reputation. It’s something to be avoided, we’re taught. If you trust your partner, there is no need to be possessive, and there is certainly no need to be jealous about their interactions with other people. Showing jealousy or possessiveness over your partner indicates that you’re insecure. It’s even been branded a relationship killer.
No one wants to be considered insecure or be the cause of their relationship failing, so those who have feelings of jealousy –nearly everyone– spend much time trying to suppress their feelings. But why should they? If many people struggle with these feelings, could it be that jealousy is a normal human emotion, and not one that needs to be rid of or overcome? Maybe jealousy is not such an undesirable trait.
Jealousy, like everything else, can be harmful when taken to extremes. Acting out in destructive ways towards your partner or others due to your jealous feelings will not solve anything. On the other hand, jealousy in moderation can be beneficial. Acknowledging jealous feelings can allow a person to realize the importance of their relationship and assess how much they are willing to invest in it.
“Jealousy shows you care” may be a clichéd remark, but it may be one with some truth to it. Jealousy occurs as a result of a perceived threat to a relationship. The jealous person feels deeply committed to their relationship and doesn’t want anything coming between them and their partner. Constructively sharing jealous feelings with a partner can strengthen the relationship and re-confirm the commitment that both have to one another.
Jealousy has it’s downsides, but jealous feelings are not without their positives. Thus jealousy is not something that needs to be erased or be ashamed of, but acknowledged and accepted as a natural human tendency.
Which side are you on? Is jealousy in relationships such a bad thing? Should a person accept their jealous feelings or try to change?