How Jealousy Saved My Relationship

How Jealousy Saved My Relationship

Has your jealousy ever turned you into someone you barely recognize in the mirror? Whether it was towards a co-worker who got the promotion didn’t get, the jealousy between siblings or the jealousy brewing within a relationship, jealousy is something everyone has experienced in their life.

I thought my jealousy was going to completely ruin my relationship. However, I never thought I’d be grateful for my jealousy in the long run.

I Could See Our Relationship Dying… In Slow Motion

My boyfriend had been friends with this woman for years, way before I even came into the picture. When she moved back into town, I had to face the fact I wasn’t the only woman in his life.

I genuinely liked her but I hated the person I was whenever I was around her and my boyfriend.

There were countless times I’ve just wanted to blurt out, “I doubt you guys would even notice if I left right now.” Immature, I know but hated feeling like a third wheel whenever I was around them.

I was afraid that the negativity and toxicity of my jealousy was going to make me do something I would later on regret– like walk out on them in the middle of dinner (or worse, walk out on him!)

I thought that if I couldn’t control my jealousy, I was going to lose him.

Like with countless people, I saw pain as something that was happening to me. I had the mentality that the only way to fix my emotion was if my partner lavished me with more attention and affection and spent less time with her. I was essentially relying on my external situations to make me feel good.

I was trying to control what I had no control over–his actions and his friendship. No matter how much attention he did give me when he was with her, I still felt unhappy.

Now of course, I didn’t want to be like that girlfriend who told her boyfriend who he could and couldn’t be friends with. I was well on the way to walking out on my relationship until the pain of staying the same became greater than the act of changing.

I Was Rooting for the Wrong Team

Instead of blaming her or their relationship, I had to dig deep to uncover the root of my jealousy. This has also helped me embrace and accept all my emotions rather than try to stop them. Whenever I tried to stop my emotions, I was stewing in my own turmoil rather than creating space for me to transcend past it.

Turns out I had this inherent belief and fear that I wasn’t good enough to be loved.

I needed HIM to make me feel loved, valued and beautiful. I wasn’t always like that.

Somewhere down the road when life got stressful, I stop taking responsibility for my own emotions. I blamed everything that was outside of myself as to why I was unhappy.

  • If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be feeling this way…
  • If only that happened, I would feel so much better…
  • If only he gave me more attention, I would be happy…

All my self-worth and emotional well-being was reliant on my relationship with my partner.

My jealousy was the sound of alarm that I was betting against myself!

My jealousy was a reflection of how my own relationship with myself. I lacked self-esteem and my self-worth felt immensely low. When I realized that I was causing my unhappiness, I knew I had to do something.

I nourished my sense of worth by doing things that added value to my life.

  • I enjoyed hobbies that I’ve put on the back burner.
  • I focus on eating healthy and exercising.
  • I only said “yes” when I truly meant it.

Most of all, I was less critical and judgmental of myself, regardless of my flaws or mistakes.

Just by improving my self-love and worth, I was able to fill the empty void inside of myself instead of using my partner as an emotional scapegoat.

This was the turning point when my relationship began to really transform.

Just by making that small internal shift, I played a completely different game. A game where I wasn’t betting against myself anymore.

It turns out that the only person who can make me feel valued, loved and beautiful is myself.

Jealousy can destroy even the strongest relationships. But it can also help sound the alarm to help facilitate positive change in your life.

If it wasn’t for my jealousy, I would never have gotten to the root and discovered that the pain of staying the same was more painful than the act of changing.

Has there ever been a time in your life, when adversity served as a wake-up call?

Photo by Benurs

Mika Maddela

Along with her partner, Clay, Mika Maddela writes for the relationship advice blog, The Path to Passion. She is passionate about helping people cultivate a stronger mindset to enjoy better relationships and better lives. She helps people be unselfishly committed to the success and vitality of their relationship through self-awareness and emotional responsibility. If you enjoyed reading this, you may enjoy The Myth of “Being Yourself”.

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17 Comments

  1. This is a great post! Too often we put all of the “blame” on external circumstances to avoid really looking into ourselves for the answers. It’s often just easier to put the onus on someone or something else rather than realizing that changes need to be made from within.

    Thanks for this!

    -Aaron

    Reply
    • Hey Aaron,

      I definitely agree with your insightful comment. I think many people have the habit of blaming people for their pain rather than think of their emotions as a reflection of themselves.Thanks for your comment:)

      Reply
  2. I am so glad that you found yourself back. Self-love and self-confidence is something noone else can gift you but yourself.

    Reply
    • Ani, Thank you! You are definitely right. You are the only person who can give you self-love and confidence. Looking outside of yourself to feel valued and love is a lonely and painful road.

      Reply
  3. I love your story! It is completely Inspiring! You totally shed a positive light on how jealousy can make you a better person , when used in the right ways! thank for your article!

    Reply
    • Karen,

      Thank you! Looking back, I would never have ever thought I’d be grateful for that period in my life. My intense jealousy showed me who the culprit really was– it wasn’t him or her it was ME the whole time. It was such a huge eye opener and something I am grateful for. Thanks for your kind words:)

      Reply
  4. “Has there ever been a time in your life, when adversity served as a wake-up call?”

    The answer would be a resounding yes! Always.

    If I itemize all the rough patches in my life, the pattern that emerges is that every single time I came out of it stronger, wiser, and happier.

    And with every new adversity I encounter, my conviction that it is happening for my best gets stronger. Which in turn makes it easier to keep positive and hopeful and not despair completely.

    Life’s challenges help us grow.

    Thank you for sharing this inspiring post!

    Reply
    • Bina, yes! I love your comment. It’s true. Life’s challenges is what keeps us growing. If it wasn’t for adversity, I would be stuck in a complacent and most dissatisfying place. Thank you for your comment:)

      Reply
  5. Ah yes, to be accountable for one’s own emotions is so hard, and yet, so essential. Well done! I always think of jealousy as having a destructive edge (like wanting your boyfriend to stop seeing his friend – i.e breaking that friendship) and that’s why jealousy is dangerous. as you have rightly said, when you feel jealous it’s all about you and not the other person. Thanks for an insightful article.

    Reply
    • Kirsten,
      Thanks for the insightful comment:)

      Jealousy is a destructive emotion… if you allow it to get the best of you. That painful period in my life and relationship has taught me SO much about myself. Instead of just opting out of the relationship because it got tough… I got to the root of why our relationship was struggling. I think your relationship with your emotions make up the quality of your life. Thank goodness I had this opportunity to learn that my relationship with myself needed to change.Thanks again for your comment:)

      Reply
  6. Great insights Mika. All of our negative emotions are there to teach us about ourselves. Embracing the lessons is our best way to grow.

    Reply
    • Brian,
      Thank you so much! Yes! Our perspective of the world is a mirrored reflection of our own selves!:)

      Reply
  7. Hi Mika,

    Really loved your post. So true that it all begins with our self. I was exactly in the same position few years back and I did exactly what you did. And my relationship was also transformed in a matter of weeks.

    No one can make us jealous.. but us. Really nicely put.

    Reply
    • Thank you Surabhi!

      Isn’t it such a more empowering feeling to know you don’t have to deal with jealousy if you get to the root of why you were jealous in the first place?:) I’m so glad you were able to overcome your jealousy and get to the root of the problem before it ruined your relationship.

      Reply
  8. Hey ,

    Great article Mika !! but help me with this one , I have a friend who is facing the exact situation you have described . I fear if I tell her about this article, she might take it in a negative sense and it may affect our friendship . What according to you should be a better way to help others facing this situation in life ?

    Reply
    • I know how difficult it is to see a friend go through pain and suffering. Tell your friend you “know” someone who went through what she’s going through and send her to my blog:) I actually talk a lot about all my inner battles with insecurity and how I use the pain of staying the same to fuel me taking action to change my life and saving my relationship. Good luck and thank you for your comment!

      Reply
  9. Nice article – I think in all walks of like when jealousy rears its ugly head it is all to easy to ” blame ” others or other things that you think are out of your control, as stated you need to get to the crux of the matter and why you feel jealous before you can tackle it. Having a quiet ” me ” time and have a think on why and how you can better yourself once you have found the underlying reasons,

    Reply

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