How Jealousy Saved My Relationship

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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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