Romantic relationships are full of ups and downs. Ultimately, couples usually find a balance somewhere in the middle. Like learning a healthy way to argue. But what about jealousy?
Jealousy is often viewed as a bad thing, and it’s a sign of a toxic relationship. But is there a healthy amount of jealousy that might make relationships better? Let us know what you think and then keep reading to learn more about how jealousy affects relationships.
Healthy vs. Unhealthy Jealousy
Indeed some types of jealousy can be detrimental to a relationship. It can be a sign of toxicity and abuse. But sometimes jealousy can be healthy. Jealousy is a human feeling that we often can’t control. What makes jealously healthy or unhealthy is how an individual copes with the feeling. We’re here to break it down for you.
Healthy jealousy does not interfere with the way your relationship functions. It does not have a lasting impact and doesn’t ruin your day or a fun night out. Instead, healthy jealousy is a normal, inherent human response. Sometimes we can’t help but feel a little bit jealous.
Maybe you see a stranger flirting with your partner at a coffee shop while you wait at the table. You feel a twinge of jealously. That’s normal. But, you’re secure in your relationship, and know that your partner is dedicated to you. The jealously fades quickly and you go about your day as usual. You most likely don’t think about the situation again.
This is seen as healthy jealously. A normal, human feeling that we are all bound to feel at some time.
Unhealthy jealously takes an entirely different form, and it’s something you should be on the lookout for. It isn’t the jealously itself that makes the situation unhealthy, but rather the response and actions it provokes.
A person who copes with jealousy in an unhealthy way may strike out at you. When experiencing a scenario like the coffee shop flirtation mentioned above, the situation may become explosive. Unhealthy jealousy can provoke name-calling, screaming matches, and can lead to abuse if not addressed. The outing will be ruined, and your partner may demand that you return home.
It’s important to recognize the difference between the two.
What to Do
If you experience small amounts of healthy jealousy now and then in your relationship, there is typically no need to worry. However, if the jealousy is erring on the side of unhealthy, you may need to consider seeing a couples counselor.
If you are in a relationship that is abusive, either mentally or physically, you must leave immediately. If you feel unsafe because of your partner’s actions, seek help right away and remove yourself from harm’s way.