Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what it was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be . . . but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now—Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Jealousy is something that can completely destroy your relationships. Where does it come from and what can you do about it? In relationships, there are four possibilities: neither of you are jealous, you are jealous of your partner but your partner is not jealous, your partner is jealous but you are not, or both of you are jealous. The first scenario poses no stress for the relationship, while the last three do.

You are Jealous and Your Partner Isn’t:

If you are jealous of your partner and he or she is not plagued by jealousy, then you feel you can’t trust the one you love. You are suspicious of his or her activities and you make accusations—either out loud or in your own mind. You have no trust and afford your partner very little, if any, privacy.

Your partner trusts you. He or she does not grill you with 10,000 questions about whom you were with and where you’ve been. You most likely interpret this as evidence of how little he or she cares about you when in actuality, the opposite is true.

Your Partner is Jealous but You Aren’t

Your partner is driving you crazy! He or she is smothering you. You love your partner but you can’t seem to be able to breathe. He or she wants to be with you all the time, is constantly asking you questions about who you are with and what you do, may want to check your cell phone and email to learn who you are communicating with, and generally doesn’t trust you out of his or her sight.

The first thing you must realize is that your partner may never change. I have seen couples who thought if they only got married, then the jealous partner could let go of his or her insecurity. This insecurity follows a person regardless of his or her marital status. If a person has a burning desire to change his or her jealous demeanor, then he or she must set about completing the necessary work to accomplish that but a marriage license is not the cure to jealousy.

So ask yourself, if your partner never changes and continues these jealous behaviors forever, is he or she still the person you want to be with? If the answer is yes, then you need to discover coping methods of being able to handle the constant suspicion and intrusions into your life. If the answer is no, then you need to devise a plan for ending, or at least diminishing the time you invest in the relationship.

Both of You are Jealous

In this situation, I would assess that both of you are functioning from either the need for power or the need for survival. You are either scared of being alone or you want to control the behavior of your loved one—neither of which is particularly healthy.

Your relationship could potentially last a long time. Since both of you are operating from the same place, you would not likely recognize the dysfunction. However, if you want more from your relationship, then you need to be able to visualize what life would be like if you were in a relationship with your partner or someone else and trust existed between you. You would need to recognize that there is something better and consciously set out to engage in behavior that will attract that kind of trust into your life.

When There’s been Cheating in the Past

If part of the problem is that one or both of you have already been unfaithful in the past, then some legitimate trust issues exist. If you were the one who cheated, attempt to understand your partner’s insecurity and suspicions at least initially. I have recommended that the person who has cheated allow his or her life to be an open book to his or her partner. Allow him or her access to your comings and goings to help him or her develop that security in your relationship again.

If you were the one whose partner cheated, then you are not off the hook. If your partner affords you the opportunity to really know what he or she is doing at all times in an attempt to reestablish trust between you, then you need to equally cooperate in your attempt to regain trust. You must be open to the idea that your partner is making amends and is truly sorry for his or her indiscretion. You need to give up your desire to punish or make him or her pay, and really get down to the business of rebuilding your relationship. Let go of your resentment and move forward.

Real love does not operate on the scarcity principle. In order to receive love, you must willingly give it. If you love someone and you want peace of mind, trust is the only way to go. If you later learn that your partner was unfaithful to you, then you have a decision to make but the surest way to ensure your partner cheats is to continue to accuse him or her of it.

Jealousy is like a cancer invading your relationship. It has the potential of being lethal. Do not allow jealousy to erode the trust, love and respect of your relationship.

Extending your faith and trust is a gift you give the person you love. If he or she is a person of honor, the gift will be protected and well cared for. If he or she is not, it will not be long and you will discover your partner’s true character. And when you do, you will have a decision to make. In the meantime, live in trust.

Author's Bio: 

Kim Olver is a life coach and public speaker who has a graduate degree in counseling, is a National Certified Counselor and a licensed professional counselor in two states. She has worked in the helping profession since 1982 and has spent her entire life helping people get along better with the important people in their lives. Kim works with couples, parents and children, and individuals seeking to improve their lives. Join our monthly free Mastermind Group Inside Out Empowerment.