by Counseling and Wellness Center of PittsburghSeptember 13, 2021 borderline personality disorder, couples communication, couples counseling, couples therapy, dating, jealously, jealousy, marriage counseling, marriage counseling near me0 comments
Jealousy is an important and useful emotion. It can indicate that something is amiss in our relationship. It can help us act in a way that brings greater closeness and security to our connections when we respond to the signals of this emotion in a supportive and relationship-supporting way.
Yet jealousy can also reign down on our relationship, it can pull apart the integrity of a connection and cause a caring partner to turn away from an otherwise healthy union. The difference is often in how the person who exhibits jealousy manifests the emotion into communication and behavior.
We should also differentiate between rational and irrational jealousy, and pathological and non-pathological forms of this emotion. For instance if you are cheating on a partner or behaving in ways that challenge the commitment that you have made, it is obvious that your partner will have a rational response of jealousy. If there has NOT been infidelity in your relationship and your partner is often or sometimes jealous, they may be experiencing irrational jealously.
Irrational jealousy is either pathological, meaning related to a perceptual, biological, or mental health related diagnosis such as borderline or narcissistic personality disorder. Non-pathological, rational, and irrational jealousy can generally be helped by a partner by following some of the below stated ways of helping a jealous partner. As an aside, if you suspect that your partner has irrational and pathological jealousy, meaning not related to a real cause, and in extreme or even dangerous outbursts, you should exercise caution as some people have even escalated to highly aggressive and dangerous level of anger over jealousy.
How to Deal with Your Jealous Partner
It is never your job to fix another person but with all of this in mind, here are ways to interact best with your jealous partner.
- Offer reassurance, if your partner is feeling insecure, let them know that you are committed to them. It might take practice to respond with gentle support in the air of your own irritation but at the root of jealousy is the fear of loosing connection.
- Be consistent. Consistency trumps all and will offer the soothing balm to an uncertain love the salve that they need to feel confident in the love.
- Examine your own behavior.
- Recognize it for what it is
- Have boundaries!
Are you being flirty, are you crossing boundaries or eliciting responses in some people around you? Think about what you are really doing and imagine how your own behavior would make you feel if the tables were turned.
Jealousy is attachment insecurity and fear of disconnection. Label it as it is and help your partner process their concerns honestly and consciously.
Every relationship is about sacrifice and compromise but we also must have self awareness. Don’t give too much, if you think that your partners jealously is irrational, you might want to consider stepping away from the relationship and not end up sacrificing friends, activities, and important others to reduce their jealousy.
Dealing with Jealousy In Your Relationship?
If you’re dealing with jealousy in your relationship and are interested in marriage counseling or couples therapy, you can reach us at 412-322-2129 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started. Or contact us here.
Additional Jealous Partner Resources
Stephanie Wijkstrom, Co-founder of the Counseling and Wellness Center of Pittsburgh was interviewed about How to Deal with a Jealous Girlfriend. Read her tips (cited here) along with those of other relationship experts.Learn More
by Counseling and Wellness Center of PittsburghSeptember 17, 2019 communication exercises, couples communication, south hills counseling0 comments
The steps to a sincere apology that counts!
If you have made a mistake in your marriage or relationship then congrats, you are like the rest of us who work hard to do our best but sometimes fumble. One of the ways that couples get really off track in relationships however is that they do not know how to make up after having a big fight, they don’t know how to make an apology. Here are the 5 steps to an apology that will count by communicating your feelings and allowing your partners feelings to be understood.
- Admit where you went wrong – If you have found yourself looking back on a recent event and knowing that you made a mistake, the first step is to open up and admit it. Unfortunately, this is tough work for many people. Our defense mechanisms can at times go to great lengths to prevent from being accountable and we even lie to ourselves so that we don’t have to risk being wrong. Be accountable, vulnerable, and humble by admitting this.
- Ask your partner how it felt for them- Here is where you can really become a relationship master, ask your partner to share their experience and really tune in. Do not assume that you understand but give them the opportunity to open up about whatever it is that happened between you. This will create a relationship based on empathy.
- Validate your partners feelings, Find some shred of what your partner shared- This is the most important step in any apology, validate, find some point of agreement for your partners perception of reality. There is a lot of research about the mental health effects of being in an invalidating environment but when we validate and affirm each other’s experiences, people are soothed and conflict resolved.
- Share what you could have said, done, or how you could have behaved differently or would in the future. Apologies are only as good as their assurance to not commit the same mistakes repeatedly. If we continually mess up, pay lip service with ‘I am sorry,’ but continue to do the same thing, our partner isn’t going to have much faith in our words. However, when we plan to do something different next time, even though we can’t change the past we are committing to a different path in the future.
- End with I am sorry. Saying I am sorry if really the final step in the whole process of the apology, the words are much more authentic when embedded in the context of all of the meaning of the conversation that precedes and follows it.
Check out some of our other communication exercises for couples.
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Stephanie Wijkstrom, MS, LPC, NCC is a certified counselor and founder of Counseling and Wellness Center of Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania’s largest and most trusted wellness therapy practice. Stephanie specializes in relationships and providing marriage counseling and she has been featured on local television and countless articles where she acts as a thought leader on mindfulness and wellness. Stephanie is a loving wife, an ardent yogi. Stephanie enjoys her daily meditation practice, trying new wellness tips, prancing through the world with belly laughs on her breath and preparing gourmet meals.