My Spouse is Jealous of Me and It’s Ruining My Marriage
You may look at your life and say: Money’s decent. Job is stable — good social life. I get along with lots of people. I’m winning. But somehow, you still feel like you’re losing. Why? Because if your spouse is jealous of you, it can feel like it’s ruining your marriage. That’s a tough place to be.
Jealousy is a strong emotion that can cause serious control issues. Let’s be frank: jealousy can lead to abusive, violent, or destructive behavior. If it’s at that point, calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline may be your next step. The root causes of jealousy may be deep or go back several years. Seeking professional help sooner rather than later may be the best answer. If your spouse is open to it, finding a counselor who will fight FOR your marriage could be a game-changer.
In the meantime, how can you deal with jealousy in your marriage?
Jealousy is often rooted in insecurity, with fear as a close relative. It may be sparked by a relationship you have, career accomplishments, community recognition, or simply because you’re happy. None of this is necessarily wrong.
What Can You Do?
Are you giving your spouse a reason to be jealous? I’m assuming you are not. But it’s an excellent place to start.
Ask yourself if you are…
Spending too much time with someone else?
Sharing parts of yourself with someone that should be reserved for your spouse?
Getting a disproportionate amount of your fulfillment from your work or community involvement?
Often prioritizing being there for others and leaving your spouse on their own when they have problems?
Your spouse can become jealous when something else has the place in your life that they believe they should fill.
Ask questions to understand the jealousy.
There may not be a single thing you need to change. However, you can talk to your spouse to understand their insecurities or fears. Make sure you’re setting aside uninterrupted time so they know they’re a priority.
Without bringing up the jealousy first, you might ask, “What is your biggest fear?”
Or you can more directly relate it to the relationship: “Is there anything in this relationship that scares or concerns you?”
If you believe your spouse is jealous because of your accomplishments or success, try, “When something good happens to me, how does it make you feel? Is there something in my life that you believe has a place in my heart that you should have?”
Side Effect: Giving your spouse a safe space to be open and vulnerable is an antidote to jealousy. Demonstrating your care and concern may increase security, thereby decreasing jealousy. (Read about How to Be An Emotionally Safe Spouse here.)
Communicate your frustrations.
You love your spouse. But the jealousy makes it difficult. Get your thoughts together. Lovingly, tell your spouse what it makes you think and feel when their jealousy shows itself.
Set healthy boundaries.
There’s a difference between healthy boundaries and being controlling. Boundaries aren’t set to feed jealousy or insecurity. If your spouse wants to know your every move, you may feel like they are controlling you. Communicating daily about plans for the day and telling each other about changes may be a healthy boundary. The goal is for you to be able to be yourself without any surprises. This happens through honest, considerate communication and respecting boundaries.
Talk with a trusted married couple.
Find a couple you both respect and discuss your struggles with them. Since jealousy is something many couples have experienced, the wisdom of another couple may give you insights that can change the course of your marriage for good.
What You Can’t Do
You can’t change your spouse; don’t try.
You can assure them. You can listen, talk, and be understanding. And hopefully, your mate can see the jealousy. You can’t force them to be different.
You can’t always prevent jealousy, but you don’t have to feed it.
Being who you are may cause jealousy. Achieving success, being liked by others, or having meaningful relationships with others may just be who you are, but changing who you are isn’t the answer.
You can’t ignore it; otherwise, the jealousy may escalate.
It may take trying several different approaches to break down the jealousy in your marriage. The person you know and love is hiding somewhere behind that jealousy. Fighting through jealousy together is a good thing for your marriage, and the rewards from moving forward can last a lifetime.
Other helpful resources:
How To Improve Bad Communication In Marriage
How to Stop Being So Jealous of Your Spouse
10 Ways To Know If Your Marriage Is Toxic (And What To Do About It)
How to Stop Being So Jealous of Your Spouse
Jealousy is a word that gets thrown around a lot, and we often treat jealousy like it’s something to be proud of. For instance, if you think you have something that others want to have, you might say things like:
My sister is jealous of me because I’m our Mom’s favorite.
My friend is jealous because I went on a fabulous vacation.
In reality, jealousy is an insidious feeling that can take over how you feel about, see and interact with those around you. At its core, jealousy is created from someone’s fear and insecurity. Fear tells them that someone can take away the most important people or things in their life. Insecurity means someone thinks that you aren’t good enough. And when you combine those two feelings, it’s a recipe for disaster.
It may be easier to handle when you’re the object of someone’s jealousy, but…
What happens when the shoe is on the other foot?
How do you handle it when you are the jealous one?
How hard is it to control jealousy when you’re jealous of that person you promised to love, honor and cherish — your spouse?
Yep, believe it or not, there are times, even in marriage, when jealousy rears its ugly head. And it can become unhealthy pretty fast if you let it.
Maybe your spouse is getting out more than you are and you’re jealous of the time they’re spending at work, with friends, or enjoying their hobbies. You want what they have.
Perhaps you feel like you need some time alone, you feel like you’ve got too much on your plate and your mate just seems to have it easier than you do. You want to be able to relax, too.
Or maybe you really want to be at home with your family but you have to be gone a lot, and it’s hard to feel like you’re missing out on the things you enjoy. You want to be there, too.
It could be a ton of other things you wish you had that you don’t or that you wish you didn’t have that you do. And it can be SO hard to live with that day in and day out, especially if you’re trying to hold it all in. The struggle is all too real.
If you are struggling with jealousy and want to stop being so jealous of your spouse, take a look at these tips. I hope they can help you out.
Look at what scares you.
Fear feeds jealousy, so it’s essential to explore what scares you. Are you afraid that your spouse will be negatively influenced by his or her sizable social network? Are you afraid that your kids like your spouse better because they are the fun parent? When you get to the core of what makes you afraid, you can start to get a better handle on your jealousy.
Discover and deal with your insecurities.
Everyone has areas in their life where they feel less than confident or uncertain about their capabilities. They’re the places deep within where insecurities reside. It’s vital to know what those areas are so you can find ways to minimize your insecurities. Talking to friends or a professional can help you build up your personal confidence. True confidence is a remedy for jealousy.
Understand the impact of jealousy on your marriage.
Jealousy can harm your relationship in big and small ways. It causes your perspective on your spouse to change so that you no longer see them through the eyes of love. Instead, your view is clouded by anger and disappointment. In your mind, they go from a loving spouse to someone who only cares about themselves. It can cause mistrust, misunderstandings, and disconnection.
Talk to your spouse about what you are feeling.
This is an opportunity to share with your spouse about your jealousy. Tell them about your fears and insecurities. Say to them, “I’m jealous of this, and I own it.” Ask them for what you need so they can support you as you work toward a solution together.
In so many relationships, being jealous is bound to happen at one time or another. Some people even view jealousy as a way to prove how deep their love is for someone. Instead, focus on creating an atmosphere of love, trust, and understanding in your relationship. That way, you can both be your best selves and keep jealousy from driving a wedge between you and your spouse.
Other helpful blogs:
How to Overcome Built-Up Resentment in Marriage
So, Your Spouse Is Lazy… Here’s What to Do
Why Spending Time Alone Is Good for Your Marriage