Is Jealousy Healthy In A Relationship Or Not?

Reviewed by Rashonda Douthit, LCSW

Published 01/11/2021

You’ve probably felt jealous in your life many times. Most people feel a little bit jealous when they’re in a relationship because they’re attached to the person that they’re with. However, some take jealousy way too far. Sometimes jealousy can transform a normal person into someone unhinged and toxic to be around.

Is jealousy bad in a relationship? Jealousy is a negative thing for the most part, but that doesn’t mean that you need to feel bad about being a little jealous. Examine the information below to learn more about jealousy, healthy jealousy, and what you need to do when you notice yourself becoming too jealous. It should be very informative and will surely put you in a better position to succeed in your relationship.

Is Jealousy Healthy In A Relationship?

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If you only feel a fairly normal sense of jealousy in your relationship, that isn’t necessarily bad. You’ve probably heard people saying that a little jealousy in a relationship is healthy. While some would not agree with that statement, most humans do indeed get a little bit jealous when it comes to their significant others. For instance, if you saw someone flirting with your partner in front of you, it would be natural to feel at least a little bit jealous.

This jealous reaction is a normal response that you don’t have to make a big deal out of. Feeling jealous about someone flirting with your partner or spouse is to be expected, and other situations might cause you to feel a bit jealous, too. You love your partner, and you want to feel like you’re the most important person in your partner’s life. As long as this jealousy doesn’t grow and become something much worse, it’s likely going to be fine to mostly ignore it.

Some people have a hard time pushing jealous feelings aside, though, which can lead to various issues. For example, you might get jealous about someone making eyes at your partner and have it bother you for days on end. If you lash out at your partner because this happened, it is unreasonable for you to do. Your partner didn’t ask for that to happen, and it isn’t your partner’s fault that something occurred to make you feel jealous. It’s fine to let your partner know that you’re jealous, but overreacting and getting angry will not be good for your relationship.

So is jealousy healthy in any way at all? Well, some people think that jealousy is a sign that you care about someone. If you don’t get jealous at all, then does your romantic partner really mean that much to you? This is a somewhat subjective matter because not everyone feels that being jealous is healthy or normal. It’s going to be up to you to decide whether small amounts of jealousy can be considered healthy, but at least you know that most people experience this.

Extreme Jealousy

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Extreme jealousy can become something horrible that will ruin your relationship. In fact, some people even note that jealousy can lead to abusive relationship tendencies. Some people who get overly jealous will wind up trying to be controlling of their partners. They might be so jealous that they will not want to let their partner do things without them being there. Is it good to be in a jealous relationship like this? Just about anyone who has been in one would tell you that it’s a very bad thing that can even be dangerous.

This level of jealousy is certainly unhealthy, and it can wind up getting you into trouble. When you are so jealous that you become distrustful of your partner, it will be tough to maintain any type of loving relationship. When people let jealousy impact them, it becomes tougher for them to make rational decisions. They might start behaving oddly and will even try to invade the privacy of their partners. People who try to snoop around in their partner’s phones or e-mails might be looking for evidence of cheating. The jealousy has driven these individuals to take extreme actions that will drive partners away.

Is Extreme Jealousy Ever Justified?

Is it good to be jealous in a relationship when you’ve been given a reason to be jealous? Some people who exhibit the extremely jealous behavior mentioned above will justify things by pointing to situations where their partners have wronged them. It could be true that your partner is cheating on you or otherwise doing something deceitful. However, it still isn’t appropriate for you to take things to such a controlling and oppressive level.

If your partner isn’t treating you right, or if you’re worried that they might be cheating on you, then you should address the situation. Being honest about your feelings and asking them to be honest with you is responsible for an adult. You might find out that things aren’t going well in your relationship and that you will need to move on. It’s fine to learn that a relationship isn’t going to work out even if it will lead to short-term heartache. It’s not fine to treat someone poorly out of jealousy to keep them in a relationship with you.

Often, people who are prone to feeling extremely jealous will wind up overreacting. If you find out that your partner isn’t cheating, you need to accept that while owning up to your mistakes. Working on your jealousy issues might become necessary if you’re going to save your relationship. Lashing out at your partner and becoming a controlling person certainly isn’t healthy jealousy.

You Need Trust In A Relationship

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Trust is a necessary element in any relationship, and jealousy prevents you from completely trusting your partner. If you want to have a good relationship that can grow into something truly great, you need to work on your trust issues. Many people who struggle with jealousy actually have significant trust issues. This could even stem from being hurt in the past by a previous romantic partner.

Whatever the case is, you’re going to have to figure out how to trust your partner if you want to move forward together. You can’t continue feeling distrustful of someone you’re supposed to love if you want to have a good relationship. Some people have such profound issues with trust that they need to seek professional help. There are therapists and relationship counselors that can assist both you and your partner.

If you can develop a strong sense of trust, then you won’t need to feel jealous any longer. When your significant other is away from you, you won’t feel jealous or worried because you will know that you can trust them. It won’t be easy for people with trust issues to suddenly start trusting, but you have to try, or you’re going to lose your partner in all likelihood. Working with a therapist or counselor is a solid idea for anyone struggling with trust issues and jealousy.

Some People Don’t Believe Any Jealousy Is Healthy

It’s also worth noting that some people don’t believe that any jealousy is healthy. These days, you’re going to find many people who aren’t as strict about monogamy as others. The concept of being in an open relationship has come to the forefront, and many people are trying out this new relationship style. Of course, this type of system isn’t going to mesh well with many religions, but it’s still something to know about since it’s becoming more prevalent. People who like open relationships and those who are polyamorous generally don’t consider jealousy to be healthy.

To be clear, jealousy can still exist when you are in these types of relationships. You just have to deal with jealousy the right way if your partner isn’t exclusively dating you. Many people take an approach of not wanting to know about their partner’s other relationships. Others will try to develop a unique bond with their partners to feel like they have a unique type of love that is special and different from other types of love that they might experience outside of the relationship.

Dealing With Jealousy-Related Anxiety

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It should come as no surprise to hear that many who have jealousy issues wind up feeling very anxious. If you worry about losing your partner all the time, then that can make you feel a deep sense of anxiety. You can actually take an anxiety test to determine whether what you’re feeling is consistent with anxiety symptoms. This will let you know whether you need to seek a licensed mental health professional to get properly diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

Lots of people who struggle with anxiety issues and depression problems have a tough time with jealousy. Jealousy issues certainly aren’t exclusive to those suffering from mental health woes, but it can exacerbate the situation in certain ways. It’s good to seek treatment for anxiety problems or depression issues so that you can get things on track. Various medications can help you to manage things efficiently, and therapy is also a great tool to utilize. Consider your options after taking the test and know that you never have to face mental health struggles alone.