Trust has been historically one of the primary causes of relationship problems since the beginning of time; and it is becoming an even bigger problem today. In the past people were generally jealous after seeing someone showing “more than usual” interest or closeness to their loved ones, but times have changed. Today with almost free global communications, extensive social-media networks, and apps specifically designed to help people “connect”; couples may find it more difficult to “trust” what their partner is doing online as much as what is being done IRL.
So, what are trust and jealousy? Trust is nothing more than “the act of placing your confidence in someone else”; and by extent putting yourself at risk because of their actions. Jealousy (on a relationship) is “feeling protective of ones’ rights or possessions, and/or to be suspicious of unfaithfulness in a relationship”. And while some may think that there are no reasons in a modern, “free” society, for these feelings; the reality is that they exist and like-it-or-not we simply need to learn how to deal with them.
Why do people get jealous?
As described above, jealousy is mostly about possessiveness, insecurity, and lack of trust. That’s not to say that in some cases people may have every good reason “not-to” trust the person they are with (but that’s a topic for a different article). The problem is mostly not with the feeling of jealousy, but with the way to express it; and with the way to deal with the causes of it in your relationship.
Before we deal with trust and jealousy issues, we need to understand what they are; and as important why do they exist in the first place. Both men and women can be jealous but generally they express it in different ways and there are reasons for that. Without debating if right-or-wrong, historically relationships have been about building a family, providing for it, and reproducing.
Considered on that way, we can understand that while every woman is alw100% sure that their child is theirs since they carry it on their wombs, the reality is that until the recent availability of genetic testing, men were not truly able to be as certain that the child was theirs. Because of that reason while all women know that their bloodline/genes were being propagated; the men only could “trust” that their efforts providing for the family were helping propagate his. Regardless if you like it or not, or if you agree or not; this is one of the major reasons why each sex may behave differently in regards to trust and jealousy.
How can you develop a relationship based on trust and avoid jealousy?
The first thing we need to understand is that everybody has the right to their feelings. And that because of that while we may agree or not, or share them or not; your partner is entitled to their feelings as much as you are entitled to yours. What we can do is to try to identify and address if possible, the actions that may be causing these feelings and actions to emerge.
While each relationship is unique, some of the actions that you can do to improve trust (and by extension reduce jealousy) in your relationship are:
- Trust your partner and letting him/her know that in words and with your actions.
- Talk openly with your partner and learn what are their partner concerns; and how to proactively sharing more with him/her.
- Stop accusing and learn to ask open questions about those actions that you consider questionable, and allow your partner to openly address your concerns.
- Build your self-esteem and help your partner build theirs by focusing on your respective strengths, and stop criticizing each other’s weaknesses.
- Learn to be a supporter and to patiently help your partner, but recognize that you can’t “fix” someone if they are not willing to work on it themselves.
In addition, and as important (or more) as all of the above, if you believe that what is asked of you is beyond what you consider acceptable “you need to learn where your limits are and when to say no”. Yes, it may mean that the relationship may end, but that is also one of the possibilities in any real-world relationship. Because, why will you want to stay in a relationship in which your own expectations are not met?
Do you want to improve your relationship?
What worked great for one couple, or even for you in your previous relationship; may not work at all (or actually be hurtful) to your current one. We all are continuously evolving and because of that every relationship is unique; and every couple problems and solutions may be completely different from every other couple out there. For that reason, and to help modern couples deal with their challenges we have created the Relationship Discovery Report. This is a relationship coaching program for couples, designed to identify and address the specific challenges faced in your current relationship. For more information about this program or to get your own relationship report please visit us at www.kalorel.com