Five signs of a jealous spouse (Photo: iStock)

Jealousy is very damaging to relationships. Films sometimes romanticize it, but in real life, the effects aren't as pleasant as they are portrayed.

Jealousy can also rear its ugly head in a marriage. It's usually caused by deep personal problems and sometimes even traumatic experiences such as infidelity.

Wherever it comes from, jealousy will eventually lead to a breakdown in the bond you have with your partner, so recognising the signs and finding solutions should be a priority:

They intrude on your plans

Jealousy often comes with the need to control. One way it manifests itself is someone intrusively involving themselves in your plans and also getting strangely upset when they’re not included.

At first, this behaviour disguises itself as love but eventually, you will realize they’re doing it to satisfy their selfish intentions. In the real sense, they’re paranoid that you will meet someone else while they’re away.

They always want an account of your whereabouts

If a jealous spouse isn’t able to force issues and be around you all the time, they might want to know every detail about where you’ve been. They’re not asking sweetly to find out how your day was because they’re actually monitoring what you’ve been up to and storing that information.

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Besides needing to know where you’ve been, they might also want to keep tabs on your online activities. They might even make you feel like you need to explain every silly detail about your movements online.

They don’t like your friends and family

Jealous people often isolate you by sabotaging your relationships with others. They will express their disapproval for petty reasons, they will always find something to complain about and maybe even prohibit you from hanging out with people close to you.

This is totally different from a genuine concern about someone else who might not have good intentions because in this situation, your partner is being motivated by possessiveness. Although they’re not necessarily worried about you meeting someone else, they still want to be the ones receiving all your attention and affection.

They often accuse you falsely

When someone starts accusing you of things you haven’t done you will know you have a serious situation on your hands. It could be that they’re actually the ones trying to cover up something they’re doing or a sign that they have a personal jealousy problem to sort out.

In this case, if you notice that they’ve become unnecessarily nitpicky and critical of you, it’s a sign you’re dealing with an insecure partner.

They’re not genuinely happy for you

How your partner reacts when you experience breakthroughs in your career can also tell you what you need to know. It often happens that men will start to feel the fear of being inadequate and replaceable, especially because men are traditionally the ones who lead the household financially.

You will notice things like backhanded compliments, sarcasm and awkward jokes whenever you talk about your wins. They might also start distancing themselves and have a hard time admitting your success around others.