By Peter Kamuri
Andrew and Jessica have been married for the last three years. However, jealousy has been stalking their relationship and it is threatening to tear it apart if nothing is done to forestall it.
On one hand, Andrew is outgoing and vivacious and anytime he meets with friends and new people, he easily hits it off with them. On the other hand, his wife is sulky and she feels insecure any time she sees her partner indulging uninhibited.
Recently, the couple was invited to an evening party, but they had to leave in a huff after Jessica created a scene. This happened when she spotted an attractive woman seated in one of the tables smiling at Andrew. Drunkenly, Jessica demanded to know what was happening and even before an explanation was given, she insisted they had to leave.
How would you react if your spouse missed your name and called you by another? What about going out together and you discover his or her eyes are lingering too long on the person seated next to you?
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If you react with rage or develop a sickening feeling of possessiveness, perhaps you are the jealous type.
Jealousy is not uncommon in relationships and it can crumble even the strongest of the relationships when it occurs. It is all about having negative reactions towards the possibility of losing what one has to someone else. It involves harbouring some fears and expectations that are hard to shake off, unless you make a conscious effort to discard them.
Mercy Seneiya, a marriage counsellor, says feeling jealous is one of the many human emotions. It affects both men and women with equal measure.
“It often occurs when a person becomes aware of a threat or danger to the relationship. For example, when one of the partners realises that the other has been unfaithful. It can also occur when there is suspicion,” says Mercy.
“In relationships, jealousy occurs when one partner feels insecure. This mainly happens when there is no trust or when one develops low self-worth. Indeed, trust is one of the most important ingredients of a successful and healthy relationship. When it is not there, it gives room for jealous thoughts and suspicions,” says Seneiya.
So, is jealousy threatening to tear your relationship apart? Are you finding it difficult to trust your partner when he or she relates with others? If this is the case, here is some advice on how you can overcome jealousy that is threatening your future.
“The first thing you need to do is make a firm decision to love and to trust your partner. This is the sure way for you to be able to move forward. You must begin from somewhere, however slow. You should not let worries that your partner is going to cheat on you weigh you down,” advises Seneiya.
She adds, “It is important to make a conscious effort to start healing the wounds you have experienced that may have contributed to your acts of jealousy. One way you can achieve this is by letting go toxic emotions that are hidden in you.
“Lack of trust contributes significantly to development of feelings of jealousy. If you have been experiencing this, you should ask yourself whether you are to blame. Are you the cause of the problem? What can you do to keep off things that are making you feel jealous?” advises Seneiya.
Seneiya says it is important to learn not to react to imagined stories. Jealousy and anger are emotional reactions that are an outcome of believing things that are not factual. When you change what you believe in, you change what your imagination is projecting and you can do away with destructive emotional reactions.
She further says, “It pays to be positive. When you are positive, you will keep fear at bay as you will not spend inordinately long time worrying about negative things, some which have not yet taken place. At times, there is very little you can do to stop someone from doing something that will hurt you.”
Seneiya says staying focused can also help. Should you choose to believe and trust your partner, do so whole-heartedly, without any reservations. Show you trust him or her and this will go a long way in helping you cope with any suspicious feelings you may be harbouring.
“Talk about the problem with your partner. Work on how you can improve your confidence of each other as the existence of jealous feelings can be an indicator that your partner may be suffering from a lack of confidence,” advises Seneiya.
“At times it is advisable to seek assistance if the problem is deep seated. If left unattended, jealousy can destroy any relationship and at times can have far reaching implications,” concludes Seneiya.