There is nothing more beautiful and satisfying than a healthy relationship. At the same time, a healthy relationship can be very fragile. Everyone is subject to feelings and emotions that can cause unintended harm to even the strongest of loving relationships. In particular, jealousy and resentment can cause problems where there were never problems in the past.
What is Jealousy?
Using a traditional explanation for the emotion of jealousy, jealousy is a fear of infidelity perpetrated by one’s partner. For men, the fear can revolve around sexual infidelity. For women, jealousy seems to be more connected to emotional infidelity.
More realistically, jealousy seems to revolve around the fear that someone is going to get rejected by or lose love and desire from their partner, who will then transfer those feelings of love and desire to another individual.
To be clear, there are circumstances where feelings of jealousy are warranted. Conversely, there are a lot of cases where the feelings of jealousy are largely irrational, coming from someone’s lack of self-confidence and insecurities.
What is Resentment?
Feelings of resentment come about when one person feels they were harmed or disrespected about their partner. To be truly clear, it’s not the same emotion as feeling angry or mad because someone perpetrated a wrong.
Resentment is an emotion that someone harbors over time. By holding the resentment, it can do damage to feelings of love and security.
As is the case with jealousy, some resentments are warranted because the actions of a partner did hurt or disrespect their loved one. Conversely, some resentments come about because of simple misunderstandings or miscommunications. Everyone needs to be wary of irrational resentments because without a legitimate underlying reason for the resentment, it’s an emotion that is difficult to resolve. Over time, resentments can turn to anger, and that’s when relationships will usually suffer the most.
How to Avoid Jealousy and Resentment in an Intimate Relationship
The old adage that communication in a relationship it vital has never been truer than when considering the effects jealousy and resentment can have on a relationship. Good communication between partners is always valuable in terms of avoiding misunderstandings.
Still, jealousy and resentment are cunning emotions. They strike at any time under almost any circumstances. They are powerful emotions that can arise in very subtle ways. The root causes of jealousy and resentment usually involve something different a partner does within the relationship. A wife suddenly changing a hairstyle can make a man suspect the wife has ulterior motives. A man suddenly joining a gym can have the same effect. Otherwise, innocent changes in behavior such as these can stir suspicion, which is the starting point of jealousy and many resentments.
The good news is there are things a couple can do to help avoid feelings of jealousy and resentment. For interested parties who want to protect their most intimate relationships, here are six ways to avoid the wrath of jealousy and resentment on relationships.
Have Faith in Yourself
As stated above, irrational jealousy and resentment arise due in large part to communication problems. You can prevent communication problems by having enough faith in yourself to step forward and speak when something seems out of the ordinary.
Having faith in yourself is difficult during times. However, you do have the power to believe in yourself. You need to believe you have chosen the right partner. You need to have faith they would never intentionally hurt you. You need to have faith you are deserving of deep love and your partner is the one who can give it to you.
Have Faith in Your Partner
At one point in your relationship, probably early on, you had complete faith in your partner. You believed they loved you and would never intentionally hurt you. Without good reasons to lose that faith, you need to hold on to it like a priceless piece of jewelry. You need to maintain faith that they are exactly the person you thought they were, and they do love you.
Practice Forgiveness and Empathy
A lot of jealousy issues and resentments evolve from mistakes that a partner will make. If a mistake seems to go to the core of the relationship, the associated feelings of jealousy/resentment can intensify.
Instead of letting emotions go unchecked, it’s a far better idea for someone to practice forgiveness and empathy. Everyone makes mistakes within their relationships. This is in reference to “innocent” mistakes that tend to come about out of thoughtlessness or impulsive actions. It’s best to assume the partner simply wasn’t thinking as opposed to believing they did something wrong on purpose.
Avoid Letting Old Wounds Dictate Current Emotions
Everyone carries the baggage of one relationship into the next relationship. If one partner allows the wounds of prior relationships to dictate emotions in the current relation, it’s simply a miscarriage of justice. Just because a prior partner cheated doesn’t mean the current partner is predisposed to do the same thing. Heal the old wounds.
Stay Focused on the Positives
Every relationship flourish because of the positive attributes each partner brings to the relationship. The problem is some people lose focus of the positives when something negative happens. It’s that old beast suspicion playing games in people’s heads. As long as the positive attributes remain positive, stay focused on them, and let the little negatives go by.
Express Jealousy and Resentments in a Loving way
Everyone has to deal with unexpected emotions. If someone is feeling jealous or resentful, those feelings need to be legitimized and handled. With that said, communication between partners is key. If someone wants to share their emotions, they can do so with humor or diplomacy. They don’t have to over-react with feelings of anger. By simply letting a partner know jealousy and resentment exist, it gives that partner an opportunity to address those feelings in an appropriate way.
At the end of the day, jealousy and resentment will always be destructive to intimate relationships. Through awareness and communication, the destruction these emotions can cause is quite avoidable. You can also consider consulting a professional, like a Sexologist to help with more intimate questions and solutions.