Expert Speak

Signs of unhealthy jealousy in a relationship

A little jealousy is normal in all relationships, but beware when it turns into an unhealthy trait that can damage you both and your relationship. Here are the signs to watch for
woman stalking man with phone

Ensure the jealousy does not cross the limits

“Jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savor, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances, can be life-threatening.”
– Maya Angelou

Jealousy is a mental uneasiness which seeds from the fear of unfaithfulness. It is a quite normal and common ingredient of marriages. If doses are manageable and mild, it can be a positive force in a relationship by reminding a couple not to take each other for granted. However, it can be toxic when it turns into obsession. It can only be healthy when expressed honestly without jumping to an irrational conclusion or accusing a partner without any concrete background. Thus, there are certain lines to be drawn in order to save a relationship.

Here are the 11 signs of unhealthy jealousy.

Related reading: Why men and women feel jealousy differently

1. I own you

When you start your new journey it’s all roses around your bed and you want to spend every second with your partner. Of course, you are the most special person for your beloved. It starts subtly and it turns into an obsession when you are not allowed to have your own space. They start nagging on how long you talk to your relatives or friends on the phone or stop you from meeting your best friend. It is a deliberate attempt to build shackles for you and break your support system.

2. Little belittle

This also starts subtly with negative remarks. It seems so convincing that the partner has a complete right to give feedback for the betterment of the spouse. But gradually when it takes the shape of chronic criticism, the purpose is just to belittle and humiliate them even for small things. It gives them sadistic pleasure and a feeling of superiority to criticise the partner for not looking proper or not eating or walking properly in a social setting. If every little thing needs improvement, it makes the partner feel unaccepted and isolated. The sole purpose is to trivialise and degrade.

sad couple
Representative Image source

3. I am in your every cell

In other words, they want to know every minute detail of your day, from where you went, what you have been doing, to who you have been sitting with or talking to. They are so suspicious that they intend to monitor all your activities.

Related reading: Signs that your partner is a control freak

4. I envy you

Apparently, if you receive a fat salary and have a higher designation than your partner, it is more likely that they compare and compete with you in the unhealthiest ways. They might accuse you of not taking care of family or home and blame you for spending more time at work.

This is a red flag where it’s clearly visible that your partner is jealous of you.

5. Games I play

When the relationship becomes a power game and the home becomes a battlefield, its alarming. It’s the time when competition comes into existence and transactions become psychological games. This happens when one partner feels insecure and inferior so they start comparing themselves to the other. In this situation, more than appreciating each other’s efforts, they bother more about winning and losing, where one partner always wishes for the failure of the other one.

6. A faithful pug

“Wherever you go, our network follows”. A jealous partner keeps track on social media as well. They check mails, chat history, archives and everything that reveals your personal space. They want all the passwords and account details of their spouse to check what they are up to and who they add, delete, message or follow.

sad women
Representative Image source

7. I am OK, you are not OK

In such scenarios, one partner’s parent ego state dominates, where they want to impose their beliefs and terms to be followed by the other one.

They have every justification to prove their irrational belief right. It’s quite difficult for the other partner to confront them, because they live in constant fear of argument and crossed transactions.

8. I am obsessed

Extreme possessiveness converts into an obsession. When a partner begrudges compliments or appraisals given by others, it’s a tell-tale sign of unhealthy jealousy. This obsession might also include suspicion or paranoid behaviour at times. They attempt policing when their partners dress nicely or want an account of every exchange with the opposite sex. Such people mostly have pre-conceived notions of infidelity.

Related reading:12 signs that you are dating a stalker and need to break up

9. The sport of blame

The blame game is their favourite game and it’s a red flag in a relationship. When the partner is unable to take responsibility for their own behaviour and actions, they end up blaming their spouse. They simply refuse to come out of their comfort zones and refuse to take charge to change the situation. They mostly have low emotional intelligence and empathy.

experts advice

10. Intimidation tactics

When a partner tries out all intimidation tactics to control you, it’s another red flag of unhealthy jealousy. They put on a mask and try to threaten with gestures – verbal and non-verbal – damaging things, smashing or hitting objects or displaying rage to bully covertly. Sometimes they may harm themselves in order to get what they want from their partners.

11. Foiling from achieving personal goals

A jealous partner manipulatively uses the weapon of self-doubt. They try to demotivate their partners and foil their goals. They make their spouse feel that they can’t do anything and plant a seed of self-doubt. It’s quite a smart way to take away their autonomy, esteem and confidence to hold them from accomplishing things and have an identity.

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