Jealousy in a marriage can be a sign of a bigger problem. Insecurity about how much you feel your spouse loves and respects you can lead to wondering if he is looking elsewhere. Jealousy over the amount of time your spouse spends with his family can also make marriage difficult. Realizing that you are not competing for his love and setting boundaries you can both live with is a good place to begin.
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Jealousy and Self-Confidence
If jealousy is an issue in your marriage, it may a sign of problems with your own level of self-confidence. Lack of self-confidence and self-esteem causes feelings of insecurity as you struggle with wondering if you are good enough to earn another person’s love and devotion. Although you have said “I do” and made forever promises, your own experiences with rejection and heartache along the way make it difficult to accept that your husband means what he says. Online relationship site eHarmony reminds couples that no one reaches adulthood without some heartbreaking situations along the way. Carrying these painful memories rather than dealing with them can create feelings of insecurity that lead to jealousy.
The Other Women
Being slightly jealous of the other women in your husband’s life is a normal part of any marriage. But when slight jealously turns to obsessive jealously, your relationship could be in jeopardy. Measuring yourself against all the other women your husband comes in contact with during the day is unhealthy. Married couples should listen to each other’s concerns carefully and respectfully when it comes to jealousy, recommends Dr. Terri Orbuch for the Huffington Post. Even if you are convinced your husband is giving you a reason to be jealous, give him the opportunity to explain without judging. And if your husband is engaging in behaviors that make you suspicious, it is time to be honest about how his actions make you feel and give him a chance to change those behaviors.
The Family Factor
Sometimes your husband’s extended family can be the source of your jealousy, especially if he is spending too much time with his parents or siblings and not enough time with you. This is especially common when your relationship or marriage is fairly new, or if you live near his family and not your own. Helping your husband understand that your new family is his first priority is important. Setting boundaries about how much time with parents is too much, what times are just for the two of you and how to deal with interruptions helps put you both on the same page with the same expectations. Orbuch reminds those experiencing jealousy in marriage that building up each other’s confidence in the relationship can help when it comes to being jealous over family relationships that existed before the marriage.
Is It You Or Me?
One important thing to consider when you are suffering from feelings of jealousy is how much of it is coming from you. Your husband may be giving you reasons to be jealous, or you may be suffering from jealousy for other reasons -- and jealousy is influenced by one of two factors: emotional stability and agreeableness, says psychologist Dr. Alan V. Tepp. Your emotional stability is the extent you are able to manage strong feelings such as anger, depression and anxiety. Agreeableness is a tendency to be kind, compassionate and cooperative. Your personalities’ tendency towards one factor or the other can determine how likely you are to suffer from jealously.