How to deal with a jealous lover

Sep 15, 2008 at 2:09 p.m. ET

Nothing will ruin a relationship faster than jealousy. It can be an incredibly painful emotion to understand, and too often, people try to deal with a jealous partner in a way that aggravates the problem and makes it worse. Below are four tips to help.

Jealous Lover#1 It's important to understand that jealousy in a relationship often stems from deeply rooted insecurity and a fear of abandonment. And while the natural reaction when dealing with a jealous partner is to take a defensive stance and tell him he's crazy for thinking that way, dismissing his feelings is likely to only make him more anxious and upset and possibly feed his jealousy even more. Instead, try to listen to him and understand that's it's not a reflection of you that is triggering his behavior.

# 2 Communication is crucial to solving any relationship problem, so set aside a time to talk to him about his bouts of jealousy in a calm, non-hostile way. Have you ever been unfaithful? Did a past girlfriend cheat on him at any point? If there isn't any specific incident fueling his worries, reassure him that while some people do cheat on their partners, you are not one of them and haven't given him any reason to not trust you. No matter how much you love each other, if he isn't able to trust you, the relationship will flounder.

#3 Be aware of what triggers his jealousy. For example, if having fun with your guy friends on the dance floor makes him react possessively, try not to purposely agitate him and flaunt your grinding skills in front of him. Put yourself in his shoes and try to observe the situation from his perspective. Let him know that your only intention is just to have fun with your friends, not pick up men.

#4 If he doesn't admit to having a problem, no amount of convincing him otherwise will help. If things continue and especially if he is prone to rage, then, hard as it may be, you should leave. No man is worth your risking your sanity or safety!


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