Jealousy is a common topic for most intimate relationships. Jealousy is an emotion involving fear, anxiety or apprehension about losing your loved one to someone else, or of being replaced in some way. Since this is a fear-based emotion, it can often bring up other negative emotions like worry and anger. These can be counterproductive and damaging for relationships.
When someone is jealous in a relationship, he or she can become reactive, assume the worst, fail to notice how his/her partner shows him/her love and appreciation, and instead pay attention primarily to things that confirm his/her negative assumptions. In saying that, can jealousy be good for a relationship?
There can be unhealthy jealousy which can come from a place of insecurity or from past baggage that you rolled into the new relationship. However, when there is healthy jealousy it can help a relationship rather than harm it.
What is healthy jealousy? Healthy jealousy is that concerned, protective feeling that surrounds both parties in the relationship. Healthy jealousy guards and supports a relationship.
Three Ways Jealousy Is Good For Your Relationship
1) Warning Signal – It can be an alarm to let you know that something needs attention in your relationship. This will allow you to process what is going on so you can address it in a healthy manner.
2) Strengthen Communication – After you process and have thought through what you are feeling, it is healthy to discuss it with your partner in a way that does not shame or blame them. Your focus should be on your feelings and perceptions and establishing healthy boundaries to protect your relationship together.
3) Unmet Needs Identified – Relationship needs are the reason a person desires to enter into or to remain in a relationship. As relationship needs are met, relationships grow stronger. If these needs are left unmet, relationships become weak. As you invest in your mate by making efforts to meet his or her relationship needs, your feelings of compassion (good will) for your mate naturally increase, and your mate naturally feels more attraction (desire) for you.
As you can see in the above points, jealousy is not all that bad. Again, it can be a warning signal, letting you know that there is something wrong in your relationship. It can also strengthen communication between you and your partner through the sharing of thoughts and feelings and identifying unmet needs in the relationship.