Don’t Be Jealous: A Guide to Dealing an Unhealthy Behavior

A Thai woman assures her partner that he doesn't need to be jealous.
Don’t let jealousy get in the way of your relationship.

Jealousy is something we’re all too familiar with. It is a universal truth that all couples face jealousy at one time or another.

If you tend to get jealous in romantic relationships, know that you are not alone. Jealousy is natural, and everyone experiences it at some point in their lives. This painful emotional experience doesn’t always feel great, but there’s certainly a good reason behind it. Often, we hear people say jealousy is an ugly trait; however, that is not always the case. Jealousy is a necessary emotion that tells you a thing or two about yourself and your relationship needs. It isn’t necessarily a problem, yet it might be a sign that there’s a problem within your relationship.

Healthy vs Unhealthy Jealousy

Being able to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy jealousy is crucial to the success of your relationship.

Let’s say you’re at a party. Your Thai girlfriend is bitter when she sees someone coming up to you and flirting nonstop. She went up to you but the other woman wasn’t fazed at all. And let’s just say, you unintentionally did not assure your partner that you had no interest in the other woman—which resulted in having a jealous girlfriend throughout the night. And brushing it off by simply saying “Don’t be jealous,” won’t coax her back to her loving self. While that interaction was nothing special for you, it meant a lot to her. Hanging out with another female is a red flag for Thai women. Therefore, her jealousy is normal and can easily be resolved by communication.

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Unhealthy jealousy, however, can appear like this: your Thai girlfriend has a history of dating foreign men. You’re jealous even though these men remained in the past. Further, she constantly assures you that you don’t have to be jealous.

Occasional jealousy isn’t an unhealthy relationship behavior. But finding yourself threatened by your partner’s romantic history, you might need to work on this issue. What you’re experiencing might be retroactive jealousy which can be obsessive, irrational, and intrusive. Keep in mind that this unhealthy behavior would definitely ruin your relationship. Hence, you might be asking, “How do I get over retroactive jealousy?”

A man has a jealous girlfriend to deal with.
Having a jealous girlfriend can be quite the load. So men, assure them your love.

How to Deal with Jealousy

It’s important to address retroactive jealousy before it compromises your relationship. It is also crucial that both you and your partner learn how to handle jealousy healthily.

Learn how to handle your jealousy more constructively and strengthen your partnership.

Communicate openly with your partner.

Communication is everything. It can build or break a relationship. Consider speaking to your partner about your feelings of jealousy. Open up and allow them to reassure you of your afflictions. Allow them to empathize with you so that you will feel more secure with your partnership.

The same applies to you. Thai women are also the jealous type due to their history of lifelong cultural subordination to men. In the past, it was socially accepted for men to have a Mia Noi (Mistress). Although this is no longer a norm, this practice engraved an insecurity within Thai women. So when they in turn share their woes, don’t supply them with a simple “don’t be jealous.” Reassure them that their jealousy is unfounded.

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Identify the source of your jealousy.

When jealousy is persistent, there’s a high probability that it stems from your vulnerabilities more than your partner’s actions. This retroactive jealousy may have stemmed from previous relationships. For that reason, it’s important to sit down with your partner regarding your experience so that she can be mindful of her actions.

Another common reason for jealousy is poor self-image and low self-esteem. Western films have depicted Thailand as a sex tourism destination that influences perception leading to stereotypes. These stereotypes then cultivate insecurity within men looking for love in Thailand. As a result, it causes men to be jealous and more territorial in a relationship.

A man hugging a woman after fighting over being territorial in their relationship.
Jealousy will never be a good reason to be territorial in a relationship.

Bear in mind that stereotypes aren’t facts. So don’t be jealous of other men. Prevent stereotypes from ruining your relationship by confronting your fears head-on. Share afflictions. Create an atmosphere of trust because it’s one way to guard against jealousy.

Develop a healthy attachment.

When we care for someone, it’s common to feel as though they belong to us. The need to form attachments with others is deeply ingrained into our psyche. However, when we begin to build attachments with others, we forget our sense of self. Consequently, this cultivates possessiveness and jealousy. Experiencing bouts of these emotions towards your partner is perfectly normal. However, extreme jealousy and possessiveness in relationships are not healthy.

Excessive possessiveness and jealousy can potentially turn your relationship sour. Women from Thailand enjoy their freedom and they expect you to respect that. They are known for their charm and poise, so you better expect that other men will find your partner attractive. Being overly possessive of them and controlling who they interact with will leave a bad taste in their mouth. Trust that Thai women are loyal and it won’t waver for anybody.

So, try to build a secure attachment with your partner, because it is the basis for a happy and healthy partnership.

Practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a way of perceiving, thinking, and behaving. The practice of mindfulness reframes how you perceive your actions when it comes to jealousy. Mindfulness techniques can help you stop fixating on jealousy. When you become jealous, you are not standing in your power. Rather, you are cowering afraid of it. Increasing your awareness offers a valuable perspective on yourself and your relationship. Moreover, practicing mindfulness will take back control of your emotions so that jealousy doesn’t take over.

Accept your emotions.

Don’t be jealous. It is easier said than done. Jealousy is a normal human emotion that won’t vanish with a snap of a finger. It is also remotely impossible to avoid jealousy. So what can you do? Accept your emotions. When you acknowledge this emotion, regardless of how unpleasant it may be, then you free yourself from internal pain and criticism. Just so you know, jealousy is a signal that your needs aren’t met. Maybe try figuring out what your relationship lacks.

A happy couple who didn’t let possessiveness and jealousy consume their relationship.
The key to a happy relationship is accepting emotions of possessiveness and jealousy and trying to overcome them.

When All Else Fails, Talk to a Therapist.

Jealousy is a complicated emotion. It doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution. You see, it’s a combination of insecurity, overwhelm, and fear. So some approaches may not work with your chronic jealousy. However, if it’s not dealt with immediately, it can take a toll on your relationship.

Retroactive jealousy may have adverse effects on your emotions and your way of living. It might also be a contributor to mental health conditions. It might benefit you to have that talk with a therapist. There is nothing wrong with seeking professional help to sort out your jealousy. In fact, they can help you better understand it. A therapist can help you process painful emotions and reframe negative thoughts that are affecting your behavior.