What is it?
Jealousy is a reaction to a perceived risk of loss (real or imagined) to a valued relationship. Jealousy can result in negative emotions such as anger, contempt or anxiety which if left unchecked could be potentially dangerous to the relationship.
- Recognise the root cause of the jealousy
- Challenge negative thoughts
- Talk openly with your partner about your feelings, reassure each other
- Avoid secretive behaviour and encourage transparency
- Establish an atmosphere of trust in the relationship
What is it?
Insecurity stems from feelings of inadequacy, possibly due to low self esteem or a lack of confidence. Insecurity slowly corrupts your relationship by throwing doubt into the fray. While it’s inevitable early on in a relationship, feeding it constantly will cause a vicious cycle to form, creating difficulties believing in both yourself and your partner. Sometimes letting go is the best way to deal with it.
- Working on self-confidence and self-worth individually and as a couple
- Encourage positive self-talk, self-care, and supportive affirmations
- Celebrate each other’s strengths and accomplishments
- Identify and be more aware of the triggers of your insecurity
- Be open to sharing your insecurities in a constructive manner with your partner and be prepared to listen with an open mind
What is it?
Communication isn’t just about talking. True two-way communication is just as about putting your point across in a non-confrontational manner as it is about understanding the feedback that is given to you. More importantly, it’s about being prepared to adjust or change your point of view if the discussion reveals new information or points of view. In relationships, communication will never be perfect but healthy communication can be achieved through constant practice and hard work.
Verbal communication: Conveying your thoughts, ideas and emotions through words and sounds such as speaking, an appropriate choice of words and the tone of our voice.
Non-verbal communication: The signs and gestures we use such as body language, gestures and facial expressions.
- Communicate your thoughts and feelings clearly and directly in a clear and calm tone.
- Avoid interrupting, be patient by giving your partner the time and space to process their thoughts and feelings
- Don’t patronise by using superficially empathetic statements like “I understand how you feel” and then go on to make your own point – if you really don’t understand, just be upfront and explain that you need time to process and comprehend.
- Face your partner when they are speaking – avoid rolling your yes, sitting or slouching sideways all of which show disinterest.
- Have an open and relaxed posture – avoid crossing your arms or fidgeting.
What is it?
Resentment occurs when you feel you have been treated in an unfair manner by someone. In relationships, resentment arises when your partner knowingly or not, has hurt you through their actions or words. Resentment if unaddressed, may cause you to feel bitterness and be emotionally withdrawn from the relationship.
- Address issues when they arise – avoid leaving it to fester
- Once raised and addressed, practice forgiveness and let go
What is it?
Intimacy is being accepting and supportive of your partner’s feelings when they share their feelings and experiences. Intimacy is about building trust and support, being there for your partner as they share their life experiences. If they’re sharing a problem, don’t be quick to provide a solution, just listen and understand why the problem is an emotional one for them. Failing to show empathy or not being able to empathise, often leads to a lack of physical intimacy. Quite simply, most would not want to be physically intimate with someone who doesn’t understand what they’re going through.
- Keep the communication lines open and be patient – avoid pushing/ rushing your partner to share about their fears and concerns
- If the two of you are spending more time around friends, it’s time to create opportunities to go out or be alone together
- Provide reassuring touches and create an environment to listen to your partner attentively
- Don’t ever respond to a sharing session with “I know someone who has had it worse/done better/did this also.” Belittling an experience is the worst thing a partner can do.
Always remember that in any relationship, it’s essential to work together to overcome challenges. Everyone has their own demons to contend with, but nipping the problem in the bud avoid them becoming monsters.