Is jealousy a sign of love?

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We all feel a little jealous at times. When is it ok and when is getting out of hand?

Post: is jealousy a sign of love?

He wants us to spend all our spare time together and gets mad if I hang out with my friends. If I talk to other guys he gets furious.

Feelings of jealousy are normal in a relationship. But it’s how we act on it that counts. If a boyfriend of girlfriend uses anger and jealousy to stop you talking to other people or seeing friends, this isn’t really about love – it’s about control.

Jealousy – when it’s ok

  • Feeling jealous – like if your BF/GF always seems to have a fantastic time with some other cute girl or guy. Try telling your BF/GF how you feel:

Hey, I know you really like that girl/guy, but sometimes I wonder if you’d rather spend time with her/him than with me?

  • Accepting reassurance, or if you don’t feel reassured, letting them know how you feel.
  • Accepting that your BF/ GF can choose their own friends and can talk to whoever they want to.

She wanted to go out with her friends so I told her to have a  great time. Poster from Choose Respect campaign by CDC.

Jealousy – crossing the line

  • Demanding your attention all the time.
  • Constantly wanting to know where you are and who you’re with.
  • Flying into a rage and making you scared to upset them.
  • Controlling your social life or who you talk to.
  • Making you feel bad for wanting to see your family or friends.
  • Texting you all the time to check what you are doing.
  • Constantly accusing you of flirting.
  • Making you give up working, studying or doing things you like.
  • Telling you who you can and can’t talk to.
  • Hurting you or abusing you because you made them jealous.
  • Reading your messages online or on your mobile.

This behaviour is a sign of control, not love. No one has the right to control who you talk to or who you’re friends with. Your social life shouldn’t have to stop because of your GF’s or BF’s jealousy.

I wasn’t allowed to have male friends and I was rarely ever allowed to go out with my girlfriends (especially if there was the slight chance there may have been boys there). He even got angry when a boy would text message me or talk to me online. I had to delete my MySpace account just to make him happy.

Read the rest of this story, Talk is Cheap, on the Somazone website

At first I liked him being jealous. It made me feel like I had the upper hand cos he wanted me that much. So I fooled myself into thinking I had the power in the relationship because anything I did would upset him. I played with it a bit – I’d joke about a guy flirting with me and he’d get pissed off. But gradually it got so bad that I didn’t see my friends, and gave up things I loved because he’d get so angry.

If someone is abusive, they may be threatened by any sign that you are an independent person.  They think that you belong to them and like the feeling of power they get from thinking that you’re under their control.

They focus on themselves and demand that you give up the things you enjoy. Or they use jealousy as an excuse so they can blame you for them hurting you or being mean to you.

Even if they have a good reason for feeling jealous or angry, there is no excuse for hurting you.

If you’ve had to stop seeing friends or family or doing other things you enjoy, just to keep a BF or GF happy, then this isn’t fair. This is control, not love.

He was jealous and possessive of me and I let it go on too long. I didn’t think it was abuse… until now.

Read Krissy’s story

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Photos above from Flickr by puppetman/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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14 Responses to “Is jealousy a sign of love?”

  1. I think that is hard to reconize who is eally in control. I have been in a relationship for 7 years i always thought i was the one in control after some research and reading other peoples story i quickly realized i am the one being controled and i allowed it for so long i am still aloowing it. I am trying tho i realize that there is a problem and i am trying to break it i keep falling back into the feeling like im to doing something wrong or feeling bad for him. how do you stop beaating yourself up about not wanting the other person when the have this power to make you feel so wrong and the love you so much and you will never find another person who will love you more i dont know it hard but you know something has to be done its just getting it done thsts the problem

  2. Hi Kayona, thanks for your comment.

    It sounds like your relationship is quite complex and difficult at times.

    Abusive relationships can be confusing and emotionally draining.

    You may be asking yourself how someone who is capable of showing you so much love, also hurt and control you. You may be afraid to leave him, maintain friendships, or spend money.

    It may be that no matter what you do, he could get angry. This is how he controls you. You can change your behaviour to please him to keep the peace.

    But it’s important to remember that you deserve to be in a relationship where you can be yourself, feel relaxed, safe, and not worried or scared about how your BF will react.
    You could try and speak up, if it’s safe.

    If not, there are things you can do, and people who can help and support you. See It’s not ok, what now?

  3. The jealously is a bit hard, if a person gets overly jealous doesn’t mean that they want to control you.

    The qoute about “at first I liked him being jealous” that is playing with the partner’s head. Why would you want to get the person you love purposely upset? But then when it gets out of hand then the jealous partner just wants control?

    I’m a jealous person, but I do not want to control my boyfriend. I have very low self-esteem and ALWAYS I feel like he is looking for someone else better. He’s been on dating sites, sex sites, and talks to random girls on skype. He’s told me that girls wanted him, so my jealousy is caused by what actions he shows me. It also doesn’t help that he verbally abuses me too, so I don’t really believe that if your partner is extremely jealous that they want control. It doesn’t automatically happen, the other partner probably did something to trigger it. There is no trust and it leaves the “control freak” paraniod for a very long time.

  4. Hi Emily, thanks for your comment.

    Jealousy is a tricky thing. On one hand, it’s definitely not OK for someone to expect their girlfriend/boyfriend to stop seeing their other friends, or call them every night to check up on them. Behaviour like that is definitely more about controlling the other person, not about loving them for who they really are.

    But that doesn’t sound like what’s going on with you and your boyfriend – from what you’ve described, it really does sound like your boyfriend is trying to make you feel bad on purpose. It definitely doesn’t make you a ‘control freak’ to not want your boyfriend to visit sex sites, or to get upset when he tells you that ‘other girls want him’!

    Like the article says above, feelings of jealousy are normal sometimes in a relationship, but if it’s taking over your head, it can be a sign that something is wrong.

    For example, you’ve said that he also verbally abuses you. Verbal abuse includes things like insults, put-downs and threats, but it also includes saying things to make the other person feel insecure. If he’s doing and saying stuff that make you feel jealous and paranoid, it sounds more like that’s part of a pattern of negative behaviour on his part, rather than you having a problem with jealousy.

    It sounds like he’s hurting you and your relationship. It’s normal that you would be feeling bad and like you can’t trust him if he keeps on doing things that he knows upsets you.

    It can be tough to know whether or not you should stay in a relationship that’s hurting your self-esteem, especially if you don’t feel that it’s ‘that’ bad, or bad ‘all the time’.

    You might want to check out our guides on figuring out how you’re feeling and what you want out of your relationship.

  5. i just want everyone to know on here i just got out of a relationship like the ones ive seen yall went through in the whole relationship i blamed myself for absoulutly everything that went wrong and a controllive person will make you fell that way you will think it is all you i beg you GET OUT OF THE RELATIONSHIP it will not get better i tryed to make him belive he was controllive it dident work he said he was that way just vecause he cared do not believe it please dont it will hurt to end the relationship trust me i know how bad it will hurt and they will try and talk youinto staying whatever yyou do do not give in just tell him things are not working out … in the begining he was sweet bought me flowers and everything did every charming thing he could think of and i fell hard for him but then fter he knew i was hooked the control begian i lost about all my friends was not allowed to talk to guys my world was shut down and i was living his i felt no longer independent so please ask any questions you want i am here for yall and i know exactly what you are going through JUST END IT SOON CAUSE IT WILL ONLY GET WORSE TRUST you cant change them thats very rare it would be a 1 out of 10 chance i hope this helps yall very much

  6. Hi Kelsey,

    Thanks for sharing your experience. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot – it can be really hard and scary to leave an abusive relationship. Good luck and stay strong!

  7. i am despretly in love with my fiance. and when we were dating i let her borrow my cell all the time. she said she was talking to an old friend. we were at the movie theater one night and i saw a tx, the guy she was tx was talking about all the girls he wanted to have sex wt. i toled her that that made me feel uncomfortible. she said he dont mean any harm. later that night he made a joke about the size of his penis, so i called him, and made him understand i wasent going to tollerate that. so i toled my girlfriend that it bothered me and made me feel uncomfortible. every time i said it bothered me, she would definde him and say it was only a joke. i dont understand y she kept definding him. she stopped talking to him for a while. now she is talking to him again. he brings up the past, and told me that they were bfriend and girlfriend a long time ago, he hits on her but she sais he isnt. he puts them on her face book wall. and it bothers me. i cant tell her to stop talking to her cause that would b contriling, but i want her to stop talking to her because im afraid he might start hitting on her again, its not that i dont trust her. i just dont trust him. what should i do, every time we talk about it, she gets mad at me and sais i dont trust her.

  8. Okay my best friend is a guy but my boyfriend hates that. He wants me and my best friend to stop talking. what do i do?

  9. i have been with my b/f for 3 yrs now. We have a daughter. he goes out to the bar and dances with other women, talks about me behind my back, allows people to threaten me. I asked him to please not dance with another female if we are together. He says he won’t than comes home and tells me he did and that he is not sorry. i ask him to do things with me and he turns me down. He will go do those things if i am not around. I love him but i dont feel the love from him

  10. Hi Nicole, and thanks for your message. It’s concerning that you’re being threatened by people. I wonder what sort of threats they are. If you are unsafe, you can call the Police on 000. It is important that you and your child are safe and I’d like to reinforce that you have the right to be safe all the time. It sounds like you don’t feel cared for or respected in your relationship and I imagine that makes you very unhappy. There is help out there – you may wish to speak to a counsellor and learn more about healthy relationships. Without knowing where you are, it is difficult to refer you. If you are in Melbourne, you may consider contacting WIRE – Women’s Information to discuss your options. Other services around Australia can be found here. Stay safe, and all the best.

  11. whenever he tells me how he spend his lunch with a friend who is a girl or continuously talks of one girl for a period of time…i tell him simply that”its ok your friend you can go wherever you like or have lunch but donot tell me as i donot like any discussion about any third person “…i hve faith in u and my world comprise of you only …no 3rd person to be discussed please

  12. Hi my name is velvet and I feel like the man im in love with is jealous,hearted im 21 years old and I have,no kids neither doeshe but ive lied to him about my past and agreed to things that werent true about me every timr I talk to him he says im pissing him off I changed my whole life for him and he still doesnt appreciate me he verbally abuses me he texy other girls while hes with me he even facebooks a girl at my job about me and his relationship he accuses me of talking to other guys and texting them I do neither he talks to me like im stupid.and unintelligent and he insults my intelligence is this a sign of jealousy or pure control

  13. My boyfriend cut me off from all my friends, wearing makeup, only wearing things he found “appropriate” and he stops me from texting and goes through my phone to make sure he can trust me. I’ve done nothing to make him act this way. I let him text, I don’t go through his phone and I let him hang out with all his friends just because I was raised that way. The fact that I feel my identity is stolen and he pressures me into things he wants sexually and non sexually makes me feel awful. I’m not sure how to handle this…

  14. Truth is no one belongs to no one love is a privilege not a right .jealousy is created by low self esteem persons that only controls there partner throgh ownership not love jealousy is meant to shame there partners happiness love is accepting someone’s happiness weather your partner is part of it or not period