Bella Vida Therapy

Molly Papp, MS, MPH, CSAT, LMFT #88196

Bella Vida Therapy

Molly Papp, LMFT

You deserve a beautiful life

Sex, intimacy, and relationship therapy

Jealousy: Sinning or Sexy...

Recently the seven deadly sins have been on my mind. Honestly I only know them because I saw the movie "Seven" with Brad Pitt. It's a gruesome but great film. In terms of relationships, I want to talk about the sin of "envy." I think sometimes a little jealousy is good. When a cute guy tries to ask you out and your boyfriend swoops in and says "She's with me" in a gruff but protective tone, puffing out his chest a bit, your heart does a little dance. It's exciting and sexy to know that you are desired and your man knows that. On the other hand, if you're approached by a guy and your boyfriend flips out and punches the guy- that's going too far. Personally, I have a history of being pretty jealous. I used to get upset when my spouse had female friends or if he got hit on. It made me feel threatened and unattractive, for some reason. It took a lot of work on my self-esteem to see that I should feel proud that other women find my man desirable and confident that he only has eyes for me. If there's cheating in either partner's past, it will likely be harder to trust, but you have to let that go if you're going to be with that person. I'm not usually a fan of denial, but not giving into those deep-down insecurities and choosing to trust your partner is essential to rebuilding the trust that was broken. I'm not saying ignore your gut (it's your best friend), but don't bring up the past- it is not relevant. No one likes being judged by their mistakes, especially if it isn't a recurring pattern. We all screw up! Back to getting the green-eyed monster off your back: feeling threatened by pretty girls hitting on your man is normal. That little flare of fire that goes off in your heart and makes you want to dump a beer on their shiny golden locks is not helpful. Communicate with your partner that you're a little jealous in a sexy way. Here's some examples of the right way to respond:
"Wow, those girls seemed really fond of you. Man am I lucky to have such a hottie for a boyfriend."
"I kept getting hit on tonight- so annoying. Every time a guy approaches me I wish I were with you baby."

Some examples of the wrong way to respond:
"So you were with your friend Shannon last night; she really seems to like you. That's so weird, I thought she had a boyfriend."
"Just remember what I said; it can never happen again or I'm gone. Remember that when those slutty girls are all over you."

Punishing or nagging a guy (or girl) will only drive them away. Being a little jealous is like being a little drunk- good in small doses. Too much envy (and too much tequila) is not attractive nor will it help improve your relationship. Quite the opposite actually. It'll make your partner feel like you don't trust them; not a good thing. So do your best to quiet that ugly green monster- your relationship will thank you.