As humans, we have all experienced the feeling of being jealous and sometimes, that jealousy is over our partner’s ex. Jealousy is a natural emotion, and it is neither good nor bad. There’s no shame in feeling an emotion. The important thing is learning how to deal with it, and how to overcome the feeling itself. People have been feeling jealous over their partner’s exes from the dawn of time, so there’s no need to feel bad.
“It can begin innocently. You’re human and therefore curious about your partner’s ex. We learn from the stories and anecdotes of others, so you want to figure out what attracted them to each other. And, naturally, you want to know why they broke up,” says intuitive life coach and writer Debra Smouse.
However, you may want to learn to move on and overcome this feeling for your own peace of mind. Relationship experts have detailed how to move on from the jealousy and keep your relationship strong.
“Jealousy is the fear of comparison.” – Max Frisch
Here Are 5 Ways To Deal With A Jealous Ex
1. Recognize that it is jealousy
Maybe you don’t like your partner’s ex for reasons that you can’t quite name. The first step to overcoming the jealousy you feel is to, of course, recognize that what you’re feeling is jealousy. It’s okay to admit this to yourself. After all, having or feeling an emotion is a neutral thing, whether or not the emotion is positive or negative.
“The number one thing to remind yourself of is that your partner’s ex is an ex for a reason and whatever the reason, there’s no need to obsess over her,” adds Smouse.
So, look inside yourself, understand and recognize what you’re feeling and whether its jealousy so that you can name it for what it is and learn to move forward.
2. Ask yourself: Why?
What about your partner’s past relationship has you so transfixed? “The first way to deal with jealousy over a partner’s ex is by looking at your own insecurities,” says relationship counsellor and Gestalt therapist Clinton Power.
Confronting yourself and asking yourself why you’re focused on a relationship that your partner is no longer in can be a good tool in helping yourself overcome the feeling of jealousy in the first place. What emotions come up along with the jealousy? Do you feel like your relationship needs something to be on par with your partner’s past relationship?
“Don’t beat yourself up for having these feelings—everyone does. But if you don’t learn to identify these habitual patterns—which will drain at least half of their emotional intensity—you’ll keep feeling jealous, regardless of what your partner does or does not do,” adds Power.
Finding the cause of the jealousy will be invaluable to helping yourself overcome the feeling in the first place.
3. Talk to someone about your insecurities
Reach out to friends or family members who can help you work through the insecurities that you may feel. Not only will this be good for helping you get over feeling jealous over your partner’s ex, but it will also benefit you in the long run throughout the rest of your life.
It’s good to have a sounding board in order to talk through what you’re feeling, especially if you can’t pinpoint the exact reason for your jealousy in the first place. A therapist or counselor can help you talk through your insecurities.
They can “help you identify the emotional patterns that keep you caught and you’ll learn how to free yourself so you can be the best partner you can be and create the kind of loving relationship you want,” adds Power.
4. Connect with your partner
Perhaps your jealousy stems from feeling like your connection with your partner isn’t as strong as it could be. If this is the case, the best way to move beyond your jealousy is to work on connecting with your partner. Even telling them about your jealousy can be a turning point in the relationship that can create a stronger connection.
Remember, “jealousy isn’t necessarily bad, rather, it signals to you that your emotional needs or feelings may be unmet,” say couples’ counselor and dating coach Samantha Burns.
Of course, don’t make your jealousy the focal point of every session of deep connection that you have with your partner. Address it, be honest, and allow yourself to move on from it. At the end of the day, you’re with your partner and they’re not with their ex – and for a reason! There’s always a reason that they moved on and found you, and focusing on that love and connection is the best way to release your feelings of jealousy.
5. Be honest
Be honest with yourself and with your partner. There’s no need to try and hide your feelings, especially if they’re causing you any significant amount of distress. Being honest will allow you to feel a more positive and uplifting energy from both your own self and from your partner.
“It can feel easier to avoid being honest if we feel that could be hurtful, but it is only with honesty that trust is built, and trust is the essence of a good relationship,” says author Kate Figes.
Also, allow your partner time to move on and grieve the end of their relationship with their ex if they have to, while also allowing yourself to be honest with your own feelings. It may take a little bit of communication and compromise, but moving on from your jealousy will make your relationship stronger, more positive and more connected.
Jealousy is something that happens to all of us, especially in relationships.
“… you can’t control the random thoughts that pop in and out of your head — whether they’re jealous ones or not — but you can control whether you choose to dwell on these thoughts,” says author Jeff Billings.
The goal isn’t to stop yourself from ever feeling jealous, but rather, learning how to handle that jealousy in a calm, positive and productive manner. These steps will give you all you need to take control of your emotions and overcome your feeling of jealousy towards your partner’s ex. Once you do, you’ll be pleased to find all of the happiness that will come from within.