Healthy jealousy vs. toxic jealousy in relationships

I firmly believe that jealousy in an inevitable concept in a majority of relationships. When you are in love with a person, it is normal to feel threatened or insecure when you believe someone else is trying to earn their attention. What isn’t so normal, however, is when healthy jealousy turns into toxic jealousy and it begins to negatively impact the relationship you share with a loved one itself.

I suppose healthy jealousy is a bit of an oxymoron in itself. How can jealousy be a good thing? When exhibited as a result of caring for a person, jealousy can be healthy as it demonstrates your attentiveness and investment in your relationship. When jealousy starts to get out of control and leads to a tremendous amount of mistrust or doubt in your partner, though, it takes on a toxic form.

Say, for example, you are at a social gathering with your significant other. Perhaps they notice that someone at this gathering is trying to flirt with you, and they express their annoyance to you later on in a calm and sincere because they didn’t particularly enjoy observing the interaction. This is an occurrence of healthy jealousy. On the other hand, if your significant other approaches the topic with maliciousness and accuses you of responding to this person flirtatiously and becomes angry and possessive, they are demonstrating toxic jealousy.

Understanding the difference between these two types of jealousy is crucial to any romantic relationship. Having discussions with your partner about feeling threatened or insecure is absolutely normal, and further recommended, I would think. It helps to build communication and honesty between you and your partner. But, toxic jealousy is a dangerous concept, and without acknowledgement, it can lead you down a very dark path and it could enable your relationship in itself to take on a toxic form.

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