You might feel it when that hot stud across the room at the gym gives your lover the look. You might experience it if your ex-boyfriends ever cheated on you and then you project it onto your current man. Whatever its form, jealousy can take on many different faces and it can kill your relationship if it’s not managed appropriately. If you’re the one who’s afflicted with jealousy, it can torment and consume you, zapping you of all security and contentment. If you’re the partner of a jealous lover, your frustration at having to walk on eggshells and constantly reassure your guy of your commitment to him can be maddening. In his second feature for OutUK, counsellor and coach Brian Rzepczynski looks at ways to conquering the green-eyed monster.

Jealousy is not bad in and of itself. It is just a feeling and all our feelings are ok; it’s what we do with them that can mean the difference between relationship calm and relationship storm. Jealousy can actually benefit your partnership in its mildest form. But if it is a recurrent, pervasive theme that seems to dominate the climate of your relationship, it can sabotage your future together and lead to a lot of hurt and grief.

Jealousy can be defined as a feeling that arises from a perceived threat to your relationship. It almost always involves fear — fear of loss, of abandonment or losing your partner, fear of being replaced with someone else, fear of not being important enough anymore and being excluded. This significantly impacts one’s self-esteem and leads to insecurity and using self-defeating behaviours to ward off these painful feelings and gain a sense of control (although it never really accomplishes that and creates vicious cycles of the same dysfunctional behaviour over and over again).
Self-defeating behaviours might include spying on your partner, excessive clinginess toward him, constant questioning of his whereabouts and activities, among others.

Jealousy & Its Causes

What are the causes of jealousy? There are “inner” and “outer” causes. Inner causes might include low self-esteem and confidence (believing one is unattractive or unworthy of being in a healthy relationship), a past history of experiences that created distrust, and beliefs that one will be single forever if he loses his partner. External causes might include how one’s partner acts (expressing interest or flirting with someone else) or the actual involvement of a third person in the relationship.

Low levels of jealousy can actually be positive for your relationship. It can be a signal that something’s not quite right between the two of you. It can help partners feel cared for and be an indication to not take each other for granted. It can also increase communication, commitment, and sexual intensity. The major consequence is that it can also lead to a severe break-down in the level of trust and intimacy between the two men, core ingredients that are necessary for a healthy relationship to last. And the other paradoxical effect of jealousy is that it can create the very outcome that is feared and dreaded the most---the ending of the relationship.

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OutUK features the latest gay news, advice, entertainment and information together with gay guides to cities and holiday destinations around the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. There are hundreds of galleries of photos and videos of the sexiest gay guys plus intimate personal profiles of thousands of gay lads from all around the UK.