A situation as simple, easy and innocent as being with your friends, can create conflict in the couple because something happens inside you, you do not know what but to think “my partner has left without me and I get jealous when that happens” winds you up and a lot.
Surely it comes to mind a time your partner has decided to make plans with their friends and you have gotten angry …
- Honey, on Friday I am meeting Juan, Fer and Vicente, we have not seen each other for almost a year. Between work and other stuff, we haven’t found an opportunity, until now, to see each other.
- And you are meeting them alone? Can I go?
- Well … I prefer to meet them alone to talk about our things. Don’t take it wrong. We will hang out with them and their partners another day.
Some people get mad when their partner hangs out with their friends. In this article, we will discuss the steps to understand how to control jealousy, improve this behaviour and leave behind what makes us enter into the dynamics of distrust, which can be very harmful to our relationship.
Couple conflict: I am jealous when my partner goes out with friends
Getting angry with our partner because they hang out with people without including us, and arguing that this anger is due because we love them and we can not bear to be far away from them, hides a feeling of jealousy and distrust.
A relationship is based on trust and respect. And cultivating a healthy social life is as important for self-esteem as having a good relationship. Perhaps this couple’s test is helpful to assess how healthy your relationship is.
Feeling jealousy on some occasions is normal, but if the behaviour is repeated frequently it is necessary to do self-criticism since it can be an indication of a problem that if maintained can cause a crisis in the couple.
If your partner’s plans, in which you are not included, bother you a lot, try to replace the thoughts of anger: “My partner has the right to have their space, when I fell in love with my partner they were independent and I loved that, if my partner is happy with their life, then they will be happier with me”. Here you can read more about what jealousy is.
Why do we get angry when our partner goes out with other people?
It is good that we learn to differentiate between two types of jealousy:
We feel them when we think we can lose the person we love. These thoughts can bother us or make us get angry, but they do not provoke more conflict in the couple since the bases of the relationship allow communication and together find a solution so that jealousy can turn into trust.
If this is your case, reflect to prepare the conversation: “My partner is doing some things that make me feel insecure. My insecurities are something I have to manage. I will talk with my partner to tell them I feel jealous and to tell me why they are acting like that and if I have a reason to worry or if they are willing to help me feel safe again”
This type of jealousy occurs when attention becomes a demand. We demand that our partner is with and for us. When we feel this kind of jealousy, we do not like our partner to be related to anyone but ourselves, since we consider it a threat to the relationship.
When the thought is: “I’m jealous, I feel bad and unloved when you go with your friends because I think you do not want to be with me …”, this can lead to a problem in the couple since it is more difficult to control them.
People who feel this jealousy and do not work on rationalizing them often cause the opposite of what they are looking for: their partners move away from them by feeling excessively asphyxiated and having no personal space. Pathological jealousy can hide emotional dependence and low self-esteem.
Other reasons for anger
It can also be that the anger is triggered by the fear of abandonment, either because we previously had a partner that deserted us or because something in our personal configuration makes us feel in constant danger of being abandoned.
Sometimes, the anger is not caused by jealousy, by fear of abandonment or emotional dependence, but that is because, simply, our partner’s friends are not at all to our liking.
And, even if you do not believe it, if none of these options fits but the emotions run high when a partner wants to do something without the other, it is possible that the anger has its origin in boredom: when a person does not have more hobbies, dreams or activities other than what is directly linked to their relationship, the feeling of boredom that appears as one of the members is momentarily absent is perceived as a damage inflicted by that person and can cause frustration and resentment.
imagen: Your partner is your companion, not your property. Respect their space and you will both be happier.
Tips to not burden your partner and have a healthy and happy relationship
# 1 .- Rationalize
Don’t get carried away by negative thoughts and think about what they really do with their friends and not what you imagine. If your own fears block you and prevent you from creating these images in your head, feel free to ask your partner for some details of their plans to help you understand what they do when they leave without you.
Of course, without invading their privacy or questioning them. Simple and friendly questions such as “Did you have a tasty dinner?” or “Did your friend Fer go?” will be enough for your partner to tell you some things that will help you calm down by putting a clearer image to that meeting in which you weren’t present.
# 2.- Reinforce your self-esteem with positive thoughts
I think my partner’s friend is beautiful and sexy and that makes me insecure and distrustful. Rationalize. You also have many qualities and, in fact, your partner loves you and values you as you are. Moreover, there is even the possibility that precisely that physical or personality trait that seems so attractive to you from your partner’s friend and that you think you lack, is something that your partner does not like.
So, instead of obsessing, do what you expect your partner to do: loving you and appreciating you which feels good, so good. Also, your partner has known this friend for years, probably knows them even before knowing you: if they wanted to be with them, they would be with them, no? The reality is that they are with you because they want to be with you! Assure yourself of that and you will avoid many headaches.
# 3.- Regain your space
Call those friends you have not seen for a long time. Your world is not just your partner. You need the love and affection of your family and your friends to feel good and safe.
Your friends don’t have time for you? That’s okay. Create spaces and situations where you can meet new and interesting people with whom to share with and without your partner!
Take the opportunity to sign up for that course that you have thought of doing so many times to perfect your Spanish or to that dance academy you’ve always wanted to attend. This will not only make you regain your space and allow your partner to regain theirs it will also serve to surprise them and surprise yourself with an improved version of you!
# 4 .- Spend quality time with your partner
This is one of the most important tips of couples therapy, spending time together will not only make you have beautiful memories to think upon while your partner goes out with their friends, but it will strengthen your relationship and make the insecurities diminish. If the time you can enjoy together you spend it discussing, you will be undermining trust and therefore, the relationship will also do so. Love must be worked on and taken care of.
# 5.- Learn to be alone
You don’t always need to be with your partner to be okay. It is healthy to do things separately, have separate hobbies and know how to be alone. The world does not end and we can enjoy the solitude, our activities or take time to pamper ourselves, read or rest.
Reinforce your self-esteem and stay away from jealousy and emotional dependence. Your relationship will be strengthened. Here you can read more about how not to be jealous.
If despite these tips, you feel like you don’t know how to overcome jealousy, perhaps it is a good idea to talk with a professional to help you recognize your virtues and cultivate your independence.
If you want to improve your level of well-being, in TherapyChat we can help you. We are international leaders in online psychology and we have the right therapist for you.