The Toxic Poison of Jealousy

The Poison of Jealousy Wrecks Relationships

Let's face it, most dating relationships don't last. Some should've never begun in the first place. Just a casual look at both parties would tell you the relationship would soon fall apart. Some relationships are very fragile and can easily be destroyed. In fact, it is far easier to destroy a relationship than it is to build one.

Years ago, there was a pop song released by singer/songwriter Paul Simon called 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. He's probably right. And if we thought really hard, we could probably find 50 Ways to Wreck a Relationship as well. I want to help you to be aware of and guard against one of the worst things that can creep in and destroy the relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend.


Jealousy refers to the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that occur when a person believes a valued relationship is being threatened. It's a state of fear, suspicion, or envy. Some people mistake it for love, but at the core of all jealousy is fear and selfishness.

Why is jealousy a relationship wrecker? Why is it so damaging? Because it stifles and demeans, putting both parties in bondage.

Most times it creates a fear built on paranoia. There are many signs a relationship is under attack by the wretched behavior of jealousy.

7 Signs You May Be Jealous

  • Do you continually watch for the way he/she looks at other people?
  • Are you concerned your bf/gf might be sneaking around behind your back even though you don't have any evidence for those accusations?
  • Are you obsessed with the thought that you will soon lose your bf/gf to someone else?
  • Do you question everything they say and do, because you are certain they aren't telling the truth?
  • Do you demand your bf/gf quit hanging around or talking to anybody from the opposite sex?
  • Are you always calling, texting, snapping your bf/gf to figure out where they are at that very moment?
  • Do you demand your bf/gf only spend time with you?

These are just a few of the sure-fire ways to know the cancer of jealousy is eating away at your relationship.

Fear, Insecurity and Selfishness

At the very core of jealousy is fear, insecurity, and selfishness. Jessy commented: "I think a guy or girl being insecure will take a toll on a relationship because the one with the insecurities will over-react and accuse the other of things not necessarily true."

Brent summed it up well when he explained the confusion and hurt jealousy can bring. "She did that? He said this. It's all worthless chatter. I believe the only person that you can control is yourself. The only person you can change the thought patterns for is yourself. I wish I could take back the last years before the breakdown with my sweetheart."

Jealousy to Obsession

Being jealous will also cause you to be obsessed with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Worrying about his or her every move and smothering your boyfriend or girlfriend will definitely cause tremendous damage to the relationship. Jealousy also leads to an unhealthy desire to be possessive of your bf/gf. If you try to control them and make sure you are the only person, they ever do anything with, your jealousy has become toxic.

If you sense your relationship is being destroyed because of jealousy, you may want to admit to yourself that:

  • Jealousy pretends to be a form of love.
  • Jealousy is never love, but just the opposite.
  • Jealousy is another form of selfishness.
  • Jealousy is fed by fear.
  • Jealousy is emotional poison.
  • Jealousy causes unnecessary drama.
  • Jealousy is destructive to the other person's self-esteem.
  • Jealousy is cruel and stifling.
  • Jealousy grows from deep within our troubled emotions.
  • Jealousy seeks to control the other person.
  • Jealousy causes confusion.
  • Jealousy is time-consuming.
  • Jealousy doesn't go away on its own.
  • Jealousy wrecks relationships.

So, we've established that jealousy is unhealthy, but what if your boyfriend or girlfriend gives you reason.  Sarah asked: My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost a year. But all of a sudden, I don’t feel like I can trust him. He’s always had a thing for my best friend. But I don’t think I trust either of them right now. What should I do?

What if Your Trust Has Been Broken?

Unfortunately, finding someone who is completely trustworthy is not an easy thing to do. And often your intuition is right. But this doesn’t have to make you a miserable, jealous person, unless you let it. If you are beginning to have concerns, you might simply be curious about what’s going on under the surface. In Sarah's case, she might want to examine if they are spending time together alone? Does she find them talking together and then stop when she walks up? Or are they just being nice to each other?

There’s always a chance you might be overly sensitive to their innocent behavior. But there’s also a chance you’re not feeling completely valued and respected by your boyfriend, and you’re simply trying to find something (or someone) to point to as the reason for it.

Is Jealousy Ever Justified?

No matter what jealousy is never a healthy emotion, and as we've established it is rooted in fear, insecurity, and selfishness. Please don’t waste your time feeling jealous. That kind of stinky thinking only makes matters much worse, and it makes you a miserable person. The one thing you can do is show yourself to be someone who is trustworthy. This includes surrendering your desire to be a jealous or controlling person.

Put yourself in Sarah's situation. How would you handle it? Here are some suggestions I have:

If your best friend is doing things with your boyfriend that makes you uncomfortable, such as spending time alone with him or whispering behind your back, talk to her about how much her friendship means to you. Let her know that you need her help to make your dating relationship be as good as it can be. Her response to your request will tell you a lot about whether or not you can trust her.

You might need to communicate more clearly with your boyfriend about what you’re feeling. Don’t expect him to be able to read your mind. A difficult aspect of any relationship is having the courage to say the things you need to say the most. These things usually get worked out in the end. So, keep the faith and be the loving person you want both your boyfriend and best friend to be.

Take Responsibility for Your Choices.

So bottom line jealousy is not the answer. Communication is key. You are going to need to decide if they are trustworthy. If you discover they are not, cut the ties. I know this might be really hard, but you deserve far better, and you will find it.  Do not allow yourself to become insecure, fearful, selfish and miserable just to hold on to an untrustworthy person.

If you feel you are being jealous without cause, seek forgiveness from your bf/gf, taking the responsibility of being a relationship wrecker. Ask your partner to point out to you when you are showing signs of jealousy, and really work on being self-aware of when the toxic poison of jealousy is rising to the surface.

Thankfully there are countless ways to combat jealousy. Here are 8 ways to overcome jealousy in your relationship.

You may also want to talk with a minister, counselor, or therapist to help you get to the root of your jealousy. Or chat free online with a Hope Coach. 

TheHopeLine Team
For over 30 years, TheHopeLine has been helping students and young adults in crisis. Our team is made up of writers and mental health professionals who care deeply about helping others.
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5 comments on “The Toxic Poison of Jealousy”

  1. I am having a very hard time dealing with jealousy in my relationship. I am very concerned because it has been damaged by my jealousy that isn't warranted. I want to repair the damage I have done but I am afraid that I have made my relationship toxic. I am also feeling very lonely about it and my soul just kind of hurts all the time. I can't find comfort or relief in anything.

    1. Hi, I know exactly what you mean! It took me years to get over this type of toxicity in my relationships. Finally I did it though. It was hard to let go of it because I felt it protected me, and no one, absolutely no one could convince me that I was not correct about the things that I suspected…you posted this a year ago, so I hope that by now you have found your way. I am so relieved at my freedom that I began to share my experiences with others. If the administration for this site is ok with it, All the best!

    2. Hi, I know exactly what you mean! It took me years to get over this type of toxicity in my relationships. Finally I did it though. It was hard to let go of it because I felt it protected me, and no one, absolutely no one could convince me that I was not correct about the things that I suspected…you posted this a year ago, so I hope that by now you have found your way. I am so relieved at my freedom that I began to share my experiences with others. As for the damage to your relationship, hopefully you have a partner that is forgiving and that you can share your feelings with about how it hurts you to be this way. Together you can solve this problem, and with lots of love and care for each other. Try not to hurt so much. Go easy on yourself, because we all have challenges that once overcome often makes us evolve into amazing people. All the best!

  2. What about the other type of jealousy that comes from other woman.
    How does one deal with insecure woman who often self-sabotage themselves
    By constantly comparing their lives to others, and how obvious they become neon green
    with envy when good things happen to other woman, making the air around them feel
    Constantly heavy and uncomfortable to approach. How does one deal with that.

  3. The only relationship that I was in where he had jealousy problems turned into an abusive relationship. I did not realize at the beginning because of his extremely charming deceptive maneuvers he has learned all to well to deceive his prey into believing that he had something good to offer. I call those tactics just sick and wrong. The ole bait and switch method. If you have jealousy problems get the help you need and stop destroying every unsuspecting girl you pull into your life under false pretenses. Your not mentally healthy enough and need to come clean about it from the beginning. BB

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