Understanding Jealousy, Preserving Trust: Keeping Your Relationship Strong

A service member standing with his wife

It’s completely normal to feel a little jealous from time to time, even in the healthiest relationships. You might feel twinges of it if your partner seems more devoted to work than to you, or when a former love interest comes up in conversation. But there might be a problem if that little green monster grows from pint-sized to super-sized.

The importance of trust

Trust is an important part of a fulfilling and safe relationship. Although trust often builds throughout the course of a relationship, trust between two people can suffer, especially if there are unresolved feelings of jealousy.

How you and your partner deal with jealousy is crucial to maintaining trust and avoiding more serious problems. Healthy ways to deal with jealousy are to:

  • Talk about your relationship
  • Speak honestly about how you feel, no matter how painful and scary

When jealousy is unhealthy


yourself with tips and tricks to help keep your relationship strong and healthy.

Jealousy is unhealthy when it starts to define a relationship. You might become preoccupied with jealous thoughts and constantly worry about losing the relationship. This kind of intense jealousy can lead to controlling or violent behavior as you try to get control of these feelings and become confident in the relationship. Some negative things you might do include:

  • Trying to keep your partner from spending time with others
  • Spying on your partner
  • Looking through your partner's belongings
  • Insisting on knowing every detail of your partner's activities
  • Constantly asking questions about past relationships
  • Threatening or intimidating your partner
  • Becoming physically violent

Getting help


advantage of the marriage enhancement programs available to service members and their families.

If you feel overcome by jealousy or are in a relationship with a jealous partner, you don’t have to manage the situation on your own. Help is available for you and your partner. A professional counselor can provide individual counseling to help you sort through your feelings, or work with you as a couple to rebuild trust. Find confidential, non-medical counseling through:

If you’re fearful for your safety or if your relationship has become abusive, there are people who can help you get safe and stay safe.

  • Contact your installation Family Advocacy Program or find a domestic abuse victim advocate by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647.
  • Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) for help with safety planning, and finding resources and services in your community.

Reach out for the support you need to keep your relationship healthy and safe.


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