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Pregnancy alert: the green-eyed monster of jealousy

Have you noticed how you are more jealous than usual since you fell pregnant? Don’t worry, it’s normal. But do make sure that green-eyed monster doesn’t turn these nine marvellous months into a daily nightmare...

Pregnancy jealousy alert
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Expectant mothers throughout the animal kingdom instinctively follow an age-old law of nature: don’t let strangers get close, and “lash” out at the slightest hint of danger. This protective and possessive instinct goes for both the mother’s children and her partner…

But for humans, it’s not only a simple survival instinct. These feelings are closely linked to the sensation of psychological insecurity and fragility a woman can experience during pregnancy. And not just because she feels less and less seductive as her belly grows and grows...

Hormonal changes are also linked to abrupt mood swings. The pending arrival of a new baby also brings with it the concept of huge responsibility soon to come... not to mention the underlying worries this often entails.

A pregnant woman may begin to imagine that her partner will be unfaithful – another insecurity to add to all the others. She often needs constant reassurance; she needs her partner to swear that he loves her and her alone; she needs to hear that leaving her is the last thing on his mind...

The source of jealousy lies within

Most psychologists agree that when feelings of jealousy take over, you need take a look at your pregnancy but also experiences from much further back in your past. The cause of these insecurities can run deep and the present feelings of jealousy can be a reflection of past events and repressed emotions.

Once you have clearly identified what is causing this insecurity, you can analyse your feelings more rationally and, if need be, combat any excessive feelings. Otherwise, you will always behave irrationally when jealousy rears its ugly head.

Any psychologist will say that when a situation provokes an excessive reaction in a person, it usually hides a deeper, unhealed wound that that person is still trying to deal with.

Ask your man for help to allay jealousy

Both men and women have ongoing insecurities and will do for as long as they live. Insecurity often relates to emotions such as fear of abandonment or fear of being unloved... These are brought back into play and heightened during pregnancy – an expectant mother needs to feel as secure as possible.

Given these conditions, the slightest insinuation from her partner can cause a great deal of anxiety. An expectant father’s role is therefore very important during these nine months. He will need to be patient and supportive of his partner in order to dissipate – or at least reduce as much as possible – her doubts and fears.

Sometimes reactions of fear and jealousy are not based on a pregnant woman’s own history, but that of her partner’s. She usually only knows part of his and his family’s past and there’s nothing to stop a fertile imagination from working overtime...

The remedy? Be totally sincere with your partner and also be understanding because - let's admit it – the doubts and fears you are experiencing are often without reason. It’s important to trust and talk to your partner, to release yourself from this burden. Keeping it all to yourself will only increase anxiety and end up being harmful to both you and your baby’s wellbeing.

Put your pregnancy body into perspective

As soon as we feel loved, we immediately feel more attractive; and if we feel more atrractive, we feel worthy of being loved. Pregnancy can undermine your self-image and make you feel rejected, even if your partner assures you that you are more and more beautiful with every passing day.

Most women are unable to rid themselves of every little niggling doubt she has about her looks. And the changes taking place in your body during pregnancy awaken these feelings of insecurity. You feel as if you’re less “normal”, cannot be loved “like before” or are less desirable... as if in love, the only thing that counts is your body dimensions.

It is of course possible that sex with your partner is less intense than at the beginning of your relationship, but that’s not necessarily the pregnancy’s fault. It could simply be the fact that those first few months of wild passion have evolved to a different phase of your relationship. That doesn’t make the relationship any less real. After all, he has probably changed too since you met him... perhaps his waistline isn‘t as trim as it was, perhaps his hair is a bit thinner...

If your love for him hasn’t diminished despite these few changes, why would he love you less just when a child is soon to be born from your love?

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Posted 03.05.2011

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