25+ Signs He Is Jealous but Hiding It

If your partner is jealous but doesn’t want to let you know, there are a few indications to help you recognize the signs.

According to experts, these are the signs that he is jealous but trying to hide it:

Erica Cramer, LCSW

Erica Cramer

Dating and Relationship Expert | Clinical Social Work/Therapist, Cobb Psychotherapy NYC

People get jealous for many different reasons, from their partner enhancing their appearance to spending their spare time with other people. We are human beings, and jealousy is a natural emotion.

Related: What Causes Insecurity and Jealousy in a Relationship?

Some people are honest about these feelings and openly express them to their partners. In contrast, other people conceal their jealousy and try to deal with these emotions independently. If your partner is not explicitly telling you they are jealous, but their behavior has drastically changed, it may be time to give the situation some more thought.

These are some surefire signs that your partner is jealous and hiding it:

He is asking more questions than usual

You used to come home from work and engage in a casual conversation about your day. Nowadays, these conversations feel more like you are being interrogated by the FBI. He wants to know every detail, from where you went to lunch to how you feel about your new co-worker.

Is he suddenly just more interested in your life, or is he feeling jealous about something? When someone’s behavior changes so drastically, it is important to read behind the lines and ask yourself what is going on in their mind.

He doesn’t take your answers at face value

You tell him you went out for a salad by yourself for lunch or didn’t really talk to your new co-worker. Rather than accepting these answers and moving forward, he doesn’t believe you and asks even more questions. He wonders if you are telling the truth and is paranoid that you are hiding something from him.

You become frustrated, and nothing you say seems to appease him. This paranoid behavior is a definite sign that someone is jealous and believes that something they wouldn’t like is going on behind their back.

He is constantly checking up on you

Whether you are typing away at your desk or having a night out on the town, he is interested in your whereabouts.

He constantly wants to know where you are and who you are with. He used to text you a few times a day, but it has escalated to several texts an hour. He gets anxious when you do not immediately respond and sends you a follow-up text.

You feel like he is more needy than usual, and you’re not sure exactly why. He may even do something as bold as to show up at your office for no particular reason.

He is getting very clingy

Rather than giving you space and letting you do your own thing, he is much more needy than usual. He constantly wants to be with you. It is not because he wants to spend time with you. It is because he is afraid of what you are doing if you are not with him.

Related: How to Stop Being Needy and Clingy in a Relationship?

When he spends time with you, it seems like he wants to prove something (like he is better than another guy he thinks you have your eye on). When this is something, try to figure out what is going on.

Has there been a major change in his life and a reason he is clinging to you like glue? Or is the only explanation that he is jealous and doing his best to conceal it from you?

He consults your friends and family

He is starting to really pry into your life in a way that he hasn’t in the past. He is now texting your best friend, asking her about your life, and calling your parents with unwarranted concerns.

He is essentially trying to circumvent you to address his jealousy. He does not tell you about these conversations. He merely hopes the other party will not mention them to you.

He blows things out of proportion

When someone is hiding an emotion, it manifests itself in different ways. He may get mad at you for something small like not answering your phone, walking the dog, or taking out the trash. If this is something that usually doesn’t make him upset, chances are this is not the real reason.

When someone is bottling up a feeling, it is inevitable that they eventually explode. If you notice that he is getting mad at you for reasons that he normally doesn’t, start to explore if there may be an alternative explanation for his behavior (such as jealousy).

He starts being very reactive

He used to be cool as a cucumber, but now you feel as though things are very tit-for-tat.

  • You work late; he works late.
  • You go out with your friends; he goes out with his friends.
  • You go on vacation alone; he goes on a different vacation alone.

If this is normally how your relationship operates, you are in the clear. But if this is a dramatic departure from how things usually are, that is another story. If you feel like he is being spiteful and doing things intentionally to compete with you, it may mean that he is trying to hide his jealous feelings.

Jealousy is a fairly common emotion, especially in romantic relationships. To a certain extent, you may even feel flattered that someone cares enough about you and values you so much to be jealous. However, it can also become very unhealthy very quickly.

If you sense your partner is struggling with jealousy, be honest with them. A simple conversation may put your mind, or theirs, at ease and return your relationship to its normal, healthy balance.

A partner who has never been jealous before and is now exhibiting jealous behaviors may truly benefit from this conversation. You may also gain insight into a legitimate concern they have and help resolve it.

Jealousy itself is not a dealbreaker; if properly handled, it can actually strengthen the bond of your relationship and help both parties feel more secure. Once you’ve uncovered that jealousy is the root of a problem, it’s important to keep the discussion flowing on how feelings like this will be addressed moving forward and implement sustainable boundaries.

Boundaries are critical in any partnership and serve to protect the relationship by protecting the people in it!

Andrea Dindinger, MA, MTF

Andrea Dindinger

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Checking your phone, texts, and emails to see who you’re talking to

Jealousy is something everyone experiences at some point or another. It’s important to remember that jealousy is not always the devil so many make it out to be, as jealousy can inspire you to change and grow. And on the flip side, it can also make you feel small and inadequate.

Some signs that he’s jealous are:

  • Checking your phone, texts, and emails to see who you’re talking to and what you’re saying either about him or someone else. It is never a good idea to violate someone’s privacy; it makes everyone feel uncomfortable and can highlight trust issues.
  • Counting and comparing himself to you, I like to refer to this as keeping a “scorecard.” He might be jealous of how many friends you have, how many nights a month you go out without him, how much money you make, or how your career is soaring. Regardless of the what, when there is a counting up of what you have versus what he has, jealousy is involved.
  • Doesn’t congratulate or celebrate you. A sure sign that he’s jealous is when you accomplish something, and he doesn’t acknowledge or celebrate your success. Someone who’s feeling small and inadequate can’t celebrate success in others as it’s another reminder of what they haven’t achieved.
  • A subtle but poignant criticism of something you’ve achieved is another indication of jealousy. Criticizing your achievement of “only” running a 5k could be a sign that he’s feeling inadequate. He’s trying to make you feel the smallness he feels inside.

Your best response to his feelings of jealousy is to speak to it directly with curiosity. For each instance, you might say:

  • “Hey, I noticed you’re checking my phone. Is everything alright? In the future, I’d appreciate you ask me directly about what you’re looking for, as I feel a bit violated by you checking my phone without asking first.”
  • “You seem to be keeping a scorecard of our differences. Is there anything you feel that you’d like to discuss?”
  • ” I noticed you didn’t acknowledge or congratulate me on my recent promotion, and it hurt my feelings. Is there something about my promotion that’s hurtful to you? I’d love to talk about it.”
  • “I noticed you subtly made light of my 5K run. I am very proud of myself, but I can tell you’re having different feelings about it.”

With each of these responses to his different ways of expressing jealousy, you are not taking it personally like something about you, and you’re asking for him to take accountability for his feelings and putting out there that you’ve noticed his responses.

Dr. Nereida Gonzalez-Berrios, MD

Nereida Gonzalez-Berrios

Board-Certified Psychiatrist, TheMindFool

He is not happy when you talk about or appreciate other men in front of him

Whenever a guy gets jealous and tries to hide it, it may be for some obvious reasons such as:

  • He doesn’t want to look weak to others.
  • He is anxious about getting rejected.
  • Maybe he’s not comfortable showing his true emotion to others.

Jealousy is a sign of insecurity and emotional neediness. It has been seen that people who are jealous are usually less confident and have a poor self-image. There are a few subtle signs of jealousy that a man shows when he wants to seek attention from his girlfriend or wife.

Related: 14 Best Books on Overcoming Insecurity

He will try to hide it, pretend that he is absolutely fine with your discussion or moving around with someone else.

Signs of jealousy:

  • He is not happy when you talk about or appreciate other men in front of him, though he listens to you patiently by hiding his true feelings.
  • If he becomes too nice than usual, it means he is jealous and fears that he might lose you to other men. he wants to seek your attention without letting you know that he is feeling insecure.
  • He shows sudden anger outbursts even with the slightest triggers. He wants you to take care of him, love him, and attend to him more often than usual but cannot tell you directly. So he behaves oddly. He actually gets passive-aggressive to seek your attention.
  • Sometimes he shows off that he is too busy and ignores you. This sudden cold and distant behavior is a sign that he is jealous but not showing it directly. HIs unusual behavior forces you to attend to him more vividly.
  • He shows off too often and wants to prove himself as the best guy in town. He puts a lot of effort into proving himself smart. This is because he feels threatened and insecure. He feels that if he cannot impress you, you might leave him and walk away.
  • He wants to know every small detail of your life, and he always looks for more information about your different whereabouts. He may ask you many weird questions and going into the details of it.
  • He flirts with others and tries to show you that he is interested in someone else. In doing so, he just gives you a clue that if you do not choose him, you will miss and lose someone extraordinary.
  • He peeps into your mobile phone, social media feeds and chats just to keep a silent eye on you. This is a sure sign that he is jealous and insecure but not showing it.
  • If you ask him about sudden changes in his behavior, he ignores the question and says, “Nothing, it’s all fine.”
  • He shows doubt in everything you say and do. Sometimes he cross-checks your claims as well. This shows he is jealous and wants to know your every move.

Andréas RB Deolinda, BA, BSc

Andréas RB Deolinda

Writer and Editorial Assistant, Autism Parenting Magazine

I find that jealousy is one of the easiest forms of contempt to identify. Jealous individuals tend to be dismissive of the target person, have a negative and controlling attitude, or may exhibit narcissistic behavior/character.

Related: 25+ Signs You Are in a Narcissistic Relationship

Dismissive behavior

If he is jealous, a dismissive attitude can be portrayed through undermining behavior or not acknowledging you or your efforts. A man’s dismissiveness can reflect through his pride and unwillingness to take responsibility or offer praise towards an achievement.

Negative attitude

  • Constantly having something negative to say about the person.
  • Negative attitude examples include: anger towards you reaching success because of his personal struggles, unwillingness to show excitement or join into ambiance.
  • Often times a jealous person would rather have you feel low or sad to feed into his/her energy.

Controlling attitude

  • A controlling attitude is usually most common.
  • When a man is jealous towards a woman, he instills a sense of insecurity in her, stops her from interacting with her social circle, or monitors each and every single move.
  • Can also express in verbal or emotional abuse.

Narcissistic behavior/attitude

  • A narcissistic attitude is one that is self-centered, arrogant in thinking and behavior, lacks empathy and consideration for the other person.
  • A narcissist sees any act or behavior as an attack on them even if it is not about them.
  • A narcissist can also be described as manipulative in character and/or boastful. It can also reflect a feeling of entitlement.

Related: What Is Narcissistic Abuse? (Including the Warning Signs of Narcissistic Abuse in a Relationship)

Natasha Ivanovic

Natasha Ivanovic

Relationship and Intimacy Writer

His mood shifts after you talk about someone else

It’s normal for women to have male friends and vice versa; meaning, it’s also normal for them to be brought up in discussion (of course, there are certain circumstances where it may raise suspicion).

However, he cannot stand when you talk about someone else. He’ll change the subject, not reply or insult the person instead.

He gives you ultimatums

When a guy is jealous and things aren’t going his way, he’ll pull this card out. Aside from showing a lack of emotional maturity, ultimatums are a red flag that he’s unable to handle a healthy relationship.

His mood shifts after you talk to another guy

Whether the other guy is a friend or someone you just met, his mood shifts when he sees you talking to someone else. The conversation could be completely casual and innocent; however, he’s unable to hide his jealousy.

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