Many people ask me what is jealousy, how does it develop, what is normal, how does it impact sex, and especially, when is it too much?
The issue of jealousy has a lot to do with confidence, trust, and passion. This is a couples’ biggest worry and favorite topic for both men and women, cultures and relationship styles. Both men and women suffer from jealousy in different degrees, but the difference between men and women suffering from jealousy is the way they respond or their reaction when experiencing it.
What is jealousy?
Jealousy is an emotional alertness that generates fear and great anxiety due to the belief of losing something (attention) or someone (a beloved one) who is considered a valuable person.
The feelings that come from jealousy are confusing, crippling, obsessive, and may even cause sexual arousal in some people, turning sex into a really hot intense experience. This feeling is an inherited human behaviour that is universal. This feeling is like a defense mechanism to protect the permanence of a relationship when an intrusion or a threatening situation is perceived.
Jealousy only seeks the removal of a third party, the attention of a beloved, and the prevention of abandonment.
How does jealousy develop?
When sexual insecurities arise in the relationship, they generate feelings of doubt and confusion and interfere with intimacy and communication. This lack of self-confidence increases as jealousy leads to uncontrolled behaviors, emotions, and irrational thoughts that open a space for the development of intense jealousy.
How far is normal?
When someone perceives a deviation of attention from the beloved (real or imagined), feelings of jealousy arise, which then fade when doubts are dissipated. This is a common response. Jealousy, pathology or abnormality is determined by frequency, intensity, duration, motives, and inner suffering.
Jealousy vs. Pathological Jealousy
Concern about a possible loss vs. intense feelings of insecurity and loss
Problems and discomfort vs. hostility and depression
Alertness and self-improvement vs. destructive behavior against the relationship and people involved.
Desire for presence and attention vs. demanding behavior.
Negotiating and understanding approach vs. rigid, controlling, no negotiation approach.
Low anxiety vs. deep fear and panic.
Upsets vs. uncontrollable anxiety, depression, aggression, and irritability.
Real reasons vs. primarily imagined reasons.
No punishment or revenge vs. need to punish and impulsive revenge.
How to deal with jealousy?
- talking and attention are the two main approaches when dealing with a jealous person. It is vital to care in order to overcome jealousy. Specify your intentions to generate calm and easiness.
- An ongoing dialogue, a loving touch, clarity, transparency, and unambiguous situations may increase confidence and provide security to a person who is suffering from jealousy.
- The non-jealous partner in the relationship should help in the decreasing intensity of jealousy by avoiding withdrawn behavior and indifference.
- Awareness of “free will” as a healthier option than demands, fear and obligation.
- Working with logical, flexible and rational thinking and making room for negotiation, agreements and trust.
Jealousy is and will be a universal problem for almost all couples. The goal should be to transform jealousy into a way for more love, attention, caring and even more sex, so that couples improve their relationships rather than destroy them.