One of the biggest psychological problems that both women and men deal with is jealousy in relationships. So what are its hidden causes?
The sense of jealousy, as long as it is kept under control and remains within the limits of common sense, may be beneficial. It is a sort of proof of love for our partner. However, when jealousy in relationships is out of control when it becomes an obsession, it takes pathological forms, and this can have extremely serious consequences in a relationship.
Unfortunately, many of the relationships have ended due to the pathological jealousy of one of the partners.
It is often said that when we love somebody, we will feel a drop of jealousy. This statement is perfectly true. All psychologists are of the opinion that a marital relationship that is animated by the jealousy of one of the partners can drive away routine.
Up to a certain point, jealousy can keep the feelings of love on. Also, jealousy can motivate people to take more care of their physical appearance. It may inspire someone to become more involved in the relationship, in order to dispel uncertainty and a possible competitor.
This increases the chance of consolidating a marriage, and studies actually show that relationships in which one or both partners are jealous (without becoming an obsession) have longer and even happier bond.
Causes of jealousy in relationships
Most of the time, we confuse love with the obsession with controlling everything at every step. In a more plastic way, “counting every breath and every thought” of our partner.
We believe that this means love, but by doing so, we do nothing but treat our significant other as an object. However, this kind of attitude only causes us to suffocate and push our partner away from us.
The scientific definition describes jealousy as “a complex emotion that encompasses feelings ranging from fear of abandonment to rage and humiliation.”
In fact, jealousy in relationships is the insecurity both in the partner we love but especially in ourselves. This is because we live on the idea that our partner must belong to us, but we are not sure we can keep them in our lives.
Sometimes, jealous people have the impression that their partner is more beautiful, more attractive, and so they are always afraid that if they walk alone in the world, they may not return to us.
Jealous people think they are not good enough for their partner and thus, they become more and more obsessive and suspicious.
Concluding, the main cause of jealousy in relationships is insecurity and mistrust in ourselves.
However, there could also be other causes of jealousy, such as:
- Poor self-image
- Fear of abandonment
- Past negative experiences
- Personality traits that may make an individual prone to develop jealousy
What are the types of jealousy?
Scientists classify jealousy in three categories, namely:
- Reactive jealousy – is when there are solid reasons, for example, when s/he previously cheated on you, which led to the diminishing of trust.
- Suspicious jealousy – occurs when you notice your partner “flirting” with someone else but without something concrete between them.
- Pathological jealousy – it is obsessive, ill-nasty jealousy, the one that causes hallucinations and takes total control over the thoughts of the person concerned, leading to insanity. This can lead to an irrational behavior, even violent, causing the extreme stress affecting the heart rate and blood pressure, affecting social relations, attention, and mental state. In a few words, it largely affects the quality of life.
What is happening in the minds of those with obsessive jealousy?
Starting from the main cause of jealousy (mistrust in ourselves), we develop obsessive ideas in the relationship with our life partner. Thus, while the partner is not near us at some point, for example, attending a job-related meeting or anything else, and we remain home alone, the jealous mind begins to create various scenarios.
The jealous person imagines the various situations in which his partner may be unfaithful. Thus, the scenarios that we have run through our minds about our partner, how they would deceive us, get contour, and we start to believe in them.
This will immediately affect our attitude and behaviour towards our partner. It is because we will react as if our imaginary scenarios are rooted in reality.
Accepting that you are jealous is the first step towards healing!
Some psychiatrists say that jealousy is hereditary. This is, however, hard to believe. More plausible is the opinion of other specialists who say that jealousy is an emotional state we develop over the course of our life. It can also be a result of older relationships that have affected us.
My opinion is that jealousy is more of a way of thinking and has a strong connection with the confidence we have in ourselves. In fact, the lack of confidence in our own forces, in our own qualities, makes us become jealous.
Regardless of the causes of jealousy in relationships, it is good to know that it has a cure. The first step towards healing is the awareness that you suffer from obsessive jealousy. The second is to be open and eager to ask for help from specialists.
How do we control jealousy in relationships?
Identify the source of jealousy
As mentioned above, jealousy in relationships is often caused by “mistrust” and “lack of self-esteem“. These issues create a sense of vulnerability and fear of being abandoned.
To identify the causes of jealousy, you have to make a list of what you bothers you. Try to keep your thoughts and imagination under control, and connect your thoughts to the reality.
When you come up with thoughts or images, remember that they are determined by your own fears and not by your partner’s attitude.
Try to increase your self-confidence
Remember at all times what your qualities are. In this sense, make a list of your qualities. Write down the reasons why your partner considers you valuable and appreciates you.
Remember your past relationships
Remember how you’ve managed jealousy in the past. Ask yourself if this has caused you problems in past relationships. If so, then it is a sign that your jealousy has exceeded the normal limit and that you have a lot to work on.
Do not blame! Instead try to have an open conversation with your partner, asking for guidance.
Do not forget that obsessions and suspicions will be amplified as you repeat them in your mind. It is very easy to convince yourself of something that actually does not exist simply by repeating it.
By Andreea V.