Many relationships have been ruined through jealousy, but strange as it may seem, many are also made because of it. I will try to explain in this article how this very destructive emotion can also give both sufferer and partner an enormous gain.
Jealousy in a relationship is an overwhelming fear that the sufferer’s partner will be unfaithful, find someone more attractive than them or even prefer to spend time with someone else. It is a hurt that comes from deep down inside and as when we feel any form of emotional hurt, it can turn to anger.
Jealousy rarely shows up at the beginning of a relationship as when we first meet someone new we are all on our best behaviour. The thought that this wonderful person we have just met finds us attractive, wants us and wants to spend all their time with us makes us feel so good. You can be sure the partner will be wonderful, as they are on their best behaviour also.
Unfortunately, this initial, wonderful period can not last forever. The couple start to feel comfortable with each other and the relationship becomes a little less intense. Then the sufferer’s old self doubts start to return and doubts about the partner and their own worthiness of that partner grows. This then leads to them feeling very hurt, they start to question their partner and the arguments begin.
The sufferer may find it very difficult to cope with their partner going out with their friends, especially should it be to a place where they might meet members of the opposite sex. Even if the partner talks to a member of the opposite sex it can cause the sufferer to become very upset.
In some cases jealousy can become very restrictive. Partners may not be able to go out on their own or talk to members of the opposite sex. They might have to stop wearing some clothing, particularly revealing clothes. Going to some places could be banned. Watching television without the sufferer being with them may not be permitted, in case they might see something sexy or some nudity. Certain types of newspapers may be unacceptable, especially ones with more explicit photographs.
In the beginning the partner is prepared to accept some of the minor restrictions in a bid to prove how much they love the sufferer but as the restrictions grow they become almost unbearable. The partner cannot stand the restrictions and the sufferer feels even worse about themselves for keep putting the partner constantly through distress.
Through all this intense turmoil it can be the case that both are getting enormous gains. By complying with one restriction after another the sufferer has the partner proving that they love them so much, they must do to tolerate it. For the partner it can be the adoration the sufferer is showing by being so frightened that the partner may go off with someone else. It can be saying I adore you so much or they can be seen to be saying you are so fantastic, attractive and sexy that all members of the opposite sex must find you attractive. This show of adoration can be a tremendous boost to the partner’s ego. They are being put on a pedestal and that can make them feel very good about themselves.
The relationship has grown with all this turmoil and the gains that have come from it. We have to consider that some relationships would not have grown if the jealousy had not been present. Therefore, in some cases take away the jealousy and you also take away the relationship. I have seen this happen as the sufferer starts to feel better about their self and no longer needs to restrict the partner so much. The partner starts to feel a lack of adoration and does not feel so wanted. The relationship changes to such an extent it fails. I now feel it necessary to always discuss this possibility with any client that comes to me seeking help with jealousy.