Jealousy or “the green eyed monster”, as it is otherwise called, is a strong emotion that us as humans tend to experience. If not controlled, this emotion can get the better of us and can have crippling effects on our relationships. But why do we get jealous? How do we lessen its impact on our relationships?
What is jealousy?
|Ben Pollard, http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2401/2204677106_a8f0a3befc.jpg|
According to Wikipedia, jealousy is an emotion which typically refers to the negative feelings and thoughts of insecurity, fear and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something that the person values particularly in reference to human connections. So, in terms of relationships, we see someone flirting with our partner and, for fear of losing them to another, we feel jealousy. Jealousy manifests itself in the forms of anger, sadness, resentment and disgust. It is these feelings that jealousy invokes that makes it have potentially debilitating effects on relationships.
Why do we get jealous?
There are many reasons as to why different persons become jealous. Maybe in past relationships you were cheated on and so you transfer that to every relationship that proceeds, finding it difficult to trust anyone after being hurt the first time. Some argue that jealousy goes as far back as childhood.
Sometimes, too, jealousy rares its ugly head because of our own insecurities. For instance, a woman might be worried that because she has put on some weight her husband is no longer as interested in her as he used to be. She sees him looking at a slim woman and immediately she jumps to the wrong conclusion. Or, maybe the partner getting jealous is the one who is stepping out and so transfers his/her own insecurity to their partner and starts blaming for things that might not even be there.
Also, it is said that jealousy came about so as to discourage the desertion of persons by their mate. This helps to strengthem the family bond and helps with the survival of the young [http://www.oprah.com/relationships/Understanding-Jealousy-Helen-Fisher-PhD-on-Relationships].
The effects of Jealousy in our love life
For the most part, jealousy can have terrible effects on our relationships. It tears away at a very important building block for our partnerships, trust. If you find yourself unable to stop from snooping on your mate’s facebook page or in their text messages, then you may have a problem. All that time spent snooping around could be used to do something that you both enjoy instead of driving a rift between you. The ways in which jealousy is expressed can be dangerous. Anger can make a person do things that they may regret later. All of this negative activity eats away at the relationship.
It can have positive impacts, though. Some people’s jealousy from someone flirting with their mate may turn into flattery; flattered that someone else wants the lover that they own. In other cases, some people like when their partners feel a little jealous over them. It serves to remind them that their partner still appreciates and loves them.
Whatever the cause or effect of this monster, we must try and control it to make sure that it does not destroy our love life. Suspicious about something, discuss it together and find out if there is reasonable cause for worry. If there is not, let it go. Also, we must consider each other’s feelings in a relationship. If you know your partner is uncomfortable with your association with a particular person perhaps because of some history, then you should try and lessen your link with that person. It is not that your partner should control you but, in my opinion, relationships are about give and take and limiting that link could not hurt if there is really nothing to worry about there. Always try and keep the trust element firm in your partnerships.