Psycho or Jealous?
by Diva Rebecca
There are very few articles and resources addressing the topic of jealousy. I have come to the conclusion that this is merely because people don't know what stance to take on the situation. Everyone has been on both sides of the fence. Most of us have experienced a jealous lover and many of us have been in a relationship where we curiously find ourselves being insecure and jealous by nature. On one hand you want to condemn the abhorrent behavior exhibited by jealous partners while on the other hand you might be able to sympathize. I have decided to courageously announce my decided opinion. Jealousy is just another euphemism for psychotic behavior.
Without going too far into the psychology of jealousy, you should understand that jealousy is not an innate feeling that we are all born with; rather it is a learned response that people have developed over time to deal with certain situations. We all have the ability to feel anguish and emotional sorrow, and jealousy is one way we cope with these feelings. Jealousy can rear its ugly green head at any time. You never know what will set it off. Some people can be completely at ease with one lover and insanely jealous with another lover. People have the potential to get jealous for a multitude of reasons. They might have low self esteem, have been rejected or betrayed in the past or feel insecure about their body or looks to name a few.
I would venture to say that a small amount of jealousy in any relationship is normal. It might even be considered a good thing because it shows that deep emotions are tied to this relationship. But jealousy should not be confused as a sign of love. Severe jealousy is the exact opposite of love. Emma Goldman, an early 20th century writer, claimed that "Its (jealousy) one desire is to punish, and to punish as severely as possible". She was very right. There are obvious big, bright and bold lines that are crossed all too often. You have probably dated one of these line crossers; I have dated more than enough. This is when jealousy becomes apparent psychotic behavior. Your lover begins to assume that you are cheating on some level or another and you are being dishonest almost every day. Soon you get to the point where that person is doing a stake out of your home, following you around like a private eye, breaking into your email accounts, slashing your tires and smearing chocolate cake on your door (Yes, someone actually smeared cake on my door in a jealous rage). When you get to the point where you can not even say one word to a member of the opposite sex at a party because you fear the inevitable wrath which will follow from your lover when you get home, your relationship is in jeopardy.
When people exhibit these jealous rages, they are only destroying the relationship they are trying to save. People use jealousy as a legitimate weapon of defense to protect what is rightfully theirs. Jealousy attempts to prevent the annihilation of love, but it only helps it along. Experiencing these jealous rages will also further lower your self respect because it causes you to stoop to the lowest of acts. It destroys more than just the relationship. "Jealousy is invariably a one-sided, bigoted accuser, convinced of his own righteousness and the meanness, cruelty and guilt of his victim". Although the jealous person wants to keep the relationship intact, the intentions of showing these acts of jealousy are to maliciously hurt the other person. Obviously, these uncontrollable acts used to salvage the relationship do not work. They only cause the other person to retaliate in disgust making the situation even worse.
So how do you deal with jealousy? That is the big question. For the insanely jealous person, the best thing you can do is recognize that your jealousy may be unfounded and then open the lines of communication. Instead of brooding on thoughts of infidelity, simply tell your lover how you are feeling as soon as you start feeling that way. You should have these feelings immediately put to ease when he or she calms your heart. You also need to stop trying to forcibly fuse your relationship into one being. The best relationships are created through the bonding of two separate individuals. If you are dealing with a jealous person whom you want to stay with and love, then you are going to have to learn not to get drawn in to these petty jealousy arguments, do not retaliate, do not take any blame, do not let the freak outs get to you when they occur and do not assume that he or she will change any time soon. To help get rid of jealous behavior you must leave all of your doors open. Meaning, you must not keep anything hidden or locked away for your love to get suspicious or distrusting over. Couples therapy, although expensive, is a viable option.
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