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Jealousy. How To Live With Her And Maintain A Relationship - Relationships, Reviews
Jealousy. How To Live With Her And Maintain A Relationship - Relationships, Reviews

Video: Jealousy. How To Live With Her And Maintain A Relationship - Relationships, Reviews

Video: Jealousy. How To Live With Her And Maintain A Relationship - Relationships, Reviews
Video: How To Heal Feelings Of Jealousy And Insecurity In Relationships + How To Talk To Your Man About It 2023, April
  • Jealousy. How to live with her and maintain a relationship
  • By Robert Leahy
  • Publ.: Peter, 2019

We publish fragments from the book

Can jealousy be good for a relationship? We know many stories where one of the partners torments the other with his jealousy. And we think about the need to get rid of it. But not everything is so simple, says world-renowned psychotherapist Robert Leahy

Jealousy indicates that relationships are important and valuable to us. Leahy offers us a more subtle understanding of the phenomenon of jealousy. In this book, you will learn the evolutionary origin of jealousy and why modern man needs it. We often feel jealous because we are afraid of losing the people who matter most to us. Plus, jealousy can not only hurt but can help your relationship as you learn effective skills to keep her in check.

“Jealousy can be one of the most destructive forces in human relationships: replacing love, it inspires anger. She can manage all types of social conflicts: from passive aggression of any kind to domestic violence and murder.

Jealousy often lurks behind persecution, which can provoke revenge if the desired object chooses another partner. Finally, jealousy often turns off the person you crave. And, like many other emotions from the family of anger, it also has a habit of justifying itself.

Overcoming jealousy means freeing yourself from extremely painful and destructive human experiences.”- Paul Gilbert, Ph. D.

Almost every person has ever been jealous or jealous of a spouse, lover, friend, brother, sister or other family member. Jealousy is a normal feeling that is as human as love and fear. It is a universal emotion that can be seen in various cultures, in children and even in animals. We experience it because we feel connected to someone in a special way. And if this connection is in danger, we may feel threatened, consider ourselves insulted.

We rarely get jealous when we are in a frivolous relationship, so jealousy can be a signal that this person matters to us. But when this feeling gets the better of us, we struggle to get it out of our heads, doing things that we later regret. Jealousy can create serious problems for us.

This tragic emotion results from a combination of intense love and intense fear. The behavior it causes can jeopardize the very relationships you want to protect. And your jealous thoughts, emotions and behavior are accompanied by feelings of shame and guilt.

When dealing with jealousy, it is possible that you will doubt your own normality and even your right to this feeling in principle. The culture of our society often implies that painful and complex emotions are unacceptable, and if you have them, then something is wrong with you. But I want you to know that jealousy is part of the human being, intimacy, and strong feelings.

People often receive advice from well-wishing friends and even psychotherapists who do not help, and sometimes can complicate the situation even more. Here are some judgments that you may have heard, as well as reasons why they are not correct or useful.

  • "You must have low self-esteem." In reality, jealousy can also be a consequence of high self-esteem. It is possible that you are not letting people treat you unfairly. Not so simple.
  • "You need to get this out of your head." The more actively we try not to think about jealousy, the more often we have thoughts about it. We must learn to accept the thoughts that visit us, without letting them control us.
  • Try to think positively. This phrase often makes people feel even worse, because if this is the best advice they receive, the situation will seem hopeless.
  • "Why are you punishing yourself?" The advice has nothing to do with the topic, because jealousy is an attempt to protect oneself from betrayal.
  • "You have no right to be jealous." Everyone has the right to whatever feelings and thoughts he has. Devaluing your feelings in this way can only make you feel even more threatened by rejection.
  • "I haven't done anything wrong." This may be true, but if the phrase is uttered by the person who is the object of your jealousy, it can make you even harder to figure out what seems unsaid.
  • "You just need to trust me." Telling you to trust someone rarely works because it doesn't substantiate your problem or why you feel this way.
  • "You're spoiling everything." This phrase only increases the fear of rejection and loneliness, which increases the likelihood of jealousy.

Any of these statements may be true, but none of them will help you cope with the feelings overwhelming you, because it has nothing to do with what exactly is happening in your soul. Because jealousy is based on feeling threatened by a relationship, criticism, neglect, or ridicule will only make you feel worse and even more jealous.

Once you experience jealousy - a persistent feeling that someone cannot be trusted - what will you do next? Jealous thoughts and feelings lead to some common types of reactions and behavior, such as:

  • interrogations;
  • search for evidence of betrayal; control attempts;
  • use of punishments;
  • strong concern about possible betrayal;
  • fear of what will happen in case of betrayal.

But this is not always the case - you can choose what you really want to do. And there are better ways to respond. Even if you are not able to completely throw jealousy out of your head, then you can well restrain its power over you and prevent the destruction of your relationship and well-being.

Factors that cause jealousy can lead a couple to clarify mutual obligations, develop guidelines and establish mutual understanding - ways to build trust. Sometimes jealousy can tell us what a relationship needs most, be it commitment, honesty, transparency, or choice.

Your jealousy does not mean that something terrible is about to happen. It helps you look at reality, not just thoughts and feelings. Emotions are not always accurate predictions of the future. Because jealousy is a very passionate and exciting emotion, abstraction and distance from it may seem impossible to you. But if you slow down the train of your thoughts, take your mind off your feelings for a few moments and think about what you are telling yourself, then perhaps everything will change. Maybe you shouldn't give in to thoughts and feelings.

Jealousy is not inherently bad, but part of human nature and does not deserve blame or the feeling of shame it generates. It can even be helpful in helping you identify areas of your relationship that require special attention.

Of all the emotions we experience, jealousy is perhaps the most difficult to deal with, and therefore the most dangerous. It is a passion against the threat of betrayal or breaking up with a partner. This is anger towards the person we see as an invader or competitor

It is a resentment against a person who we fear might abuse our trust. She is primitive, principled, and sometimes cruel. We may feel overwhelmed and controlled by her, driven insane.

Our heart and mind are paralyzed by this feeling, and we feel lost in anxiety and helplessness.

Jealousy arises from the fear that our special relationship is at stake. We fear that a partner or friend will lose interest in us and build a closer relationship with someone else. Jealousy does not arise in a vacuum - we are talking about at least three people. And this third person threatens our special relationship.

We may be jealous of a lover, friends, family members, and colleagues. If we are unlucky, then we perceive as a threat almost all people in our social circle. We fear that our world could instantly collapse, leaving us humiliated, forgotten and abandoned.

We often confuse jealousy with envy. Jealousy arises when we believe that someone has gained an advantage, sometimes unfairly, and resent their success because we believe it will reflect badly on us. The success of the other is our failure.

We envy competitors in an area that is important to us: if it is a business - to someone who makes more money or moves up the career ladder faster, if this is the world of science - to someone who receives a grant or publishes an article.

Envy is like comparison. Jealousy is akin to threatening a relationship. Although jealousy and envy are different emotions, we often feel both about the same person, because both give us the feeling that we are competing with others and may lose.

Jealousy is not a separate emotion, but a mixture of several powerful and confusing sensations: anger, worry, anxiety, fear, excitement, helplessness, hopelessness, and sadness. Moreover, in romantic relationships, one can feel jealous of perceived infidelity, while simultaneously experiencing sexual arousal when fantasizing about it.

We get confused by our belief that there is only one feeling we should have. Moreover, there is love in this mixture. Painful negative feelings can mix with positive feelings of love. We want to experience only one kind of emotion - positive or negative, but both kinds are present in us, often rolling in waves, overwhelming us.

We say we “feel” jealousy, but it also includes a wide variety of different thoughts. We think, "He is interested in someone else," or "She will leave me," or "My partner should never find anyone else attractive." We also have thoughts that we must know: "I need to know exactly what is going on." And if we do not know what is happening, we have thoughts in this regard: "It hurts me because I do not know."

Driven by jealousy, we often take action by seeking reassurance and asking direct questions. We can follow her, spy on him, read her emails and texts, seduce him, beg her, check his navigator in the car, smell her perfume, rummage through his suitcase, ask other people about what they know and threaten our partner. We scream hysterically, interrogate, take offense, distance ourselves. We cling convulsively or avoid.

So jealousy is not "just a feeling." This is a multitude of emotions, sensations, thoughts, types of behavior, questions of strategies for controlling another person. It is triggered by an insatiable desire to know exactly what is happening, and makes us imagine all those terrible things that we do not know about, but which may turn out to be true.

We strive to know and control everything and often treat our thoughts, fantasies and feelings as the very reality that we fear. But feelings are not facts yet.

Merely having a jealous feeling or thought is not the main problem. Difficulties arise along with all the ensuing strategies of behavior and control. They are the reactions that get us into trouble.

The chain reaction of anxiety can happen so quickly that we are completely overwhelmed by what we say and do. In other words, it's one thing to feel jealous, and another to act on her behalf.

A look at evolution

Survival is winning the competition. There is competition between siblings, colleagues and fans. Jealousy is our ability to recognize competitors since primitive times. This is a strategy designed to protect us. But in today's world, she can ruin a marriage, scare off friends, and make siblings turn away.

Does this mean that jealousy is justified and impossible to control? Definitely not. Knowing that jealousy is a consequence of evolution does not justify anger, suspicion, or a desire for revenge. Sometimes we are guided by fears and anxieties that were useful a hundred thousand years ago, but now they do not fulfill their functions. What worked in the past can destroy us today.

We are all vulnerable enough to feel jealous from time to time, so it's worth considering the next question: Has it become a problem for you? You have a right to feel, but it's important to understand how jealousy affects your daily life. You can assess whether it interferes with your close relationships, friendships, communication with family and colleagues

  • Are you complaining, sulking, obsessive, resentful, avoiding, or disparaging about family members, friends, and coworkers because of your jealousy?
  • Did jealousy lead to a sharp break in the relationship?
  • Do you remember the grudge for a long time?
  • Do you complain to your colleagues and has it ever led to the risk of losing your job?
  • Do you feel like you can't help yourself from jealous thoughts and feelings?
  • Do they capture you so much that you see no alternative to your actions?
  • Does jealousy make you depressed?
  • Do you sometimes feel hopelessness not only in existing relationships, but also in the very ability to have a relationship free of jealousy?
  • Did jealousy ever make you say something that you later regretted?

You can honestly assess your jealous thoughts, feelings and behavior by completing the questionnaire below. It answers thirty questions about jealousy red buttons and how you respond to them.

Jealousy scale

This scale evaluates possible responses and the frequency of jealousy. The focus is on how you perceive and react to what is happening in the relationship.

Your answers do not mean that you have no right to your feelings, thoughts or behavior. Neither does it guarantee that your partner is completely innocent or that you have no one to be jealous of. If you are not dating anyone now, remember your past connection.

Try to answer all questions as accurately as possible. Don't try to be logical, reasonable, or well-mannered. Think about each question in terms of how you would answer if you were upset or worried.

There are no right or wrong answers here. We are interested in how you think, feel, act, and communicate when certain things happen in your relationship.

Evaluate the following behaviors, thoughts, and emotions you use in relation to your jealous fears and feelings.

On a piece of paper, write a number to show how often you use them:

never - 0; rarely - 1; sometimes - 2; often - 3; always - 4.

  • I ask my partner about his past relationship.
  • I get upset when I hear about his past relationship.
  • I compare myself to his past partners, and this worries me.
  • I ask my partner to find out what's going on.
  • I ask my partner who he was talking to or sitting next to, leaving somewhere without me.
  • I try to interrupt conversations that my partner has with people of the opposite sex.
  • I am trying to check emails or messages from a partner.
  • I check my partner's phone calls or sms.
  • I track my partner's location using a navigator to see where he is.
  • I expect assurances from my partner that I can trust him.
  • I distance myself as soon as I start to suspect a partner.
  • I blame my partner for being interested in someone else.
  • I beg him not to flirt with others.
  • I criticize my partner or say negative things about people I think may be of interest to him.
  • I try to make my partner feel guilty.
  • Jealous, I try to provoke my partner into a showdown.
  • Jealous, I try to seduce my partner in order to gain assurances of loyalty or to feel better.
  • I follow my partner's heels to find out what's going on.
  • I threaten my partner with rupture, separation or divorce.
  • I threaten my partner with violence.
  • Jealous, I acted cruelly.
  • I try to keep my partner from traveling or doing things that are interesting to him.
  • I criticize myself in front of my partner.
  • I am looking for alternative partners.
  • I flirt with others to make my partner jealous.
  • I don't trust my partner.
  • I'm worried that my partner might cheat on me.
  • I don't like the fact that my partner has colleagues or friends of the opposite sex who may be attractive to him.
  • I get upset if my partner touches, kisses someone, or dances with someone else.
  • I get upset if members of the opposite sex seem interested in my partner.

Take a look at your answers. Is there any algorithm traced? Are you anxious, angry, or upset when you think of your partner and other people? If you answered “sometimes” to four or more questions, jealousy may be a problem in your current or past relationship.

If your total score exceeds 12, then you are probably experiencing a lot of stress from jealousy at times.

Attachment types

We differ from each other in how secure we feel in our attachment to others. The attachment type begins to form in early childhood. Babies tend to exhibit one of four types of behavior when their mothers or fathers leave the room

Some children are more anxious than others. The child may cry, protest, punch and appear terribly frightened.

Babies sometimes show anxiously stable attachment: they protest when the mother leaves the room and show anger or aloofness when she returns.

Some exhibit anxious-avoidant attachment in which they appear to be attached to their mother, but are often wary of approaching her.

Others have a secure type of attachment. They allow the mother to leave the room and show enthusiasm for her return. Children who are securely attached to their mother feel comfortable even in solitude and are much more willing to explore their surroundings, knowing that they have a reliable rear, because they believe that the mother will return.

According to attachment theory, babies have an innate predisposed tendency to maintain closeness with the main parental figure - usually, but not always, with the mother. Infant attachment is based on the adaptive value of the relationship with the caregiver: protection, support, nutrition, and the opportunity to experience social connections.

When the infant begins to recognize that the mother's arrival is predictable, that is, that he can rely on her return, he becomes more confident that she is reliable, trustworthy, responsive and caring. This gives him a sense of security.

It allows the baby to explore the environment away from the mother and to calm herself in her absence. Conversely, an infant may develop expectations that the caregiver is not trustworthy, caring, or responsive. Attachment theorists believe that these types persist throughout life and affect how we relate to a variety of intimate relationships - especially love.

If you are confident in advance that your partner will be unresponsive, unreliable, threatening to break up, and cannot be trusted, then your adult relationship can be at great risk.

Early affections

Think back to your childhood affections and relationships. Analyze the following common scenarios and see if they apply to you.

Are you worried that one or both of your parents might leave you, or get sick or die? This can lead to fears of sudden loss or loneliness as an adult.

Have there been threats of separation (divorce), or has there actually been a separation (divorce)? This may have led to the fear that your closest relationship might fall apart.

How often did your family move? If you went to different schools or lived in different areas, relationships with other children could be cut off. You may have been bullied or betrayed. This could lead to fears that your independent life will be held in an unfriendly world where you will not be supported and you will find yourself in isolation.

Has anyone you met let down or even deceived you? Your love story history could lead you to fear being tricked, manipulated, or suddenly abandoned, so you may have focused too much on these potential threats.

Experience of close relationships

It is helpful to look at your experiences of intimate relationships, as they can provide a greater understanding of how you feel as you develop a love affair. Using this measurement tool, you can assess how you are feeling in an intimate relationship.

Are you comfortable in the vicinity? Do you find it unpleasant, sometimes suffocating or unnatural? Are you addicted and need emotional support? Are you worried about a serious relationship? Complete the Adult Attachment Scale for Intimate Relationships and consider your reactions.

The following questions assess how you usually feel, so think about your past and present relationships with people who are especially important to you: family members, love partners, and close friends.

On a piece of paper, write down a number from 1 to 5 for each statement. Number 1 means that the statement is not at all typical for you, 5 is very typical, and the rest of the numbers show the degree of difference between them.

The scale of adult attachment for close relationships: 1 - not typical at all; 5 - very characteristic.

  • 1. I get close to people quite easily.
  • 2. It is difficult for me to allow myself to depend on others.
  • 3. I often worry that I am not truly loved.
  • 4. They are reluctant to get close to me as close as I would like.
  • 5. I am comfortable being dependent on others.
  • 6. I'm not worried about people getting too close to me.
  • 7. I believe that people will never come to the rescue in difficult times.
  • 8. I feel a little uncomfortable getting close to other people.
  • 9. I often worry that no one wants to stay with me.
  • 10. If I show my feelings to others, I'm afraid they won't feel the same for me.
  • 11. I often wonder if I really care about other people.
  • 12. I am comfortable developing close relationships with other people.
  • 13. I feel uncomfortable if someone becomes too close to me emotionally.
  • 14. I know that they will always come to my aid in difficult times.
  • 15. I want intimacy, but I'm worried about being hurt.
  • 16. I find it difficult to completely trust others.
  • 17. They often want more emotional closeness from me than I would be comfortable with.
  • 18. I'm not sure I can always count on others in difficult times.

Your reactions to these statements fall into three categories: closeness, reliability, and anxiety. By matching the responses to the statements in each of these categories, you can better imagine your own version of the relationship experience.

Answers with an asterisk must be reversed, that is, if you put the number 1, you will need to replace it with 5. If you rated something at 2, you must put 4. And vice versa. The neutral number 3 remains unchanged. Calculate the number of points in each category.

The Intimacy Scale measures the degree to which you are comfortable with intimacy and love. These are the responses to statements 1, 6, 8, 12, 13, and 17. A high score indicates that you are comfortable with a close love relationship, and a low score indicates that you have difficulty getting close or allowing others to get closer to you.

The Reliability Scale measures your confidence that you can count on others in difficult times. The responses to statements 2, 5, 7, 14, 16, and 18 fall into this category. A high score indicates that you rely on and trust other people, while a low score indicates that you find it difficult to depend on others.

The Anxiety Scale measures your fear of being rejected or unloved and refers to statements 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, and 15. A high score indicates that you are worried about your intimate relationship, while a low score indicates that you are not particularly concerned about it.

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