The pattern of romantic love, even today, is present in the concept of what a relationship should look like. Many romantic love myths include mistaken beliefs about jealous behavior, taking for granted that jealousy is a sign of love, they are an indicator of “true” love, and even a prerequisite for it. . In the same way that his absence would be a lack of love: “the one who is not jealous of his partner is because he does not really want her”.
We observe how these myths are present in people through dysfunctional thoughts about what love is, relationships and how it works, maintaining insane ways of dating as a couple and full of high-grade interactions.
In fact, even today, it is not uncommon to see how in fictional stories normalize relationships in which there are strong conflicts due to jealousy, or in which a person treats their partner as if they were. it was a membership she must steer clear of from the possible. “Competitors”.
This connection between the romantic love model and jealousy is increasingly questioned, and no wonder: behind the behavior of people who are very jealous of their partner, there are issues that cannot be ignored. Let’s see what they are and various tips on what to do in these cases.
4 problems that can be the root of jealousy in a relationship
Some of the psychological factors or sources of discomfort that can lead to jealousy in a relationship have to do with the coexistence and the way the two people interact and communicate, while others are individual or can be explained by influences of the social context.
1. The hegemonic paradigm of romantic love
One of the things that most favors the emergence of jealousy in a relationship is that quite simply we learned that this desire to control the other is the only way to love that exists.
It’s a retrograde view of what it means to love someone, there is a desire for possession to minimize the risk of “going out with other people”. It is a contradictory and mistaken idea in which it is understood that jealousy is proportional to the intensity with which one loves, but at the same time one does not trust the other and one assumes that the emotional bond is weak enough. to be restricting the freedom of the other for it to work.
However, jealousy is not a sign of love, but rather something capable of eroding the relationship and harming the well-being of both those who experience them in the first person and those who receive this genre. of behavior. Love should not hurt by this desire to have the other person for oneself.
2. Social pressure and rigidity regarding gender roles
This is a problem closely related to the above: for some people, anything that breaks with traditional gender roles can be a sign that something is wrong, And that he will experience the rejection of others if things do not “return to their course.” Simply put, there are people who don’t even feel really jealous, but act with jealousy to fit into certain patterns of how a relationship is meant to be.
3. Low self-esteem and emotional dependence
Jealousy often drinks from low self-esteem issues. The jealous person’s dependence on his partner indicates that there is a certain inability to love himself..
Feeling complicated, dissatisfied with their physical appearance, having feelings of inferiority and personal insecurity make them appear in the jealous thoughts of “anyone can be more valuable than me” and therefore be a rival in their relationship. These personality traits increase the couple’s jealous behaviors, mistrust and concern for loyalty, generating suffering both for the jealous person and their partner and for the relationship.
4. Traumatic experiences and dependence on psychopathological roots
In some cases, jealousy panics over being left alone, Since the relationship is seen as a balm that helps cover up the discomfort we feel with our own lives. In such cases, the priority is not so much to strengthen the relationship as to deal with these individual psychological issues in the first place.
5 guidelines to overcome these problems
Follow these guidelines to solve the problems that go along with a couple’s jealousy.
1. Rule out the possibility of abuse occurring
The first thing to do is to identify if jealousy violates the freedoms of any of the people involved in the relationship, whether through serious attempts at manipulation, constant emotional blackmail, etc. These types of behaviors are a serious problem which, if they are very present in the relationship, can take the form of a type of abuse (remember that physical violence is not the only one that exists).
It is a task that must be performed individually, So that our perception of the facts is not conditioned or overshadowed by the ideas of the other person. In case you are already in a dynamic of abuse, it is very important to cut the relationship and not stay there to try to “fix” it.
2. Identify possible asymmetries in network outsourcing
Another aspect that will condition how jealousy issues are to be handled is if these are always externalized by a person or if they occur mutually. If there are obvious asymmetries in this regard, it should be clear that there is a party who should try to repair the damage done without waiting for special “compensations” for it. If they occur in both people, both must commit to repairing the damage as much as possible.
3. Define the red lines that cannot be crossed
Any relationship must leave room for individual freedom for those involvedBut sometimes this seemingly simple idea gets overlooked.
This is why it is necessary to make explicit this value of individual freedom in one or more conversations: to talk about situations in which it is not logical to give up certain decisions or actions in order not to disturb the other person, by giving examples, but always starting from a constructive state of mind and without trying to “attack” the other. Remember that if you are doing this, it is not to hurt the other, but to improve the quality of the relationship and your well-being.
4. Make a list of situations in which jealousy weighs on the relationship.
Take at least one opportunity to identify five to ten (or ten to twenty, if jealousy occurs in both) common situations in which jealousy arises and is a problem. Write them down and sort them according to the discomfort they cause you in each one. Then, for each situation, write at least two typical sentences that the jealous person uses to express this discomfort. This way it will be easier to identify such situations in the future, And both of you will be clearer that you shouldn’t give in to this kind of feeling.
5. Go or go to psychotherapy
Psychological therapy services they can be suitable both for cases where only one of the people involved in the relationship is jealous, and for those where there is jealousy on both sides. Through personalized attention, it is possible to identify and intervene in the underlying problem by promoting new habits, new ways of communicating and communicating, and new ways of thinking and interpreting reality. This way, it is much easier to achieve changes for the better, which are maintained over time and strengthen the romantic relationship.
Do you want to count on professional psychological help in the face of jealousy in the couple?
If you are in a relationship where jealousy issues have arisen, please contact us. Fr PSYCHOTOOLS we offer both psychotherapy to overcome sources of emotional distress that affect you individually, as well as marital or nuptial crises that affect couples. In addition, we serve both in person and by video call via the online mode.
- Burton, N. (2015). Heaven and Hell: The Psychology of Emotions. United Kingdom: Acheron Press.
- Mathes, E. (1991). A cognitive theory of jealousy. The psychology of jealousy and envy. New York: Guilford Press.
- Parrott, WG; Smith, RH (1993). Distinguish between experiences of envy and jealousy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 64 (6): 906-920.
- Shackelford, TK; Voracek, M .; Schmitt, DP; Buss, DM; Weekes-Shackelford, VA; Michalski, RL (2004). Romantic jealousy in early adulthood and later in life. Human nature. 15 (3): 283-300.