Tuesday, April 24, 2012

JEALOUS IN MARRIAGES

Whether you are the jealous partner or whether your spouse is the jealous one, irrational jealousy can eventually destroy your marriage. Here are answers to frequent questions about jealousy and things you can do to overcome jealousy in your marriage.

What is Jealousy?

A. "Jealousy is a reaction to a perceived threat -- real or imagined -- to a valued relationship or to its quality. A nationwide survey of marriage counselors indicates that jealousy is a problem in one third of all couples coming for marital therapy."
Source: A.M. Pines, C.F. Bowes, "Romantic Jealousy: How to recognize where jealousy comes from and how to cope with it",
Psychology Today, March 1992.
 
"A little jealousy is reassuring and may even be programmed into us. It’s very common. A lot of jealousy is scary, and has driven people to some very dangerous behavior. There’s no reason to believe that jealousy will improve with time or marriage ... Because jealousy goes right to the core of the self and its roots are deep, it is not something that can be banished by wishful thinking."
Source: Hara Estroff Marano, "Advice: A Jealous Fiance",
Psychology Today, Feb. 2, 2004

Is Jealousy Natural?

A. "In relationships where feelings of jealousy are mild and occasional, it reminds the couple not to take each other for granted. It can encourage couples to appreciate each other and make a conscious effort to make sure the other person feels valued ... Jealousy heightens emotions, making love feel stronger and sex more passionate. In small, manageable doses, jealousy can be a positive force in a relationship. But when it's intense or irrational, the story is very different ... Occasional jealousy is natural and can keep a relationship alive, but when it becomes intense or irrational it can seriously damage a relationship."

What Do Jealous People Feel?

A. Jealous individuals experience a multitude of feelings including fear, anger, humiliation, sense of failure, feeling suspicious, threatened, rage, grief, worry, envy, sadness, doubt, pain, and self-pity.

"Jealousy keeps us under a sense of discouraging frustration and disappointment. It makes us gloomy. It is such a depressing feeling that we cannot tell about it to even our best friends nor can we contain it within ourselves. Consequently, it leaves us with an inconvenience of a peculiar misery and if allowed to grow unchecked beyond a limit, it works like a slow poison to our healthy nature."

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