Writing: Elif Gursoy
In your partner relationship; Instead of saying words of love and affection to each other, having a better time, having fun, and taking steps to improve your relationship; You may be dealing with the negativities caused by jealousy. Your partner’s communication with the opposite sex and the wolves that constantly wander in your mind, causing you to wonder where he is and what he is doing, are among the biggest indicators of your jealousy. If you think it is time to put aside your jealousy, which is driving your relationship downhill and often leading to arguments and negativity, we recommend that you carefully read the answers we received from Clinical Psychologist Liora Bora.
Why are we jealous?
According to John Bowlby’s Attachment Theory, there are three different attachment styles. These attachment styles are generally established between the child and the person providing primary care in the first five years. The primary caregivers of securely attached children are always sensitive and responsive to needs. The main caregivers of anxiously attached children are people who show inconsistent reactions to the children’s needs. In avoidant attachment, the primary caregiver is generally considered to be cold, unsympathetic, and insensitive. These attachment styles closely affect adult romantic relationships. Therefore, relationships with the primary caregiver until the age of five are also important for future relationships. A person who has established secure attachments in childhood also has healthy relationships in adulthood. He experiences the feeling of jealousy less and more controlled. These people generally have higher self-confidence. Individuals with low self-confidence can be expected to have intense feelings of jealousy. People with an anxious attachment often experience insecurity and fear of separation or abandonment. Therefore, it becomes difficult to establish a relationship built on trust. People who experience avoidant attachment often avoid intimacy to protect themselves from feeling vulnerable. Depending on these attachment styles, each individual’s feeling of jealousy manifests itself in different ways.
How do these people treat their partners?
The direction of jealousy may vary depending on gender. According to research, men feel jealousy more physically and women feel jealousy emotionally. This means that while men react more to physical cheating, women are jealous of their partner feeling intense feelings for someone else. In addition, factors such as culture and religion are also equally effective. Generally, in patriarchal societies, some women are reluctant to express their feelings of jealousy, while men may react more harshly. In Turkey, it is possible to see a mixture of Eastern and Western culture. The behavior of men and women can be shaped according to masculine-feminine roles and the schemas reduced to them. According to some research, the feeling of jealousy is stronger in women than in men. In the institution of marriage, roles change and men become more jealous than women. The response to jealousy also varies by gender. While women react more emotionally when they are jealous, men turn to brute force.
Can we call jealousy a disease?
It is not right to say that jealousy is a disease on its own, but some psychological problems that can be associated with jealousy may arise. Examples of these include stress, substance abuse (including alcohol), psychosis, some mood disorders and even suicide. Normal jealousy arises as a result of a perceived threat. In other words, there is concrete data such as the partner getting closer to another person and spending more time with them. We call this reactive jealousy. However, in some cases, pathological jealousy can also be seen in individuals. In cases of this type of jealousy, there is no tangible reason, but the individual feels intense jealousy towards his partner. Individuals with pathological jealousy constantly find a reason to doubt. He tries to verify these things, constantly thinks about them and blames his partner. Such situations are very likely to damage the relationship. I recommend that individuals experiencing pathological jealousy seek professional support to prevent the situation from becoming more dangerous for themselves and their partners.
How does this feeling damage the relationship?
It is very important for couples to establish a relationship and maintain this relationship in a healthy way. Minor jealousies do not cause serious harm to the relationship; on the contrary, they can also have positive effects depending on the nature of the person. However, constant and intense jealousy can have negative consequences that can lead to the deterioration of the relationship and its end. Intense jealousy negatively affects both parties. While the jealous party is constantly struggling with the anxiety of losing their partner and the anger they feel towards them, the other party is experiencing severe stress from being constantly blamed. This process can lead to serious consequences for both parties, including anxiety, depression, paranoia, and even, in extreme cases, suicide or murder.
Is there jealousy in a sibling or friendship?
Sibling relationships are the longest relationship a person can experience in their life. The jealousy between them can be attributed to the relationship with their parents. Each sibling may be treated differently by their parents. Sometimes this can lead to arguments because siblings see each other as rivals. Again, the basis of this may lie in the fact that their parents do not treat them equally. In this case, the siblings want to display distinctive behavior. Conflicts between friends should be interpreted as envy rather than jealousy. Because it is important to distinguish these feelings from each other. The desire to have something that someone else has is called envy, and the fear of losing something that exists to someone else is called jealousy. Jealousy in friendships mostly occurs when there is a risk of losing one’s friend to someone else.
Why does it increase after marriage?
According to the research; In patriarchal societies, jealousy after marriage is more common in men than in women. In Turkey, the feeling of “possessiveness” that is reflected after marriage occurs more frequently in men. Let alone cheating, even the possibility of this shakes the relationship deeply. The role of families in marriages in Turkey is well known… With the interspersed concepts of honour, chastity, masculinity and similar concepts, the relationship between two people is exposed to the intervention of dozens of people. For this reason, after marriage, possessiveness towards the relationship and the partner increases, and jealousy becomes more intense. Both parties deeply feel the fear of “losing” their partner to someone else.
How can jealousy be eliminated?
Establishing constructive communication is a very important factor for a healthy relationship. In case of jealousy, if feelings and thoughts are shared with the other party, the situation can be corrected in a constructive way. First of all, a person needs to be aware of his own emotions. It is important to understand the degree of jealousy and to discover whether you are trying to deal with reactive or pathological jealousy. It is possible to resolve pathological jealousy situations with professional support. Having the necessary degree of self-confidence also positively affects the individual’s relationships with himself and other people.
So can it be completely destroyed?
If there really is no reason to cause jealousy, it is possible to eliminate this feeling. First of all, we must review our emotional schemas, and then our basic beliefs… Jealousy can often depend on our basic beliefs. For example, it can be problematic if an individual sees himself as unlovable, flawed, or doomed. We can reduce jealousy by changing these basic beliefs. In therapy sessions, we first try to learn the motivation level of our clients. An individual can only make a difference if he feels ready for change. Through conscious awareness, individuals can better observe their jealousy. Thus, it becomes easier to control this emotion. Uncertainty is a difficult process for everyone to tolerate. But since uncertainty is inevitable in some situations, learning to accept it is a big step. Some methods can be learned to balance feelings such as anger and stress that come with jealousy.
*Taken from Formsante magazine.