A Major Relationship Issue: What Causes Jealousy And How To Stop It

A Major Relationship Issue: What Causes Jealousy And How To Stop It

It's a typical misconception that jealousy is a sign of caring and love.


The following quote was posted on Twitter, by someone whose username at least suggested they were associated with the field of psychology: “The people who are really in love get jealous about silly things.” It's surprising that this misconception is so deeply ingrained that even people who appear to be psychologically savvy believe it.


Jealousy can be a major relationship issue. As a survey of marital therapists reported, romantic jealousy was a severe problem for a third of their clients.1 We need to dispel the myth that jealousy is a proof of love. Still, what is that motivates jealous reactions? Research has linked the following traits to jealousy:


-Low self-esteem.2,3


-Neuroticism: a tendency to be moody, nervous, and emotionally unstable.2,4


-Emotions of possessiveness and insecurity.5


-Dependence on your partner:6,7 Even asking individuals to imagine that they do not have good alternative partners can lead to more negative responses to hypothetical jealousy-inducing situationss.8


-The feeling of inadequacy in a relationship: Generally worrying that you aren't good enough for your partner.3,9,10


-An insecure attachment style: A chronic orientation towards romantic relationships that includes fear that your partner will reject you or will not love you enough.11,12


Research has demonstrated that temporarily causing individuals to feel more securely attached, by asking them to think about receiving affection and support from a loved one, makes them react less severely to a hypothetical jealousy-inducing scenario.13


The factors that relate to jealousy are about the anxieties of jealous people and not about the love they might have for their partner.14


Therefore, if your partner is showing unwarranted jealousy, what can you do?


You should first realize that your partner’s jealousy is not about you; it’s about them. You need to respond to your partner's expressions of jealousy by reassuring them of your love. Research has demonstrated that those who respond to their partners’ jealousy by proving their interest and attraction usually have more stable relationships.15


But what should you do if you are the jealous partner? Here are some actions that can help you deal with your insecurities:


-Avoid situations that are likely to lead to false suspicions. In a survey, researchers discovered that jealous people tended to monitor their partners’ social media activity. The more they snooped on their partner's Facebook, the more they would discover 'evidence' to worry about, which led them to spy even more and create a vicious cycle of monitoring and jealousy.16


-Try to work on yourself. Build your confidence in yourself and your romantic relationship.


-Communicate more with your partner. If you're experiencing jealousy, talk about it with them. However, you should watch the way you discuss it. Expressing anger or sarcasm won't help. You should be direct, but not accusing and hostile. Try to calmly explain your emotions and discuss how you could find a solution. That will enable you to be more satisfied17 and 'save' your partner from getting confused by your behavior.18 These communication strategies can usually bring out positive reactions in your partner.19


Nevertheless, jealousy is justified sometimes. If your partner has betrayed your trust by cheating on you, for instance, that's a serious issue. If your partner doesn't seek monogamy, and you do, it's normal to feel jealous, but it's also an indication that you should find another partner who's compatible with you. It's those 'silly things' that shouldn't make you jealous. You need to be able to recognize the signs of unreasonable jealousy and find a solution.


References


1 White, G. L. (2008). Romantic jealousy: Therapists’ perceptions of causes, consequences, and treatments. Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, 7, 210-229.


2 Khanchandani, L., & Durham, T. W. (2009). Jealousy during dating among female college students. College Student Journal, 43, 1272-1278.


3 White, G. L. (1981). Some correlates of romantic jealousy. Journal of Personality, 49, 129-145. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.1981.tb00733.x


4 Gehl, B. L. (2011). Personality antecedents of the experience and expression of romantic jealousy. Dissertation Abstracts International, 71, 6482.


5 Salovey, P., & Rodin, J. (1984). Some antecedents and consequences of social-comparison jealousy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 780-792. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.47.4.780


6 Buunk, B. (1982). Anticipated sexual jealousy: Its relationship to self-esteem, dependency, and reciprocity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 8, 310-316. doi:10.1177/0146167282082019


7 Murphy, C. M., Meyer, S., & O'Leary, K. (1994). Dependency characteristics of partner assaultive men. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 103, 729-735. doi:10.1037/0021-843X.103.4.729


8 Rydell, R. J., McConnell, A. R., & Bringle, R. G. (2004). Jealousy and commitment: Perceived threat and the effect of relationship alternatives. Personal Relationships, 11, 451-468. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6811.2004.00092.x


9 Knobloch, L. K., Solomon, D., & Cruz, M. G. (2001). The role of relationship development and attachment in the experience of romantic jealousy. Personal Relationships, 8, 205-224. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6811.2001.tb00036.x


10 White, G. L. (1981). A model of romantic jealousy. Motivation and Emotion, 5, 295-310.


11 Buunk, B. P. (1997). Personality, birth order and attachment styles as related to various types of jealousy. Personality and Individual Differences, 23, 997-1006. doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(97)00136-0


12 Sharpsteen, D. J., & Kirkpatrick, L. A. (1997). Romantic jealousy and adult romantic attachment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 627-640. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.72.3.627


13 Selterman, D. F., & Maier, M. A. (2013). Secure attachment and material reward both attenuate romantic jealousy. Motivation and Emotion, 37, 765-775. doi:10.1007/s11031-013-9340-y


14 Miller, R. (2012). Intimate relationships (6th ed). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.


15 Sheets, V. L., Fredenall, L. L., &Claypool, H. M. (1997). Jealousy evocation, partner reassurance, and relationship stability: An exploration of the potential benefits of jealousy. Evolution and Human Behavior, 18, 387–402. doi: 10.1016/S1090-5138(97)00088-3


16 Muise, A., Christofides, E., & Desmarais, S. (2009). More information than you ever wanted: Does Facebook bring out the green-eyed monster of jealousy?. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 12, 441-444. doi:10.1089/cpb.2008.0263


17 Bevan, J. L. (2008). Experiencing and communicating romantic jealousy: Questioning the investment model. Southern Communication Journal, 73, 42-67. doi: 10.1080/10417940701815626


18 Bevan, J. L., & Tidgewell, K. D. (2009). Relational uncertainty as a consequence of partner jealousy expression. Communication Studies, 60, 305-323. doi: 10.1080/10510970902956057


19 Yoshimura, S. M. (2004). Emotional and behavioral responses to romantic jealousy expressions. Communication Reports, 17, 85-101. doi: 10.1080/08934210409389378


Based on: Psychology Today

A Major Relationship Issue: What Causes Jealousy And How To Stop It A Major Relationship Issue: What Causes Jealousy And How To Stop It Reviewed by Κατερίνα Παπ on 1:41 PM Rating: 5

8 comments


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