Jealousy in Relationships:
Why are we Jealous?

Jealousy is generally based on a feeling of inadequacy in a specific area, which is usually the basis of the jealous person's identity. And this area is different for everyone. Following are two examples of jealousy in relationships.

A wealthy friend

Jennifer and Mark have been buddies since kindergarten, without any romantic interest. Jennifer's boyfriend, Bob, is handsome, smart, and caring, but he is feeling insecure about the fact that he doesn't have much money, while Mark is a wealthy landlord. When Jennifer talks about Mark, Bob feels that Mark is better than him because he is rich.

Jennifer keeps reassuring Bob that she cares about their relationship, that Bob is handsome and smart, but it doesn't seem to have any effect on jealous Bob. Reassuring Bob on those levels doesn't help because Bob is worried about something else.

However, when Jennifer starts telling and showing Bob that Mark's money has little importance to her and emphasizing Bob’s qualities that Marks lacks, suddenly Bob's jealous feeling disappears.

The previous wife

Sandra is Kevin's second wife. To Sandra’s surprise, Bunny - Kevin's first wife - has never shown any jealousy towards Sandra, even though Bunny seems to be jealous of many people in her life. Sandra has always been puzzled by Bunny's lack of jealousy towards her. It seems to her that an ex-wife is ordinarily not so accepting of the new wife.

When Sandra studies Bunny's specific areas of insecurity, she realizes that above all Bunny wants, first, to have money and, second, to be perceived as a good mother.

Sandra is financially independent and has no use for Kevin's money. She has never taken away any money from Kevin. Kevin has never missed a child support payment to Bunny. So Bunny doesn't feel threatened by Sandra on a financial level, which is her first priority.

Sandra doesn't have - and doesn't want - children, so Bunny has no competition there. Bunny is the only one with "Mother Status". In the past, Sandra has even expressed her admiration of Bunny’s motherliness, so Bunny feels appreciated by Sandra. Again, Sandra is not a threat to Bunny's Mother Status.

An area of jealousy in relationships is often sex. However, Bunny has never had any interest in sex, so Sandra and Kevin's sex life carries no meaning and no importance to her. Therefore, Bunny has no reason to be jealous of Sandra.

The above examples of jealousy in relationships hopefully give you an understanding of where jealousy may come from.

How to cure jealousy?

If your partner is expressing jealousy, try to identify where is the competition area with the person he or she is jealous of. Intelligence, looks, popularity, parents' attention, sexual interest, money, the list is endless. What kind of past does your partner have with this person?

Once you have a better idea, you can reassure your partner in this particular area. Do not hesitate to downplay what the person in competition has that your partner feels he or she doesn't have. Show your partner that this area has no importance to you, and insist on what he or she has that the other person doesn't have.

Are you giving your partner a reason to be jealous?

To avoid having to deal with a jealous partner, we have to be very honest with ourselves. We are sometimes flirtatious without even being aware of it. We may say something casual that sounds very sexy to the person hearing it. Or we may like to have the attention of someone else - usually of the opposite gender - even if we have no intention of going any further...

Being aware and honest may help you do something about it before it is too late. Most of the time, staying away from the person manifesting a romantic interest in you may be beneficial to your couple and will definitely help remove jealousy in relationships.

So be very honest with yourself. If you really love your partner, he or she is the one you need to give your attention to, not anyone else.

Return from Jealousy in Relationships to Relationship Information