Green-eyed girl

Jealousy is a good thing.

It lets you know when you’re on emotionally dodgy ground, and politely suggests you do something about it before that ground gives way.

From an evolutionary psychology point of view (I’m still reading Why is Sex Fun?), it helps ensure paternity. Female humans know if they’re pregnant that the baby is theirs, whereas men are denied that certainty.

Men who jealously guard their partners from other mates are reassuring themselves that the offspring they’re pouring time and energy into carry their genes.

(Mr Diamond states that in the majority of US paternity cases, the baby’s father is whoever the mother claimed it was. I’d like to read more about the role jealousy plays in this female honesty – can anyone recommend any papers?)

Jealousy should be listened to.

If someone or something makes you feel bad, you need to take notice so you can figure out why. What exactly are you feeling, what are your specific fears? What could you change about the situation to make yourself feel better?

Jealously isn’t about blame or guilt.

Feeling sucky sucks. If a partner does something that you respond to by feeling bad, it can make you feel better to get mad at them. Scream, shout, stamp, tell them how thoughtless they are. If you feel bad, they should feel bad, right?

But lashing out is a quick fix, once the storm has died down you are no better off than before. Instead, try to figure out with your partner exactly why you felt so bad, and see if you can find some common ground where you are both happier with the situation.

The result – your partner understands you better, you understand you better, and your relationship is stronger.

It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination (a friend of mine would say that if it were, it would have no meaning), but it will do a hell of a lot more for you in the long run than vetoes, ultimatums and tears.


1 Comment»

  kellilawless wrote @

i look for common denominators as well … … that jealousy thing can be tricky — it can be pointing to your own insecurities that need fixing or it can be your internal alarm system letting you know that a prowler is in the house. I agree totally with you that asking yourself the tough questions is a really really good idea. If you get stuck in the paralysis of analysis though — go with the gut. LOL

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