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At the root of jealousy

“If he is jealous, it is because he loves you”, “worry when I stop being jealous, because it will mean that I am no longer in love with you”, … Surely you have already heard or uttered phrases like these.

However, jealousy is not a symptom of love, as they have led you to believe. It is simply an emotional response to the fear of losing someone we believe belongs to us and we love very much.

Jealousy is an alarm signal that informs us of the existence of a danger, that of losing the affection of the person we love due to the presence of someone else. Usually, it is accompanied by a feeling of abandonment and exclusion, which makes the situation very painful. However, this alarm bell can come to be very useful and enriching, if we learn to understand and process it.

Jealousy can be felt towards various things, but it is mainly linked to the areas in which the person who suffers it feels most insecure. The reasoning is this: “in my opinion, another person may be able to give my partner everything I would like to have but I don’t have”. The “rival” in love, in reality, is not a person in flesh and blood, but the image of someone you would like to resemble.

Jealousy is not perceived only within a couple (although this is the most typical case), but also between brothers, cousins, friends, family, colleagues, etc. In fact, this feeling has been present in all cultures for thousands of years and is the subject of many myths, songs, legends, books and scientific research.

Jealousy: the misconception that someone can belong to us

If we gave up the idea that the other is our property, jealousy would not exist. The human being, by nature, grew up in an environment in which he appropriates everything that he has around him. We take possession of things because we like them, because they make us feel good, because they make us have fun and we want to use them whenever we like.

In the specific case of couples, where there is the greatest number of cases of jealousy, the feelings and opinions of both should be given more weight. This means that a balance must be created. We cannot expect the other to be an object that does what we want, as often as we want and how we want it.

According to Veronique de Miguel, “excessive concern for the partner implies the need to control him and this attitude is more related to the sense of possession than to love”. Constantly asking your partner where he is, if he has arrived at work and what he is doing is to become overprotective, which is an unconscious way of wanting to keep him close to us.

Believing that our partner does not belong to us does not mean that we do not love him, on the contrary. We have no right to control it, it must be completely free to decide. For a couple to be healthy, both members must be independent, have a fulfilling personal life and grow individually.

Is there perhaps a greater demonstration of love than the fact that the person next to us is happy and free to decide what she wants?

People often think “if I let him do what he wants, he will surely betray me or behave badly”. Things don’t necessarily go that way; the biggest cause of jealousy is the tendency to demean oneself, which varies from person to person.

Excessive fear of losing the person we love indicates that we are not happy with ourselves and that we believe we need to be with someone to feel good. How to cure jealousy?

The important thing is to act directly on the primary cause of jealousy, that is, on destructive self-rejection. It is normal that there are aspects of ourselves that we do not like or that we would like to improve; the problems begin when we reject these parts in a destructive way and, instead of transforming them, we damage them even more with our feelings and actions.

Don’t believe the story “he’s jealous because he loves you”. If your partner controls all your movements, if he criticizes the way you dress and suggests you how to do it, if he asks you to be alone even though you already spend a lot of time together, if he spies on you writing a message or a ‘ e-mail, if she gets upset when you go to work and goes out of her way to stay home, if every time you go back somewhere you have to be interrogated … It’s probably time you reflect on her level of jealousy and your relationship in general.

Pathological jealousy is said to be impossible to cure, but if nothing else, it can be prevented from getting worse. As? By talking about it, letting the jealous person know that she has a problem that she probably didn’t realize and helping her to understand that trust is very important in a relationship. If both members of the couple work to improve this aspect of their relationship, they will certainly succeed.

Accepting the feelings we feel, understanding them and talking about them with our partner: these are the first steps to solve the problem of jealousy.

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