While love can bring us rapture, it can make our lives crazy. Nothing feels as worse as that demon, jealousy. It is an emotion that results when we detect a relationship is being threatened but a third party. It is the fear of being totally abandoned. If the threat is very high the message is sent immediately to the amygdala, a center in our primal brain that we have little control over. Your autonomic nervous system is now on and you center on all the facts to determine just how you will respond. Intense and consuming; few people can truthfully say “ I was a little jealous” because it is not the kind of emotion that we experience lightly. So negative is this feeling that we need to at once deal with it. The feeling is so harsh that we will make any kind of bargain to take it away. Fear or anger is often unconscious, fast, impossible to control and direct.
So what do you do when you find this jealousy pit bull in your face? You may cry, plead, threaten, be reduced to hostile reactions that in your normal state you may not had ever considered. Aside from obsessing the jealous person becomes vigilant and will focus on the behavior of the other person. Here is when we can get into all sorts of trouble because our brain might over process the situation. Guess what? You were wired to do that.
Jealousy is not only the worst possible feeling it also motivates us to act to preserve our bonds and to rescue our relationships. Nature intended it to work exactly this way. Jealousy is the detection system that insures the bond between lovers is preserved so we could stay together to raise our young. Because when we feel it we may do what we need to do to keep that person from leaving.
There is a strange flip side most people don’t notice with regard to jealousy. So terrible is that feeling that sometimes we don’t want to believe that we are being jilted. Girlfriend tells me that and tells me that loverboy told her he’d like to take some time off the relationship- get a little space. A breather. “what do you think he means?” She asks me. I immediately knew. So does girlfriend # 2 who is part of the conversation. My friend is in denial, her brain not wanting to face that devil. Of course she eventually did when he showed up at her house to pick up some of his things with his new lover on his arm. My rational GF went crazy. For the next few months we entertained her visions of retaliating. She was going to slash her tires, put dog poop on her car handles, but the best one was asking one of her other GF’s (who knew her) to put hair remover in her hair conditioner. We just listened and eventually she was able to get back to her normal self.
As bad as the J word is it can serve us. Strange but we deliberately use that little devil in our relationships. We might mention an old flame we ran into…flirt with someone in the presence of our love or in the worst case leave our love and let them know we’ve found another interest. Jealousy is often the first sign they care about you! How many movies have that theme- they break up and then she finds someone new and then he goes crazy…Well evidently loverboy was reading that script. GF began dating loverboy’s neighbor. About a month later he sent her an email….”I really miss you…” It began.
This brings me to a final point and another blog I must write. Men are far more jealous than women….
Any comments? Dr. Dawn Marlena Hopper