An escalating trend in couple distress these days is jealousy. “He who is not jealous is not in love” seems to be followed to the ‘T’ with either/both spouse getting terribly jealous, possessive and insecure. Jealousy is predominantly about lacking something that the other has. But then, wouldn’t there be million things in this world which would be more in many others than us? Someone with a better face, hair, looks, figure/physique, educational qualifications, professional achievements, finances et al. The list can be boundless. So, does it mean we become jealous of anybody and everybody who is better off than us in one way or the other? Just imagine how much mental turmoil the mind would be subjected to.
The root of jealousy is comparison. The moment we start comparing ourselves with others, the problem sets it. The ground rule to observe would be to realize we are all individuals and unique. No two individuals should ever be compared since they are unparalleled. Every individual comes with a distinct set of qualities, characteristics and traits that set them apart.
Jealousy between partners, married or otherwise can be extremely detrimental to the relationship. Jealousy leads to low self-esteem, inadequacy in oneself, lack of trust and confidence in the partner. It can be pathologically dangerous. Once the mind gets attuned to getting into the comparison mode, retracting it becomes tedious – given a person’s predisposition towards it.
When does a partner feel jealous? Normally when some other person is perceived as better. Sometimes one’s partner cannot help praising this ‘perceived better person’. An instant jealousy generator. The most distorted logic in our relationships centres around the fact that just because one is married to someone (or even in a steady relationship), one loses the right to praise someone else. By withholding one’s real feelings, one is not only cheating one’s partner but also one’s self. The irony is all couples want their relationship to be open, honest and transparent. But at the same time, they do not have the nerves to accept or appreciate anyone/anything better in the bargain.
People with jealous tendencies have a lot of inferiority complex and hence they easily end up disturbing their own apple cart. Their jealousy is revealed through immature, sarcastic barbs and behaviour. And the worst part is it’s very difficult for such people to realize they are resorting to such tendencies. They feel justified in doing what they do. They believe they are safeguarding their relationship. Hog washed thinking. Instead of fostering such traits, the best thing would be to work on oneself by increasing the self-confidence. Confident people are never jealous or inadequate – be it in their personal or professional relationships. It can be developed by tapping the potential every individual has and honing some dormant skills in the process. This would boost their confidence big time. After all, jealousy is lack of confidence, not in others but in ourselves.
Not getting jealous is the biggest mark of respect you can pay to your spouse and yourself. The need of the hour is to realize that you don’t have to be jealous to prove your love. Proving you are not the ‘jealous type’ is far more beneficial. And some people have really conquered and gotten over this trait beautifully. Jealous????