A secondary emotion which refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something that the person values. Often consisting of anger, sadness and disgust. Jealousy has been found to occur in infants five months and older.
“Romantic jealousy is here defined as a complex of thoughts, feelings, and actions which follow threats to self-esteem and/or threats to the existence or quality of the relationship, when those threats are generated by the perception of a real or potential attraction between one’s partner and a (perhaps imaginary) rival.” (White, 1981, p. 24)[
We have all experienced some form of jealousy at one point or another in our lives. And sometimes jealousy is a major issue in relationships. http://www.askmen.com wrote an article about jealousy and outlined varying degrees of it:
Jealousy does not necessarily merit its negative connotation; after all, it’s normal for men to be suspicious of their women (and vice versa). Having reservations about her going to a strip bar with friends or not enjoying the sight of her drooling over some guy in a magazine are innocent examples of how some jealousy can be harmless, and a perfectly normal reaction.
Likewise, a man who voices his concern over having his girlfriend go out with a bunch of guys or seeing another man flirting with her is also part of a healthy relationship. Oftentimes, a man is just looking out for his girlfriend’s well-being and women usually respect that. They may even be insulted if you don’t say anything.
The problem arises when aggression and/or violence accompanies the jealousy. Once you’ve reached this stage, you obsessively begin questioning her loyalty to you, and that sends you into a rage, maybe even causing you to use physical force.
I believe a little jealousy is good for a relationship because it shows you care and that the other person is not worth losing. But when jealousy is taken to another level, outlined in Obsessive jealousy, that’s when it can be a real problem.
So, what do you do to avoid obsessive jealousy? Well, sometimes it’s unavoidable. There are some men/women who are naturally jealous and will never trust anyone. In that case, it’s probably not the relationship you want to be in. However, there are people who have experienced bad relationships in the past and may need a little encouragement about your intentions with them. My best advice is to talk about the things that make you jealous. Set them all out on the table so that in the future your significant other will avoid the situations that make you jealous (they will if they respect you). In most cases, jealousy stems from one’s own lack of self-confidence, but again, this could have something to do with past relationships. If you really love the person, or if the person really loves you, then it is something that can be worked through.
The hardest part about dealing with jealousy, especially when you’re the one experiencing it, is when there are familiar feelings of jealousy. For example, if you are jealous of a friend of your boyfriend/girlfriend that is of the opposite gender, and those feelings remind you of a time when an ex left you for a “friend” of the opposite gender, then of course you’re going to feel like it is all happening again. The best thing to remember is to live in the present. Hopefully you learned from your past relationship and didn’t make the same mistake. It all boils down to trust, and without it a relationship cannot prosper.