Jealousy – a feeling of jealous envy (especially of a rival)

1. Fearful or wary of being supplanted; apprehensive of losing affection or position.
2. Resentful or bitter in rivalry; envious: jealous of the success of others.
3. Having to do with or arising from feelings of envy, apprehension, or bitterness: jealous thoughts.
4. Intolerant of disloyalty or infidelity; autocratic: a jealous God.

We’ve all had a taste of the “Green Eyed Monster” at some stage and it creates a range of feelings that we just can’t suppress. It’s a complex reaction because it involves such a wide range of emotions.

* Emotions – pain, anger, rage, sadness, evy, fear, grief, humiliation
* Thoughts – resentment, blame, comparison with the rival, worry about image, self-pity
* Behaviours – feeling faint, trembling and sweating, constant questioning and seeking reassurance, and even violence

Some people distinguish between jealousy and envy on the ground that jealousy involves the wish to keep what one has, and envy the wish to get what one does not have.

Envy is something you feel towards someone who has something you want.
Jealousy is something you feel about someone or something you already have and don’t want to share.

Jealousy can rear it’s ugly head over many situations:

  • Jealousy of a sibling – they get more attention that you do or you think they’re the “favourite”.
  • Jealousy in a relationship – your partner gives someone attention that you would prefer to have yourself.

Probably the most clear case of jealousy and one that is most often referred to is in a relationship when something threatens the relationship between two people and perhaps a third person becomes involved. This can involve siblings, step parents, and lover’s relationships.

Jealousy can be insecurity

Feelings of jealousy always appear to stem from one’s sense that something about their life is not secure or has changed in some way that is not how they want it. It is uncertainty and a feeling of danger. It could be that this lack of security is very well founded – eg that the partner is about to run off with “the other woman”. Is this type of jealousy justified – sure it is but realising your feelings of “what” and “why” can help.

In some cases jealousy is unjustified and not founded on realistic dangers to the relationship. If that is the case then you may have to step back a pace and really look at why you’re jealous and consider where your insecurites are coming from. This is hard to do but until you do you’ll continue to face those feelings.

Most relationships become more stable over time and jealousy eases the longer you are with someone. You feel secure in the relationship and know each other well enough to know that there’s no reason to be jealous.

But in new relationships there’s less certainty about how the relationship will work out – you don’t know the person that well. They may have other relationships like their old friends that they are also used to spending time with and suddenly in a new relationship you want to spend all your time with them – by yourself. So you become jealous of them spending any time with their friends.

Communication is one of the keys to jealousy – perhaps your partner doesn’t know you’re jealous. Maybe they think you’re just grumpy all the time. People aren’t mind readers so if you’re jealous or there’s a problem then talk it out – it can clarify things for everyone.

Sibling Jealousy

If a young child is the only child in a family they are used to getting all the attention. When a sibling is born the older child can feel jealous when they know they’re not going to get all the attention and that they will have to share their parents, aunts, uncles and other family members.

For a child under five the jealousy is worse – they don’t yet understand that the baby is not competition. At best they’ll think the new baby is a novelty and at worse they’ll think its’ the enemy. But parents can help calm these fears and make sure the child knows that there is no need for jealousy by showing them as much love and attention as they can.

Jealousy in The Tribe

The first case of jealousy in The Tribe that comes to mind is the jealousy of Trudy towards Bray and Salene’s relationship. Trudy and Bray were never really an item – he was helping her out during and after the birth of his nephew but Trudy thought of the relationship as more than that and wanted it to be more. Bray had a hard time telling Trudy that he had feelings for Salene instead. The green eyed monster certainly showed it’s head in Trudy and many a tantrum and yelling went on. As well as having to deal with her jealousy, Trudy was sick and not copying with the baby. Trudy even tried to end it all when she felt there was no other option.

Zandra was also extremely jealous when told by Taisan that her and Lex had been sleeping together. The nerve of her! Taisan said it was “for the good of the tribe” and to ease all the negative energy of Lex’s – but Zandra knew better and that was totally no excuse!

Then there was the jealousy of Ruby over the relationship that Slade was forming with Ebony. Ruby was ready to cater to Slade’s every whim – she doted over him, brought him breakfast and even managed to stay with him for a few nights. But then his affections turned to someone else, Ebony. Ruby was hurt, frustrated and felt anger towards Ebony. From then on they never got along and their anger for each other grew until Ebony pushed Ruby in front of a truck.

Overcoming Jealousy

Jealousy really can lead to violence and it’s best to keep it under control as best you can. Jealousy is a nasty feeling and makes you feel terrible. Overcoming jealousy takes patience and hard work. If you’re the jealous in the relationship here are some things you can do for yourself

  • Give yourself a reality check – take a look at the things that make you jealous and ask yourself how much of a threat they really are. Is your behaviour making the situation worse?
  • Use positive points – when you start feeling jealous remind yourself that your partner loves you, respects you and is committed to you. Tell your self you’re a loveable person and there’s nothing going on.
  • Talk to your partner – the best way to beat jealousy is for your partner to remind you how important you are and how much they love you. Ask your partner for reassurance and don’t nag or bully but instead share your insecurities with them and ask them to help you overcome the problem.

If your partner is the jealous one it can be exhausting. Here are a couple of ideas that you could use that may help ease their jealousy

  • Think of their jealousy differently – remember that jealousy is a sign of love. If your partner didn’t value your relationship then they wouldn’t be jealous. Try to be understanding and supportive rather than becoming defensive.
  • Check your behaviour – If you know what behaviours trigger your partners jealousy then change them if you can, even if only until the problem is overcome. Be sure to stick to any agreements you have and avoid making promises you’ll find hard to keep like being able to be contacted at all times.
  • Build their confidence – take the opportunities to remind your partner how much you love them and why you would rather be with them over anyone else. Give lots of compliments and make them feel special.

A little jealousy is natural and can keep a relationship alive and healthy but when it starts to become irrational and destructive if can seriously damage a relationship.