Jealousy – A deep-seated Fear

It may feel strange to think of jealousy as a deep-seated fear. But that’s exactly what it is.

It’s a fear that infiltrates and spreads through a relationship leaving distrust in its wake.


Photo: Greg Hayter

One of the worst things about jealousy is that it causes us to lose trust in our partners.

Eventually, it infiltrates every aspect of our lives leaving a feeling of insecurity and anxiety.

Hold on right there!” you’ll jump in.

How can you call it fear?

“How can you call it fear when a woman’s husband becomes abusive during a fit of jealousy?

And how can you call it fear when a little boy tries to throw his new baby sister out of her pram?”

The answer is that jealousy is indeed a very real fear.

It’s the fear of losing love.

The jealous husband is filled with fear when he obsesses that his wife will leave him for someone else. His unacceptable behaviour comes from desperation.

The little boy fears that his mother will divert her love from him to his little sister. He sees his worries as real and his actions are self-protective.

Jealousy is an Insidious Fear

The trouble is that jealousy is an insidious sort of fear because we seldom recognize it as a fear.  And so we fail to understand the cause of the problem.

But although we cannot see the cause, the effect can be devastating.

We cannot see the cause of jealousy because there is always an attempt to disguise it.

The Green Disguise

No-one likes to admit to jealousy.

The jealous husband who is both unwilling and unable to discuss the reasons for his fears finds that he is unable to suppress them.  When his boiling emotions and fear are more than he can handle he takes the only way out that he can think of and reacts in an unacceptable way.

The little boy doesn’t understand why he feels threatened by his sister. He has ambivalent feelings of love and resentment. But he doesn’t really want to hurt her so he pretends that he is only trying to play with her.

The Results of Jealousy

Unfortunately, where there is jealousy in a relationship, logic flies out of the window. Instead of devotion and affection we get mistrust, resentment and anger.  Sometimes even physical abuse.  It can be an intolerable situation.

So how can we address the problem of jealousy?

Unfortunately jealousy can be a complicated and difficult issue.  Clearly it would be a great help if we could understand why relationships are plagued in such a destructive way. But finding the reason can be difficult.

Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that there is always a cause for jealousy. It’s possible that the reason for the jealousy could seem unreasonable and trivial to us.  But it is always top of mind for the jealous individual.  Sufficiently top of mind for it to create a problem.

By trying to find the reason for the jealousy we will go a long way towards resolving the problem.



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2 thoughts on “Jealousy – A deep-seated Fear

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