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Jealousy and Relationships

Before we jump in to discuss about jealousy and relationships, let's talk about trusting yourself or confidence.

Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. - Hebrews 10:35-36

It is usually regarded as a trait of personality, rather than of character.

Perhaps it is. Yet it is often the basic element in a very important character problem, namely, jealousy. "Experts" on jealousy and relationships usually handle jealousy as they would the problem of a washed-out bridge.

They put up warning and detour signs. They point out the awful results of jealousy. No relationships can succeed until the "green-eyed monster" has been vanquished. The basic fallacy in this approach is the assumption that jealousy can be overcome by an act of will.

The man on the road who sees the warning sign can take the detour, and probably will. But jealousy is not a rational proposition. The jealous mate may recognize clearly the dangers of his or her condition.

But he or she can no more cure his/her jealousy by merely determining to do so, than he/she could cure himself of cancer, or eczema. Jealousy often results in a lack of confidence in one's self. The conviction that most other men are smarter, most other women more attractive; the feeling that no one could love me; such are the base of much jealousy.

Warnings may only add to the feelings of helplessness and guilt, thus doing more harm than good. Not until confidence is established can jealousy be overcome. The story is told of a man with an insanely jealous wife. Instead of trying to defend himself from her accusations, or scolding her for her lack of confidence in him, he acted to build her up.

He persuaded the ice man and the milk man to try to flirt with her. He hired several men to try to pick her up on the street. With her confidence in her attractiveness thus restored, she lost her jealousy.

The cure is not always so simple. The reasons for a lack of self-confidence may lie deeply hidden in the subconscious. Cure may involve extensive analysis and treatment. Our purpose here is not to point out how a lack of self-confidence can be cured. I wish only to indicate that those who lack a basic understanding of jealousy and relationships are not yet ready for dating much less marriage.

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