Love, Relationships, Limerence & Affair Recovery

Jealousy and insecurity

April 03, 2021 David
Love, Relationships, Limerence & Affair Recovery
Jealousy and insecurity
Chapters
Love, Relationships, Limerence & Affair Recovery
Jealousy and insecurity
Apr 03, 2021
David

It is a common misconception that jealousy is a sign of love.  Shakespeare, writing about “the green eyed monster” knew as much when he created Othello.  Othello, filled with jealousy and suspicion, fuelled by Iago, goes on to murder his wife, Desdemona.

O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on; that cuckold lives in bliss
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
But, O, what damned minutes tells he o’er
Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!

Cut to modern times, a survey of relationship therapists (Psychology Today, Oct 2016) report that romantic jealousy was the presenting issue for almost a third of their clients.  Dr David Perl, Relationship Psychotherapist and founder of specialist practice, LoveRelations, says:

“Jealousy and insecurity are ruinous to a relationship.  We see many couples where one partner is plagued by feelings of low self-worth and inadequacy, which fuels suspicion towards their partner, and a constant questioning of his or her behaviour.”

David continues: “It is not uncommon for us to hear about couples where one partner demands to see the other’s phone or laptop, or flies into a rage at a party or event where they see their partner talking to a member of the opposite sex.”

“Sometimes the behaviour spills over into trying to control the partner’s relationships with friends, colleagues or family, fuelled by the belief that they are somehow a threat”.

The terrible irony of this behaviour is that, rather than eliciting reassurance and closeness, it pushes partners away.  The jealous partner then ratchets up their demands and pleas for reassurance.  They believe that if only their partner were more attentive or more transparent, then they would feel better about themselves.

Ruth Perl, Relationship Psychotherapist and co-founder of LoveRelations, maintains that jealously is rooted in insecurity and low self-worth.  Hence, part of the solution is for the jealous partner to take responsibility for their difficult feelings and to work on boosting his or her sense of self and worth.

Ruth says: “Insecurity is an inner feeling of being threatened or being inadequate in some way.  Most people have felt it at one time or another.  But while it’s normal to have feelings of self-doubt once in a while, chronic insecurity can sabotage your life and be particularly damaging to intimate relationships.  Chronic insecurity robs you of your peace and prevents you from being able to engage with your partner in a relaxed and authentic way.

The actions that come from insecurity – always asking for reassurance, jealousy, accusing, snooping – erode trust.  Most partners find this unattractive, and for many, this behaviour will push them away.

Many people think that the insecurity comes from something their partner said or did.  The reality is, most insecurity comes from inside ourself.  One of the most common roots of jealousy and insecurity is an insecure attachment style.”

David Perl explains: “Anxious attachment is a style of relating set up in infancy.  For a baby, the availability, reliability, and unconditional love of a caregiver, usually mother, is crucial.  Without enough of this type of care, the baby will suffer unbearable anxiety.  Because an infant isn’t capable of discerning that it’s mother might be depressed, pre-occupied, uncertain in her ability to love and give love, he or she will infer that there must be something wrong with them.  The baby grows up with a template of unreliable or indifferent care, and a sense that it is his or her fault.  Tragically, many of us take this style of relating into our adult, intimate relationships.”

An insecurely attached adult

Show Notes

It is a common misconception that jealousy is a sign of love.  Shakespeare, writing about “the green eyed monster” knew as much when he created Othello.  Othello, filled with jealousy and suspicion, fuelled by Iago, goes on to murder his wife, Desdemona.

O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on; that cuckold lives in bliss
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
But, O, what damned minutes tells he o’er
Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!

Cut to modern times, a survey of relationship therapists (Psychology Today, Oct 2016) report that romantic jealousy was the presenting issue for almost a third of their clients.  Dr David Perl, Relationship Psychotherapist and founder of specialist practice, LoveRelations, says:

“Jealousy and insecurity are ruinous to a relationship.  We see many couples where one partner is plagued by feelings of low self-worth and inadequacy, which fuels suspicion towards their partner, and a constant questioning of his or her behaviour.”

David continues: “It is not uncommon for us to hear about couples where one partner demands to see the other’s phone or laptop, or flies into a rage at a party or event where they see their partner talking to a member of the opposite sex.”

“Sometimes the behaviour spills over into trying to control the partner’s relationships with friends, colleagues or family, fuelled by the belief that they are somehow a threat”.

The terrible irony of this behaviour is that, rather than eliciting reassurance and closeness, it pushes partners away.  The jealous partner then ratchets up their demands and pleas for reassurance.  They believe that if only their partner were more attentive or more transparent, then they would feel better about themselves.

Ruth Perl, Relationship Psychotherapist and co-founder of LoveRelations, maintains that jealously is rooted in insecurity and low self-worth.  Hence, part of the solution is for the jealous partner to take responsibility for their difficult feelings and to work on boosting his or her sense of self and worth.

Ruth says: “Insecurity is an inner feeling of being threatened or being inadequate in some way.  Most people have felt it at one time or another.  But while it’s normal to have feelings of self-doubt once in a while, chronic insecurity can sabotage your life and be particularly damaging to intimate relationships.  Chronic insecurity robs you of your peace and prevents you from being able to engage with your partner in a relaxed and authentic way.

The actions that come from insecurity – always asking for reassurance, jealousy, accusing, snooping – erode trust.  Most partners find this unattractive, and for many, this behaviour will push them away.

Many people think that the insecurity comes from something their partner said or did.  The reality is, most insecurity comes from inside ourself.  One of the most common roots of jealousy and insecurity is an insecure attachment style.”

David Perl explains: “Anxious attachment is a style of relating set up in infancy.  For a baby, the availability, reliability, and unconditional love of a caregiver, usually mother, is crucial.  Without enough of this type of care, the baby will suffer unbearable anxiety.  Because an infant isn’t capable of discerning that it’s mother might be depressed, pre-occupied, uncertain in her ability to love and give love, he or she will infer that there must be something wrong with them.  The baby grows up with a template of unreliable or indifferent care, and a sense that it is his or her fault.  Tragically, many of us take this style of relating into our adult, intimate relationships.”

An insecurely attached adult