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Jealousy in relationships

BY: Dr John Boakye
Sending text messages can trigger jealousy among partners

Many cases come in from men who never allow their women to go out or associate with men even if they are relatives or family members because they feel threatened.

Many cases also come in from women who fight any woman who shows any kind of association with their men, especially through phone calls, messages and visits. These are examples of lovers showing jealousy, a threat of loss or success because of an influence from a perceived rival.

Jealousy is an emotion we all experience at one time or another in our relationships because nobody loves the uncomfortable feeling that somebody appears to get the upper hand in a relationship.

You try to fight back in many ways to possess your precious possession. Many have fought, maimed and even killed perceived rivals out of jealousy. At one time in Ghana, acid throwing was a common way of reacting to a perceived threat.

Out of jealousy, some have sabotaged the good efforts of their lovers. Recently, a woman disclosed the illegal business deal of a lover because he had gone in for a new girl.

Women and jealousy

A woman sees anything important to her as an intimate part of herself. These include her children, clothes, accommodation and many things more. A woman, therefore, gets jealous of almost everything including her own kind. For example, studies show a woman would prefer a male boss.

A woman in love actually sees her lover as intimate of her and sees him as the greatest source of security and greatest emotional fulfilment. She,therefore, easily gets jealous for example when she sees her man looking at other women or talking to them.

Some women actually warn their men not to look at other women when such actions come naturally because men are visual animals

Men and jealousy

A man behaves like many other animals who ‘piss’ to mark their boundaries. He wants to feel he has total control of his woman because he identifies himself with what he achieves. He behaves like he owns his woman and might be possessive because it shows his competence as a protector and provider.

Losing a lover threatens his self-esteem and a man without his self-esteem is living dead. No man wants another man to trespass on his territory but may find it exciting to trespass on others.

Men fight in any way possible to keep their lovers. In the animal kingdom, studies show one-third of male apes are killed by their own kind over women. Akans say ‘emaa beku mmarima’ to wit men die because of women. How true!

Men and women, who are more jealous?

Men often suppress their emotions and show their jealousy in less obvious ways, but women easily express their emotions.

Many, therefore, believe that women are more jealous than men, but the fact is it is difficult to tell who is more jealous. Simply, men and women show jealousy at different levels in many ways.

For example, a man who is jealous may show it through violence. He may focus on his rival and attack him physically but a woman who is jealous puts the focus on herself and wonders why she is not adequate for her man. She may show her jealousy verbally because a woman is more proficient in words.

Men are most hurt and they see sexual infidelity as the most unforgivable offence of a woman. A woman on the other hand is most hurt by emotional infidelity when she is ignored by her lover who keeps flirting and praising other women.

A marriage psychologist, Gary Braise in a study concluded that 73 per cent of women are jealous, while 27 per cent of men are jealous. This may be ‘awam’ or biased study because many people have questioned the statement of the problem, population, sample size, methodology and analysis.

It is fair to conclude that jealousy depends on the individual – inborn trait, feeling of insecurity, painful early memories and life experiences. It is more a function of your personality than your sexuality.

The most important thing to appreciate ,however, is that jealousy is destructive and must be controlled.

The message is simple. Irrespective of your sex, feel secure about yourself because it is the first step to a happy relationship.

 

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