Causes of Jealousy

For jealousy, ALWAYS there are reasons, but not always they are in the partner. This article is about the psychological grounds of jealousy. I hope that this knowledge will bring strength, which will help to understand and cope with morbid jealousy.

Its and others’

We are jealous of those or those that clearly or unconsciously consider ours, even if the object of jealousy or people from the side of such ownership seems out of place. Why?

One time in my childhood I lived in a communal apartment. I was always amazed that the private rooms of the owners were thoroughly neat and tidy, refurbished and clean, but common spaces (kitchen, bathtub, etc.) were in stark contrast to the bad condition – lack of repair, beauty of the environment, and sometimes elementary cleanliness.

And I saw this situation far not in one communal apartment – common ownership everywhere and always was perceived as a draw, and was poorly maintained. His property, as a rule, was kept in care and order.

Is jealousy healthy?

The feeling of ownership is a completely healthy feeling. In this case, the experience: “This is mine” has two sides. On the one hand, it encourages us to groom and cherish the object of our property, demonstrating a zealously caring attitude towards it. On the other hand, the sense of ownership encourages us to zealously guard the object from strangers, so that they don’t take it away so as not to lose it. Feeling of zealous property, or belonging, to an adequate degree, of course, is a normal, healthy part of love.

My friend and his wife once came to visit me. His wife saw a walnut on the table and tried to split it with her teeth to eat. And my friend, seeing this, told her: “stop, you will spoil your teeth.” She tried to laugh it off: “Come on, it’s my teeth, I’ll deal with them.” To which he replied: “No, this is my teeth, too, I will not allow them to collapse” and took away the nut from her. This is rather a nice story.

An unpleasant story, which, unfortunately, occurs often enough is a painful sense of ownership-jealousy that grows into an obviously visible or experienced inadequate behavior that causes suffering to both sides of the relationship.

The main causes of jealousy:

The reasons for jealousy are always, but they are not always on the surface, they correspond to what the jealous man himself thinks or says. All the reasons, one way or another, are associated with the fear of losing a partner, self-esteem, loneliness. I list the most common:

1. Diffidence

If a person at heart is NOT sure that in the event of losing his partner he will be able to attract another worthy partner and create / build relations NOT worse than previous ones. Moreover, uncertainty can be quite adequate, correct (for example, if a person takes a passive position in life – he can not beautifully and sincerely present himself to people, get acquainted with the opposite sex, tie and develop relationships).

Feeling deep insecurity in himself, a person clings to an existing partner, as a lifeline. Inspired and supporting himself with ideas about eternal love, he justifies his perception of a partner as a personal property in everything and forever. Everything would be fine, but it’s impossible to have complete control over a partner. Feelings and inclinations don’t succumb to even self-control, and even a stranger – even more so! Moreover, the more jealous he controls, the more he breaks the boundaries of the partner’s personality, provoking him to resist intensely.

The idea of ​​eternal love gives a break, because the desired flight from self-doubt through complete dissolution / merger with the partner doesn’t happen. Anxiety intensifies, transforming into groundless jealousy and an IMPOSSIBLE claim to a partner: “I so want it to be completely mine (mine).” Pain, conflicts, claims, disappointment, fatigue, alienation.


Strangely enough, it may seem strange for such a jealous who brought the problem of his relationship with a partner to a psychologist, the offer of the psychotherapist to postpone it for a while and work on developing self-confidence, active position in relations with people (individually or in a therapeutic group), thus making a small emotional distance from the partner. However, this is what is useful for their relationship in such cases.

An adequately self-confident “former jealous man” stops painfully clinging to his partner / spoiling the relationship, and, in addition, becomes more attractive in the eyes of his partner (who feels that he himself must now hold on to his beloved).

2.I don’t look at others, therefore, you can not!

This is another common cause of jealousy. Each of us is a being excited, reactive and interested in the opposite sex – this is a fact. If we allow ourselves to sympathize and flirt with the liked object of the opposite sex, of course, with knowledge of their borders, then our excitation energy is placed (not suppressed). So, we will allow our partner to test / place his sympathy for the opposite sex, BELIEVING at the same time that he knows his borders. To doubt it and be jealous we will ONLY in case of finding real reasons.

Think carefully and be wary if, in addition to a partner, you don’t look at anyone else, while feeling intrusive and not particularly adequate jealousy. It’s possible that this is a projection (you ignore and DON’T notice your excitement to cute other men / women, but HOW DO you see that your partner is very interested in others “). It’s, in fact, attribution to the partner of their own suppressed impulses.


It’s important to assign and acknowledge one’s attraction to the opposite sex. Also, it is useful to work with your male / female identity, your own sexual attractiveness, awareness and adherence to your flirting boundaries. And, making contact with others around all this good, naturally.

Just like in the previous case, the “former jealous Puritan” who discovered his sexual attraction as a result of work on himself, interest in others, and places all this in a relationship of easy flirting with others, becomes more attractive to his partner, and his painful jealousy dissolves .

Causes of Jealousy

3.The problematic period in relations with the partner

Such a period happens in almost any pair, and is usually accompanied by misunderstandings, grievances, disagreements and anxiety. The experience of emotional solitude and shaky self-esteem is suggestive of the idea of ​​betrayal, both from one’s own and from the partner’s side. In this case, treason is a dysfunctional (not resulting in a relief) way to escape from problems in the current relationship.

The desire to go to another partner or change to get revenge, build better (Not so excruciating) relationships, trite to improve right now your state and mood similar to the previous description, can be attributed to a partner, calling to top it all the current relational problems, and jealousy.

However, jealousy at such a moment has some BENEFIT! Jealousy here stands INSTEAD OF recognizing current problems in dealing with a partner and WORKING about their resolution. Simply, you can be jealous of your partner, making claims and hanging all the blame on him instead of recognizing your own jambs and correcting them (it’s not me, but he (it) is to blame for everything). Jealousy becomes an outlet, a garbage can in which you can drain the causes of all problems. It’s clear that the problems don’t merge anywhere, but only become chronic or aggravated.


Although at first painful, however, the treatment in this case is appropriation of its share of responsibility for the arising problems in the relationship with the partner. Usually, along with responsibility, there is also guilt / fear. However, with the support of psychotherapy, these feelings are quickly released, giving way to the active energy of restoring the shaken relations (a more rare option is the completion of the relationship). Jealousy as a cover becomes NOT necessary and disappears.

4.Child psychotraumatic experience

The deepest underlying causes of jealousy can be covered in child psychological trauma. Trauma occurs at a time when the psyche can not cope with the digestion of the event, because the event doesn’t fit into the overall belief system, the representations and values ​​of a small person. In the psyche a place is formed, which can be figuratively called a pit.

In the future, when confluence of certain events and circumstances outside, a person falls into this psychological pit inside of him, experiencing agonizing suffering. Experienced pain has little to do with REAL events, a person will re-experience the last child’s traumatic experience.

5.Chronic injury

This is a recurrent painful event, acting on the psyche on the principle of “dropping a stone.”

For example, the boy’s mother divorces his father, declaring his son his father’s financial insolvency as the reason for the divorce. Afterwards, he watches her meet new and new men, guided by the search for “truly worthy” in a material sense. Anger at such a consumer attitude towards men, and, at the same time, accepting it as a fact, create a painful inner conflict, which the grown up boy is doomed to live with his own women in relationships (until he reaches a psychologist).

Being an adult, he is inadequately jealous of his wife, unconsciously waiting for resignation. Not knowing how much money to bring to your wife so she does NOT look for another, the fear of fucking up and anger at her (initially – on the mother) for the expected expectation of rejection can NOT have any relation to the wife’s real feelings for him, however, he ascribes it to her and is jealous. I know cases when the husband really locked his wife at home, installed surveillance, regularly on arrival home inspecting cabinets in search of a lover. Naturally, not many women are ready to be in such a relationship, the man himself provokes his rejection.

Examples of chronic childhood trauma, leading to pathological jealousy in adulthood can be many. In general, the result of psychological trauma – inadequate expectations, behavior and feelings, including jealousy, spoiling the current relationship with a partner.

6.One-time injury

This is an unexpected event, turning the basic ideas about life. As if the personal world of man had crumpled and trampled. Trust in the world is undermined, and even if a person then recovers, fear and expectation of a dirty trick are settled in his soul, periodically discharging in an inadequate reality.

For example, a girl of 14 years accidentally discovered that her beloved father for many years hides another parallel family, deceiving her and mother. Her trusting relationship to the men to crumble, giving way to distrust and total suspicion. All subsequent relationships that have happened in the future, she spoils suspicions, pathological jealousy and irrational distrust, because within herself she continues to be in a traumatic experience with her father.

Examples of single injuries can also be many – violence, betrayal, deception, accident and so on.


If, in previous descriptions, the reasons for jealousy of these reasons are sometimes enough to reduce the intensity or even get rid of jealousy, in the case of psychological trauma as a cause of jealousy in relationships, only long-term psychotherapy with the development of a child’s trauma and a new adaptation to reality can help, yes and then only with the ardent desire of a jealous person.

7.Adequate jealousy

Excessive stealth of the partner, interest and boundless flirtation with other individuals of the opposite sex, frequent unplanned absence, traces of lipstick, inexplicable money spent – these are legitimate reasons for jealousy, meaning that, perhaps, the rejection in the pair has already occurred. If your partner behaves in a similar way, I sincerely do NOT advise you to turn into a victim and give him the right to decide the future of your relationship solely.


I specifically described the adequate causes of jealousy last. Based on personal and professional experience, I believe that it is worthwhile to consider and look for other above-mentioned reasons in advance. It happens that having found their hidden psychological causes of jealousy and having worked them, the problem of jealousy disappears. As:

When you are self-confident, self-valuable, able to trust the opposite sex, feel your attractiveness, flirt with others and let it partner, is a fully integrated conscious person, you may not have reasons for jealousy.

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