Many people don’t realize that jealousy is a form of control in a relationship. At first, the object of the jealousy may feel like it’s a compliment. In the end, most people realize jealousy has nothing to do with being complimented and everything to do with control. Let’s take a look at a common example of how jealousy can turn into an unhealthy, obsessive type of relationship.
Let’s take the story of a fictional woman named Susan. Susan meets a nice, attentive new man named Steve. Steve showers her with affection, sends her flowers and shows up unexpectedly at her work to take her out to lunch. All of Susan’s friends are impressed by her new beau. In fact, they seem a little bit jealous of the fact she has such a seemingly chivalrous and romantic new guy. Susan likes it too, although she starts to get a little uncomfortable when Steve keeps showing up without notice.
As they start to date, Susan realizes Steve is a little bit jealous. For instance, they are out to dinner one night when she runs into an old friend from high school who happens to be a male. After chatting with her male friend for a few minutes and giving him a quick hug goodbye, Steve repeatedly questions Susan about her history with this person. Although she assures him they were only friends, he doesn’t seem to believe her. Even though it has been more than 15 years since she has seen this person, Steve still seems to be focused on his jealousy about the chance encounter.
This is just one example of the jealousy that Susan experiences with her new boyfriend. Over time, his jealousy becomes so severe Susan starts to limit her contact with friends and family. She feels a bit isolated, but she doesn’t want Steve to be jealous. She then really starts to realize his jealousy is not really a compliment to her. Instead, it’s his way of controlling their relationship. If she continues dating him, she will likely become more and more isolated from friends and maybe even her family, because of his ongoing questions when she sees anyone.
You can plainly see how jealousy can turn into a very controlling relationship. When someone is jealous, it indicates they have a self-worth problem. It really has nothing to do with you as a person. However, staying with a jealous person is likely to get worse instead of better. Unless they get professional help, the relationship will almost always be an unhealthy one.