We erroneously tend to think that bouts of jealousy are part of love, but in reality they have nothing to do with this feeling. Where there is jealousy, there is insecurity and low self-esteem.
Last update: July 04, 2022
Are attacks of jealousy a symptom of love? This is one of the most common doubts in a couple relationship. While it is, it does not mean that it is right or that true love is hidden behind jealousy or that you particularly care about your partner.
Feeling this unpleasant and sometimes complicated emotion is a symptom of emotional deficiency that leads to insecurity and fears. Jealousy attacks are bad company, they don't benefit anyone. Let's find out more.
What are jealousy attacks?
We feel jealous when we feel threatened by someone that could take the person we love away from us or when we think he has already done so. That is to say, when we are afraid of losing someone.
This is where an interpersonal triangle usually takes shape whose main protagonists are the person we love, a rival (who has the goal of being with those we love) and us. This situation - real or imaginative - makes our ego feel hurt and damaged.
Attacks of jealousy may occur in response to the threat of a rival who is superior to the person on important aspects in the person's perception of himself. What does it mean? That we will feel jealous of those "rivals" who we believe have something more than us.
Reality or imagination?
Our view of reality begins to blur as the levels of suspicion and anger rise. We feel that the person we love gives attention to another and she is even more affectionate with her or, at least, we think so. For example, we notice attitudes that we believe should be dedicated only to us. What is happening?
The attacks of jealousy can be imaginary, or derived from small details that are the fruit of our mind, without there being actual evidence or clues. In these cases, the problem to be solved lies with us. However, they can also be based on a factual reality: our partner has fallen in love with another person. Not all relationships are long-lasting and this is a possibility to be aware of.
On the other hand, these situations are not only typical of couple relationships; attacks of jealousy can also occur in families. When the couple decides to have a second child, the firstborn may feel jealous thinking that with the arrival of the brother he will receive less attention and less love from the parents.
For this reason, the firstborn could even make the life of the youngest impossible and manifest conflicting attitudes towards their parents and the surrounding environment.
How do we react when we feel jealous?
"Why to me? Why with that person? Why is he doing this to me? ". These and other similar questions arise spontaneously in our minds in such situations. Yet, the first emotional reaction that arises is anger towards the person we consider our rival. The purpose of this reaction is to avoid losing a loved one or take revenge on those we hold responsible for what happened.
On the other hand, it can also happen that you feel angry towards your loved one, as we hold you responsible for what happened. There are even those who think that their partner acts that way to annoy.
Attacks of jealousy are bad company - we tend to confuse love with attachment. Love is free, attachment is fragile and addictive, and in response we feel that the other person belongs to us.
Perhaps not everyone knows that attacks of jealousy are often a symptom of low self-esteem and of strong insecurity, at least in most cases. After all, it's as if they don't consider themselves enough for each other, even if we don't realize it.
But at the base there could be a possessive relationship, in which the underlying message can be "you are mine, you have to give me attention". In addition to anger, anxiety also occurs, so it is normal for the jealous person to try to control the situation so as not to lose the loved one.
The relationship between insecurity and jealousy
Our insecurities lead us to doubt many aspects that surround us, but above all of people. Adorno (1950) hypothesized that a mind endowed with a poorly elaborated cognitive structure resulted in a form of insecurity that goes beyond low self-esteem. Following this, we would need to control others to feel better about ourselves.
Erich Fromm, in his work Escape from Freedom of 1941, assures that man is in search of freedom, but when he finds it he feels insecure and runs away from it. According to Fromm, subduing others helps to avoid this insecurity. We therefore observe that both authors identify an insecure personality with low self-esteem at the basis of the craving for control.
This would mean that bouts of jealousy may be due to an insecure personality and fragile self-esteem. Instead of blaming the other and obsessing over their behavior, we should start looking within.
A journey within us
Before starting any kind of love affair, it would be advisable - if not even necessary - to take a deep journey into ourselves. When bouts of jealousy are part of our relationship, there is certainly a problem. It's time to dig into our mind and start getting to know each other better.
True love is wanting all beings to be happy and have reasons to be happy. If we love halfway and cling to it, we risk falling into an addictive relationship that can lead us to suffer severe episodes of jealousy.
A person who cannot be alone, that's what we talk about; a person who needs others to be happy, instead of creating a healthy bond of love, will establish a relationship dominated by attachment. He will become more and more convinced that the other person is his property and that he has a duty to make her happy.
Attacks of jealousy are not part of a healthy relationship
In a healthy love relationship, we make our partner happy and put aside our long list of personal needs. It would not be negative to reflect on our ability to accept the other person as they are or to understand if we are looking for someone to model on the basis of our needs.
We conclude this article with the words of the Buddhist monk Tenzin Palmo: “We tend to imagine that the attachment and bond we develop in our relationships are proof of love. The reality, however, is that attachment causes pain, because the more we cling to others, the more fearful we will be of losing them. And when we lose, we suffer. Attachment says "I love you, that's why I want you to make me happy", while pure love says "I love you, so I want you to be happy".
If we want the attacks of jealousy to disappear from our life, why not free ourselves from emotional constraints to work on our self-esteem?