Before talking about extreme jealousy in a relationship, first, what is jealousy?
Jealousy in a relationship like marriage is a common human emotion. When married couples believe that they have exclusive ownership of their spouses, jealousy is normal between couples. It occurs when a spouse is threatened by a person who he or she believes is a rival. Spouses have this feeling of ownership towards their partners that they feel jealous or threatened when they believe a rival appears and might steal their precious spouse. Jealousy can either be based on real threats or imagined threats. It can be either healthy or unhealthy to a marriage.
Is Jealousy Bad?
Jealousy can be healthy and good in a marriage. If jealousy is constructive in a way that it makes couples to be more sensitive with each other’s feelings, to communicate more, to show more affection to each other and it reminds them of their love and commitment to each other, then it is good. A little jealousy is an affirmation that couples value and love each other so much that they don’t want to lose each other.
But if jealousy becomes extreme, irrational and threatens to destroy a marriage, then jealousy is bad. If one spouse irrationally believes that his or her spouse is unfaithful and mistakenly feels threatened by a rival who doesn’t exist, then the problem in the marriage comes in.
Extreme jealousy in a relationship occurs when one spouse compares himself or herself to others or to someone she or he perceives as a rival and eventually creates a feeling of inferiority, insecurity and inadequacy. The jealous spouse may also had a history of being abandoned or left behind by loved ones.
How extreme jealousy in a relationship affects a marriage?
Extreme jealousy in a relationship can result to a troubled marriage. Too many efforts are wasted on unnecessary jealousy. Irrational jealousy in a relationship leads to irrational thoughts and emotions resulting to unacceptable behavior. Extreme jealousy in a relationship produces a wide range of consequences from humiliation to violence. The jealous spouse may engage in unacceptable stalking behavior to investigate his or her suspicions which may include searching the spouse’s clothes and personal possessions like phones and social media accounts, personally interrogate spouse, surprise visits to work, unreasonable phone calls to work and some go to extreme lengths by hiring a private investigator or engage in violence to make their spouse confess.
People who are healthy become jealous only in the presence of real threats and their actions can be dictated by real evidences. They are not close minded and they can change or modify their reactions based on new information and evidences. While unhealthy people suffering from extreme jealousy believes that their spouses are unfaithful based on unfounded evidences. They refuse to change their beliefs or their minds even in the face of conflicting information showing their spouses are innocent. This kind of jealousy can ruin a marriage.
The partner of the jealous spouse can also develop anxiety and depression from being accused constantly or from having a troubled marriage. This extreme jealousy in a relationship can be really destructive to a marriage.
Extreme jealousy in a relationship can affect not only the marriage but also the couple’s children. The jealous spouse can go to extreme lengths of asking their children to spy on the accused parent to satisfy his or her suspicions. The couple’s children may become emotionally and physically abused if they constantly witness arguments and violence in their household.
As a whole extreme jealousy in a relationship like marriage is not healthy and can be destructive not only to the couples but also to their children. It is important to learn how to deal with extreme jealousy in a relationship and it is best for couples to seek professional help if their marriage is marred by irrational jealousy before it becomes too late.