What is jealousy, and how does it come about to affect us so harshly whenever we become plagued in it’s harsh throes? This emotion that drives us to become green with envy is something that is a common problem for a variety of relationships, even those not of romantic roots. It stirs resentment, stews with anger and greed, and brings about the worst within ourselves, hurting even the ones we care about. But, what is it?
Jealousy, in the secular definition, is the general feelings of insecurities, anxieties, and concerns over a lack of possession over something. This something changes depending on context. For instance one can be jealous of a friend for getting the job you wanted, or maybe jealous of someone else’s wealth compared to yours. In this context, however, it refers to the insecurity that wracks the mind when one’s ‘possession’ of a bond with another is threatened. This threatening can be from perhaps a distance created from conflict, or a sudden change that causes one to feel insecure. No matter the circumstance, the feeling is malignant and causes one to shut down from opening up, emotionally or otherwise.
When jealousy arises in a relationship, it can be expressed unconsciously through many mediums: anger, lashing out, overprotectiveness, unfair treatment, harshness, and more. When a partner begins to start lashing out with negative emotion, it is vitally important to identify it, and communicate the feeling. Being green with envy creates subconscious resentment, which is a spreading crack that can poison a bond, no matter how much effort is undergone to mend it completely once suffered. It is not unfair to feel jealousy in of itself. Emotion is emotion, and cannot be faulted, no matter the person, as we all share emotions and are made all the more human by it. However, it is important to remember that lashing out because of jealousy is unfair in a relationship, and should be addressed immediately when noticed.
Jealousy is a terrible emotion that acts as a scourge on a relationship, however it does not warrant complete rejection either. Each person has felt, or will feel jealousy alongside numerous other malicious emotions that come along with developing emotional experience. Emotions and life in general can be surmised in the infamous phrase of Charles Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. It is important to realize that it is a necessity, in order to have a healthy bond with someone, to acknowledge the existence of jealousy between the members in the relationship, and that it is a normal behavior. The point at which jealousy becomes unfair, and unkind, is when the person lashes out, acting on it harshly, out of fear.
One of the hardest things in order to do as part of a relationship of all is it learn to let go. When your partner is doing things that they enjoy, or have to do, you must learn to trust them and let them go in order to let them grow. No matter the jealousy you feel, no matter the feelings of anguish and anxiety, you must learn to trust and let them be. Jealousy will cause you to feel as if you’ve an entitlement to their undivided attention, but is unhealthy for anyone involved. Let them live as a person, and you can cherish them upon their return. That is the essence of overcoming the green plague of jealousy: learn to let go and trust.