Jealousy: Good or Bad? - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Jealousy: Good or Bad?

I have a question for both men and women: is jealousy in a relationship a good or bad thing....in your opinion?

Are there positive forms of jealousy?

In what marital situations do think some jealousy is appropriate and positive?

When is jealousy destructive and negative?

Is there a place in marriage or a committed relationship for jealousy?


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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 08:20 AM
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Re: Jealousy: Good or Bad?

Jealousy can be good or bad. It can be good in that a gut response to a situation may be a warning that there is reason for concern. If there is, then it was useful. If you feel jealousy and it's unfounded, based on your own insecurities, or continues after you've determined that it's unfounded, then it is unhealthy for you and the relationship.

Mostly, jealousy is typically based in fear - the fear that you will lose something of value (as such, it may or may not have anything to do with love). How you respond to that is key, IMO.

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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 08:26 AM
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Re: Jealousy: Good or Bad?

I think what some would call jealousy is really insistence on good boundaries. In that case it's good.

When jealously fueled by insecurities causes one to push for boundaries that aren't reasonable then it becomes unhealthy.

Clearly the line is somewhat subjective.
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 08:43 AM
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Re: Jealousy: Good or Bad?

Jealously is a good barometer of a marriage.

Each spouse [ideally] should strive to "guard" the other. Keep the other safe, keep the other close. Yes, keeping the other for yourself.

It is an "outward" form of caring, proves that you value the other person.

He/she is mine!

Excesses, notwithstanding, of course.

Insecurities play a role, for sure. Most loving people want to feel secure in their loved ones. I do.

Anyone who is not jealous, in my opinion is too cool [for my comfort]. I like a women who will dig her nails in my arm....if my eyes stray!

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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Jealousy: Good or Bad?

I think jealousy can arise from two sources: self-respect or insecurity. The self-respect form can be positive if channeled appropriately. The insecurity-based jealousy is more problematic and harder to control I think.
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 09:55 AM
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Re: Jealousy: Good or Bad?

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Originally Posted by bandit.45 View Post
I think jealousy can arise from two sources: self-respect or insecurity. The self-respect form can be positive if channeled appropriately. The insecurity-based jealousy is more problematic and harder to control I think.
I agree. I also think when it's insecurity based there's nothing you can do as a partner to make it go away.

If self respect is the driver then appropriate boundaries will make said partner happy.

One driven by insecurity will never be happy.

My own example, which you may be familiar with, was my hb's ridiculous boundaries with his ex wife and her family. I won't threadjack with the ugly details, but lets just say they were ridiculous.

Some might claim I was driven by insecurity, but I disagree. What he was doing was inappropriate and rude, and I have self respect


Once we had it out and he put in place better boundaries I was happy. If I'd been driven by insecurity no doubt I'd find something else to be unhappy about.
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 10:53 AM
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Re: Jealousy: Good or Bad?

I see jealousy as almost entirely bad. In a good relationship each person is confident of their partners attraction and affection. Each can trust the other completely so there is no cause for insecurity.
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 11:18 AM
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Re: Jealousy: Good or Bad?

So, if you dont want your committed, exclusive BF or GF chatting with people of the opposite sex online, does that mean that you are jealous?. To me, this is setting boundaries and protecting the relationship. I guess I am trying to figure out what the definition of "jealous" actually is....

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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 11:44 AM
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Re: Jealousy: Good or Bad?

I think there is a natural tendency to get jealous if you see or hear something that causes you to feel threatened. Jealousy by it's definition is a negative emotion, however when you respond to negative emotions with positive actions, I see that as a good reaction.

I don't know if there's such a thing as a bad emotion, but there are definitely bad responses.

In a committed relationship, jealousy can be a spark that brings honest and thoughtful discussion. It can also lead to controlling, angry and manipulative behavior. The first is a good reaction, the second bad.

Does it have a place in a relationship? Whether you want it to or not, it does. We are all human.
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 11:49 AM
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Re: Jealousy: Good or Bad?

I suffer with insecurity. It very recent. I am almost 45 and its been for the last two years. It is not jealousy. I am not hateful towards the other women that my husband leers at when we are out together. They are beautiful in comparison to me. It makes me feel anxious and insecure though. I think there is a big difference between them tbh. And from my experience it is never good. Its very destructive and can ruin the very best of relationships.

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post #11 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 12:07 PM
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Cool Re: Jealousy: Good or Bad?

I basically equate jealousy with envy and in my younger, more formative years, it bothered the hell out of me much more than it ever does now!

If a person has more wealth than I do, not a problem; a prettier, more affable W or GF, not a problem, better vehicles or better homes, it doesn't phase me!

A wise old Methodist preacher said once in a sermon long ago, that when you get to heaven, not to bother to ask God what he's got in His billfold ~ you'd be surprised to know that it's considerably less than what anyone on Earth has! Thank God that wealth, jealousy, and envy are all purely Earthly attributes and not Heavenly ones!

Since that time, I've not really been all that bothered by what someone has possession of and of what I don't!

And all that I can say is thank God for that!

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post #12 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Jealousy: Good or Bad?

In my case, jealousy is a sense of protectiveness of my partner and relationship. I see it as a positive.
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post #13 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 12:22 PM
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Re: Jealousy: Good or Bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeistooshort View Post
I agree. I also think when it's insecurity based there's nothing you can do as a partner to make it go away.

If self respect is the driver then appropriate boundaries will make said partner happy.

One driven by insecurity will never be happy.

My own example, which you may be familiar with, was my hb's ridiculous boundaries with his ex wife and her family. I won't threadjack with the ugly details, but lets just say they were ridiculous.

Some might claim I was driven by insecurity, but I disagree. What he was doing was inappropriate and rude, and I have self respect



Once we had it out and he put in place better boundaries I was happy. If I'd been driven by insecurity no doubt I'd find something else to be unhappy about.

I agree that there is a difference between jealousy and self respect but, like porn, everyone defines their own difference.

I am familiar with your sitch Life, and in your case it was a question of what your gut instinct was telling you and what boundaries would be considered normal dealing with an exwife and children and ex in laws and trying to keep a big happy family for the sake of the kids. Your husband was walking that line awfully close but considering the other issues his line walking was out of bounds.

How does a person know if their definition of self respect and boundary setting has crossed the line into jealous controlling behavior? My personal answer is that if you must resort to jealous controlling behavior in order to feel secure in your partner's commitment to you, it's not a good relationship. We partner to make us stronger. We partner to give and gain assistance through life. But if that partnership requires constant surveillance it is not a good partnership.

If your spouse has been unfaithful, you shouldn't even attempt to reconcile unless you know that you will be able to trust them again, given enough time to heal and mend. But if you know you're going to be supervising and checking...don't bother to reconcile because the partnership is over and it is now ownership.

Edited to add:
I think a small amount of what many call jealousy, and others call boundary setting is good for a marriage. It shows commitment to the commitment. It shows that you're paying attention because this person is important to you. But more than that is too much.

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Last edited by Anon Pink; 04-04-2017 at 12:29 PM.
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post #14 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Jealousy: Good or Bad?

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Originally Posted by arbitrator View Post
I basically equate jealousy with envy and in my younger, more formative years, it bothered the hell out of me much more than it ever does now!

If a person has more wealth than I do, not a problem; a prettier, more affable W or GF, not a problem, better vehicles or better homes, it doesn't phase me!

A wise old Methodist preacher said once in a sermon long ago, that when you get to heaven, not to bother to ask God what he's got in His billfold ~ you'd be surprised to know that it's considerably less than what anyone on Earth has! Thank God that wealth, jealousy, and envy are all purely Earthly attributes and not Heavenly ones!

Since that time, I've not really been all that bothered by what someone has possession of and of what I don't!

And all that I can say is thank God for that!
But God describes Himself as a "jealous God".
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post #15 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 12:26 PM
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Cool Re: Jealousy: Good or Bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bandit.45 View Post
In my case, jealousy is a sense of protectiveness of my partner and relationship. I see it as a positive.
Bandito: Could you elaborate a little bit? I'm not adverse to this philosophy, in fact, it's somewhat opened my eyes; but I think that I might be able to go somewhere with this!

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Last edited by arbitrator; 04-04-2017 at 12:30 PM. Reason: Edification
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