Green-eyed monster of jealousy can kill you (and loved ones) - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

The green-eyed monster of jealousy can kill you (and someone you love)

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Shakespeare first coined the term "Green-eyed monster," butevery human has felt jealous at some time. Whether it rears its ugly head overa relationship or comes out at work, we know when we feel it because thepossessiveness, anger and rage take over.

The majority of marital disputes aredue to jealousy and every police force trains their officers about one of theirmost deadly missions: being called to domestic violence. Jealousy with all ofits suspicion and irrational thoughts doesn't only wreck havoc in yourrelationships, but also takes its toll on your health. Becoming aware of yourown jealousy or tendency for possessiveness and suspicion is the first step,and learning healthier ways to deal with it are the second step.

There are numerous theories about how we develop jealousy.It is common in people who feel insecure or overly dependent upon others and itis also more likely if you grew up in a home where these types of behavior weredemonstrated every day. Anthropologists will tell us it is wired into us as asafety mechanism and is commonly seen in the animal world. Jealousy as a safetymechanism would be considered healthier and is more fear-based. The type ofjealousy that becomes lethal, as do domestic fights, are the anger-based type.The jealous person ends up killing others or themselves. 

Jealousy will kill a relationship because people who arefrequently jealous obsess about the person they are most afraid of losing. Theybegin forbidding them from wearing certain clothes, going to certain places,and talking to certain people. Soon the person with whom they are in arelationship begins changing. They no longer have the same friends, wear thesame clothes, or talk to the same people. The relationship becomes all aboutthe jealous person trying to keep the object of their suspicion safe. No oneand no relationship can survive that. The rage and anger present when thejealous person begins feeling threatened that their love will abandon them.Jealousy left unmanaged turns into a very sick situation and violence is themost likely outcome.

There are steps you can take now to begin managing yourjealousy. These exercises will help prevent you from further health risks aswell. I frequently work with patients who suffer cardiac problems and hypertension.It is not uncommon for these patients to express a history of anger andjealousy. When you are jealous and enraged your blood pressure has to go higherand the emotional stress you feel does negatively affect your heart. 

  1. Practice letting go of the person you are mosttrying to possess. If you look at jealousy closely the person you are mostfearful of, is the one you have to let go of. If someone is going to cheat,they are going to, no matter what you do or say. By letting go, you are sayingto them, I am a complete being and if that is not enough it is better I let gonow.
  2. Letting go of possessiveness is easier if youhave something to do with the anxiety you feel. Exercising helps minimize theanger, anxiety and crazy thoughts that go along with jealousy.
  3. Engage with friends outside your relationship asmuch as possible. Our friends help distract us, and they help rationalize asituation.
  4. Tell your partner up front you have a jealoustendency and ask them to be sensitive to that. Many times partners willactually tease by trying to make their partner jealous. This is insensitive abest, and cruel at worse.
  5. Building confidence requires us to do the thingsthat make us feel better about ourselves. When I see clients in my office Ioften times ask them for a list of things that make them interesting or feelgood about themselves. I have yet to see someone bring in a list of more thantwo or three things. Each person should have at least ten things that they aredoing that make them feel good about themselves.
  6. Counseling helps empower. When you become out ofcontrol with jealousy you know it. Your life becomes overtaken by thegreen-eyed monster. Counseling will help you untangle the web that has beencreated and may help you become aware when you are feeling jealous so you canchoose a healthy option before you destroy your life or someone else's.

Love song lyrics lament about the jealousy and sadness feltwhen we see someone we love with someone else. These songs are popular becausewe have all felt jealous and fearful of losing someone we love. However, when this common emotion isexpressed with rage and angry actions toward another person you feel should bedead if they were not with you, it is no longer common, it is sick. Learninghow to manage your jealousy will save your life as well as those you love.

– Mary Jo Rapini

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Mary Jo Rapini -- http://www.maryjorapini.com/

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