There are many classifications of Jealousy, but for the purpose of this article we will focus mainly on romantic jealousy. Pathological Jealousy is a psychological disturbance.
Jealousy is defined as an unpleasant feeling, when you feel threatened by the perception that a valued relationship will be taken away, or you feel that your own partner is taking away something that you believe is yours.
People often ask if is a good or bad thing to be jealous, or should one be a little jealous, and how do you define what is little or too much Jealousy.
All of us who love should feel some type of jealousy, because it is a fear of losing someone that you love. However, the pathology of jealousy is pronounced when it interferes, justified or not, with your relationship.
DEFINING THE RELATIONSHIP
Couples define the rules of their relationship according to their morals and integrity, as well as to how conservative or liberal they might be.
This is a sensitive issue because sometimes one of the parties involved in this intimate relationship, feels forced to go along with a situation, they do not fully agree with, in order to not disappoint or lose their partner, this is not a good decision when the individual already feels insecure by the rules established by the other partner.
When the partners understand and agree to the rules about their intimacy at home and outside of their home, then the relationship has a better chance of survival, but if there are double standards or dishonesty in the rules agreed by the couple, then jealousy takes over accompanied by anger, distrust, resentment and in some cases revenge.
The couple can be conservative, setting up the rules by the culture they grew up with, or as liberal as being a swinging couple; however, the important issue to keep in mind is honesty, without it, the relationship will not survive, and the result will be dissolution, disharmony, betrayal, anger and depression.
The problem that I see more often in my practice, is that a great number of couples who end up in therapy did not discussed the rules of their intimacy at all.
Each one has written their own laws about how far to go or draw the line, without actually discussing the issue between them, and living with the assumptions that each have in their own mind.
Some individuals will not allow their partners to dance with someone else, talk to the opposite sex or sometimes even with the same sex, because of their insecurity, low self-esteem and pathological jealousy.
THE PATHOLOGY OF PATHOLOGICAL JEALOUSY
Pathological Jealousy can be a very dangerous emotion. This is a dangerous mindset, that involves feelings of anger and hurt, and sometimes a need to execute revenge against the lost love.
Jealousy can lead a pathological individual to kill his/her partner.
Individuals with Narcissistic personality disorder feel entitled to take unfair, disrespectful and possessive actions against their partner. They are under the false belief that they can cheat, lie, and emotionally abused their significant other because they think of themselves as superior to their partners, and they feel entitled to live as they please.
The individual with Narcissistic Personality Disorder become easily enraged, if they feel that their partner is engaging in any type of behavior similar to their own.
Most of the time their false beliefs, about their partners engagement in inappropriate behavior has no foundation, but it is their pathology that leads them to imaging different scenarios, accusing their partners of acts that are not happening.
Since the pathology of the illness does not allow them to see their partners as equals, but as objects subjected to them, they are unable to accept the fact that their pathological, narcissistic, and insecure behavior is what led their partner to walk away from their lives.
During the abusive behavior executed by the individual suffering with pathological jealousy, which could be emotional and/or physical, the aggressor is challenged, the jealous individual reacts with increased anger with the goal to keep the partner in line. Thereafter, they turn their aggressive behavior and they become charming, sweet, and lovable, making the partner believe that these measures of aggression are being taken because of the love they feel for their partner’s, this they do in order to keep the abusive relationship going.
The problem lies in that after the short honeymoon, the abusive partner will have a fit, and he/she will retaliate with increased force, in order to teach the partner a lesson for having challenged their possessive control.
How many times have we seen in the news where pathological jealousy in the aggressor has taken them to kill their partner’s in cold blood and in front of witnesses, without thinking of the consequences. This happens because in their sick mind, their significant loving partner represent only an object of possession that no one can take away from them.
These are the pathologically jealous individuals that will destroy the partner’s career, reputation, even their own children, because in their mind the only goal is for the partner to remain with them at all cost, even when themselves are unfaithful, aggressive, dishonest, as they do not see anything wrong with their behavior.
HOW CAN THE LAY PERSON BECOME AWARE OF SOMEONE HAVING THE DIAGNOSIS OF A DISTURBED PERSONALITY DISORDER?
It is true that it can be quite difficult to become aware that an individual with pathological jealousy has entered your life, because during the courtship it is all a plastic honeymoon.
However, the signs and symptoms are always there, example; they try to discourage their partner from attending family and social events with their love ones, scheduling events that conflict with the traditions of their partner’s family, interfering by creating other responsibilities.
They manipulate to break their partner’s support system by influencing their partner not to socialize with old friends, discourage the partner from becoming independent or to develop their career.
They will have very strong opinions about the way their partner dress, walk, eat, and especially their intimate life, the partner will constantly try to change in order accommodate and/or to receive approval of the controlling partner, hoping to make the relationship survive.
At the end of the day, the partner will be faced with the choice of remaining as a slave for the rest of their life, or remaining with the aggressor until the aggressive partner gets rid of them for someone else, or obtaining your freedom at a price.