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Friday, 28 January 2011

The Jealous Husband: Stifling Heat

Written by  Patricia Lawrence Pomposello, LCSW

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Most everyone has experienced the feeling of jealousy. It isn't much fun. When it occurs on a regular basis in an intimate relationship, it can drive a wedge between the couple. For a marriage to succeed and grow, there needs to be a basis of trust.

Mimi and Carter have begun a discussion here and Mimi has set a ground rule for how often Carter can call her while she visits her sister with the children. However, this conversation is anything but a resolution of the problem.

Mimi is clearly angry with Carter and she responds defensively with flippant retorts. Carter doesn't comprehend that he is jealous and therefore is not taking responsibility for his feelings. He claims that he just "cares".

But listening in on her phone conversations, reading her e-mail, accusing her of putting on makeup and buying new skirts to be attractive to other men, indicate that he is dealing with a lot more than just caring for Mimi. Furthermore, if he continues on this course, he is likely to drive her away, making his jealousy seem justified.

Mimi needs to slow down and tell Carter how she feels being accused. Instead, she responds with a counter accusation, thereby distancing herself emotionally. As she does this, Carter's fear and jealousy escalate. So Mimi distances more. And Carter accuses her more.

Carter needs to connect with his feelings and take responsibility for them. He is afraid that Mimi will leave him. He believes that he can make her stay by trying to control her. If he could actually talk to her, maybe he would say: " Sometimes I feel frightened that you might want to be with someone else." Instead, he calls it love and hounds her.

Often a severe problem with jealousy stems from a deep insecurity that says, "You are not really lovable." And ironically, it is often this insecurity that motivates people to have affairs. So, Mimi is really not off the mark when she says to Carter that he might be the one desiring an affair.

View the Drama!

Last modified on Thursday, 12 January 2012 13:48
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Patricia Lawrence Pomposello, LCSW

Ms. Patricia Lawrence Pomposello is a psychotherapist, specializing in couple and women issues

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