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8 things you did not know about jealousy

31 July 2016, 08:46 Bernard Lugagah

How much do you understand jealousy, that powerful emotion basic to all relationships? That feeling that can inspire you to protect or destroy your relationship, how well do you understand it? Did you know the following about it?

It is a mask

Jealousy is a cover up emotion for fear, insecurity, anger and humiliation over the stability of your relationship and what it says of your worth. You are insecure that your hold in the relationship is not that strong, and that humiliates you. You react by being angry at the threat and with your partner.

Normal and abnormal 

Normal jealousy is based on a real threat to your relationship. Abnormal jealousy is delusional, based on an imaginary or exaggerated threat. And yes, most jealousy is not only abnormal but also unwarranted.


Evolutionary, jealousy was the means by which a man ensured that nobody else made his wife pregnant, and women made sure their husbands did not support other women and their children. It helped protect the relationship and give their children a better chance at life. It perhaps explains why gay couples are not as jealous as heterosexual couples.

Read Also: Death in Love: How to know your lover will kill you one day

Different fears

Men and women are jealous of different things. Men are more scared of their woman having sex with another person while women fear their men being emotionally attached to another woman. This, and the next bit, are closely tied with point #3.

Different responses

Men and women respond differently to jealousy. When women feel threatened, they tend to increase their love to please their partner and direct their destructive powers at the other woman. That is not to say she won’t destroy your car, or your house, or you. They also tend to compromise and forgive to keep the relationship going.

Men on the other hand tend to devalue the relationship in response to jealousy. They will love the woman less, enter another relationship, avoid the partner or pretend not to care. Men also find it hard to own up to jealousy. It is more humiliating to men than to women.


That being said, jealousy is among the leading causes of intimate murders and suicides. Most victims are women, in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. The risk increases when jealousy is combined with other factors, like alcohol and drug use, depression and economic factor.

Triggers of jealousy

Mate poaching, that is, knowing that other people are going to try to steal your mate, Woodabe style.  This puts you on high alert and makes you suspicious of everyone.

Unmatched ‘mate value’, where one of you is more desirable than the other as a partner and therefore easy to lose but hard to replace. Since you know you are on hyper alert. You know what the Ethiopians say about marrying a beautiful woman and planting corn by the roadside?

Insecurity, insecurity, insecurity.


How do you detect jealousy in your partner? They are vigilant of you and controlling. They try to isolate you and are aggressive towards both you and the threat. They undermine your self-esteem so you feel only they can want you. All of which are actually self-defeatist in the end.

- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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