At the start of the relationship, an abuser will equate jealously with love. In reality, jealousy has nothing to do with love. It is a sign of insecurity and possessiveness. The abuser will question the victim about who the victim talks to, accuse the victim of flirting, or become jealous of time spent with others. The abuser may call the victim frequently during the day, drop by unexpectedly, refuse to let the victim work, check the car mileage, or ask friends to watch the victim.

The tough thing about jealousy in dating is that you actually want a tiny bit of it, to know that the other person cares. (You certainly don't want to love someone who wouldn't mind at all if you slept with the entire football team.) But a little bit of jealousy goes a long, long way. Think of it as a drop of powerfully concentrated liquid in a huge bucket of water. More than a tiny drop will poison any relationship you might develop with the jealous person and, more important, put you in harm's way.

Even minor jealousy has the potential to be harmful. Jealousy becomes dangerous once it turns into obsession. The more we obsess about something, the more imagination takes over, distorting reality and rational thinking. Jealousy is the only naturally occurring emotion that can cause psychosis, which is the inability to tell what is really happening from what is in your head. Most severe violence in relationships involves some form of jealousy.

Lets Break Down the Jealousy Myths

Jealousy in relationships is one of the most common issues we hear about. Whether you’ve just started to date someone or have been going strong for a long time, jealousy is a feeling that comes up in most relationships.

What determines if your relationship behaviours are healthy, unhealthy, or abusive is how you deal with your jealous feelings. Since there are so many different ways to go about confronting your own jealousy, we want to break down some of the myths and help you learn to always handle jealousy in a healthy way.

Myth 1: I shouldn’t talk to, text or hang out with other girls/guys.

False! In a healthy relationship, both partners should encourage each other to have friends of any gender outside of the relationship. You should have fulfilling friendships with other people.

Myth 2: He/She goes through my phone and social media as they suspect I may be cheating.

False! Whether they heard a rumor or just got the feeling. It’s never ok to look through your phone or social media without your permission.

Myth 3: If my partner is jealous of other people talking to me, they’re just trying to protect me.

False! Just like in Myth 1, healthy relationships include healthy friendships. If your partner is telling you that you aren’t allowed to talk to other people because they might be interested in you, then your partner isn’t showing you that they trust you. When one partner tries to tell the other who to talk to, what to wear or where to go, they are asserting power and control, which is unhealthy and can be abusive.

The truth of the matter is:

Statistically the most obscene homicidal and suicidal effects of Domestic Violence generally occur from pathologically jealous men against female partners. Obviously men are capable of acting out rage and powerful emotions more violently than women. Women have been known to kill as an act of jealousy, but this is a rarity.

Jealousy is soul-destroying, and shatters an otherwise loving relationship piece by piece. Trust, intimacy and connection are destroyed. Jealousy can be extremely dangerous, and usually leads to significant abuse and often violence. These serious emotional insecurities have the potential to become life-threatening. It's the most dangerous aspect of abusive relationships - leading to the demise of the victim mentally, emotionally, physically, (and often financially) if an individual stays and sustains the abuse for a length of time.

This form of jealousy is born from deep insecurities, feelings of being unlovable and a panicked need to have to control to feel safe. Pathological jealousy is truly narcissistic.

The most frightening and frustrating part of jealousy is that the individual cannot be appeased or reassured. They don't trust, and no matter what is said or done, the panic never eases.  Jealous individuals are hyper-vigilantly on the lookout for reasons to be jealous, and this can take on unthinkable levels.

This behaviour is devastating for people who have no inclination to be unfaithful. Quite to the contrary, the individuals I know who have lived with jealous partners are usually so tormented with the isolation tactics, name calling, interrogations and accusations - the last thing they think about is sex with other people. In fact they wish members of the opposite sex didn't exist.

What is heart-breaking is that many of these people adored their partners from the onset and were fully committed. In fact, many individuals with jealous partners have high morality and a conviction about fidelity and marriage values. It's a tragedy that no matter how many times these people reassure their pathologically jealous partners, they simply don't have the emotional components to trust.

Some Signs of Jealousy:

  • Accusations of looking at other people.
  • Accusations of giving attention to others.
  • Accusations of being uncaring and appearing single if not granting enough body contact or attention in public.
  • Interrogation of behaviour.
  • Interrogation of phone calls and all other forms of communication.
  • Reading diary, going thorough belongings.
  • Incessant questioning: where you were, who were you with.
  • Demanding reports of people in your company.
  • Isolating, not allowing you to socialise on your own.
  • Threatening with 'tit for tat' retaliations if you pursue own interests.
  • Taking your car keys and money.
  • Hiding makeup, damaging clothes.
  • Interrogating and accusing if home late.
  • Laying stipulations and conditions in regards to contact with other people.
  • Checking up on you.
  • Accusations of affairs when pulling away or attempting escape from the abuse.
  • Accusations of affair when libido suffers as a result of the abuse.
  • Not being reassured.
  • Not trusting you.
  • Verbal and physical violence triggered by jealously.
  • Blaming you for jealous behaviour.
  • Always an excuse for jealous behaviour,
  • Denying jealous behaviour (except when hitting 'rock bottom).
  • Gaslighting techniques trying to confuse your trust in self, trying to prove there is reason to be jealous.