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I have been quite intrigued with the emotion of jealousy in romantic love. I want to understand why it holds the power it does, why does it make us respond act in ways which we all think is so different from our grain! Currently I am on this book, Handbook of jealousy: theories, principles and multidisciplinary approaches- Hart, Sybil and put here are some cool facts!

The author says ‘Jealousy has a past—that is, it has been subject to significant change over time.’ For a very long time crimes/violence committed while in rage when seething from jealousy was dealt with a huge amount of understanding and more often than not, condoned. ‘He loved her so much, do you blame him for losing his head like that’….we have perhaps even heard ourselves mutter such justifications. Even when people killed their partner’s lover in a fit of rage, a part of us kind of sympathized for the betrayed partner. In fact many lawyers have argued under the insanity plea and got their clients off scot-free for murders committed during such a fit. Also remember attached with the concept of jealousy was of defending one’s honor. Duels were cheered! Jealous men could be literary heroes, defending the honor of their faithful wives. Interestingly, when a woman killed her husband’s lover she was not acquitted as it was argued that ‘women could not possibly be stirred by such a deep and righteous form of jealousy.’

Lawmakers began seeing jealousy differently when the menace of sibling rivalry came to light. It was not seen with as much kindness anymore and the need to have some kind of control to deal responsibly with it became compelling. From something that helped us defend our honour it began being seen as something, ‘that produced cruel behavior, adulterated real love with baser passion, and led jealous individuals to a tragic loss of control.’ ‘Advisors began to warn about the dangers of intense jealousy among young children. Parents should be aware, Felix Adler trumpeted, of the ‘‘incipient hatred’’ that could develop among brothers, at a very early age, which could poison the loving affection that should serve as the core of family life.’

Another interesting fact that led to reassessing how jealousy should be dealt with was based on how we as a society changed in regards to male-female interaction. While men and women, particularly in the standard setting middle classes, operated in rather separate spheres with women confined in or around the home inter-gender contact, of the sort that might provoke adult jealousy, was fairly limited. But with modernization as society became more free, as women stepped out for work and mixed with other males, as married couples socialized, and drank and flirted with other couples, the opportunities for jealousy expanded, and wit it the need to check the ‘loss of control’ it evoked!

Interesting! Isn’t it. Rest as I go along with the text!

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