The causes, outcomes, and solutions when jealousy gets out of
by Vijai P. Sharma, PhD.
Is Your Life Affected by Jealosy?
You must not pass this book without reading from
cover to cover if you are personally troubled by feelings of jealousy or someone you care
about is excessively jealous.
Thousands of women are battered and confined by jealous men. Men, fearing their jealous partners, dread to talk or even be seen in the presence of other women. Many partners commit suicide or kill. Many drink and abuse drugs. Disorders of jealousy underlie depression, anxiety, panic, poor self-esteem, and lack of confidence. In some emotional and mental disorders, irrational jealousy is the first symptom to appear.
You will learn about this disorder from true-life stories. Two daughters of an insanely jealous father who killed their mother and then committed suicide tell what they experienced. A wife of an insanely jealous man who committed suicide provides an intimate insight into how this disorder tormented the marriage of a couple. A clinical psychologist through his extensive research and therapy experience discusses jealousy, symptoms, treatment and self-help techniques. This book explains what insane jealousy is, how to recognize it, and what actions to take.
"This work should be mandatory reading for patients and victims of jealousy, their relatives and friends; for social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, marriage counselors, A&D counselors, pastors, attorneys, police officers, and in fact all professional workers working with individuals, couples and families in distress." Daniel C. Brumback, M.D.
"Dr. Sharma's book is totally captivating. The text is compelling and fascinatingly tragic. To live with such a destructive disease must be one of the most terrifying existences possible." Ronald L. Stevenson
"I found this book very helpful. Someday I may be able to steer someone with a jealousy disorder in the right direction and possibly avert a tragedy." Michelle Ingram
The Causes, Outcomes, and Solutions When Jealousy Gets Out Of Hand
The Triangle of the Mind
Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D.
"Sabrina," "Ashley," and "Holly"
Mind Publications, Cleveland
P.O. Box 4254
Cleveland, TN 37320-4254
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission from the author, except for the inclusions of brief quotations in a review.
Copyright 1991 by Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D.
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 90-92291
ISBN 0-9628382-6-8 $16.95 Softcover
Jealousy; Delusional Jealousy; Delusions; Paranoia; Domestic Violence; Battering; Spouse Abuse; Marital Discord; Marriage Counseling.
Cover: William Blumhoff Design
ABOUT THE BOOK AND THE AUTHORS
"Sabrina" and "Ashley" are two sisters whose father suffered from a delusional disorder of jealousy. As a result of this disorder, he killed their mother and committed suicide. They have contributed the story, "Mother and Dad."
Holly was the wife of a morbidly jealous man who committed suicide out of his jealous rage and desperation. She has contributed the story, "My Husband."
Sabrina, Ashley, and Holly have borne the ultimate consequences of a jealousy disorder and are now putting their lives together and trying to help others who are in a similar situation. Although, in their stories, names, places, and other identifying details are disguised, they are aware that publication of their stories may lead to misunderstandings and cause emotional distress not only to them but their families as well. They are willing to take that risk in the hope that this book will help the individuals and their families afflicted by this least understood human problem.
Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and counselor for Sabrina, Ashley, Holly, other victims, and patients of pathological jealousy, discusses the disorder and the management of jealousy. Sr. Sharma, clinical director of a community mental health center, and licensed as a clinical psychologist in Tennessee, has receive extensive clinical training in India, England, and Sweden.
What the pilot readers are saying:
The author has identified a major problem in our society and has eloquently
differentiated between what is normal jealousy and that of pathological jealousy with its
potential hazards. I would urge every professional who is dealing with and treating
patients in the area of mental health, as well as non-professional to read this book
thorough from cover to cover. It is within itself a masterpiece.
Kenneth E. Shoemaker, M.D.
Outstanding book. Dr. Sharma has provided a wonderful tool for all of us to use. He and
his co-writers are very courageous indeed.
Barry Kidwell, Pastor.
Dr. Sharma has created a masterpiece within the pages of this book. I became so
absorbed in it completely through in one evening. It is enlightening and it ventures into
Suzan Logsdon, Executive Assistant.
Since I first reviewed the manuscript, I have had a case in my own private practice of
a "delusionally jealous" woman. I sincerely believe that I would be able to use
this book to help my college students live a more healthy and wholesome life. I also
believe this knowledge will help me identify clients or their families who are trapped by
this relentless disease.
Jacqueline H. Bailey, M.Ed., Ed.S.
The author deals with a subject that has too long been held in secret by American
families. It is a honest, straight-forward look at a problem which is destroying many
homes today. The hurting people who were victims have put their total personal feelings on
Dr. Ronald V. Free, D.C.
Dr. Sharmas book on jealousy is opening our eyes to an often subdued suffering in
relationships. A lot of readers will be able to recognize themselves in the mirror of his
fellow authors case studies.
William W. Van Groenou, Ph.D. Professor of Sociology.
WHAT IS INSANE JEALOUSY?
Insane jealousy is the fixed belief that ones partner is unfaithful and sexually cheating one behind his back. The belief of an insanely jealous person regarding the unfaithfulness of his partner is not founded in reality. Albeit, reasonable explanations. This belief is firmly entrenched and unshakable. Any counter evidence, assertion of faithfulness or pledge of undivided love on the part of the accused partner does not appease his anger or suspicion. Whether the partner is really unfaithful or not is unimportant in determining if a person is suffering from insane jealousy. When anything and everything becomes proof of the sexual unfaithfulness of the jealousy. The question of the faithfulness of the spouse becomes an obsession for a person gripped with insane jealousy. It may be said that an insanely jealous person imagines acts of unfaithfulness committed by ones spouse. He may suspect a familiar person as a potential rival or he may imagine a rival.
The term "partner" is interchangeable for spouse, lover, husband, wife, live-in friend or the like, engaged in a relationship which involves sexual intimacy. In this book the insanely jealous partner is referred to as "he"; and the accused partner as "she". In either case, the gender is reversible. Since, research indicates that there are two insanely jealous men for every one woman, the choice of the pronoun "he" over "she," in referring to an insanely jealous person, is warranted.
EXCESSIVELY JEALOUS PARTNER 15
THE VICTIM PARTNER 17
THE EYE OF THE TIGER 19
MOTHER AND DAD 29
MY HUSBAND 73
IN RETROSPECT 127
JEALOUSY AND ENVY 133
JEALOUSY AND CULTURAL
JEALOUSY IN RELIGION 138
INFIDELITY AND ADULTERY 139
LOVE AND HEALTHY JEALOUSY 140
SYMPTOMS AND BEHAVIORS IN THE DISORDERS OF JEALOUSY 143
SIGNS OF INSANE JEALOUSY WITHOUT THE DELUSION OF INFIDELITY 144
DELUSION OF INFIDELITY 149
MORBID JEALOUSY AND DELUSIONAL JEALOUSY 160
DELUSIONAL DISORDER OF
BEHAVIORAL EXAMPLES OF INSANE JEALOUSY 163
MISPERCEPTIONS AND MISINTERPRETATIONS 164
CONTROLS AND RESTRICTIONS 165
DOMESTIC ESPIONAGE 165
JEALOUSY BEHAVIORS 166
PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS 167
HIDDEN GAINS OF INSANE JEALOUSY 172
FAMILY AND PERSONAL BACKGROUND OF AN INSANELY JEALOUS PERSON 174
INSANE JEALOUSY AND VIOLENCE 181
EVALUATION AND TREATMENT 183
STRUCTURE OF ASSESSMENT
SUPPORT GROUPS 186
SOCIAL-HUMANITARIAN AGENCIES 186
TREATMENT TECHNIQUES 187
SELF-HELP AND SELF-GROWTH TECHNIQUES 190
SEPARATION AND DIVORCE 201
CHILDREN OF A JEALOUS PARENT 203
SIGNS OF A FAVORABLE OUTCOME 204
A COMMENT 205
JEALOUSY BIBLIOGRAPHY 207
JEALOUSY QUOTES 215
In some cases, there are no secret lovers and there are no unfaithful spouses out there.But jealous souls will not be answerd so;
They are not ever jealous for the cause,
But jealous for they are jealous.
Tis a monster
Begot upon itself, born on itself.(Othello, III, IV, 160)
The jealousy of secret lover is inside the mind while the thorn of imagined infidelity sticks in the flesh, day and night.
Psychologists and Psychiatrists recognize it as a case of CONJUGAL PARANOIA or those who are more inclined towards literature call it OTHELLO COMPLEX. In common parlance, it is called INSANE JEALOUSY. Insane jealousy is irrational, excessive jealousy. It is the false entrapment of mind, an obsession with unfaithfulness of the person one loves; the hellish fire of doubt and distrust.
Within limits, jealousy is a normal and acceptable emotion. In most societies, an individual who showed total lack of it would be regarded as odd, and a certain element of mutual jealousy is often seen as evidence of a healthy, involved relationship.
However, we all know that jealousy can become excessive. Sometimes this is perfectly understandable when, for example, a sexual partner is provocative, flirtatious with others, or downright unfaithful. Despite all the sexual freedom of the past three decades, possessiveness is still almost universally present in human relationships and so we are not surprised when someone reacts to this kind of situation with anger and jealousy. We can see this as normal human reaction, perhaps as an extension of our territorial sense, and in most cases the jealousy abates as the situation resolves itself.
At other times, the degree and duration of an individuals jealous feelings are so severe that they can only be regarded as evidence of illness. In the past, an abnormal degree of jealousy might have been construed as a specific disorder, but nowadays--as Dr. Sharma clearly indicates--it is known that it can be a symptom of a whole variety of psychological and emotional problems. When a clinician meets with a case, he or she knows that a careful assessment of the situation and of the persons mental state must be undertaken in order to understand the form the jealousy takes and whether or not it is symptomatic of a specific mental disorder. Then, hopefully, a worthwhile intervention can be undertaken.
Unfortunately, we do not always have the opportunity to intervene at the appropriate time, and the two harrowing stories told in this book show us just how pathological an individuals jealousy may become, and how we may be unable to avert its dreadful consequences. These kind of stories, unhappily, are not too uncommon. Even lesser degrees of abnormality may cause severe suffering, and we know that some victims of pathological jealousy can become housebound because they are terrified of another accusation of infidelity if they go out from the house; others may attempt suicide because they have reached the end of their tether. Many just keep their mouths shut and put up with the constant barrage of assault, sometimes physical as well as mental.
Abnormal jealousy is probably much commoner than we realize, but the victims do not complain in many cases out of embarrassment or fear, or--in some cases--ignorance of what is normal. Dr. Sharma does well to highlight the problem and to provide a detailed checklist of the symptoms and consequences of severe jealousy. Probably this will not change the jealous persons attitude even if he reads it, but it is important to educate the public, the concerned professional and, perhaps most vitally, the potential victim about what to look out for. In some cases, knowledge can truly avert tragedy.
The two case-histories make desperately sad reading, and they indicate the far-reaching effects of a jealousy which has reached such an extreme depth. It is my hope that Dr. Sharmas book will cast light on this relatively unknown area of human experience, that it will help professionals to recognize severe jealousy for the potentially dangerous situations where, otherwise, only human desolation can ensue.
Alistair Munro, M.D.
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Professor Alistair Munro is an international psychiatric expert who has served on the Advisory Committee of the American Psychiatric Association.
Life has shortchanged many people via the medium of insane jealousy (a colloquial name for disorders of jealousy). A wife, loyal, and deeply in love, is rudely shocked by the accusations, hurled at her by her husband. Thereafter, she loses her freedom to talk, move, smile, or to act naturally and spontaneous around people. She is aware that she is under the constant surveillance of her spouse. She stands accused and faces the rage of a "wronged" spouse in spite of her absolute faithfulness and extreme cautiousness. Insane jealousy occurs in women as well as men. An insanely jealous person threatens, cries, begs, and may even assault his spouse, all in his desperation to make her stop this imaginary betrayal. He breathes under the fear of adultery. He is unable to love because of his fear and rage. He lives under constant agony and torture of a self-created false belief. He is not cheated by his spouse. He is cheated by insane jealousy.
Relatives of the opposite sex are close suspects and may often be accused. All members of the extended family of the suspected spouse may be included in this elaborate suspicion of misconduct. Children of an insanely jealous family get short shifted, too. They only get to relate to a part of their parents. The wholeness of family relationships is missing. One parent is all wrapped up in investigating, accusing and demanding confessions from the spouse of unfaithfulness. There other parent is busy defending against the onslaught of accusations. A mother is too scared of expressing love to her own children in the fear of making their father furiously jealous. An insanely jealous father may withhold love and affection from a child because he suspects that the child is fathered by some other man. Worse, he may carry an irrational grudge towards this child. Children of an insanely jealous father are afraid of expressing love towards their mother. They do not know when a seemingly trivial remark in conversation may set off a series of delusion fears in the mind of the insanely jealous and result in a full blown rage. "Being around my father was like walking on egg shells," says a child of an insanely jealous father. "We could not talk to mother alone." Another child from a similar family setting says, "When my parents are old and gone, all we would remember about them would be that my dad was cussing and my mom was crying."
Some women are driven to suicide or a suicidal attempt due to the unhappiness and hardship caused by insane jealousy of their spouse. Such a suicidal attempt, in the emergency room, or at the psychiatric clinic, may be identified as a result of "depression", or, a "marital problem". Similarly, some men are driven to suicide or a suicidal attempt due to the imagined indiscretions of their spouses. The problem may not be correctly identified in the preliminary evaluations.
The mission of this book is to explain that insane jealousy is a mental illness. It is to enable lay persons as well as professionals to recognize problems, characteristics, and behaviors of an insanely jealous person and his afflicted family. We want to assist individuals who are insanely jealous so that they may get in touch with the suffering of their own selves and accept help. We hope to enable families to break the barriers of shame and embarrassment. The success of this effort will be measured by how many members of afflicted families seek help in their own right and/or for the sake of their family members who are sick. By the same token, it is important that professionals acquire specific knowledge and skills, so they can help these families and individuals. For others, I hope, there is sufficient information in this work to recognize the consequences of away with the passion of jealousy.
The life of a family with insane jealousy is shrouded in secret pain. It is our wish to share that pain and hope with our readers.
EXCESSIVELY JEALOUS PARTNER
DO THESE SOUND FAMILIAR TO YOU?
Here, in brief, are the signs of excessive jealousy. Do you recognize them? Presence of any one sign indicates presence of excessive jealousy. However, one sign alone does not determine the absence or presence of "insane jealousy" (disorders of jealousy). If a person exhibits several of the following behaviors, he or she may have a disorder of jealousy:
Extremely moody. Mood swings related to rage towards the partner.
At times extremely quiet and withdrawn from the partner.
Watches and monitors partners actions and movements closely.
Does not allow the partner out of sight.
Spies on the partner.
Intolerant of friends and relatives. Especially intolerant of partners friends and relatives.
Intolerant of compliments paid to the partner.
Intolerant of affection or attention expressed towards the partner by others.
Sudden and unexpected outbursts of rage related to jealousy.
Repeatedly doubts and accuses partner of unfaithfulness without reason or basis.
Questions with intense severity about the time spent in his or her absence.
Questions scathingly about partners amorous relationships with people at work.
Relentless and untiring questioning of the nature of partners premarital relationships, or of previous relationships, if unmarried.
Keeps close track of partners time, travel, and pocket money.
Directly accuses partner of unfaithful behavior.
Insistently demands confession from the partner of sexual misconduct.
Enraged if the false beliefs about partners unfaithfulness are challenged.
Abusive and assaultive towards the partner.
Disallows the partner from all outside contact and communication, such as from going out, picking up mail, receiving phone calls, etc.
Doubts the paternity of ones own children.
Suspects that partner is trying to harm or get rid of him or her to lead a lustful life.
Becomes anxious that the partner has or is going to develop a venereal disease due to her indiscreet behavior.
Suspects that the partner has lost sexual interest in him because of her interests elsewhere.
Believes that the partner is some sort of maniac with an insatiable hunger for sex.
THE VICTIM PARTNER
ARE YOU A VICTIM OF INSANE JEALOUSY?
Here are the signs that a victim of insane jealousy is likely to manifest. Do you recognize any of these signs? You are a victim of insane jealousy, if you find yourself doing any one of the following:
The sight of telephone makes you nervous. You do not like the telephone to ring. You are afraid the caller might be asking for you which will upset your partner. You do not want to answer the telephone yourself so that you can give your partner every opportunity to verify and satisfy.
Your being late from work amounts to adultery. When you get late from work by completing the urgent assignment given by your boss, you dread to reach home. You are afraid how you will ever convince your partner that you were not meeting your lover.
When you come home, you have to explain a lot. You feel compelled to give details of every minute you spent and every person you met when you were out of your partners sight.
You are always very careful. You try to act very carefully in talking to outsiders. You try to avoid any possible grounds for suspicion. You try to make light of partners distrust and suspicion of you or blame yourself. No matter what you do you still end up being accused of betraying your partner.
You would rather not go out of the house. You do not want to go out on your own. You dont want to go out on your own. You dont want to get out of your house, with or without your partner, because no matter what you do and where you go, your spouse is going to accuse you of "playing the old trick" on him.
Friends and relative make you nervous. You avoid meeting your friends, male or female, and relatives, even your own parents, siblings, uncles and aunts, merely, to avoid incensing your partner.
You wish the world did not have members of opposite sex. You feel your world would have been safer then. You feel uneasy talking to members of the opposite sex, whether they are familiar or unknown to you. If you could, you would let your partner talk to them.
You cant be natural and spontaneous with your own children. You do not feel free to express your love to your own children lest you make you partner jealous. You are afraid of receiving love from you own children; you discourage its expression towards you and guide it towards you partner.
The idea of being alone with someone terrifies you. You are afraid of being alone with anyone, even with your closest relatives, lest you provoke jealous rage in your partner.
You do not want to do make up or dress pretty. You are afraid of getting in a pretty outfit, doing make up or looking attractive lest you upset your partner.
Getting back in time is a matter of life and death for you. If you must get out, you feel desperate to get back home. You fight against all odds so that you can make it in the time that is expected of you by your partner. The idea of being late ties knots in your stomach.
You are still guilty. No matter how careful and prudent you act, you still end up being suspected or accused of unfaithfulness by your partner.
"Alternative medicine should be a complementary medicine in some cases and the main medicine in others."