Love is the answer to all questions? Not quite. She also represents quite a few. Psychologist and couple therapist Oskar Holzberg asks himself how much jealousy is normal.
If jealousy destroys us, it’s too much. And if we do not feel it, that’s not enough.
It has to be mediocre
Kathrin goes on a training lasting several days. She says to her friend Paul, “Do not worry, you know I’m loyal to you.” Paul nods: “I’m not jealous anyway, just ride.” And Kathrin is secretly glad that she does not believe Paul a bit, what he says there. Because if Paul was never a little jealous, then she would be disappointed. Because that would not mean that she does not care about him? Yes, she would even wonder if Paul would not have a flirt somewhere or more.
While we do not want to appear jealous in any way, it pleases us when our partner reacts a little jealously. Jealousy is part of the model of our love relationships, such as vertigo for mountaineering. Of course, we do not want to be overwhelmed and paralyzed by her. But we need them to be careful. Even the best love relationship is never one hundred percent sure. Basically, jealousy is our love tsunami early warning system, which accurately registers all the shocks. Is there any cause for concern? Are we no longer so close and securely connected with each other? Is our love clouded? Is she so weakened that she is threatened by others?
Love changes everything
We become jealous when we think someone else is closer to our loved one than we are, and gets us terrified of loss. We are adults, but now we feel weak and dependent like a child. In doing so, we usually do everything we can to go through life self-confidently and independently. But if we love, we’ll make ourselves dependent. And if we bind ourselves firmly to someone, then we are emotionally dependent on those people. But because we all have learned from our parents that we should not be jealous and jealous, we can not handle jealousy well.
Unfortunately, the less we can express it openly towards the partner, the more it captures us. And those who as a child have experienced ties only as very insecure, reacts more jealously. Too jealous. But if, for example, the partner has recently had an affair, jealousy is not overdone, but simply a sign that the betrayed partner is not feeling safe again. Jealousy has a lot to do with attachment anxiety. And anyone who is never jealous will unconsciously avoid the risk of even deeper bonding.
What does “jealousy” actually mean exactly?
Incidentally, the word “zeal” first appears in Luther’s Bible translation, meaning “friendly envy, lovely wrath.” What has become of today’s meaning “fierce endeavor for a good cause”. For the love life, the result is the “jealousy”, whereby we understand “addiction” as both pathological desire and “seeking to follow up, trace”. So let us think of jealousy as “lovely anger,” which we can certainly show when the most important thing in our lives suddenly feels insecure. As long as the jealousy between us is calm, it is not too much. And as long as the sting of jealousy has an effect and makes us more desirable in the eyes of our loved ones, it is not too little.
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Oskar Holzberg, 64, has been advising couples in his Hamburg practice for more than 20 years and repeatedly gets relationship questions. His current book is called "New Key Phrases of Love" (242 p., 20 euros, Dumont).