Jealousy – the monster within
Posted on July 26th, 2012

Dr.Tilak Fernando




A friend of mine, strapping Army officer, over 6 ft tall, who braved the terrorist war with a lot of endurance suddenly became sick at a domestic social gathering once. Excusing himself, he swiftly whooshed into a nearest toilet, bent over the wash basin, turned the taps on and started to puke. Certainly he was not intoxicated with liquor, but in a silent aside he muttered to me: “That bloody woman”! I tried to help him by propping his head over the basin.

He had a rather heartbreaking tale but I was convinced by the fact that while he was engaged in a fearsome battle to bail out his motherland from a terrorist grip out of sheer patriotism he had been simultaneously confronted with a different kind of ‘love-war’ with his fiancƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚© .

Tear-jerking it was to hear about how the will of such a strong and robust soldier had been sapped by a striking pretty woman of 5ft tall and pressurizing him to give up his army career. In Marie Corelli’s words, it goes to show how ‘serpents coiled round in men’s lives as beautiful women are capable of sapping the will of the strongest hero”…….!

Sigmund Freud

Under such pressure he had withered to such an extent that on several occasions seriously attempted to quit the Army officially but at every such occurrence he was rebuffed by senior officers, the ultimate result being he was booted out of her life.

Amazing word

The guy became severely sick with jealousy at the party when he bumped into his ex-fiancƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚© with her new found love. Cramped up inside a toilet watching a hulking mass jelly of a man behaving like a spoilt brat was sufficient to make any sensible person sick!

Jealousy is an amazing word. It is simple to pronounce, intensely deep rooted in its origin, frequently used amongst all creeds, castes and rich or poor. The Oxford dictionary illustrates it as a ‘state of fear, suspicion caused by real or imagined threat or a challenge to one’s possessive instincts’. It typically refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something that a person values’.

Jealousy is not to be confused with envy. Envy on the other hand is an emotion one feels when a peer possesses some material object of value one wishes to have.

Envy often causes low self-esteem or low self-confidence and a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, wealth etc.

For instance, when a husband’s or fiancƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚©s’ eyes linger too long on his or her best friend, or the husband talks with excitement about a girl at work or his secretary, it paves the way to catch fire – jealousy. The sickening combination of possessiveness, suspicion, rage and humiliation can overtake one’s mind and threaten one’s very core as one contemplates one’s rival.

Animal research

The green-eyed monster, as Shakespeare called it, can camp in anyone’s head at any time during a relationship when madly in love, even when one dislikes one’s partner.

Either gender is routinely more jealous, though women are known to work to win back a lover, while men tend to flaunt their money and status and are more likely to walk out to protect their self-esteem or save face.

Jealousy bedevils animals too, observes Helen Fisher, by illustrating how a female chimp (Passion) tipped her buttocks toward a young male in the classic ‘come hither’ pose and when the male ignored her and began to court another, passion slapping the young male hard.

Bluebirds are also said to experience jealousy. Another illustration refers to an experiment conducted by evolutionary biologist David Barash involving a breeding pair by placing a stuffed male on a branch, three feet away from the nest where the female rested, when the cock bird was away. The cock upon arrival had begun to squawk, hover, and snap in fury at the dummy and had begun to attack his mate, pulling feathers from her wing until she escaped (Ref: Understanding Jealousy – Helen Fisher, PhD on Relationships).

Psychologists version on jealousy regard the demon as a scar of childhood trauma or a symptom of a psychological problem which can take root inside a system as young as six years of age in humans.

The monster can be dormant within a soul until the unfortunate day it decides to raise its obnoxious head. Rest assured, it will come everyone’s way in our life time, unless we are born as an ‘Arahath’ or a ‘Bodhisathva’! Once given into this serpent there is nothing on earth could deal with it.

The majority believe that jealousy should be treated with contempt. In extreme cases, a tight pain in the stomach is supposed to bring out nausea with jealousy. The torment is said to be equivalent to a surgeon’s knife without an anaesthetic, particularly when the victim is subjected to ‘sexual love’, like in the case of the officer mentioned above.

Sigmund Freud’s theory on jealousy goes back to its origins in repressed impulses towards unfaithfulness or homosexuality. The morbid variety is based on something like a smile or an innocent flirtation but some say it is pathological to believe that one should own all of the love object’s smile or the innocent flirtation. Throughout man’s primordial past it has discouraged desertion by a mate to bolster the family unit. Simultaneously it has helped to abandon philanderers in favour of more stable and rewarding partnerships.

Jealousy can go seriously off beam too. Some people, for no apparent reason, become consumed by it undermining their self-esteem and even driving their partner into another’s arms – the very outcome they had feared. In the worst cases, some can become violent and stand as a leading cause of spousal homicide worldwide.


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