Jealousy – An Opportunity for Growth

September 30th, 2010

jealousyI often times see folks who are dealing with jealousy.  They may suspect that their partner, girlfriend or boyfriend, or spouse is seeing, sleeping, talking, texting,  or fantasizing about someone else.   Others might find themselves jealous of their loved one’s commitment to work, the time she or he spends with the child, how connected he or she is to their best friend, or even how much time the person in question spends on the computer.  Yes, you’ve guessed it by now – jealously can take many shapes.

What exactly is jealousy?  In the book “The Ethical Slut” by Dossie Easton & Janet Hardy, they suggest that jealousy is an “expression of insecurity, fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, feeling left out, feeling not good enough, feeling inadequate, feeling awful (pg. 112).”  Unchecked and unexamined jealousy can be very harmful – both to yourself and to your relationships.

Sometimes the jealousy is well-founded – you’re partner IS having an affair.  And sometimes your jealousy is a sign of inner conflict, related perhaps to your personal history and experiences.

As a psychotherapist, I suggest that, if you’re feeling jealous, you take the opportunity to examine it.  If you can, discuss it with your partner, spouse, or lover(s).  If that’s not possible, or if you find it too consuming, you may need other venues – like a support group, a best friend, or a therapist or counselor.  Jealousy can tell you so much – about yourself, your relationships, and opportunities for growth and change.

If you would like to speak with a therapist or counselor in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC, feel free to contact me at 202/460-6384 or

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