Session 25: Brain Change Review
Clients should go to Appendix A to locate the appropriate this review.
Jealousy and relationship insecurity.
The fear of abandonment was noted previously as a major cause of rage episodes. That’s because most
human beings are genetically disposed to form strong and long-lasting couples bonds. The
neurochemical oxytocin has been linked with this bonding tendency. It is released during sexual
intercourse, childbirth, and even when we pet the family dog (who also releases oxytocin when petted).
A little jealousy is normal in relationships because people naturally want to guard and protect
those whom they love, want, and need. It would be odd if someone reported that they never felt
jealousy and wouldn’t even if their partner consistently cheated on them. There are some individuals,
though, who try to keep away from making deep emotional commitments to potential friends and
partners. These persons usually have been deeply hurt by parental abandonments and/or by disastrous
previous relationships. These relationship-phobic clients need to rebuild trust not only in specific people
but in the whole human race. When discussing jealousy be alert to signs of relationship phobia in some
of your clients and include that concept in your discussion of jealousy.
So a little jealousy is normal. But jealousy is like garlic: a little improves the flavor of your favorite
Italian dish while too much ruins it.
Many excessively jealous people suffer from deep personal insecurity The jealous individual
believes, deep down, that he or she is worthless. Jealous people carry a feeling of terrible emptiness
within themselves. It’s like there is nothing there that anybody would value. They feel like they are
“zero’s” in the mathematics of love. Their secret formula for survival is
0 + 1 = 2 where they are the “0”, their partner is “!” and magically that makes both of them whole. But
if they sense their partner might leave then 2-1= 0; “I am nothing without you.” And that’s when jealous
individuals can become dangerous, doing everything they can to keep their partner from leaving. Stalking, isolation of their partner, and homicide/suicide episodes are often the result of this deep-
seated sense of personal inadequacy.
The following pages contain a handout that covers the signs of excessive jealousy and tips to
lessen jealous behaviors and thoughts. The topic of core relationship insecurity is touched upon in the
signs of jealousy. If some participants do appear to have that problem they might benefit from a referral
for longer-term therapy.