To be jealous is to feel like losing control, being rejected, replaced. The more the insecurity, the nonacceptance, problems, and difficulties, the more they need for successes and certainties. Fidelity, or the maintenance of commitments, makes the other always present and, consequently, at hand to reaffirm one’s power and enable security. These situations are quite explicit and frequent in couple relationships, although also occurring between parents and children and between friends.
Focusing on the experiences of jealousy in the context of lack of affection, amazing situations arise that appear in the form of reification or anthropomorphization. Being jealous of objects that have been touched or that deserved attention from the “loved one” is to be inserted in psychopathological experiences. To humanize objects (anthropomorphizing): books, clothes, cars, for example, is to imagine them as a continuity of the other as they had been chosen and touched. Anthropomorphization is a process that erases the barriers, limits, and differentiation of the real, of the existing, so that it is possible to expand the fears, fantasies, confabulations, and syllogisms that allow equating the justifications of the jealous experiences. In reification, the other is transformed into an object, a polarizer of attention, of affection, and thus becomes hated. It is metonymy performing depersonalizing functions.
To be jealous is to explicitly moan; to expose difficulties, fantasies, and obsessions; to complain about the controls or solving arrangements that are taken away. This latter aspect of jealousy, in specific, contextualizes it in the experience of fear and impotence. Without autonomy, with difficulties, wanting help, one cannot give up and lose what one has. Any threat triggers jealousy, control, and claims full of allegations.
The structural relationship between jealousy and nonacceptance, problems and difficulties, in short, the well-known low self-esteem, is very visible when dealing with economically deprived communities, where the classic examples of man’s dominance and authority are maintained. In this context, women are subject to everything, they even endure being beaten to maintain the right of protection and support offered by their partner, their supporter-spanker. Fragile, these women typify the experiences of jealousy, they do everything to maintain and control their partners. These partners, in turn, are not jealous even when throwing them into prostitution to supplement their budget, although it makes these women increasingly jealous.
Jealousy is impotence, it is usually the despair of no longer being able to interest, motivate, and monopolize the other. Losing this influence leaves one directionless, devastated, it puts one down with no will to stand. Jealousy may also indicate the desire to be the other, worthy of attention. The situation is antagonistic: one hates that who causes jealousy, but it is what one wants as a model, as a parameter, as an object of transformation. This division consists of duplicity; it creates a victim and an aggressor simultaneously experienced by the same individual. Hence, situations of jealousy always enable desires for revenge, hatred, humiliation, and frustration, where one seeks relief and help for ills. Medeia with its tragic story, and Shakespeare’s Othello with its drama, show us these aspects, this aggressor (vengeful) / victim (immolated) polarity simultaneously experienced. These events characterize jealousy, with its fantastical and tragic elements, being always contemporary, given the frequent occurrences of complaints in psychotherapy sessions and in the news about passionate crimes.