Jealousy is a natural emotion, part of the great human drama of eroticism and sexuality. Everyone gets jealous – so the question becomes how to harness jealousy instead of allowing it to harm you and your relationship.
This episode continues our discussion inspired by Esther Perel’s new book State of Affairs.
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Jealousy is usually understood as a normal part of monogamy. If we think being in a relationship means owning our partner’s sexuality, anytime their attention or interest strays it can feel like a betrayal. Jealousy can be toxic, leading to arguments, fights and even violence.
But when is jealousy useful? When can it be a guidepost about what you desire, what you want more of, what you cherish and want to protect?
If you get honest with your jealousy, it can be a powerful tool to steer your growth, help you invest more in your relationship and even – for some people – become a powerful turn on.
In her new book State of Affairs, Esther Perel writes “The green-eyed monster taunts us at our most defenseless and puts us directly in touch with our insecurities, our fear of loss and our lack of self-worth.”
If you start noticing when you feel jealous, you can discover where you feel the most vulnerable. Then you can strengthen your sense of security in these areas or ask your partner for reassurance.
Esther also notes that jealousy “may in fact be the last glowing ember of eros in an otherwise burned-out relationship – and therefore, it is also the means of relighting the fire.”
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