By Claude Mills: Staff Reporter
Jealousy is always born with love, but does not always die with it † La
Last week, I was home watching the talk show programme, Maury, which for
that episode, focused on the violent experiences of women who had been
killed or maimed by their lovers and ex-husbands.
t normally watch Maury but the stories and images were so compelling, I had no choice. Maury interviewed this 30-something-year-old lady whose husband stabbed her once in her back, and at least 50 times in her face. Her face had been horribly transfigured with uneven bulges, and a distorted left eye socket. The womans face looked like it had been designed by
someone with the motor skills of a five-year-old moulding white clay.
That story and others sent chills of disgust bending up my spine. But it
got me thinking (not something I am often accused of if you read my hate
mail), why do men do stuff like this?
I would love to know what were the reasons behind these men going
looney tunes. As usual, the show only dealt with one side of the story, the
easy-to-digest emotional side of the Much Abused Woman. I want to know what
factors would influence a man to attempt to batter or kill a woman if she
decides that it
s over. Maybe, its a self-esteem issue where some men
t handle the idea of rejection. Or does this sort of behaviour come from the school of thought thatif you don
t want or cant have something
anymore, just p… on it so no one else will want it either`?
s a hell of a thing, isnt it? Everybody feels it, but no one
wants the world to know about it. Shakespeare called it the
monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on` (whatever that means…). In
my opinion, jealousy is worse than a new and dangerous strain of rabies
because it provokes in its host, a species of mental poison ivy which
whispers evil thoughts in the centre of the brain.
Jealousy is the shield † from the constant threat of rivals † of the
tremendous psychological investment one puts in love, and that`s what
raises the stakes, and makes it such a potentially dangerous emotion.
It has caused the deaths of loved ones through the centuries and remains a
primary factor in the abuse of women. Even when it is a mere perception,
jealousy commonly causes havoc in close relationships. The thought that
your partner may be seeking a new love brings feelings of anger, fear,
anxiety and low self-esteem.
On the other hand, there are those who deliberately set out to cause
jealousy to boost their self-esteem to get attention or revenge, or just to
see how their partners feel about them. Provoking men`s jealousy is a
traditional female weapon.
Properly used, jealousy can enrich relationships, spark passion and amplify
commitment. But it
s playing with fire, because menneed to protect their
ego can cause them to impulsively end a relationship if they feel betrayed.
Ironically, the total absence of jealousy, rather than its presence, is a
more ominous sign for romantic partners.
I know a few women who mistake jealousy for a measure of love, but used
this way, it is simply a manipulative tactic for short-term gain at the
expense of longer-term trust. On the other hand, men use jealousy as an
anticipatory response † a pre-emptive strike if you will † to head off an
infidelity that might be lurking on the horizon.
In extreme cases, for sickos, it is another form of sexual coercion.
It is difficult to deal with a jealous lover and psychological counselling
may be necessary. But you
ve seen the headlinesWoman killed or wounded by
too many times to believe that were dealing with the problem
Human beings do vicious things to each other. Tales we hear around the
edges of conversations but don`t fully explore or try to comprehend until
they explode in violent headlines.
Last month 32-year-old Neville Gray ended his 14-month-old marriage by
slashing his wife`s, (Christine) throat, then hanged himself about 200
metres away on a mango tree in Goldburn district, Lawrence Tavern, St.
They left behind three young children. Earlier this month, there was an
attempted murder/suicide in East Kingston involving an estranged husband
who moved out of the matrimonial home, but frequently dropped in on his
wife and his son. He decided to speed up the estrangement with mixed
I suspect that jealousy has its first roots in love. And it is a benign
emotion up to a certain point, but left to fester, it becomes a sort of
disease of the soul that annihilates the spirit of the mind, more an
emotion involving self-love than love.
The man in the grips of a jealous fit often asks: What are people saying?
Are they laughing at ME? What do they think of ME? Why did she do this to
You might think this sort of thinking the preoccupation of feeble minds,
but it is a true reflection of what most men feel.
Interestingly, jealousy enjoys a curious double standard in the society:
jealous women are characterised as pitiful and clinging, while jealous men
are sympathised with because they suffer righteously † after all, their
territory has been poached on!
And that`s why sometimes, violence perpetrated by jealous men is almost
tacitly condoned by society.
I have no doubt that in a substantial number of these cases, men are in the
wrong, but there are quite a few Jezebels out there. Look at the case of
Carmen, or of Flaubert`s Madame Bovary, women are no angels, they are not
here on Earth merely trying to earn their wings.
Some theories propose that jealousy is an immature emotion, a sign of
insecurity, neurosis or flawed character, but I believe it is a necessary
evil. It is predicated to ensure our survival and the continuation of our
lineage. It is our genetic hardwiring that makes jealousy such a dangerous
emotion, and it always will be.