Most people feel a little jealous sometimes, especially when they have strong feelings of attraction and love for their partner, and a can add zest to a relationship. Like many jealous partners, Kevin feared loss of their relationship, loss of self-respect, even loss of 'face' fearing how his friends would see him if he were to be 'made a fool of'. 'Once bitten, twice shy', he was now creating imaginary threats.But just as a spark can illuminate a room, a blaze can burn it to the ground. We're told it's great to have 'a good imagination', but he was using his to torment himself.
At first (before realizing how destructive it was to become), she'd been flattered by the intensity of his jealous attentions - after all, it showed he cared, right?
But the constant anxiety, loss of her freedom, and sheer clinginess (he would text every half-hour if she went out with a girlfriend) were now torture to her and also to him. More than feelings of fear, jealousy also leads to a smorgasbord of other emotions such as anger, hate of love 'rivals', disgust (sometimes -disgust), and hopelessness. Kevin's ex-wife had cheated on him and he felt he'd never got over this.
Those who think that heterosexual men are most upset by sexual infidelity, as Frederick found, point to an evolutionary root for that rage.
According to that theory, men are more upset by sexual infidelity because they can't be sure a child their partner may later produce is theirs.
In a poll of nearly 64,000 Americans, sexual infidelity was most upsetting to men in heterosexual relationships, said study author David Frederick, an assistant professor of psychology at Chapman University in Orange, Calif.
"Men [in heterosexual couples] are more upset by sexual infidelity than women are," he said.
In the study, 54 percent of the heterosexual men were most upset by sexual infidelity, but only 35 percent of the heterosexual women were.
Among heterosexual women, 65 percent said they would be most upset by emotional infidelity, compared to 46 percent of the heterosexual men.
Men in the heterosexual relationships really stood out from all the others, Frederick said, as they were the only group to be more upset by sexual infidelity than emotional betrayal.
Frederick said researchers have debated for years whether men and women differ in their reactions to infidelity.
Women are more upset by emotional infidelity, so the theory goes, because they would fear abandonment and loss of resources if the partner funnels them to the new love.