The Negative Effects of Jealousy

by Colin Bondi

Jealousy is a natural part of intimate relationship and most of us experience it to some degree within our relationships. However, jealousy has many negative effects on a relationship if it is not addressed.

What is Jealousy?

Jealousy is a often painful emotional response that typically occurs in relationships when a third party is seen as a threat in some way. Jealousy is related to envy in that we may feel excluded from an experience our partner is having with someone else and envy their positive experience. There can also be an underlying fear beneath jealousy especially of losing the person we care about. Jealousy is often attributed to an insecure connection to a partner in relationship.

Negative Effects of Jealousy

If jealousy is not addressed when it comes up in relationship some or all of these possible effects may emerge. Jealousy can lead to physical and emotional distress for the person feeling it. It puts a strain on the relationship potentially distorting communication and the freedom of both partners. In extreme cases it can lead to verbal or physical abuse both within and outside the relationship.

Jealousy in Different Relationships

Jealousy occurs in romantic relationships but it can also occur in work relationships, friendships, family relationships or in almost any human interaction.

Addressing Jealousy

The most important aspect of addressing jealousy is open communication. If it is discussed and brought out into the light the jealous person's fears may be able to be relieved. If this is not successful professional counseling may be in order.


Jealousy is a natural part of relationship which can be challenging and lead to destructive effects but if addressed it can also lead to greater intimacy, freedom and personal growth.

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About the Author

Colin Bondi is a writer, counselor and technology consultant based in Portland, Ore. Bondi has been a writer and blogger since 2005 and has had articles published online and in "Dot Connector Magazine." He has 15 years of experience in counseling and holds a master's degree in psychology from Southern Connecticut State University.