Understanding jealous feelings and behaviors in your boyfriend helps you watch out for yourself. Jealousy may be present in a man when he feels threatened by the thought of losing you; his fear of loss may be rooted in some sort of insecurity in himself or in the relationship. In loving relationships, partners trust each other and allow one another the freedom to pursue the fulfillment of their true character—jealous behavior stifles this and can indicate a capability for abuse.
Jealousy originates in anxiety and fear. If a man feels vulnerable within the relationship, he’s likely to act in an accusatory manner in order to protect himself from any possibility of being hurt. When a man feels susceptible to being powerless in the outcome of the possibility of your actions, jealous behavior impels him to confront you with unfounded accusations. His jealousy can often be a projection of his own apprehension in trusting the relationship. Men who exhibit jealous behavior charge women with unsubstantiated allegations of attempts to attract other men and giving preference or attention to other men. Jealous men want constant reassurance that their partners' interests rests solely in them.
Treating you as if you are one of his possessions reveals that your man’s jealousy may be a warning sign of the capability for abusive behavior. When you observe controlling behavior in a man, it may be an initial source of disagreement and conflict within the relationship as you fight for respect of your personal freedom. But, possessive conduct can also lead to more threatening behavior. Be aware of the dangerous signals of possessiveness--when a man tells you how to dress, controls your money and transportation, decides which friends you may associate with, and how often you may leave the house.
Men who are motivated by jealous behavior want women all to themselves; this means that they don’t want to share their partners with anyone, including family and friends. A controlling man often believes that your association with others may lead you to turn against him, so he places stipulations on your contact with others, especially those who pose the most threat--other men. By isolating you, he maintains the power to place conditions on where and when you socialize with others. By keeping you in seclusion, he doesn’t have to worry about you leaving him or being enticed by other men. He has what he wants—you, all to himself.
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Anna-Sofie Hickson is a freelance writer with six years of writing experience. She writes for "LIVESTRONG Quarterly" magazine and contributes to various military publications. She is a certified personal trainer and holds a degree in English and psychology from Franciscan University. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Texas.