Jealousy – the online counseling

(Part 13 from: The Man-Woman-conflict from evolutionary-psychological view)
(How spiritual assessments from the primeval times guide and influence love relationships)

Jealousy shall prevent infidelity


© Peter Atkins /

Imagine a man has a date with his girlfriend at a club. Something comes up and he is an hour and a half late.

When he finally gets there, he sees his girlfriend through the window, standing at the bar and talking animated to a man who is unknown to him. Both stand very close together, smile at one another and gaze real deeply into each other’s eyes; every now and then they slightly touch each other. This scenario can trigger a great feeling of jealousy in the secret observer, which imperatively forces him to act….

Jealousy is a “normal” component of our humanly emotional pallet. Thus, it is ascertainable in all cultures of the world. Maybe you do not know it or cannot believe it, but this universally hated state of emotions – which brings nothing but trouble – played an important biological role in our evolutionary past. Jealousy and its inherent motivational complex extensively lost its adaptation or user value these days. In some cases, it even got reversed to the extreme opposite.

The feeling of jealousy or the associated strong willingness to act had the task to keep the current partner in ancient times – male or female – from being unfaithful. Each gender possessed a great interest to have the respective life partner for themselves.

Was the prehistoric love heaven tarnished by the presence of a male or female rival, then fierce feelings of jealousy took care of the possibility to watch such a shameless behavior and just stand back; too much was at stake for everyone who was betrayed.

Catastrophe “partner gone”

It is unthinkable for men to relinquish a woman, whom they spent effort and large amounts of money on to conquer, to a competitor, who got along with her better. Consorted to the loss was also the disgrace of the betrayed, which made it very hard for a primeval male to enthrall another woman. Or even worse – as the clueless betrayed to care for and raise the brat of an unknown rival and to miss his own chances for reproduction at that – plainly the biological core meltdown. Or as a woman, being stuck with a small child and practically not able to go on a dangerous search for food without him. Nobody in our evolutionary past could afford to lose their partner too soon. To expel the nonsense from an unfaithful, or potentially unfaithful partner, men had multiple behavior varieties to choose from in prehistoric times.

  • Jealousy could sensitize him to keep an eye out for certain opportunities, where she could run away.
  • He can put her under pressure to break off the contact to men, who agitate his suspicion.
  • Jealousy could motivate him to change his behavior towards her, with the goal that she possibly would turn to him again   stronger.
  • A jealous man could actually go and put a possible rival through the ringer, to make clear to him that he should leave the matter alone.

In primeval times, all these strategies were more or less suitable to eliminate the problem of a potential or actual unfaithfulness. Certainly, it was not always possible for the primeval man to prevent the disloyal behavior of his. It was enough for the development of such behavior complexes, if they had the ability on case average to offer a solution for the problem.

Over millions of years, the poisonous feeling developed, that literally knocks us down and wants to force us to act. Remarkable is the imagination that our ancestors obviously looked at their partners as property, which they had to defend with all possible means.

Primeval gyri of the brain are deadly


© jonasginter /

Since in prehistoric times, conflicts amongst gender comrades, as well as between genders, often got solved with the law of the strongest.  It is to assume, that strategies of intimidation and use of force served the purpose.

Unfortunately, those ill-fated nerve connections still exist in our modern male brains – which, once charged up – trigger those tragedies, which we read about in the paper every week.

Men still use threats and violence all over the world to keep a seemingly renegade partner in the relationship or to stop or prevent sexual unfaithfulness. These threats often contain the declaration to track and kill the woman if she should end the relationship.

Those men, after committing an act of jealousy, claim as grounds for justification that they just could not react differently to the unbearable fact of being abandoned. This statement has to be initially accepted – without excusing the deed with it – because it expresses how an emotionally exceptional situation is capable of pushing the mind aside. Archaic behaviors are taking over the direction. Much to the chagrin of the victim, his relatives and also to the big damage for the perpetrator, who would like to undo the deed at all cost in the world, latest at the court hearing.

Acts committed out of jealousy are a good example, how adaptive problem solving strategies, which obviously functioned well in our remote past (from the male point of view of course), have catastrophic consequences in our modern culture for the one committing the deed, as for a husband raging with jealousy – at least in the USA – they could end up on the electric chair.

Explicitly I want to emphasize, that aggressive male behavior – no matter of which genesis – cannot be excused by leading it back to a phylogenetic predisposition. It is important to acknowledge this heritage from his existence out of the past and to do, at the same time, everything humanly possible to oppose this evolutionary weak point of the human’s cultural being determinedly. Certainly, I have to say something about the female jealousy as well for the sake of completeness. The female jealousy has, thank god, not such a drastic impact on life and health as the male’s – at any rate normally.

Jealousy is different with her

Certainly, females also had big problems in the geological past, if the man was unfaithful or if they had to worry about such an issue. The main problem is determined by the fact that an unfaithful man could abandon her and the child in order to devote his family investments to another woman. This would have tragic consequences for her and her child.

Women find it generally more hurtful when a man falls in love with somebody else, which means, when they enter an emotional union with another woman. A mere sexual liaison is not felt as quite so hurtful. This seems comprehensible, because an emotional liaison with a stranger contains a higher risk for a woman of being abandoned, than only a sexual fling.

Men react stronger when it comes to sexual infidelity than to emotional unfaithfulness, due to their great fear of not being the father of a potential offspring. A lot less men die due to a jealous woman than in reverse, because women have a smaller potential for violence than men.

Strategies of women which are directed to oppose male unfaithfulness often turn the tables: They want to trigger the male’s jealousy through provocative demeanor, to force the partner to display possessive behavior. Or they improve their outfit to appear more desirable again, or try to belittle an allegedly competitor, while talking about her with scorn and ridicule.

Jealousy-strategies nowadays, which go hand in hand with the archaic violence mode are not only ineffective – on the contrary – they are counterproductive at the highest rate. Modern relationships, which should be founded on love, cannot be kept together by force these days. This will backfire. A jealous man, even if he is harmless and does not tend to violence, will at some destroy any loving emotion of his partner. Not out of annoyance, but because jealousy changes the power balance of the relationship to his disfavor on the long run.

Due to the fact that men cannot insist on the law of the strongest anymore these days, they affix ridicule to themselves because their jealousy is experienced as weakness by the feminine side. No woman can permanently accept a partner who reacts with jealously to nothingness.

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