On Jealousy

Most of the jealousy I’ve encountered between couples in therapy seems to be based on a similar dynamic. One partner wants more than the other partner wants to freely give. The demanded upon partner either feels bullied, trapped, disapproved of, or weary of angry fights. So the demanded upon spouse withdraws, carves out emotional or physical spaces to feel alone and independent. The resentful partner
rightfully senses the distance but misinterprets the cause. Now the withholding partner is viewed as selfish, thoughtless, or inconsiderate.
A new judgment has recently entered our cultural mainstream. Now the partner is told that he/she lacks intimacy skills.
But Intimacy skills also include the right to respectfully say no.

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