ROMANTIC JEALOUSY: Understanding and Conquering the Shadow of Love by Ayala M. Pines

ROMANTIC JEALOUSY: Understanding and Conquering the Shadow of Love

Email this review


A remarkably eclectic approach to understanding and coping with jealousy, by Berkeley psychologist Pines (Keeping the Spark Alive; coauthor, Career Burnout--both 1988). A pragmatist when dealing with patients' problems, Pines believes that if it works, use it. Here, she integrates five approaches that she uses when dealing with problems of jealousy. While acknowledging that the methods are often contradictory, she believes that each contains truths and offers useful insights. The ""psychodynamic"" approach sees jealousy as a result of childhood trauma, whereas the ""systems"" approach views it as growing out of the dynamics within a couple's relationship. And while the ""behavioral"" approach treats jealousy as a learned behavior that can be unlearned, the ""sociobiological"" approach considers it an innate response that has developed differently in men and women. Finally, Pines's ""social-psychological"" approach looks at how culture shapes jealousy (a discussion that contains some fairly startling examples of human behavior). Each approach is given a chapter, complete with patient anecdotes, and for each Pines provides both supporting and challenging arguments. She also explores lack of jealousy in a chapter on open marriages and ""polyfidelitous' relationships, and looks at exceptional responses to jealousy as revealed through the stories of men in prison for violent crimes. Several rather simple quizzes let readers assess their own predispositions and compare their attitudes toward specific jealousy-triggering situations with those of others. Pines capably provides a reassuring message--that jealousy is normal and even potentially beneficial--for those who suffer its pangs.

Pub Date: March 18th, 1992
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: St. Martin's