THE GREEN-EYED MARRIAGE: Surviving Jealous Relationships by Robert L. Barker

THE GREEN-EYED MARRIAGE: Surviving Jealous Relationships

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Good pickings are lean and padding is prevalent in this survival guide for people locked into a relationship with a pathologically jealous partner. A marital and family therapist, Barker contends that some possessiveness is normal and desirable: its lack indicates indifference. He replicates the ""Jealousy Rating Scale"" (which determines whether a partner's possessiveness ranges from ""serious disturbance likely"" to ""abnormally low"") and traces the roots of jealous behavior back to childhood insecurities and low self-esteem caused by neglect, overindulgence, a chaotic family life or a pathologically jealous parent as ""role model."" Its effects on partners range from death by violence (nearly one-third of murders may be triggered by jealous rages) down to stress and mild depression. Survival options, he says, boil down to three. The first is to help the partner ameliorate his/her behavior by instituting ""conflict-settling conferences,"" bolstering the partner's self-esteem, diffusing tension through ""cooperative physical activity,"" and trying to get professional help. The second is to deflect the behavior by self-defense techniques: change the subject when faced with accusations, join a support group, avoid submissive behavior, protect the children, etc. Last, when a situation is intolerable or dangerous, get out of it: here, one must use one's wits, and Barker sets forth a variety of possible scenarios. A haystack of diffuse information, throughout which the occasional valuable nugget gleams.

Pub Date: Nov. 16th, 1987
ISBN: 0684863677
Publisher: Free Press/Macmillan