There is a technique in couples counselling called the five love languages, which should be useful in helping to heal jealousy, but would not work with violent jealousy. The use of the love languages might slowly diminish and help to heal non-violent toxic jealousy, especially of those suffering from adult separation anxiety. If you wish to learn more about the love languages you might like to consult Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love languages. You can also discover your primary love language by doing the quiz on www.5lovelanguages.com. This would help to ease your pain and increase the intimacy that is destroyed by jealousy. Essentially the love languages are a challenge to your jealous partner to meet your needs. People with toxic jealousy are only concerned with their own needs and meeting the needs of their partners would not come easy to them.
The love languages are words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch. Chapmans theory is that all of us have a primary love language, which, if enacted, can enrich a relationship and bring harmony. So, if your partner’s primary love language is words of affirmation they will feel loved by your praise and appreciation. If they thrive on acts of service their motto is ‘actions speak louder than words’ and when you do something for them their emotional response is aroused. Most of us give gifts at particular times of the year such as anniversaries, birthdays and Christmas. Gifts are seen as an expression of love, although not everybody places the same emphasis on them as expressions of love. But, for some it makes them feel loved at a deep level, even if the gift is not expensive. Gifts are seen as a symbol of love to them and draws them closer to their partner. Their motto is ‘it’s the thought that counts’. Quality time is a love language desired by many in a world that has become increasingly busier and more demanding. It means giving your partner undivided attention, listening, engaging and communicating in an empathic and understanding way. Your jealous partner will find it hard to put down the paper or turn off the television, but doing so will help him mitigate the jealousy that grips him. The importance of touch has already been reflected on earlier as one of the most essential life giving requirements of the young child. When we lovingly touch the skin of the baby he feels loved and secure. Our skin is immensely sensitive to touch. Touch is equally important in adulthood and is the primary love language of many people. If your partner has not experienced affection in childhood he will find it difficult to meet this need, if that is your primary love language. Again, it will be a learning process for him as you challenge his jealousy. In practice it may range from a casual touch of affection to kissing and making love.
Extract from my recent book – Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood.
THERAPISTS IN TIPPERARY
PSYCHOTHERAPISTS IN TIPPERARY
DEATH OF A CHILD
ABUSE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE