Navigation Links
Wedding Band Makes Jealousy a Bigger Threat

Study found distrust much more damaging in marriage than in other relationships

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Jealousy can dampen romance and damage sexual intimacy, especially if it occurs within a marriage, says new research that serves as a caution for couples as Valentine's Day approaches.

"Being married may 'up the ante,' because marriages tend to have higher levels of relationship commitment and joint investments [such as children, leisure, property and social networks]," said study co-author Anthony Paik, an assistant professor in the sociology department at the University of Iowa.

The study, published in a recent issue of the Journal of Sex Research, found that if jealousy wasn't a factor, three out of every four married people were highly satisfied with the emotional facets of their marriage. However, when the "green-eyed monster" entered the mix, levels of satisfaction dropped to less than half for married folk.

Jealousy didn't take quite the same toll on unmarried couples -- the study found that for these people, the odds of being very emotionally satisfied dropped only about 8 points when jealousy intervened.

For married individuals, "there is a well-defined 'psychological contract,' which includes extensive expectations and obligations," Paik said. "Breaches of those contracts elicit reactions and sanctioning behavior, the size of which depends on the amount of prior trust, commitment or investments."

Another expert agreed.

"Sexual infidelity or the suspicion of infidelity is a serious affront to any committed relationship," said Wendy M. Troxel, an assistant professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, who studies relationship characteristics and health. "However, the stakes are even higher within the marital relationship, because the expectations concerning trust, loyalty and monogamy are often highest within married couples."

The study included 681 heterosexual men and women in marriages and in other committed relationships, those living together and those living apart, from the Chicago area. The researchers asked the couples if they had felt jealous in their relationships and whether or not they were happy physically and emotionally with their partner. The investigators found that when infidelity enters the picture, a couple's sex life can fizzle.

According to Kenneth N. Levy, assistant professor in the psychology department at Pennsylvania State University, the study was well-designed and helpful in that it breaks out the information based on a relationship's nature: married, dating and living together, and dating and living apart. He said the research also contradicts the "myth of make-up sex," because the study found that partners are less likely to want to be intimate when their partner has been sexual with another. And most critically, the study authors noted that jealousy can sometimes lead to domestic violence and even the death of a partner.

In Levy's own research on jealousy, he and his colleague applied "attachment" style. "We found that specifically those who are securely attached report being less concerned with sexual jealousy," he said.

With all the detrimental effects of jealousy, can it ever benefit a relationship? "At low levels, jealousy may promote the commitment within a relationship, because it may serve as a powerful reminder of just how valued one is within the relationship," said Troxel. "However, when jealousy intensifies or is chronic, it is likely to chip away at the relationship's security and stability."

In either of those cases, it's best to talk your feelings out together and, if necessary, to use counseling.

"Couples who can learn ways to communicate effectively about their feelings of jealousy and what it feels like to be on the receiving end of jealousy can actually make their relationship stronger," Troxel said.

More information

The American Psychological Association has more on the keys to a good marriage.

SOURCES: Anthony Paik, Ph.D., assistant professor, sociology department, University of Iowa, Iowa City; Wendy M. Troxel, Ph.D., assistant professor, psychiatry and psychology, University of Pittsburgh; Kenneth N. Levy, Ph.D., assistant professor, psychology department, Pennsylvania State University, College Park, Pa.; November 2009, Journal of Sex Research

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

2. Tiffany Diamond Eternity Bands and Cartier 'Love' Rings: Beladora Announces Sharp Wedding Jewelry Sales Increase
3. Stonebrook Manor Gives Away Luxurious Wedding Receptions in Colorado
4. AAN Foundation Benefits from Greys Anatomy Wedding Registry
5. Adapting to clogged airways makes common pathogen resist powerful drugs
6. Stem Cell Research Makes Another Advance
7. Active Play Aids Recovery, Makes Hospital Stay Easier
8. Loss of gene function makes prostate cancer cells more aggressive
9. Gene variation makes alcoholism less likely in some survivors of sexual abuse
10. Haiti: Lifesaving Aid Makes Its Way Through to Quake-Hit Jacmel by Ship
11. American Lung Association Report Card: Federal Government Makes Major Strides; Most States Flunk for Neglecting to Prevent Tobacco-Caused Disease
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The men and women on this list ... the country. They have overseen financial turnarounds, shown commitment to their community through ... as a whole through their advocacy and professional efforts. , Becker's Hospital Review ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... San Francisco, California (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... 1969 Janis Joplin Ann Arbor Michigan boxing style concert posters. This is one of ... 1969 at the Canterbury House at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Patients at Serenity Point Recovery, ... together on Thanksgiving Day to share the things that they are most grateful ... Point YouTube channel, patients displayed what they wrote on index cards, describing the ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ON and Cambridge, ON (PRWEB) , ... November ... ... today the availability of a real-time eReferral system for diagnostic imaging in the ... ultrasounds, X-rays, mammography, BMD and Nuclear Medicine tests directly from their electronic medical ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... The Catalent Applied Drug Delivery ... to integrate dose form selection in early phase drug development. The first of ... and bringing together the UK’s emerging life sciences companies, corporate partners, and investors, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has announced the ... Type (Dressings, Therapy Devices, Active Wound Care), Application (Surgical ... Geography - Global Forecast to 2020" report to ... --> The purpose of this report is to ... advanced wound care market. It involves deep dive analysis ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... --> adds "Global ... and "Investigation Report on China Repaglinide ... 2021 forecasts data and information to ... . --> ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015 Research and ... of the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ... Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, ... --> --> ... of the Italian therapeutic drug monitoring market, including ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: