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March 09, 2004
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Dr. Dorothy McCoy Maintaining Your Mental Edge
with Dr. Dorothy McCoy

The green eyed monster: Are you or your partner jealous?

Very few emotions (and behaviors) will destroy a relationship faster than jealousy. Though many "green-eyed" individuals will tell you they are jealous because they desperately love their mate ... jealousy is not about love, it is about insecurity. One can never prove that he/she is trust worthy, that’s impossible. We don’t own our mates, they are with us as long as they choose to be, and no longer. If you or your mate is jealous, make an appointment with a therapist soon. Marriage counseling could very well save your relationship. If your partner refuses help, go by yourself. You deserve to be happy.

This test assumes that there is no factual evidence of unfaithful behavior by your mate. If there is factual evidence, then the test no longer measures jealousy ... it indicates your detecting expertise. Before you start playing Sherlock Holmes, please see a counselor. Unfortunately, some studies indicate that law enforcement officers are more likely to be jealous than are individuals in other occupations.


1. Do you play detective and give your mate the third-degree when he or she has been out of your sight?
Yes__ No__

2. Do you browbeat your partner to discover with whom he or she has talked?
Yes__ No__

3. Do you feel anxious about your mate’s fidelity when he/she is at work?
Yes__ No__

4. Do you look through your mate’s wallet or purse looking for evidence?
Yes__ No__

5. Do you check mates’ car mileage to be certain he/she has not driven a few extra miles?
Yes__ No__

6. Do you record your mate’s phone conversations?
Yes__ No__

7. Do you check your mate’s cell phone bill to determine with whom he/she has spoken?
Yes__ No__

8. Do you dial redial on your home phone or his/her cell phone to determine with whom he/she talked last.
Yes__ No__

9. Do you follow your mate to be sure he/she is going where she/he told you?
Yes__ No__

10. Do you send one or more children along with your mate when he/she goes to buy gas or groceries?
Yes__ No__

11. Do you regularly page or call your mate’s cell phone just to find out where he/she is and with whom?
Yes__ No__

12. Do you feel threatened when your mate looks at someone of the opposite sex?
Yes__ No__



Interpreting your score
1 – 4 Even a “low” jealousy score is destructive to your relationship. Perhaps you and your mate can talk about the jealous behaviors and make positive changes.

5 – 8 There is a problem. Please ask your physician or friends for the name of a good marriage counselor. Rush to the phone and make an appointment. This may be the most important phone call you will ever make.

9 – 12 Your relationship is not healthy for either of you and it could be dangerous. Ask your physician to make an appointment with a counselor for you. Your physician can probably persuade the counselor to see you as quickly as possible. Go now! Why are you sitting there? Good luck.

A sobering thought: Male jealously is a leading cause of homicide in the United States. (Washington State University.edu; Evolutionary Psychology)


About the author

PoliceOne columnist Dr. Dorothy McCoy has been in private practice as a clinical counselor for 10 years. She is a diplomate with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and a law enforcement consultant. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (in North and South Carolina).





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