Jealousy and Envy: Jealousy

Jealousy and Envy: Jealousy
Dr. Phil speaks with guests about two destructive emotions and how they can control them.
"My wife's jealousy is tearing us apart," says Joe, who believes that trust is a big part of a relationship. Jessica constantly suspects that Joe is doing something that will lead him to cheat on her. She denies him permission to go hang out with his friends and tells him to "be good" when he leaves the house. She's jealous of everyone in Joe's life, especially those from his past: his ex-wife, his two kids, even his coworkers. "Jessica wants something to be wrong so badly that she'll find it even if it's not wrong," he says.


"I feel that everything that he did prior to meeting me ... I wish it'd get erased," says Jessica. She says she doesn't want Joe going out where other women can check him out, and feels that if Joe is hanging out with friends, and she's not invited, she should be allowed to get jealous.


Joe turns to Dr. Phil for help.

Jessica explains, "I don't think I'm so much jealous of his ex-wife. I wish she wasn't there to begin with. I wish I was the mother of his two children and the one that's on the way," she says.


"Other than that, you're fine with her," says Dr. Phil. "If she just didn't exist, you'd be OK."


Jessica tries to explain why she's a jealous wife. "Look at him. I have a good-looking husband," she says, adding that she's pregnant and stuck at home. "I don't know how to let it go away and not be jealous and insecure."


Dr. Phil asks her why she chooses this. "Your way of being in this world is jealous, accusatory, highly monitoring and smothering. Why?" Jessica reveals she's been cheated on in her four previous relationships. "Did you try to own them like you do him?" asks Dr. Phil, explaining that if she continues what she's doing, she may just push Joe to the point where another woman may get him. Referring to the expression, "What I fear, I create," Dr. Phil tells Jessica, "You need to worry about what you're creating."

Joe explains that he's trying to create a good life for his family, and it's hard when he comes home to accusations that are untrue.


Dr. Phil tells Joe that it's an issue of power for Jessica, and that he's paying her off for it. "It is working because you reassure her. You answer the phone, 'Yes I'm here. No, I'm not with somebody. Be reassured. I'll be home soon.' Every time you do that, she gets a fix. She gets a reassurance fix, she gets an 'in control' fix," says Dr. Phil.


Joe says he respects his wife and wants to let her know where he is, if he's going to be late and if he's going out after work with friends. Jessica points out that all of Joe's friends are women.


"I work with a bunch of girls. I can't help it," says Joe, laughing.


Dr. Phil says that he believes [jealous people] have a poorly disguised need for power and control. "I think they're tyrannical. I think they're controlling. I think they're domineering and I think they're completely insensitive to the impact of their actions on their partners," he says. Jessica agrees with that statement, and Joe admits that hearing her say that hurts.

Dr. Phil tells Joe that he shouldn't be going out with women he works with while his wife is pregnant at home. "It's not good timing, it's not a good thing." He adds that any time Joe does need to be at a social function, he needs to be an open book. He should ask his wife to go too, and if she says no and he still needs to be there, he needs to tell Jessica all the details about where he's going to be, and she should feel welcome to show up anytime for whatever reason she wants. "People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing," adds Dr. Phil.


Dr. Phil explains that, at the same time, Joe needs to not reinforce Jessica's jealous behavior. "If she's calling 10 times on the cell phone, turn it off," he says.


Dr. Phil turns to Jessica: "You don't need to be telling a man that you wish his children weren't there. If it comes down to choosing his children or you, you will lose." He tells her to respect her husband. "It isn't every guy in the world who loves his wife enough to volunteer to go on the Dr. Phil show and try to get it out of the ditch."