1973. Sexes Differ on Jealousy Too

Her Highness Cocoa at post 1098 asked how jealousy may be different between the sexes. So, I start with this definition. Her greatest asset is not sex itself. It is a couple’s first sex together, his conquest. Once conquered—except for minor (and temporary for her) differences in sexual performance—she is just another woman to the conqueror. He’s ready to look for the next one. The natural urge to conquer another far outweighs the natural urge to own one. She is left with the task of earning his devotion and winning his loyalty other than with sex.

Conquest confirms this to the conqueror. By yielding her greatest asset to his persuasiveness, she follows his leadership. He has done enough to thereafter dominate their relationship. Effectively he ‘owns’ her if he wants to. Her natural bonding during sex supports his conclusion. By marrying her, he doubles down on that presumption. It makes ownership permanent in his heart and obligations arise to produce, provide, protect, and problem solve on her behalf.

The lessons of life teach some men to question their nature, to doubt that their conqueror’s right guarantees her loyalty. They perceive even the smallest signs of possible disloyalty as weakening their sense of significance, and they respond easily to jealous motives. Fear motivates them.

Other men, more confident of themselves and their ability to win and hold any woman’s loyalty, do not so easily succumb. ‘Possession’ of a woman is not so large a part of their significance. They focus on earning self-admiration in ways other than owning someone. They are not immune to jealousy; it’s just much harder to trigger it.

Very different from men, women have no natural conviction that they deserve to own another. They know they must earn and keep one’s commitment through his words, devotion through his actions, and loyalty through his monogamous fidelity. The closest thing they achieve to ownership comes from conquering a man for marriage before he conquers her for sex.

Highly prone to guilt, women react differently to signs of disloyalty in their man. The lessons of life teach some women to question or abandon their instincts. To such a woman, jealousy follows her sense of impending loss of ownership in her man. She automatically blames him and just as intuitively assumes herself as the innocent victim. She reacts accordingly, and her man rejects her implications of owning him. Her obvious lack of trust wilts his respect for her and turns him off regardless of his innocence or guilt.

Other women, more confident of themselves and their ability to capture and keep a man’s loyalty, do not easily succumb to jealous thoughts. They recognize their nature and that emotional fidelity is more important than physical faithfulness. They can live with the latter but not the former. So, jealousy does not enter their thoughts until they see the red flags of impending infidelity. Mere association with another woman does not induce jealous thoughts. It just triggers suspicions intuitively held in check until evidence is more convincing. Intuition informs them that to verbalize suspicions is to destroy the trust so vital to a man’s respect of his woman. Such women are not above it but are far less prone to appear jealous.

Jealousy is not natural to either sex. It springs from lessons learned growing up and arises and intensifies according to one’s self-image of how well or poorly they relate to the opposite sex.



Filed under sex differences

10 responses to “1973. Sexes Differ on Jealousy Too

  1. Ringo

    Thanks for the great post. I have a few questions. So are men more prone to jealousy before or after conquest, if they see the woman of interest talking or flirting with another man? In real life, I’ve seen both. Also, I don’t understand why jealousy is not natural, it seemed to be quite a common emotion whenever romantic relationship is involved. In fact, a lot has been written about it in novels, poems, lyrics…etc. I would think the same goes for women, but in my experience men’s jealousy can be a lot more scary because of their possessiveness.

    Your Highness Ringo,

    A man jealous before conquest? Not unless you and he have an agreed-to and lengthy commitment, which he takes as ‘partial’ ownership. Envy of the other guy is a more likely response and maybe anger at himself for not being more effective keeping your interest turned exclusively toward him.

    Jealousy isn’t natural, because male ‘ownership’ of someone isn’t inherited at birth, it just isn’t the way God designs, Nature endows, and hormones energize men. Jealousy flows out of lessons learned in life long after birth. As to women, jealousy regarding their man arises after obligations are exchanged.  

    Now, women are born with the spirit, hopes, and dreams that generate romance. But it’s a combining and unifying set of emotions and not a dividing set as is jealousy.


    • Ringo

      Thank you sir guy. So in your opinion, is it better or worse to date a guy that is prone to jealousy, if it is not natural? (or there are other factors to consider?) Do you know what caused jealousy? I tend to attract guys that are the obsessive types, maybe due to my attention seeking tendencies. Bu sometimes I feel this type of relationship is not healthy and wish to meet someone with a more positive outlook.

      Your Highness Ringo,

      Dating someone prone to jealousy is worse. Jealousy is a negative emotion, potentially more powerful than positive ones. It makes a person’s behavior unpredictable. It can intensify easily from other people’s attempts to suppress it and can too easily grow into eruptions of violence.

      Sense of ownership is the root cause of jealousy in men.

      You say, “I tend to attract guys that are the obsessive types, maybe due to my attention seeking tendencies.” If the last phrase means you talk a lot, then you are attractive to obsessive types.” They are comfortable around you.

      If you wish to capture the interest of other men, quit talking so much and don’t talk about yourself at all. Wipe the thought of full disclosure permanently from your mind.


      • cocoa

        “If ….. you talk a lot, then you are attractive to obsessive types. They are comfortable around you.” That’s an interesting analogy. How is that?

        And is that talking a lot in general, as women do? For example, being approachable and friendly without disclosing much about herself. Or do you mean talking about her self, as in, I like this. I did that. I am planning this… etc?

        I am wondering as I am a friendly person but tend to keep personal information private as much ad I could. I seem to attract all sorts of men though. And some of them DO ask personal questions. I am after a good balance to be my nice, helpful and intersting self without this full disclosure that freaks me out.

        Your Highness Cocoa,
        If he’s the obsessive type, he spends his mental energy trying to better figure out your strengths and weaknesses in order to gain more control over his future with you, perhaps to manipulate. Disclosing yourself gives him ammo with which to move forward. Female chatter hardly holds his attention and provides little for him to work with obsessively. Chatter enables him to calm his thoughts and find temporary comfort, but it doesn’t mean that he stays around.

  2. cocoa

    Many thanks sir Guy. Great post.

    So the more confident a man is and the stronger his sense of significance is, the less he’s prone to jealousy. If that’s the way it is, then that confirms my initial thoughts.

    Thanks again.

    Your Highness Cocoa,
    Yes, but don’t forget this vital point. More confident and significant in relation to her.

  3. Catherine

    Sir Guy,
    Might be having a little trouble with these concepts. From post 1482, your response to a reader copied below makes sense to me:

    “Second, regarding the Block/Newmann quote, “Guys treasure their own freedom, but they expect you to be loyal from almost the first minute you meet.” It’s their nature, they’re born that way. It adds to their alpha-ness. You’ll find that men who aren’t that way are not very dependable as masculine rescuers, providers for women, and in the shaping of events around them. They lack leadership ability.”

    Upon reading this new post, confusion might be settling in just a little. It seems like natural male ownership traits = good, male jealousy that divides = bad, right?

    Your Highness Catherine,

    With a slight exception at the bottom, yes to your last paragraph. Here’s why.

    • Both men and women are born with the ability to do good and be compatible with a mate. Interference comes from lessons learned in life.

    • Men are born with a strong sense of ownership of what’s been earned but women with a much weaker sense of it. Women are born with a strong need of security that men mostly lack. However, both are born also with the ability to be jealous.

    • Lessons learned in life prepare individuals to handle threats with defensive action. Both sexes respond to threats and, quite often and easily, with jealousy.

    • Threats to their ownership for men. A conqueror presumes ownership if he wants it and definite ownership if he mates up.

    • Threats to their security for women. A woman presumes her security is reasonably assured if she mates up.

    I’m not so sure that male jealousy is bad. The ability for it is natural, and any badness comes from whatever actions ensue to the detriment of others—or so it seems to me.


  4. My Husband's Wife

    Dear Sir Guy,

    A situation came about yesterday that left me thinking about men/women differences regarding jealousy. Maybe some other women have encountered similar experiences—if so, please chime in here, I’d like to hear what you have to say as well.

    Situation: A married male coworker who is about 10 years older than me (I’m 44) asked me to go out to lunch next week. This has never happened to me before. I don’t believe he’s “interested” in me as he’s quite social in general. I certainly don’t have any intentions or attractions toward him at all.

    What is confusing is that when I told my husband and he said, “That sounds nice, you should go.” I realize this shows trust in me, but not sure why a husband would want wife seen going out with a guy by herself. Or is this only if he sees the guy as a threat? So no threat, no jealousy, I can do whatever I want with other men until it becomes offensive to him or he has reasons to doubt? But how does he really know there is no threat or of this other man’s intentions? I can’t even be 100% sure. (Honestly, I don’t think it was a good move on this guy’s part to ask me out to lunch–I put myself in the wife’s shoes and wouldn’t like it).

    If my husband had asked one of his female coworkers out to lunch without me I don’t think I’d be thrilled – OR, if a woman asked him out. Even if I trusted his intentions 100%, I would not be certain of hers. In one brief moment, a million questions would enter my mind, “Is she attractive, does she like him, does he think she’s attractive? What’s her marriage like? Is she unhappy and a desperate woman, etc.? This is one lunch, but will she want more dates? How will this look to others? Etc…”
    I trust him to do the right thing (he already has a few times tested), but it’s as if I take a 360 degree approach to looking at the entire situation and can access potential threat in one split second. Is this a normal reaction for women or is this a jealous approach in assessing a potentially threatening situation? If jealous, I think I’d need to work on something here.

    Your Highness Your Husband’s Wife,

    Your situation depends on the personalities involved, as you so clearly describe. You seem to wonder mostly about the basics, however. That is, the sex differences of those involved. So, let me focus there.

    • Women have an uncanny but natural ability that stems from their most primal fear of abandonment. They recognize “in one split second” any threat to their security and take a defensive posture—even for the mildest or innocent incidents.

    • Men don’t feel so easily threatened until they have evidence or suspicions that they should be more alert for threats. Consequently, once someone earns their trust, they have little trouble continuing that trust.

    • Women know other women and how they think and act, as you point out in the part about “does she like him?” Consequently, women eagerly presume that men think the same way and expect them to act more cautiously as women do. But men know that too much caution is womanly and not effective for manly risk takers.

    • Men are not nearly as sensitive as women about “How will this look to others?” If he trusts her, he doesn’t think about what others think.

    • The male nature is built around competition and independence. The female nature is built around cooperation and dependence. The man can see complete innocence in taking a female friend to lunch, whereas women give little credence to such friendships being innocent.

    You speculate, “I can do whatever I want with other men until it becomes offensive to him or he has reasons to doubt?” His nature tells him it’s okay because he enjoys his freedom too. His sense of conqueror’s right and ownership of his mate, however, limits such freedom for you between some and none. It becomes a relationship issue based on marital differences.

    Whether you should or shouldn’t accept the lunch invitation let me add this. Follow your conscience about what you owe your husband and how you intend to repay him. IOW, you reinforce his respect of you to the extent that you earn more self-respect handling the invitation. If you decline the invitation and your self-respect goes up, it’s probably the right thing to do. If you accept and self-respect goes down, it’s wrong for you.

    God gave you free will and America gives you the freedom to earn self-respect. The woman’s self-respect is the tap root of successful relationships. So, whatever you decide about the invitation, make sure you earn rather than lose self-respect.


  5. My Husband's Wife

    My goodness! What a help your comment is to me right now. My cloudy and hazy thinking regarding potential “threats/jealousy” between men/women is now clear and I’m no longer perplexed. I’ve been stuck on this difference for years and haven’t handled things so well as a result. Since you provided “the basics,” I feel better qualified to handle the more personal situations that arise.

    As for my response to the invitation: I initially said, “Let me get back to you…” as my gut feeling is to decline as I just don’t feel comfortable going by myself in general. I clearly see how going against my instinct would affect my self-respect in general and I can’t afford to lose it.

    Therefore, I’m going to suggest that we get together when my husband can join in. I think this man’s looking for friendship as he’s new to this country and my husband’s already mentioned he’d like to find out more about his country…we (husband and I) always enjoy getting to know people.

    A result of your blog: women are making positive changes and as a result, men will respond and take note—just as you propose. All thanks to WWNH!

    Hope you have a blessed Sunday!

  6. Madeleine

    Dear Sir Guy

    Could I ask your thoughts on this scenario:

    I have many guy friends, all are happily married or in long term relationships and my husband gets along well with all of them. I am friends with their wives also and we all enjoy group outings together. He has not said anything about me spending time with them whilst he is on business trips, although I sense a very tiny tiny amount of uncomfortableness when he knows it’s only myself and a male friend having lunch together for example. But he has close friends who are women and we have discussed that we both consider it possible for guys and girls to be friends as long as there is no past sexual history. I trust him and don’t mind when he spends time with his friends that are women and he extends the same respect to me.

    What has prompted me to ask is this: just recently, my husband’s best friend contacted me because he has had a health scare and my husband is overseas. If my husband were here of course his best friend would confide in him first. The thing is, because he is not here, his best friend confided in me instead and asked for help getting from the hospital after his scheduled surgery. I emailed my husband to tell him this and he emailed me back wondering why didn’t his friend tell him of all this. I also mentioned that I’d invited him to dinner (but not alone, although I didn’t mention it to my husband, I made sure my sister also came along to join us) I did let my husband know it was a very fun evening and that I hope we lifted his friend’s spirits.

    I then asked if it would be ok if his friend stayed with us after the surgery as I am genuinely concerned for him, he has no family here, no girlfriend or wife and his other close friend lives further from his house and the hospital. He has not asked to stay with us after the surgery (although he has very clearly hinted at it), and when I emailed my husband to ask if it would be ok, I also mentioned that his friend had not asked and it was my suggestion because I was concerned for him.

    He hasn’t replied to my email and I’m starting to wonder if suggesting he stay with us has miscommunicated something.

    To provide better context to this situation, my husband does consider his friend a bit of a “player”, sleeps with many women and tires of them once conquered. His ultimate target is women he finds attractive but more importantly, intellectually stimulating (as presumably those are the ones that are smart enough not to “give it up” so to speak). I am his “type” and he’s commented that I am so much smarter than the average, but I honestly believe he has no sexual interest in me. But I wonder if my husband sees it that way? Hopefully not as I have mentioned his friend has not directly asked to stay with us?

    In a round about way, what I am asking is, does my husband trust me given I have guy friends who I talk about often. Does it show disrespect to him? Does his sense of significance lessen knowing he is not the only man in my life? I do take care to always show him he is my priority and my Number 1, we never fight and he has all the freedom he wants from me as well as frequent and convenient access to sex which I very visibly enjoy. I also talk about my girlfriends just as often, if not more often. And I have more girlfriends than guy friends. I’m not sure if I am correct, but I suspect that having guy friends is a comforting reminder to my husband that he married someone of genuine value – that others (both men and women) find likeable and enjoy spending time with.

    I know he’s been checking his email since yesterday. Am I over reacting? And how do I address this situation and conduct myself in general? What do I reply in my email? What to write if he says he doesn’t want his friend to stay with us and what to write if he does want his friend to stay with u

    Thank you for your time and Hope to hear your thoughts,

    Your Highness Maddy,

    Your exclusive obligation is to confirm husband’s peace of mind overseas. If you have to reverse yourself, break promises to the other guy, or whatever, accept the embarrassment by LOUDLY proclaiming that you were mistaken.

    Immediately squelch any thoughts and inform husband that no way is his friend spending time in your home, surgery, no surgery, near-death, or whatever. You overstepped and your husband’s reactions and lack thereof speaks loudly. So, if you have still to help his friend find other accommodation, use the phone and boldly even face-to-face encounters. Stay away until husband gets home. Reassure husband that you are alone and expect to stay away from his friend.

    You owe your husband the conviction that he has no reason for suspicion. Your history with others is not sufficient to calm his concerns, so tend to him first, foremost, and always. Let the sick and surgical go.


    • Maddy

      Hi Sir Guy

      Thank you, I understand what you are saying but could I ask for some clarification?

      I have re-read your article and particularly noted your words at this paragraph:

      Other men, more confident of themselves and their ability to win and hold any woman’s loyalty, do not so easily succumb. ‘Possession’ of a woman is not so large a part of their significance. They focus on earning self-admiration in ways other than owning someone. They are not immune to jealousy; it’s just much harder to trigger it.

      My question is this: by loudly proclaiming that I am mistaken does that not imply that I think husband is the jealous type; and would not want me to spend time with his friend because he either does not trust me or trust his friend? I don’t consider my husband to be the jealous type and I think he would not want his wife or his friends to think that of him either.

      Further, could doing such reassurance also compound the issue by presumptuously inflating my own sense of worth? – i.e. that I think so highly of myself to think his friend would like me and therefore need to take “drastic” steps to declare that I am to stay alone and away from him? I am also not entirely sure of his reason for non-reply and I wonder if loud proclamation may be “jumping the gun”, so to speak?

      I’m not sure. Hopeful for your guidance.

      As an interim measure I emailed husband this morning. In my email I apologized for not being more mindful that after an overseas trip he would want the opportunity to relax/unwind at home and that if his friend, or anyone else were staying with us it would make relaxing more difficult to do; and that if the roles were reversed I would not want a friend to be staying with us straight after arriving home from a tiring trip. Then I suggested he could stay with another friend of theirs. I also asked him to contact his best friend directly about picking him up as he will in fact be back from overseas by the time his friend is likely to be ready to go home from hospital.

      Going forward I will also take care to not talk so much about my guy friends so often. I talk about my girl friends *more* often but I realize now that men can be more wary of the former because it has the potential to impact their own self. I wish he knew how I treat female friends, male friends and family friends all with the same level of kindness and time investment.

      Anyway, is what I describe above sufficient action on my part? My thoughts are that this morning’s email to him was an indirect way of achieving the same outcome – of not having his friend stay with us. And thought it preferable to not presume any potential jealousy as it is considered a negative sentiment? Is this right? Am I on the right track in general?


      Your Highness Maddy,

      Yes, that works well. Nice recovery.

      I missed it earlier that hubby will be back before friend comes to stay awhile. I thought you’d be alone with a player in the house with husband overseas. My error.


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