On Jealousy in catholic relationships

When does your need of knowing take reasonable precedence over the privacy of your partner?

Do you think your SO cheated on you?
Are you married or just dating?

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Jealousy in any situation, regarding all its forms.

Relationship, applying to both, including engagement.

I would say if you are married or engaged, you have the right to know:

if they have an STD because that affects your health

if they have a minor child from another relationship, because you may end up supporting this child

I’m not sure of you have a “right” to know anything beyond that.


If you are married or engaged, then you should have the type of relationship where you can ask the person a direct question and they answer you truthfully.

I wouldn’t marry or get engaged to anyone who lied to me or refused to give me a straight, no bull answer to anything I asked them.



I agree with you, and like the clear-cut formulation of the answer.

@Tis_Bearself @0Scarlett_nidiyilii

Two answers at opposite ends, both extremes, of the range of possibilities. Worth the contrast.

Yes–but are marriages in that society the kind you want for yourself?

I have to add that even in the US, pulling the wool over the husband’s eyes used to be widely accepted, particularly about household spending or bad news. If dad is king and his word is law, one traditional way of dealing with that is making sure that some facts never come to his attention–like how much his wife’s new dress or last hair appointment cost, or what happened to his beloved thingamajig, or that the dress was new at all. (See the Old Testament for examples of this in practice–the women of the Old Testament are pretty sneaky compared to our standards.)

It’s an interesting trade-off that as the US ideal for marriage has gotten more egalitarian, it has also gotten more frank. Aside from feminism, one explanation for that is that modern US married US families are pretty complex machines, requiring a lot of coordination between spouses, and couples without a high degree of trust, shared information and cooperation are going to produce much less functional families than couples who have those things.

Back to the original question, if there is jealousy in either a marital, engaged or dating relationship, there’s something wrong. Either somebody is being unreasonably possessive, or somebody is crossing relationship boundaries that they shouldn’t. But in either case, jealousy is a sign of something bad.

I would add here that jealousy isn’t necessarily sexual. A significant other could jealous of friendships or family relationships, and that jealousy could be either off-base or justified. For example, neither husband or wife should be habitually going and spilling their guts to mom after a fight. As long as a relationship is not abusive, it needs a bubble of privacy to work out internal problems, and that bubble needs to be respected. And married people definitely shouldn’t be confiding their marriage difficulties to attractive coworkers of the opposite sex.

One last thing–of course there can be such a thing as too much frankness, even to a spouse. There’s a difference between providing information a spouse needs to know and being gratuitously mean in the name of honesty.


I like the answer altogether. I’m not going to elaborate on any part of it. I’ll leave it be as it is.

I have seen this one society that within the last 4 years managed to:

1ºHave the highest divorce rate in the world.
2ºHave the lowest birth rate in Europe.

(Eurostat data.)

No. But we know he/she is bound to stumble along the way, and we’d have to deal with that. In dealing with it, a clear mind would help. Hence, a reason for this question.

1 Cor 13, the “Love chapter”, tells us that charity bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, as one translation puts it “charity hardly notices when others do it wrong”.

Before marriage you are discerning if this is a person that you are going to trust for the rest of your life. If they are not trustworthy, it is a red flag and time to reevaluate the relationship.

Once you enter a valid marriage, part of a healthy marriage is trust. You have made vows before God and man. Jealousy can be poison to a marriage.


Wise words LittleLady. The Cross…



The Christian way

Tuesday, 6 March 2014


For “the Christian way of life without the cross is not in fact Christian” and “if the cross is a cross without Jesus, it is not Christian”.

I think you forgot :“Does not suspect evil”. Also I prefer “Song of Love” to “Chapter of Love”.

When someone has the right to know the truth. Now, Jealousy is enmity prompted by fear, and emnity is not charitable.

envy (n.)
late 13c., from Old French envie “envy, jealousy, rivalry” (10c.), from Latin invidia “envy, jealousy” (source also of Spanish envidia, Portuguese inveja), from invidus “envious, having hatred or ill-will,” from invidere “to envy, hate,” earlier “look at (with malice), cast an evil eye upon,” from in- “upon” (from PIE root *en “in”) + videre “to see” (from PIE root *weid- “to see”).

Jealousy is the malign feeling which is often had toward a rival, or possible rival, for the possession of that which we greatly desire, as in love or ambition. Envy is a similar feeling toward one, whether rival or not, who already possesses that which we greatly desire. Jealousy is enmity prompted by fear; envy is enmity prompted by covetousness. [Century Dictionary]

Similar formations in Avestan nipashnaka “envious,” also “look at;” Old Church Slavonic zavideti “to envy,” from videti “to see;” Lithuanian pavydeti “to envy,” related to veizdeti “to see, to look at.”


1852 There are a great many kinds of sins. Scripture provides several lists of them. The Letter to the Galatians contrasts the works of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit: "Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God."127

2488 The right to the communication of the truth is not unconditional. Everyone must conform his life to the Gospel precept of fraternal love. This requires us in concrete situations to judge whether or not it is appropriate to reveal the truth to someone who asks for it.

2489 Charity and respect for the truth should dictate the response to every request for information or communication. The good and safety of others, respect for privacy, and the common good are sufficient reasons for being silent about what ought not be known or for making use of a discreet language. The duty to avoid scandal often commands strict discretion. No one is bound to reveal the truth to someone who does not have the right to know it.283

2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.278 He becomes guilty:

- of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them;279

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I like this answer very much @Vico, thank you sincerely. I had read that passage of scripture and the references in the catechism. Passages in the wisdom part of the old testament also contain important references about Jealousy (one whole chapter put in context can be seen mostly in light of my single question - integrating social dinamics) but I haven’t gotten to meditating it all thoroughly.

Nevertheless, the catechism on this feels very incomplete because it does not contain your definition, which is highly valuable:

The question being: It is so easy to be tempted into jealousy if your right to the truth is unjustly denied to you.

I will reiterate the pertinence, and validity, of my question on the simple grounds that perhaps the main motive behind conjugal violence is precisely jealousy.

And I also like @TheLittleLady 's answer very much! As always, and almost goes without saying! Thank you @TheLittleLady.

Shalom Agloriam.

I would be glad to give some input but your question is too general for a specific recommendation. :slight_smile:

I would place privacy of a person high on my list because I would like my own privacy be respected. That would be the principle.

Beyond that you have to give the specific. For example, in a marriage. Ideally the couple must be open to each other. In reality, it may not as forthcoming as it seems. It depends, still, on the relationship, and the character of the person. Thus one solution does not fit all, as you have to take all factors into consideration.

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Shalom Reuben_J. :rofl:

I felt without a sufficient grasp on the general concepts involved.

My research was stuck between “being owed the truth” and the “uncharitable enmity” of jealousy that @Vico defined.

I was going nowhere without help from @TheLittleLady @Xantippe @Tis_Bearself @0Scarlett_nidiyilii

[And I was afraid the ladies would “beat me into a pulp” for mentioning this delicate subject. That’s what always happens when the keyword “jealousy” gets mentioned outside catholic circles, unlike here.]

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