Marcianne Blevis translated from the French by Olivia Heal


True Stories of Loves Favorite Decoy

Publication Date: Jan 20, 2009

160 pp


List Price US $14.95
ISBN: 9781590512579

How can we sustain love when lurking rivals, imaginary or real, threaten to destroy our fragile state of happiness? How can we love freely when jealousy becomes more seductive than love itself? Isolated by the sheer terror of being betrayed sooner or later, the jealous lover hangs in suspense, waiting for the bomb to drop. Jealousy, one of our more common forms of madness, induces extraordinary states of mind and testifies to the complex and hidden distresses buried deep within the psyche.

In Jealousy, renowned psychoanalyst Marcianne Blevis reveals the multiple faces of jealousy and unmasks the unconscious triggers that prevent its victim from confronting this consuming torment. Divided by case study, each chapter unveils another trait of the jealous lover and deconstructs the origins of suffering, illuminating ways to put an end to the repeated patterns of self-destruction. In this fascinating exploration of a curiously familiar state, Blevis allows us entry into the discerning and revelatory analyses of these inevitable jealousies as she frees the jealous prisoner from a cage of passion by restoring the capacity for love.

Excerpt from Jealousy

Jealousy is unmistakable. It hurts. As The Oxford English Dictionary describes it, jealousy is a state of mind arising from the “suspicion, apprehension, or knowledge of rivalry” and affects our body before it reaches the mind. Our best poets have not missed the physical sting of jealousy. Milton speaks of it as the “injured lover’s hell,” Dryden calls it “jaundice of the soul,” and Shakespeare, “the green-ey’d monster.” French moralist La Rochefoucauld adds: “Jealousy lives upon doubts. It becomes madness or ceases entirely as soon as we pass from doubt to certainty.” From all accounts, jealousy seems to be an apt response to an impending disaster. But why does a jealous individual call upon such a painful mental device to protect himself? Jealousy cannot possibly be a human aberration. And what is the appeal of such a dreadful feeling that sticks to a person like a second skin? It seems to answer some fundamental yearnings.

While jealousy’s torments may drive some people to seek psychological help, an addiction to this thrilling malady is not easily cured. Many of us assume that it is normal to be jealous when we love. After all, one doesn’t plan to be jealous. It happens. Jealousy springs without warning, making a man doubt his worth and charm. He loses his bearings, and the world around him suddenly shrinks. “She didn’t pick up her cell phone, yet she knew it was me!” he says of his girlfriend. When a jealous man starts on the course of this powerful emotion he becomes entranced, he can’t let go. Jealousy becomes a thrill whose excitement he both seeks and dreads.

Jealousy explores the wild permutations of this pointed pain through nine of Blevis’ (lightly fictionalized) cases.” —New York Post

“A nuanced look at one of the most painful human emotions.” —Kirkus Reviews