When individuals are jealous-fueled, what is happening? One thing that’s happening is that they are often looking for rage, looking to rage, in all the wrong places.
So this is important to establish up-front: The jealous-laden individual is using his jealousy as a basis to unleash his stewing rage. He is using jealousy as a means to feel rage; to feel outrage; to feel, somehow, self-righteously betrayed; and finally, to justify (through his jealousy) his pursuit of these feelings.
Thus, he is looking, contriving, convincing himself that the basis of his fury is legitimately, suspiciously, here…or there!!…or there!!…or here!!…or over there!!
Regardless, he will find the basis for his suspicions whenever it suits him—whenever, that is, he seeks a rage catharsis through his jealousy. From his suspicions, he will immediately rationalize the rapid escalation, and release, of his righteous indignation, which he will almost instantly transmute into expressions of jealous rage.
In his rage, you (his target) will naturally be declared guilty even without his having informed you of the accusations against you. It’s almost as if, in his arrogant grandiosity and sense of entitlement, you barely deserve to know the accusations he’s leveling.
After all, you should know them without his having to inform you, because you are guilty of them!! Who are you kidding?! Who are you trying to dupe, playing the innocent?!!
In such fashion he ratchets up, equally rapidly, his paranoia, convincing himself that you are weaving a real deception, really making a joke of him, the thought of which further primes his paranoia and escalates his self-justified fury.
To be sure, you are guilty of something treacherous. He knows it, he’s convinced himself of it. He believes that you too, of course, know it, but just don’t want him to know it. So he assumes a kind of paranoid omniscience. He is soooo smart, way toooo smart to be had; thus, you must be patronizing him with your innocent, shellshocked reaction.
As if he is going to fall for the pretense of your bewilderment? To the contrary: it will merely makes him legitimately more incensed.
And so the jealous rager, consciously or subconsciously, in conformity with his aim, puts you in a lose lose position: admit what he accuses you of (that is, falsely confess), and even more hell will break loose! Tell the truth, of your actual innocence, and more hell will break loose!
You are like the suspect in the interrogation room on whom he, the interrogator, in his smug conviction, believes he has all the evidence; like the suspect with whom he is toying as he watches you (from his warped perspective), and derives a perverse pleasure in watching you, try to squirm your way out of the guilty, damned status he has arrogantly, smugly stamped you with.
The jealous rager, in this fashion, will enjoy, perversely, the process of (from his warped perspective) watching you dig yourself deeper and deeper in a hole that he has made for you, that he set you up to fall into, and then assured that it will have all the escapability of a quicksand pit.
Rather, it is a pit into which, from his warped perspective, he watches you sink little by little, lie by lie, evasion by evasion, omission by omission, inconsistency by inconsistency, into his “doghouse,” or really his “hell-house,” inside of which he will slam the door shut, bar your escape, and menacingly confront you, seething with the self-righteous fury of the betrayed, entitling himself to “payback” for the treachery of which you, of course, innocent, in the abusive forms he chooses.
This sheds some light, perhaps, into the mind of the jealous rager.
(This article is copyrighted © 2010 by Steve Becker, LCSW. My use of male gender pronouns is for convenience’s sake and not to suggest that females aren’t capable of the attitudes and behaviors discussed.)