Dr. Robert L. Barker, author of Treating Couples in Crises (Macmillan/Free Press, 1985) and a forthcoming book, The Green-Eyed Marriage, believes it takes both partners, and not one person, to foster and perpetuate jealousy in a marriage. Based on his studies as a professor of social services at Catholic University and 10 years of treating jealousy in his private marital and family therapy practice, Barker has devised a list of "games" (inspired by Eric Berne's Games People Play) which, once established, can put both husband and wife in a jealous spin.
Some of the games:
*Uproar. The goal is to pick a fight so there won't be any chance for intimacy or support. The main provoker is the jealous spouse who is both suspicious and afraid to trust.
*Frigidity. The nonjealous spouse takes advantage of the jealous partner's insecurities by threatening a jealous situation "for the sole purpose of avoiding sex."
*See What You Made Me Do. The purpose is to become free of guilt by blaming the other spouse. For example, says Barker, a husband may complain to his wife after a party: "You made me so nervous staring at me whenever I talked to that woman that I made a complete fool of myself."
*Cops and Robbers. The robber (nonjealous spouse) leaves just enough clues around to tantalize the cop (jealous spouse). The robber receives pleasure from the cop's concern and interest.
*Courtroom. In this game, which requires three players, an accuser tries to convince a judge of the spouse's misdeeds. A jealous wife, for example, says to a friend, "Let me tell you what my husband did." It's a form of manipulation for the jealous person who wants to have control.