The International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation


Cross-Cultural Differences and Similarities in the Expression
 of Jealousy in a Couple: A Comparative Study
Between Couples of Greek and Albanian Descent

 

Dr. Despina Sikelianou 1, Georgia Georgakopoulou 2, Irida Pandiri 3

 
1 .Psychologist, Associate Scientist, Department of Social Work, Higher Technological Educational Institute of Patras
2. Graduate Social Worker, Department of Social Work, Higher Technological Educational Institute of Patras
3. Graduate Social Worker, Department of Social Work, Higher Technological Educational Institute of Patras


Citation:
Sikelianou D, Georgakopoulou G,  & Pandiri I.  (2015)  Cross-Cultural Differences and Similarities in the 
Expression of Jealousy in a Couple: A Comparative Study Between Couples of Greek and Albanian Descent.
 International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation. Vol 19(1) 24-56



Abstract
This research is a comparative study whose aim was to investigate the cross-cultural differences and similarities in the expression of jealousy between Greek couples and couples of Albanian descent who live in Greece.  In this study, the survey method was used and the research was quantitative. The research process lasted a total of three (3) months (May-August 2011) and was conducted in two (2) large urban centres in our country: Athens and Thessaloniki.  According to the results of the research: i) the two major reasons causing jealousy in a couple in both population groups is sexual intercourse with another person and the emotional attachment of either partner to another person. Secondary reasons are a partner’s pursuit of their career and their spending more time with their friends ii) during a jealousy incident, couples of Albanian descent display mainly violent behavior towards their partner, in contrast to couples of Greek descent, where the partners either distance themselves from each other or exercise control over/check up on one another, iii) couples of Albanian descent claim that going through the process a jealousy incident strengthens their relationship. In contrast, couples of Greek descent claim that such an incident is the reason they become estranged from their partner and distance themselves, and they usually react by ending communication with one another.


KEYWORDS. Spirituality, Recovery, Mental Illness


Introduction:

The aim of this comparative study was to investigate the differences and similarities in the expression of jealousy between Greek couples and couples of Albanian descent who live in Greece. According to the results of this research the two major reasons causing jealousy in a couple in both population groups is sexual intercourse with another person and the emotional attachment of either partner to another person. Moreover, during a jealousy incident, couples of Albanian descent display mainly violent behavior towards their partner, in contrast to couples of Greek descent, where the partners mainly distance themselves from each other or exercise control over/check up on one another.   

According to Segall et al. (1993), Munroe, Shimmin and Munroe (1984), Munroe, Munroe and Whiting (1981) and Munroe and Munroe (1980), there are typical differences in the behavior between the two genders in every society. In all societies, there are differences between the two genders in terms of diet, responsibility, obedience, self-sufficiency, performance and independence. The image of the differences between the two genders portrays men as having greater self-confidence, a tendency towards success, and a tendency to dominate, while women are portrayed as being more sociable, passive and submissive. Other factors also contribute to these differences, such as financial factors, division of labour according to gender, and discrimination in socialization practices. These differences are imposed by each society through the manner in which men and women are raised.

Various theories exist about jealousy. Specifically, the psychodynamic theory supports that natural jealousy is competitive.  It appears initially in one’s rivalry with one’s father for the exclusive love of the mother and is experienced again whenever one fears the loss of the one they love. Childhood jealousy experiences, however, do not trigger future experiences of jealousy but reappear and assist in the shaping and degree of reaction to tension in adult life (Clanton & Smith 1998).

Van Sommers (2004) mentions that jealousy is not only innate in human nature but is also a vital, diffuse emotion that affects human relationships.  Jealousy is not only a tendency that is inherited but also an emotion which is considered absurd, barbarian and catastrophic (Atavistic impulse theory). At the same time, Barelds and Dijkstra (2006) argue that   “Jealousy has a negative connotation in Western culture and is often looked upon as a socially undesirable emotion”, while Sharpsteen (1993) found that when individuals were asked to identify features of jealousy, virtually all of the features were negative (e.g., hurt, threatened, bad thoughts about other man/woman). At the same time, jealousy can be a reaction to a breach of possession, whether this concerns objects or people (Theory of possession), or it can be an attempt on the part of the man to ensure his identity, following a failed effort to control the relationship (Loss of Control theory). In a study of both homosexual and heterosexual relationships, when jealousy was in response to a threat to the relationship (i.e., emotional reactive jealousy), it was positively related to relationship quality, whereas anxious (i.e., suspicious) jealousy was negatively related to relationship quality (Barelds & Dijkstra, 2006). According to  Barelds & Barelds-Dijkstra (2007),  emotional reactive jealousy was related to higher relationship quality, and anxious types of suspicious jealousy were associated with lower relationship quality.

According to Hart et al. (2010), Bevan (2008), Hendrick and Hendrick (1983), most conceptual approaches to jealousy also emphasize its negative side  noted that some people contend that “jealousy is unhealthy and a sign of deficit”.

Salovey and Buunk  (1991) argued that jealousy is a potentially destructive emotion in intimate relationships. Moreover, White and Mullen (1989) suggested that jealousy is most closely associated with the love style of “mania,” which is characterized by uncertainty about the partner’s love and by extreme emotional reactions often in an obsessive fashion. Jealousy has been found to be positively associated with several relationship-sustaining qualities. Furthermore, according to Dugosh, (2000),  Mathes, (1986), White, (1984), Bringle et al. (1983), Mathes & Severa, (1981), jealousy is associated with greater love for the relationship partner  with feelings of being more “in-love” with the partner  and with greater relationship stability. At the same time, Harris (2005) argues that “Despite its destructive side, jealousy also may have some positive effects for individuals and relationships. For example, it alerts one to relationship threats and can motivate behaviors that protect the relationship”.

Concerning emotional and sexual infidelity, men and women have different reactions. In particular, research studies have shown that women are more vulnerable to emotional infidelity, whereas men are more vulnerable to sexual infidelity (Buunk et al., 2004), (Sagarin et al. 2003), (Buss et al. 1996), (Bush, Bush, Jennings, 1988).

Buss and Haselton (2005) point out intersexual differences in the expression of jealousy; namely, women experience intense jealousy when their rival is physically attractive, whereas men experience this when their rival has greater financial status. Additionally, when men are in a relationship, they are highly controlling towards their partner when she is attractive, while women are highly controlling when their partner has greater financial status.

In a study conducted by Buunk et al. (2011) about the sex differences in jealousy in Argentina and Spain, it was ascertained that men experienced more jealousy than women when their rival was more physically dominant. In contrast, women experienced more jealousy than men when their rival was more physically attractive, had more social-communal attributes, and had more social power and dominance. In both genders, social-communal attributes was the most jealousy-evoking characteristic, followed by physical attractiveness in women and by social power and dominance in men.

Russell (1990) and Finkelhor & Yllo (1995) mention that men who are pathologically jealous of their partners treat them as if they were their possessions.

Men can more easily recall their partner’s sexual infidelity while women can more easily recall their partner’s emotional infidelity. When the infidelity is revealed, men - in comparison to women - have more difficulty forgiving sexual infidelity. Finally, men - in comparison to women - are more likely to end a relationship for the reason of sexual infidelity than emotional infidelity (Buss & Haselton 2005).

Van Sommers (2004) mentions that the stereotype of men being more jealous in purely sexual relationships, whereas women are more interested in the loss of support, is untrue, according to the cases interviewed. Pine and Αronson (1980), (1981), (1983), Van Sommers (2004) discovered that the reaction to sexual infidelity is usually common to both men and women. In particular, this reaction is mainly linked to the stress and anxiety of attempting to understand what has transpired. When emotional problems arise between the couple, it is the men who are usually stunned by the problem and feel hurt (Burns, 1986).

Research Design - Methodology
The aim of this study was to investigate the cross-cultural differences and similarities in the expression of jealousy between married couples of Greek and Albanian descent who reside in Greece.

 Sample
The sample in the present study consisted of three hundred and twenty four (324) people and, more specifically, of one hundred and forty four (144) people of Albanian descent (seventy two [72] men and seventy two [72] women) and one hundred and eighty (180) people of Greek descent (ninety [90] men and ninety [90] women). The age of the sample subjects ranged from eighteen (18) to fifty-six (56) and over. The sample was based on snowball sampling. In particular, the sampling process was implemented through seeking a specific number of people in associations, guilds and unions, such as: the Greek-Albanian Association, the Mother Teresa Workers Association, the Support Office for Immigrants and Refugees, the Unions of Private Sector Employees of Athens and Thessaloniki, the Association of Civil Servants Organizations of Athens and Thessaloniki, and the Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions.  These people then suggested others with similar profiles who agreed to participate as subjects in the sample.

Methodology
The present study employed the survey method. The research was conducted over a total of three (3) months (May-August 2008) in two (2) large urban centres of our country: Athens and Thessaloniki. The research process, based on the survey method, was divided into three (3) phases: preliminary phase, main phase (conduct of research) and the statistical analysis of results and conclusion phase.

In particular, during the first (preliminary) phase, the general aim of the research was specified, the research questions and research hypotheses were established, the method of conducting the research was chosen and the population and subjects of the sample were identified. During the second phase (main phase), phone calls and visits to the associations and unions were made in order to inform some of their members about the aims of this survey and to arrange for them to encourage other members to participate in the survey as subjects of the sample. Finally, the wording of the questions used in the research tool questionnaire was established, the questionnaires were distributed to the sample subjects and the completed questionnaires were subsequently collected. During the third phase of this survey, the codification and statistical analysis of results was implemented using Statistical Product and Service Solutions (S.P.S.S) and conclusions were reached.

 Results

 In accordance with the results of the research, the groups of couples of Greek and Albanian descent consisted of 50% men and 50% women respectively.

The age of the men of Albanian descent ranged as follows: 34.72% were between 36-45 years old, 30.56% were 26-35, 15.28% were 18-25, 15.28% were 46-55 and 4.17% were 56 and over. For the women of Albanian descent 28.77% were 26-35, 21.92% were 36-45, 19.18% were 46-55, 16.44% were 18-25 and 13.7% were 56 and over. The age of the Greek men ranged as follows: 39.33% were 36-45, 32.58% were 46-55, 14.61% were 26-35, 8.99% were 18-25 and 4.49% were 56 and over. For the Greek women 35.56% were 46-55, 28.89% were 36-45, 18.89% were 26-35, 10% were 18-25 and 6.67% were 56 and over (Figure 1).

 Figure 1

Among the couples of Albanian descent, 29.17% of the men were lyceum graduates, 20.83% of the men were junior high school graduates, 13.89% were illiterate, 11.11% were primary school graduates and 11.11% were postgraduate degree holders. Among the women of Albanian descent, 29.58% were lyceum graduates, 26.76% were graduates of Higher Education Institutes or Technological Educational Institutes, 12.68% were primary school graduates, 8.45% were illiterate, 5.63% were doctoral degree holders and 1.41% were postgraduate degree holders. Among the Greek couples, 56.67% of the men were lyceum graduates, 28.89% were graduates of Higher Education Institutes or Technological Educational Institutes, 3.33% were postgraduate degree holders and 1.11% were doctoral degree holders. Among the Greek women, 38.89% were lyceum graduates, 28.89% were graduates of Higher Education Institutes or Technological Educational Institutes, 14.44% junior high school graduates, 12.22% were primary school graduates and 5.56% were postgraduate degree holders (Figure 2).

Figure 2


 Jealousy - for men of Albanian descent - is considered natural in the relationship (38.03%), a bad constant in the relationship (33.8%), the spice of the relationship (15.49%), a necessary factor in the relationship (5.63%), and disastrous for the relationship (5.63%).  37.14% of the women of Albanian descent consider jealousy to be natural in the relationship, 32.86% a bad constant, 12.86% disastrous for the relationship, 11.43% the spice of the relationship, while 5.71% consider it to be a necessary factor in the relationship (Figure 3).

Figure 3

 Among the Greek couples, 40% of the men said that jealousy was a bad constant in the relationship, 28.89% consider it to be natural, 16.67% consider it to be disastrous, 8.89% the spice of the relationship and 2.22% consider it a necessary factor. The Greek women consider jealousy to be a bad constant in the relationship (38.89%), disastrous for the relationship (23.33%), natural in the relationship (22.22%), the spice of the relationship (12.22%) and a necessary factor in the relationship (1.11%) (Figure 4).


 Figure 4


The main emotions which could lead men in the couples of Albanian descent to express their jealousy are: disappointment with their partner (38.03%), suspicion (28.17%), love (28.17%), rivalry and embarrassment (23.94%), indifference (22.54%), the fear of loss (21.13%), their interest in their partner (19.72%), and far less their rage and insecurity (12.68%), sorrow (9.86%), and revulsion (8.45%). In Albanian women, the emotions that could lead to their expressing jealousy are: suspicion (30.56%), insecurity (25%), rivalry (22.22%), disappointment and indifference (20.83%), fear of loss, love and interest (16.67%), and far less the feeling of revulsion (13.89%), embarrassment (12.5%), rage (9.72%), and sorrow (6.94%). (Figure 5).  

Figure 5

To the same question, the men in the Greek couples believe that the main emotions in a relationship that could lead to the expression of jealousy are: insecurity (42.22%), suspicion (40%), fear of loss (38.89%), love (23.33%), interest and rivalry (17.78%), and far less indifference (10%), disappointment (8.89%), rage (7.78%), sorrow (2.22%), embarrassment (2.22%) or revulsion (1.11%). The Greek women believe that insecurity (53.33%), suspicion (35.56%), fear of loss (32.22%), indifference (27.78%), love (22.22%), and far less rivalry (13.33%), disappointment (12.22%), rage (8.89%), interest (6.67%), revulsion (4.44%), sorrow (3.33%) and embarrassment (1.11%) would lead them to expressing jealousy (Figure 6).

Figure 6

To the question addressing the views of the sample on defining infidelity, the men of Albanian descent defined it as being mainly the platonic relationship of their partner with another man (35.21%), or the sexual relationship between their partner and another man (33.8%), while they consider it to be infidelity far less when their partner is interested in another man (23.94%) or when their partner flirts with another man (14.08%). The women of Albanian descent define infidelity to be mainly the sexual relationship between their partner and another woman (43.06%), the platonic relationship of their partner with another woman (23.61%) while they consider it to be infidelity far less when their partner flirts with another woman (15.28%) or when their partner is interested in another woman (12.5%) (Figure 7).

Figure 7

To the same question, the men in the Greek couples define infidelity as the sexual relationship between their partner and another man (65.56%), when their partner flirts with another man (16.67%) while they consider it to be infidelity far less when their partners have a platonic relationship with another man (6.67%) or when their partner is interested in another man (2.22%). The Greek women consider infidelity to be mainly the sexual relationship between their partner and another woman (70%) and far less when their partner flirts with another woman (10%) or when he has a platonic relationship with another woman (7.78%) or when he is interested in another woman (1.11%) (Figure 8).

 Figure 8

The reasons why men of Albanian descent would feel jealous of their partner are mainly: when their partner spends more time pursuing her career, (54.93%), when their rival is younger (46.48%), when their rival is more handsome (45.07%), when their partner spends more time with her friends (36.62%), when their rival has professional prestige (36.62%) and higher income (35.21%), when their partner goes out with others without them (33.8%). They would be far less jealous of their partner spending more time with the children (19.72%). The women of Albanian descent believe that the main reasons for them to be jealous of their partner would be when their rival is more beautiful (41.18%) and younger (38.24%), when their partner spends more time with his friends (35.29%), when their partner spends more time pursuing his career (32.35%), when their partner goes out with others without them (30.88%). It would be far less likely for them to be jealous of their partner if their rival had a higher income (26.47%) or if their rival had professional prestige (25%) or when their partner spends more time with the children (14.71%) (Figure 9).

Figure 9

 In contrast, the men in the Greek couples believe that jealousy can be caused mainly by their partner going out with others without them (34.83%), when their rival is younger (33.71%) and more handsome (26.97%) and when their partner spends more time with her friends (22.47%). They would be far less likely to be jealous when their rival had a higher income (19.1%) or had professional prestige (16.85%), when their partner spent more time pursuing her career and not on them (12.36%) or when she spent more time with the children (6.74%). The women in the Greek couples believe that jealousy could be caused mainly when their partner goes out alone (51.69%), he spends more time with his friends (39.33%), their rival is more beautiful (37.08%) and younger (25.84%). Jealousy is far less likely to be caused when their partner spends more time pursuing his career (20.22%), their rival has professional prestige (14.61%) or their rival has a higher income (12.36%) and their partner spends more time with the children (4.49%) (Figure 10).

Figure 10


To the question of whether the couples have fought because of jealousy, 80% of the men and 75% of the women of Albanian descent gave a positive response, whereas 20% of the men and 25% of the women respectively responded negatively. To the same question, 46% of the men and 64% of the women of Greek descent responded positively, while 54% of the men and 36% of the women respectively gave a negative response (Figure 11).

Figure 11


To the question regarding the respondents’ reactions towards their partners after a fight caused by jealousy, the men of Albanian descent stated that, in the main, they hit their partners (17%), swear and hit their rivals (12%) or blame themselves because they believe that it was their own behavior that led to it (10%) or swear at their partners (10%) or hit their rival (10%) or resort to self-sarcasm (10%), and far less swear at their rival (7%), separate/divorce (6%), distance themselves (3%), deny the fact (3%), write or talk about it (3%), exercise control over/check up on their partner (3%), or find solace in drinking or eating (3%). The men in the Greek couples responded that, in the main, they distance themselves from their partner (19%), or exercise control over/check up on their partner (17%) or separate/divorce (12%) and blame themselves (11%) or resort to self-sarcasm (10%) or write or talk about it (6%) or find solace in drinking or eating (6%), swear at their rival (4%), swear at their partner (3%), deny it (3%), swear and hit their partner (2%) and swear and hit their rival (1%) (Figure 12).

Figure 12

 
To the same question, the women of Albanian descent replied that they mainly distance themselves (15%) or blame themselves (10%) or swear at their rival (10%) or swear at their partner (10%), and far less hit their partner (8%), separate/divorce (8%), exercise control over/check up on their partner (8%), swear and hit their partner (6%), find solace in drinking or eating (6%), hit their rival (4%), deny the fact (4%), swear and hit their rival (3%), write or talk about it (3%), resort to self-sarcasm (3%). The Greek women replied that they mainly distance themselves (17%) or blame themselves (14%), or write or talk about it (10%), and far less separate/divorce (9%), resort to self-sarcasm (9%), exercise control over/check up on their partner (9%), deny the fact (8%), swear at their partner (7%), find solace in drinking or eating (5%) and swear at their rival (3%) (Figure 13).

 Figure 13

To the question concerning their reactions following a jealousy incident, the men of Albanian descent responded that they hit their partner/spouse (17%), swear at and hit their rival (12%), blame themselves because they believe it was their behavior that led to their partner’s infidelity (10%), swear at their partner/spouse (10%), hit their rival (10%), resort to self-sarcasm (10%), swear at their partner (7%), separate/divorce (6%), swear and hit their partner/spouse (3%), distance themselves (3%), deny the fact (3%), write or talk about it (3%), exercise control over/check up on their partner (3%) and find solace in drinking or eating (3%). The Greek men responded that they distance themselves (19%), exercise control over/check up on their partner (17%), separate/divorce (12%), blame themselves because they believe it was their behavior that caused their partner’s infidelity (11%), resort to self-sarcasm (10%), write or talk about it (6%), find solace in drinking or eating (6%), swear at their rival (4%), swear at their partner/spouse (3%), deny the fact (3%), swear and hit their partner (2%) and swear and hit their rival (1%) (Figure 14).

Figure 14

To the same question, the women of Albanian descent responded that they distance themselves (15%), blame themselves because they believe it was their behavior that led to their partner’s infidelity (10%), swear at their rival (10%), swear at their partner (10%), hit their partner (8%), separate/divorce (8%), exercise control over/check up on their partner (8%), swear and hit their partner (6%), find solace in drinking or eating (6%), hit their rival (4%), deny the fact of the infidelity (4%), swear and hit their rival (3%), write or talk about it (3%), resort to self-sarcasm (3%). The Greek women responded that they distance themselves (17%), blame themselves because they believe it was their behavior that led to their partner’s infidelity (14%), write or talk about it (10%), separate/divorce (9%), resort to self-sarcasm (9%), exercise control over/check up on their partner (9%), deny the fact (8%), swear at their partner (7%), find solace in drinking or eating (5%) and swear at their partner (5%) (Figure 15).

 Figure 15

To the question concerning the emotions the respondent experiences following an incident of jealousy, the men of Albanian descent responded that what they mainly experience is disappointment (26%), sorrow (19%), joy (13%), sadness (12%), resentment (10%), and far less revulsion (7%) or low self-esteem (7%) or satisfaction (6%) or fear (4%). The women of Albanian descent responded that they mainly experience disappointment (25%), resentment (19%), joy (15%), sorrow (15%), satisfaction (10%), and far less sadness (8%) or revulsion (4%) or low self-esteem (4%) or fear (3%) or high self-esteem (1%) (Figure 16).

 Figure 16

 To the same question, the men in the Greek couples responded that they mainly experience disappointment (28%), joy (21%), satisfaction (14%), low self-esteem (11%), and far less sadness (4%) or revulsion (4%) or resentment (4%) or sorrow (3%) or high self-esteem (2%) or fear (1%). The women respectively answered that they mainly experience sorrow (22%), disappointment (22%), sadness (14%), joy (13%), resentment (12%), and far less low self-esteem (8%) or satisfaction (6%) or revulsion (4%) or high self-esteem (2%) or fear (1%) (Figure 17).

Figure 17

Finally, to the question concerning their partner’s emotions following an incident of jealousy, the men of Albanian descent believe that their partner mainly experiences joy (24%) or sadness (21%) or revulsion (16%), and far less disappointment (12%), sorrow (10%), satisfaction (10%), fear (9%), resentment (9%) and low self-esteem (1%). The women of Albanian descent believe that their partner mainly experiences joy (16%) or sadness (16%) or resentment (16%) or sorrow (14%), and far less fear (11%), revulsion (9%), satisfaction (9%), disappointment (7%), high self-esteem (6%) or low self-esteem (4%) (Figure 18).


 Figure 18


Figure 19

To the same question, the Greek men believe that, following an incident of jealousy, their partner mainly experiences joy (22%) or disappointment (17%) or sadness (11%) or revulsion (11%) or resentment (11%) or satisfaction (11%), and far less low self-esteem (6%), fear (3%) and high self-esteem (1%). The Greek women believe that their partner mainly experiences sadness (15%) or sorrow (15%) or resentment (15%) or joy (14%), and far less disappointment (13%), satisfaction (12%), fear (6%), high self-esteem (6%) or low self-esteem (4%) and revulsion (1%) (Figure 19).


Discussion

The results of this research cannot be considered as generalizations applicable to the wider population from which the sample subjects were taken, but are merely indications with regard to the subject of this study.

According to the research results and the responses of the sample of couples of Greek and Albanian descent, Greek men (40%) and Greek women (38.89%) consider jealousy to be a bad constant, whereas Albanian men (38.03%) and Albanian women (37.14%) consider jealousy to be natural in an intimate relationship.

The main emotions which can lead couples of Albanian descent to express their jealousy to each other are primarily disappointment with their relationship (Albanian men 38.03%), suspicion and love for their partner (Albanian women 28.17%) and rivalry and embarrassment (Albanian men and women 23.94%) .

Greek couples, on the other hand, are led to express jealousy mainly by insecurity (Greek men 42.22%) (Greek women 53.33%), suspicion (Greek men 40%) (Greek women 35.56%) and fear of losing their partner (Greek men 38.88%) (Greek women 32.22%). It is noteworthy that in Greek couples embarrassment does not constitute the main emotion that could lead them to express their jealousy, while Albanian couples in the sample consider embarrassment to be one of the main emotions that causes jealousy in a couple. Barelds and Dijkstra (2006) argue that  “Jealousy has a negative connotation in Western culture and is often looked upon as a socially undesirable emotion” (Hart et al. , 2010), (Bevan ,2008), (Sharpsteen ,1993)  (Hendrick and Hendrick,1983).

With regard to the definition of infidelity in the relationship, it appears that Albanian couples have given different answers according to their sex. In particular, men believe that infidelity is the attraction of their partner to their rival (platonic relationship) (35.21%) and subsequently sexual intercourse between their partner and their rival (33.8%). At the same time, responses such as ‘when the partner is interested in another man’ (23.94), or ‘when the partner flirts with another man’ (14.08%) also show high percentages. In contrast, women define infidelity to be sexual intercourse between their partner and another woman (43.06%) with their second choice being the platonic relationship of their partner with their rival (23.61%). Subsequent choices, such as: ‘the partner flirts with another woman (15.28%) and ‘the partner is interested in another woman’ (12.5%) also appear to show high percentages.

In Greek couples, both sexes define infidelity to be mainly sexual intercourse between their partner and another person (men 65.56%) (women 70%). However, it seems that flirting with another (men 16.67%) (women 10%) is also included in the definition of infidelity and it would appear to annoy men more than it does women.

De Steno, Valdesolo and Bartlett (2006) and Becker et al. (2004) claim that both men and women are more jealous in the case of sexual infidelity than in cases of emotional infidelity. Buss et al. (1996) maintain that women consider that the main factor in triggering jealousy is the emotional infidelity of their partner, while men consider it to be the sexual infidelity of their partner (Milevsky 2007) (Buunk et al., 2004), (Sagarin et al. 2003), (Buss et al. 1996), (Bush, Bush, Jennings, 1988).

Insecurity in a relationship, in combination with dependence, also seems to be connected to sexual jealousy (Kingham & Gordon (2004), Clanton & Smith (1998), Crowe (1995).

According to the responses from the sample with regard to the reasons causing jealousy, the men in the Albanian couples believe that the first and foremost reason for this in a couple is when their partner spends more time pursuing her career (54.93%), or when their rival is younger (46.48%) and more handsome (45.07%). The men in the Greek couples believe that the first and foremost cause of jealousy in a couple is when their partner goes out with others but without them (34.83%), when their rival is younger (33.71%) and more handsome (26.97%). At this point, a differentiation in the responses of Greek men and Albanian men is observed with regard to their choice of major reason causing jealousy.  This differentiation in responses is probably to do with different social stereotypes of the woman’s role and the position of women in modern society.  Moreover, it appears that relatively high percentages of responses to the following mainly came from Albanian men: ‘when the partner spends more time with their friends’ (Albanian men 36.62%), (Greek men 22.47%), ‘when the rival has professional prestige’ (Albanian men 36.62%) (Greek men 16.85%) and ‘when the rival has high income’ (Albanian men 35.21%) (Greek men 19.1%).

Albanian women believe that, first and foremost, jealousy in a couple is caused by their rival being more beautiful (41.18%) (Greek women 37.08%) and younger (38.24%) (Greek women 25.84%). However, Greek women differ from Albanian women in their first choice as they believe that the main reason for jealousy is when their partner goes out with others but without them (51.69%), and their second choice is when their partner spends more time with his friends (39.33%) (Albanian women 35.29%). Greek women seem to be more annoyed when their partner goes out with others but without them, unlike Albanian women who give particular emphasis to the physical characteristics of their rival. Nevertheless, many Greek women also chose this response.

The subsequent choices, both for Greek and Albanian women, were ‘when their rival has a high income’ (Albanian women 26.47%) (Greek women 12.36%), ‘when their rival has professional prestige’ (Albanian women 25%) (Greek women 14.61%), ‘when their partner spends more time with the children (Albanian women 14.71%) (Greek women 4.49%) and ‘when their partner spends more time pursuing his career’ (Albanian women 32.35%), (Greek women 20.22%). The involvement of the partners of Albanian women with the children seems to play an important role in causing jealousy. In contrast, the responses of Greek women do not show high percentages with regard to the same. This probably means that Albanian women have adopted the social stereotype that the parenting of children is mainly undertaken by the woman and not the man. However, this stereotype appears to be weaker in Greek women.

In general, as is concluded from the responses from men and women in both population groups of the survey sample, it appears that the physical strength and beauty of the rival is a major reason for jealousy in a couple (mainly in women), and also when the rival has professional prestige and a high income (mainly in men – with a lesser percentage of responses from men in the Greek couples). According to Buunk et al. (2011) men experience more jealousy than women when their rival is more physically dominant. In both genders, social-communal attributes is the most jealousy-evoking characteristic, followed by physical attractiveness in women and by social power and dominance in men.

In general, as appears from the answers of men and women in both population groups of the survey sample, it appears that physical rome and beauty of the rivalry is a key challenge of jealousy to the couple (particularly in women) and when his / her rival has professional prestige and more financial rewards (mostly with men but lower prices from their men GREEK couple).

According to this research the couples of Albanian descent appear to have come into conflict with each other because of jealousy to a greater extent than have the couples of Greek descent (Albanian men 80%) (Albanian women 75%) (Greek men 46%) (Greek women 64%). However, it appears from these responses that Greek women are more susceptible to fights because of jealousy compared to their Greek male partners.

The reactions of Greek male partners towards their partners after a fight are usually that they distance themselves (19%), exercise control over/check up on their partner (17%), separate (divorce) (12%) blame themselves (11%) and resort to self-sarcasm (10%), and far less that they exercise verbal abuse and aggressiveness towards their partner (2%) or their rival (3%) (1%) respectively.

In contrast, a high percentage of Albanian male partners responded that, in the main,  they exercise physical violence (17%) and verbal abuse (12%) towards their partner and their rival (physical violence 10%). While Greek male partners show high percentages in the exercise of control over/check up on their partners, Albanian male partners exercise verbal abuse and physical violence towards their partners. There are men who believe that they have the right to exercise control over their partner by any means, even with the use of violence, when they are being attacked or feel that they are being wronged (Pazini 2004). Russell (1990) and Finkelhor & Yllo (1995) mention that men who are pathologically jealous of their partners treat them as if they were their possessions.

Segall et al. (1993) claim that men are more aggressive than women. They are more likely to attempt to lead and/or exercise control over women. In contrast, women are more obedient and submissive than men. According to the feminist approach (Chatzifotiou, 2006),  (Pentaraki, 2004), (Pence & Paymar, 1993), (Dobash & Dobash, 1979), physical violence is a way of exerting control and dominance which derives from the socially-formed relationships between the two genders.

The responses of men in both population groups with regard to separation and divorce as a reaction after a fight because of jealousy are also noteworthy. Only (6%) of Albanian male partners would divorce their partner, whereas 12% of Greek male partners would do the same. At the same time, there is also a difference in the responses from Greek and Albanian male partners with regard to their finding solace in drinking or eating as a reaction after a fight. The Greek male partners (6%) would seem to form the majority of the total sample of men who find solace in drinking or eating after a fight with their partner, compared to Albanian male partners where only 3% of them would do the same.

The reactions of Greek women after a fight are usually to distance themselves (17%), blame themselves (14%) or write and talk about it (10%). The reactions of the Albanian female partners are also usually to distance themselves (15%) or blame themselves (10%) or swear at their rival (10%) or swear at their partner (10%). In contrast, only 5% of Greek female partners would swear at their rival, or swear at their partner (7%).

The fact that the percentages of responses given by both population groups of women with regard to separation, i.e. 9% for Greek female partners and 8% for Albanian female partners, are so close is noteworthy. This is also true of their responses towards finding solace in drinking and eating (5% Greek female partners), (6% Albanian female partners).

In general, the men in the Albanian couples of the sample mainly react with verbal abuse and physical violence towards their partner after a fight because of jealousy, while women mainly react by distancing themselves. Neither partner would separate/divorce easily (Albanian men 6%) (Albanian women 8%), compared to the Greek couples where Greek male partners would separate/divorce more easily (12%) than their partners (Greek female partners 9%). However, the difference in the percentages of responses given by the Greek and Albanian women with regard to separation/divorce is small, with more Albanian female partners choosing separation/divorce than do their Albanian male partners. In contrast, the percentage of Greek female partners (9%) choosing separation/divorce would appear to be lower than that of their Greek male partners (12%).

In Greek couples, both partners mainly react by distancing themselves after a fight because of jealousy. At the same time, Greek male partners may also exercise control over/check up on their partners. According to Clanton & Smith (1998), distancing behavior may constitute divorce/separation, withdrawal, restraint, silence and refusal to solve the problem. On the contrary, competitive behavior includes conflicts, quarrels, violence and attempts to take revenge.

Van Sommers (2004), Mathes, Adams and Davies (1985) and Salovey and Rodin (1986), (1988) claim that the reactions caused by the jealous behavior of the couple are mainly despair, wounded self-esteem, self-accusation and hatred towards their partner. Other experts cite fear, resentment, grief and withdrawal/distancing themselves from their partner.

The emotions the partners in the Albanian couples experience following an incident of jealousy are disappointment (men 26%) (women 25%), sorrow (men 19%), (women 15%), resentment (women 19%). The partners in the Greek couples experience disappointment (men 28%), (woman 22%), joy (men 21%), sorrow (woman 22%). 

According to their responses, the Albanian male partners believe that their partner’s emotions following an incident of jealousy are joy (24%) or sadness (21%) or revulsion (16%), and far less disappointment (12%). The Greek men believe that, following an incident of jealousy, their partner mainly experiences joy (22%) or disappointment (17%) or sadness (11%) or revulsion (11%).

The women of Albanian descent believe that their partner mainly experiences joy (16%) or sadness (16%) or resentment (16%) or sorrow (14%). The Greek women believe that their partner mainly experiences sadness (15%) or sorrow (15%) or resentment (15%) or joy (14%), and far less disappointment (13%). What is essential to point out here is that, in both the Greek and Albanian couples, partners do not know exactly what their emotions towards each other are. This is because the partners in the couples of the sample may not talk about their emotions within their relationship.

Conclusions
The conclusions of this study constitute some notable indications of the expression of jealousy by the two genders in couples belonging to the specific cultural groups, and do not constitute a generalized outlook of the determination and the manner of expressing jealousy in the two genders of both groups of couples.

Greek male and female partners believe that jealousy in a relationship is a bad constant. In contrast, Albanian male and female partners consider jealousy to be natural in the relationship. Consequently, there are differentiations between the two population groups in their responses to the definition of jealousy. 

With regard to the emotions that could lead to the expression of jealousy within a couple, the Greek male partners believe that these are mainly insecurity, suspicion and fear of losing their partner. In contrast, the Albanian male partners believe that disappointment with their partner, love towards their partner, rivalry and embarrassment or indifference could lead to the expression of jealousy in a couple.

The Greek female partners believe that mainly insecurity in the relationship, suspicion and fear of losing their partner are the main emotions that cause jealousy in a couple. In contrast, the Albanian female partners believe that disappointment, suspicion, rivalry between the partners and embarrassment could lead to the expression of jealousy in a couple.

Consequently, in Greek couples of the sample, both genders state mainly insecurity, suspicion and fear of losing his/her partner as the main emotions leading to the expression of jealousy in a couple. In contrast, the Albanian couple state suspicion, rivalry between the partners and embarrassment as the main emotions causing jealousy in a couple.   

It is essential to point out here that, mainly in the Albanian couples of the sample, embarrassment and rivalry are two features that could lead to the expression of jealousy between partners, whereas the Greek couples do not place particular emphasis on them. This probably occurs due to the different attitude and the different values of Albanian men and women towards the role of the man - and mainly that of the woman - in a marriage.

As far as defining infidelity is concerned, the Greek male partners consider infidelity mainly to be sexual intercourse between their partner and another man and far less so flirting with another, having a platonic relationship with another or when their partner is interested in another. In contrast¸ the Albanian male partners consider infidelity to be firstly the platonic relationship and subsequently sexual intercourse between their partner and another man. Furthermore, infidelity may also be when their partner is interested in another man or when she flirts with another man.

The Greek female partners consider infidelity mainly to be sexual intercourse between their partner and another and far less so when their partner flirts or is interested in another woman. The Albanian female partners also consider sexual intercourse between their partner and another woman to be infidelity. However, according to their responses, infidelity may also be the platonic relationship, the flirting of their partner and when their partner is interested in other women. Indeed, here, the responses from the Albanian female partners sufficiently differ from those of the Greek female partners with regard to flirting and that their partner is interested in another woman. The Greek women do not seem to give particular emphasis to these features in their definition of infidelity; in the Greek couples of the sample, both genders state sexual intercourse between their partner and another as the main definition. However, it appears that more Greek male partners than Greek female partners consider the flirting of their partner to be a definition of infidelity.

In the Albanian couples, there is a difference in the responses of both genders with regard to the definition of infidelity, as the Albanian male partners consider the platonic relationship to be the major factor in defining infidelity, followed by sexual intercourse between their partner and another man, whereas the Albanian female partners consider infidelity to be mainly sexual intercourse between their partner and another woman. It should be noted here that there were more Albanian male partners than Albanian female partners who responded that they also consider infidelity to be when their partner is interested in another man.  From the above-mentioned data it is evident that the Albanian and the Greek male partners are slightly ‘stricter’ on the issue of infidelity in relation to their female partners. This probably has to do with the values held on the institution of marriage and intimate relationships, what the two sexes are permitted or not to do in a marriage and what rights and obligations the two genders have individually in an intimate relationship.    

For the Greek male partners, the factors that could cause jealousy are mainly when their partner goes out with others but without them or if their rival is younger or more handsome. In contrast, the Albanian male partners believe that the main factor that could cause jealousy is when their partner spends more time pursuing her career or if their rival is younger and handsome. Here there appears to be a differentiation in the responses of the men in both population groups with regard to the first and foremost factor causing jealousy in a couple. That Greek female partners enjoy a professional career at the same time as having an intimate relationship is probably taken for granted by their Greek male partners, while the Albanian male partners may not do so. Moreover, it is characteristic that, in comparison with the Greek male partners, more Albanian male partners state their partner spending more time with the children as one of the factors causing jealousy. Namely, it seems that more Albanian male partners than Greek male partners could feel jealous because their partner spends more time with the children.    

For the Greek female partners, the main factor that could cause jealousy is when their partner goes out with others but without them or when he spends more time with his friends. In contrast, the Albanian female partners consider the main factor causing jealousy to be when their rival is more beautiful and younger or when their partner spends more time with his friends.  As with the Albanian male partners, the number of Albanian female partners who consider the involvement of their partner with the children to be one of the factors causing jealousy is greater than that of the Greek female partners.

For both Greek male and Greek female partners, the reaction after a fight caused by jealousy is mainly one of distancing themselves from their partner. However, the Greek men exercise more control over/check up more on their partner, whereas the Greek women may blame themselves. Separation/divorce may also be one of the reactions after a fight caused by jealousy, for both Greek male and Greek female partners. In the Albanian couples, the men mainly react through physical violence and verbal abuse to their partner, whereas the women react mainly by distancing themselves and blaming themselves. In contrast with the Greek couples, separation/divorce of the two partners does not seem to be a reaction after a fight caused by jealousy.

From the above-mentioned data and in accordance with the responses of the sample in this research, the women in both population groups demonstrate common reactions after a fight caused by jealousy (distancing themselves, blaming themselves). In contrast, with regard to the men in both population groups there is a difference in their main reactions (Greek men – distance themselves and exercise control over/check up on their partner), (Albanian men- verbal abuse, physical violence).

The emotions experienced by the partners in the Albanian couples following an incident of jealousy are disappointment (men –women), sorrow (men) and  resentment (women). The partners in the Greek couples experience disappointment (men – women)   joy (men), sorrow (women). 

The Albanian male partners believe that their partner mainly experience joy following an incident of jealousy. The Greek men believe that, following an incident of jealousy, their partner mainly experiences joy.

The women of Albanian descent believe that their partner mainly experiences joy. The Greek women believe that their partner mainly experiences sadness. What is essential to point out here is that, in both the Greek and Albanian couples, partners do not know exactly what their emotions towards each other are, because the partners in the couples of the sample may not talk about their emotions within their relationship.



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