Men and woman often differ in their responses to jealousy. Woman said they would react to the rival’s interference by seeking to improve the relationship; they intended to put on a show of indifference but compete with the rival by making themselves more attractive to their partners. In contrast, men said they would strive to protect their egos; they planned to get drunk, confront and threaten the rival, and pursue other women. Whereas woman seemed to focus on preserving the existing relationship, men consider leaving it and salving their wounded pride with conquest of new partners.
On thing that makes them worrisome is that woman are much more likely than men to try to get their partners jealous (White, 1980a; Miller, 2007). When they induce jealousy – usually by discussing or exaggerating their attraction to other men, sometimes by flirting with or dating them – they typically seek to test the relationship (to see how much he cares) or try to elicit more attention and commitment from their partners (White, 1980a; Miller, 2007). They evidently want their men to respond the way they do when they get jealous, with greater effort to protect and maintain the relationship. The problem, of course, is that’s not the way men typically react. Women who seek to improve their relationships by inducing jealousy in their men may succeed only in driving their partners away.
Miller, R., Perlman, D., Brehm, S. (2007). Intimate Relationship 4th Edition. New York: Mc-Graw Hill.