I wrote a short 250 essay on jealousy and it's social function, enjoy:
Jealousy is defined as a protective reaction to a perceived threat (especially adultery) to a valued relationship or to its quality (Clanton 1996: 298). Although jealousy is misconceived as a negative emotion, it actually serves as a social function of protecting marriages or relationships leading to marriage thereby contributing to social order (Clanton 1996: 300).
The misconception of jealousy is that it is universal emotion amongst all cultures which is not true. Jealousy is socially and culturally constructed which varies from cross-cultures depending on marriage rules, social norms and adultery taboo (Mead 1958: 126). For example: in a monogamy society, sex with another partner would go against the norm but considered okay in a polygamy society.
Jealousy is often considered a personal problem and damaging to the relationship as oppose to a problem involving both parties and to be considered as a useful tool that contributes to social order. People try to suppress their jealous emotions believing they are weak or selfish rather then seeing it as an alert to something wrong. The reason jealousy exist amongst two people is because there is an imbalance of power that needs to be adjusted which will then strengthen the relationship, where marriage counseling could help as opposed to individual psychotherapy (Clanton 1996: 301). The reason jealousy contributes to social order is not necessarily because it prevents adultery or saves marriages, it is because jealousy preserves the ideologies of a given society and social cohesion to their moral values (Davis 1976: 131).
If you got through that, great if not here's the cliffs: Jealousy is often misconceived as a negative emotion but it does serve a function: to protect relationships and marriage. Jealousy is an alarm or signal that tells an individual that something may hurt or damage the value of the relationship or marriage.
The best way to deal with jealousy is by talking about the problem and working out a compromise. To suppress jealousy is the worst possible decision.