Jealousy is bred in doubts…
– Francois de La Rochefoucauld.
I need to really put this out there. I may be prone to a lot of things – flights of fancy, long passionate inane debates, occasional self-doubt and crazy poetry scratchings – but jealousy isn’t really one of them. I have always been of the emotional make up that love and trust are bound together and as I tend to love so completely, it leaves less room for jealousy to creep in. When my marriage was falling apart, feelings of self-doubt and jealousies occupied space in me. It’s just not healthy.
Though I have, like everyone, felt pangs of jealousy in my 44 years, by nature I’m not a jealous person. Like a badly cut suit, it doesn’t sit well on me.
So I was kind of knocked off my perch this week when I suddenly felt like a red hot poker stabbed my heart. Was that indigestion? No! It was the shitty sting of jealousy – her green tentacles wrapping around me.
And all over a conversation I noticed between the Producer and a friend on Facebook. Yep, the dreaded social media!
None of this would have mattered in the slightest, except that I started to feel quite uncomfortable and couldn’t quite figure out why. I sighed large heavy sighs. I scratched out woeful poetry in my head and I mulled over these horrible feelings. I mean, it actually took me a little while to acknowledge that what I was actually feeling was indeed a dose of the green eyed monster.
It’s just well…icky.
Of course I sat on it. I waited. I took deep breathes as the day wore on and rationalised. The Producer has always had many female friends and I’m okay with that. He has no doubt met them along the way of his colourful life and some of them he has most definitely dated, which has never been of concern to me.
Then the light bulb came on. Given that my ex was prone to secrecy, I realised that the not knowing had left me feeling insecure. It was simply an old fear that had popped up to say hi.
So I did something very grown up. When I saw The Producer, I told him how I’d felt. Even saying it out loud made me feel a little foolish, but I am working on my “speak my truth” policy in this relationship. I’m really glad I did. Talking about this stuff is important.
Although he was surprised that I would ever be jealous, he listened while I talked, then he told me he loved me (I never get tired of that!) and reassured me. I just instantly felt better. The feeling washed away as quickly as it had arrived.
Tiny snippets of jealousy might just be a healthy thing. It reminds us what’s important and how much someone means.
Being prone to jealousy however, might not be so cool. Of course this sometimes comes down to life experiences. I have one gorgeous friend who openly admits to constant feelings of jealousy, and mistrust. Having been married to a serial affair offender her trust was eventually eroded away.
That relationship was over years ago, but the legacy of mistrust and doubt has followed her into other relationships since. She recognises it about herself but says she will never allow herself to trust anyone fully again. While it’s her way of protecting her heart, it also causes a great deal of anxiety to her and her partner.
I’ve had people tell me tales of stalking their own partners. So intense were feelings of jealousy that they turned into private detectives. Sadly, none of these stories ended well.
One very dear friend found out her then partner was cheating on her whilst watching the televised coverage of the Melbourne Cup one year. What she spotted in the crowd was her partner canoodling with another woman while she was at home with a newborn baby. Ouch!
Such was her (very justified) jealous rage that she shredded all of his expensive shirts and suits, doused them all in his aftershave on the front lawn and set them on fire! True story.
If women have developed jealous instincts through bad experiences, having men in their lives that are patient, loving and reassuring is a great and healing thing. But as the lovely Kermit espoused, it’s not easy being green.
Transparency in relationships is the key, I believe. Honest communication is a beautiful thing, costs nothing but builds trust and feelings of security. Keeping things from your partner because they “might” get upset probably isn’t a good strategy! In the event they find out that you’ve been hiding things you’ve lied by omission and you look guilty even if your intentions were innocent.
Excessive jealousy can really damage relationships, as no doubt it’s hard for the person who is feeling jealous, and equally as hard for the person who is on the other end of it!
Living with all those negative feelings can’t be too good for the soul either?
I have a theory that if you ever get to a point where you think you should be checking your partner’s mobile phone and emails to seek out answers to insecurities…don’t. Perhaps those instincts are really trying to tell you to look more deeply at the root cause of why you are feeling insecure. If it’s something you need to work out about yourself then maybe it’s a great opportunity to do so.
If he’s giving you plenty of reasons to feel insecure then perhaps he’s got issues to work out, or perhaps he’s not the one for you?
When trust is broken, it may not be impossible to fix it, but it’s certainly a difficult path! If you’ve been betrayed in the past, it takes time to heal but again, it is possible. I’m certainly no expert but I think if you are living with uneasy feelings of possessiveness and jealousy, it may be time to sort out some baggage. It might be easier said than done, but it’s worth the journey!
In the meantime, I’m relieved that the only thing green about me since is my eyes! It was a just a moment – one that proved to me that although I am quite secure, I’m also human. It also means that this relationship is important…and that’s not a bad thing!
Have you ever felt a wave of jealousy?