Hi. I’m not a psychologist. I’m not a counselor. I’m not an expert. What I am, is a human female with opinions. And I so much love to share them. Remember this as you read today, because while I totally know what I’m talking about, all of this is based on my experiences, and may not directly apply to yours. However, it’s definitely food for thought.
For some reason in the last little while, I’ve had people talking to me a lot about jealousy. Either they themselves are very jealous, or their spouses are. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I know this is because I am finally with someone that is not a jealous jerkface, and it’s like a breath of fresh trusting relationship. Noms! I often find myself giving people advice on how to deal with jealousy, because I’ve spent much of my life in relationships without trust, and learned time and time again that it doesn’t work.
So, here are my thoughts, whether you want them or not! Muahahaha!
Green With Envy
In reality, jealousy is kind of normal. Humans are, at the core, selfish creatures. We view the world from our own heads, which means that our personal universes very literally revolve around ourselves. We have to take care of ourselves to live, and most of us want to live well, so we do things to make us happy so that we have a fulfilling life on this planet. Some people seem to have more fulfilling lives from the eyes of others, and it’s a natural human condition to envy this… to a point.
For example, I’m walking my dog, and I see a guy with a Snickers bar. My immediate reaction is to really want a Snickers bar. And while I may innately be plotting how to knock the guy out and steal it, the rational thing to do is to go to the store and buy myself some chocolate.
|Fuck, now I really want a Snickers. Sweet gooey heaven……..
A very basic example, and some of you may not have the same chocolate rage as I do, but it can be applied to most situations. Say, you’re at the bar with your guy, and he sees a female friend of his and they hug when they say hello. Knee jerk reaction may be ‘get your paws off my man’, but rationally, you smile and say hello, because they’re both human adults and your guy is allowed to have friends. Also maybe you could give her a hug too. And… you know what, that’ll just take me off on a tangent that I’m not sure everyone really wants to read. Moving on.
In any case, people that you would perceive as non-jealous totally have thoughts inside their heads, they just know how to be rational about it. And they want to be happy and secure, which can take work. And also leads me to my next point.
Not Trusting your Partner is a Sign of Personal Insecurity
Chick magazines and advice columns will often tell you that if your partner accuses you of cheating all the time, it means that they themselves are cheating. While that may be the case sometimes, most of the time it just means that they’re insecure about themselves.
I’ve learned over the course of my relationships that it’s impossible to love or be loved by anyone properly if you don’t love yourself. One of the main reasons for this is that if you don’t feel like you deserve it, or you don’t feel worth it, then you project those feelings on to your partner.
This is where these accusations can stem from. If your partner subconsciously doesn’t feel like he or she deserves your love and devotion, they become jealous because they feel that you’ll be giving it to somebody else.
|That sounds like a personal problem!
Seriously though, it is a personal problem. And it’s one that you need to address with your partner, if you’re invested enough in the relationship to help them work through it. There’s nothing that you can do or say to ‘show’ them that you’re being faithful if they suspect it, because you are secure in the fact that you are being faithful. You know that you’re not doing anything wrong, and you shouldn’t have to prove it to them because they should trust you.
I’m not saying that you’re completely absolved of any work here, because you can help, but ultimately this is something that they need to fix in their own heads. And if you want to stick around and help, you need to communicate to them that the mistrust is a problem. Tell them how it makes you feel, and then encourage them to talk to you about how they feel. And try to work out the reasons why they feel that way. Both of you need to be calm and rational and examine all angles.
I think the most common reason I’ve heard to defend jealousy in a relationship is ‘I’ve been cheated on before’. I know it’s awful. It sucks to have your trust betrayed, to feel stupid because you didn’t see any signs, to feel used and hurt because you feel you weren’t good enough.
But things like that breed insecurity. And you have to snap back from it. It wasn’t your fault, and in no way should you be blaming yourself because someone else didn’t know how to be in a relationship with you. They have their own deep seated issues to deal with, and there are a number of reasons in their heads that they did what they did, but in no way should you stew over why you weren’t good enough. It was their loss, plain and simple, and eventually, you need to get over it.
Carrying this kind of mistrust into a new relationship is unhealthy and unfair to your new partner. They haven’t done anything wrong, and you can’t take the sins of other people and project them into new relationships. This requires being strong, realizing that you are worth loving, and that the person that hurt you in the past wasn’t.
I’ve heard many reasons to defend why it’s okay to be jealous, and one that I just don’t understand and infuriates me is ‘I’m just a jealous person’.
No, you’re an irrational person. And you’re an asshole. At least when people come up with excuses or reasons, they know deep down that their actions are wrong, and they can try to fix it. People that just shrug and don’t seem to care that their jealousy is hurting people… they are probably best helped with a rocket launcher. To the face.
Distrust Without a Cause is Emotional Abuse
It may seem like I’m getting a little heated here, and don’t be alarmed, but I am. I know firsthand that unnecessary mistrust can seriously hurt a person. If you’re constantly accusing your partner of being unfaithful with no cause and for no reason, that is emotional abuse. You’re hurting yourself because you can’t relax and be in a loving happy relationship, and you’re hurting them because you’re not allowing them to do the same. And they’re just going to feel like they’re not good enough and that they have to somehow show you that they’re true to you.
You know what the only way to show that is? To just be faithful. And if you are, and your partner doesn’t believe you, and is possessive and jealous, and won’t listen to reason… rocket launcher. ^_^’
Here I am being a hypocrite and getting irrational. But seriously, in all calmness, being in a relationship with someone that treats you like this is unhealthy. You’ll start to doubt yourself and feel like shit because you can’t convince your partner that you’re being faithful. It should be innocent unless proven guilty (notice how I used unless, not until), not the other way around.
Also, the whole ‘it’s not you I don’t trust, it’s everyone else’ bit? Complete bullshit. If they trusted you, they would trust you to decline advances from ‘everyone else’, and it would be a non-issue.
Nobody is an Object to be Possessed
Another shitty side effect of jealousy is possessiveness. Not only is someone accusing you of infidelity, but they also want to show everyone that you belong to them. While some people think that possessiveness means love, no, it doesn’t. You are both human beings, and you are equal.
Let’s take a little field trip down memory lane for a moment. There was this guy I used to date, and there were signs when we first got together that he might be a little bit of a jealous dude. The biggest red flag that I noticed was that he was only affectionate with me if I was around other guys. Now, I have a lot of male friends. And I am a super affectionate person. I get how this might be jarring to some people, but I am who I am, and you have to learn really fast that I’m not going to give up hugging my friends because you can’t handle it.
Anyway, we would be hanging out with friends, and I’d turn my head to speak to a dude, and all of a sudden, my guy would be like wrapped around me. Or we’d be at the bar, standing next to each other, and a random dude would walk up to the bar to get a drink and all of a sudden I’d be wearing my boyfriend like a coat.
|Yup, that facial expression about sums up how I felt.
Now, I’m not saying it’s not okay to be affectionate in public, I’m totally cool with that. But using it to ‘stake your claim’ on me when anything with a penis is within a five foot radius? It feels like you’re peeing on my peg to mark your territory. It also makes me feel like I’m not even a person to you, just a toy.
When I’m out with my current man, we socialize with our friends, with random people, whatever. We’re affectionate, but because we want to show our affection. It has nothing to do with anyone around us, it’s just like ‘hey, you’re fucking adorable, come here for a sec’. And if some girl happened to be into my man and flirted with him or whatever? I’m secure in the fact that he loves me and that he’ll tell her no. Go ahead and try ladies, I know he’s sexy and charming, but he’s comin home with little ol’ me!
Anyway, it’s the first time I’ve been in a relationship with a guy that gives me that same respect back. I’ve dated a long string of dudes that assume every time I left the house I was heading to a gang bang. Actually one guy I dated literally used to say that when I was walking out the door to hang out with my friends. It was disgusting.
So From Both Sides…
My summarized advice is this.
If you’re the jealous one, try to examine exactly why. Then put yourself in your partner’s shoes, and imagine how shitty you’re making them feel. Then talk to them about it, without accusation, hash everything out, tell them your life story, whatever. You need to be able to admit to yourself that it’s a personal issue and try to figure out what about yourself you need to work on to fix your security. By continuing down this path of jealousy, you will likely just push your partner away when they realize that they can’t be in a relationship without trust.
If you’re the one with a jealous partner, talk to them about how you’re feeling. Ask them about why they think they feel the way they do, and help them figure out what the reasons are. Examine it with them and try to help them see that they’re hurting you by treating you this way, and that it’s not acceptable. If you don’t stand up for yourself, they will continue to emotionally abuse you until you go insane.
Of course, there’s always the option of moving on and finding someone that will treat you with the love and respect that you deserve. If that’s what you need to do, then do so! Just make sure to tell the person you’re moving on from exactly why. Maybe it’ll make them examine themselves and stop treating people like crap.
So, anyways, I guess the moral of the story is that without trust you can’t have a happy and healthy relationship. Or so my personal experience goes, anyway. I know people that have been married for decades that are still together after cheating kerfuffles in their early years that are totally happy now. They have their little insecurities here and there, but it’s not the end of the world. I can’t really tell anyone how to live their life, but for the people that are suffering from being smothered with unnecessary jealousy, I hope this helped you.
|I don’t know guys, I just really wanted to use this picture.