“The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves.” -William Penn
I have always watched my friends struggle with jealousy and been thankful of my self-confidence and lack of trust issues. Too many times have I seen imagined hurt feelings be the cause of so much friction between friends and loved ones. I could never understand why a person thought it was OK to search their significant other’s phone for evidence of foul play or how one friend would feel slighted when the other two went out. Didn’t they know they were loved just as much as ever? Were they so insecure that to be left alone for a night meant they were not the favourite? If my friends want to hang out and I’m not invited I don’t immediately assume it’s because I’m not wanted. I don’t really assume anything at all. I’ve just never been the jealous type, until now.
I’ve been married for almost three years and I’ve known my husband for 11. We met when I was very young and have always been friends. I tell him all the time how I knew we would end up together despite the five year age difference of a 14 and 19 year old. How can anyone think that would work out? Well I knew it would and when we started dating later in life everything was as it should be. I never worry about him with female co-workers, or the young hot interns that work for him. It never bothered me that his best friend is a girl. It never bothered me that he accidentally stumbled upon the red light district in Zurich one vacation. I actually found it rather hilarious listening to him retell the story of how when he finally realised where he was and why the women were all dressed in fairly little clothing, he got so flustered and didn’t’ know which way was out. I think my favourite story though was when a group of southern belles were in New York for a baseball game on a particularly cold autumn evening. They were exclaiming how cold they were sitting right behind us. Naturally, being the gentleman that my husband is, he turned around and said, “It’s warm in the men’s bathroom,” and flashed them a smile. The best part is that the idea of inviting six gorgeous southern girls to the men’s bathroom to keep warm seemed like a totally normal and not inappropriate comment to make at all. It was innocent and, absolutely hilarious when he processed what he had said and we all broke into laughter. These are the kinds of things that would drive so many of my friends mad with jealousy. All that was on my husband’s mind was that it was cold and the bathroom was warm. If it was the cast of Duck Dynasty he would’ve said the exact same thing (and we probably would’ve laughed even harder).
But now I wonder, where did that cool, collected me go? The one who could laugh at incidences like those. I turned his female best friend into my best friend and we hang out more than they do. So what happened?
Of late, there has been a girl who has gotten under my skin. She is pushing limits and I find I cannot keep cool and collected. I try to be the bigger person and remind myself that this man loves me and there is nothing that will stop that, but I always said, it’s not the man I’m worried about, it’s the woman who thinks she has the right when she doesn’t. If I didn’t trust my husband then I wouldn’t have married him but, I don’t trust her and the sad part is, she’s my friend. But she was his friend first and I think that’s where I have the problem. Not to mention she’s got a really great body and gorgeous eyes. But then again, she’s seven years younger than my husband. Some women would say that right there is a problem but I don’t think my husband is old enough for him to be attracted to a girl that young if you know what I mean. She’s almost not young enough for that kind of dilemma but, I digress…
Some of the things that bother me are the texting. She texts him and he texts back. They used to have lunch together while out in the city and I never knew about it. Now, I go back to the fact that my husband is not telling me these things because they do not appear to him to be wrong. He’s not trying to keep secrets, he just didn’t think there was something to tell, which is why I know nothing is happening. It’s hard to explain in words, but he’s just not that kind of person and besides, the point of this is not to prove to you that my husband is a good and faithful man, the point I’m trying to make is that for some reason, after 25 years of life I have become the jealous type. I’m paranoid about this other woman’s actions, I don’t like her interacting with my husband when I’m not there and I down right find it in appropriate that she texts him throughout the day. But the worst part about all of this, the reason I know something has snapped within me, is the way I know she has been texting him; because I snooped.
Always the one to tell my friends how bad it was that they felt the need to go poking around their boyfriends/girlfriends phones; here I am looking through my husband’s phone to read innocent conversations about computers and programming. She merely asked him a question to help her with her job and he, being the nerd that he is, was able to help her. I hate that even knowing what they were talking about though, I am still annoyed at it. I still think it is inappropriate. Single women should not be texting their friends’ husbands for advice, they should call the friend to ask if the husband can help. I don’t know if I’m being extreme or maybe it’s just the way I feel about this one girl in particular, but something about her gets my knickers in a twist and I don’t like it.
I brought up these feelings once to my husband and he understood but explained their friendship and that he loved me and that he thought it was cute I was jealous. And I think some form of jealousy is proof that we care, but it can be dangerous. I’ve consulted others on whether I’m being irrational and I’ve only had reassurances that the behaviour is not appropriate. I’ve tried to think of instances where the roles were reversed to put myself in his shoes. Sure there is a guy or two that I talk to sometimes that maybe I shouldn’t, but I do not have running conversations with these people. I think knowing that, at one point, this girl had a crush on my now-husband doesn’t help either. Granted, I think she was 12 at the time but it’s interesting how things like that creep into your mind when you let that green-eyed monster grab hold. Somehow, your own rationale is hindered and you start to imagine what’s happening behind your back, what’s the motive for their actions and how can you create drama because in reality, we all wish our life was like a steamy scene from that movie where makeup sex fixes everything. But it’s not, it’s real and drama just causes problems that no one needs or wants.
I’ve never felt ashamed of myself until today and I don’t ever want to have the urge to go behind my husband’s back because of imagined hurt feelings and jealous fantasies. When your man (or woman) tells you every day how much he loves you, or how in the morning all he wants to do is wrap his arms around you and hold you tight, or when you ask him what he wants for his birthday and he says to stay in with take-out and a movie, I hope you believe that you are the only one for him. I hope you don’t ever feel like you can’t trust him to be honest and faithful. Even when someone is actually trying to sabotage what you have, I hope you remember that you are loved and nothing will change that. Self-confidence, open communication and the ability to enjoy the good things in life are the best ways to combat jealousy. Knowing that you will be OK no matter what happens and assuring yourself that you are the object of your love’s affection is the only way to build that confidence in yourself and your relationship. How many times has a jealous person been told they are loved and not believed it? Countless I’m sure, so it must come from within. The proof has to be witnessed and then believed. We need to accept the love we are being given and not, as The Perks of Being a Wallflower says, “…the love we think we deserve”. Tell those green eyes goodnight and throw that jealousy aside.