Why Jealousy?

Holler! Jealousy, ahhh, good god, what is it good for?  Absolutely nuthin', say it again!!

Man, I have been jealous before… and every time there was good reason.  It was a loud signal to get the heck out of the relationship.  When I have felt jealous there were a lot of other things that weren't working in the relationship, and, for me, jealousy was a great way to sound the alarm.  The only issue is I learned all of these truths for myself because I stayed in the relationships until they imploded sometime later.

Jealousy is defined as an emotion that refers to negative thoughts, feelings of insecurity, fear and anxiety over the anticipated loss of something that someone values… usually in reference to a human connection.  Inadequacy, anger, resentment and helplessness often accompany jealousy!! Oooh, sounds so yummy, doesn't it?  Thought this description is rather unappealing to me, I have heard many people say that jealousy is actually pretty healthy, or "I kinda like when my partner is jealous."  WTF???  Ok, I get you want to be desired, but to have someone in your life that feels anger, inadequacy, resentment?  Really?  I would have to say I would rather see what was behind door number 2 than have a jealous partner.  Maybe I will win a new car…

In my past relationships where jealousy came up the trust was destroyed in my relationship(s).  Jealously, for me, was a sign that I hadn't been nurtured in the relationship the way that I wanted to be, first by myself and then by my partner.  Jealousy destroys bonds, it doesn't preserve them, and jealousy can give rise to relationship violence (Psychology Today).  When you feel less than, when you perceive a loss, that loss is now truth.  When I was married I was jealous of everyone around my spouse.  Turns out everyone around my spouse (the few close friends that were in her life) would have preferred to be in my position.  I was later cheated on and left for one of those folks that I had felt concern around.

It has taken me some time to recognize that jealousy is information and a bit longer to recognize that the information I get may not be the information someone else will get when they have their own feelings of jealousy.  We are all different so we need to interpret our emotions individually.  For someone else jealousy could signal memories of abandonment.  For another it could be a way to self-sabotage.  Either way, jealousy isn't something that signals 'all is well' on the home-front.  What it is telling you is that something needs your attention and usually, 99.9% of the time, that something is you.

When was the last time you were jealous?  What was it surrounding?  How did you handle it (or did it handle you???)?

xo

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