This is a quote from an article a friend read:
“…jealousy plays an important role in some relationships as a test of how valid the relationship is. Seeing your partner’s jealousy can indicate that they have some attachment to the relationship, where someone who exhibits none can suggest some need for concern.”
This is my opinion:
I have to disagree with this sentiment.
I see no productive use for jealousy in relationships. It seems to me it is a sign of fear or insecurity that someone or something will lure our partners away; and if we walk around with that fear, that is more likely to crumble the foundations of our trust and bonds than anything anyone else can say or do. I know the threat of losing Jeffrey without having to fear it will be because another man will take him away from me. I live in the reality that we are mortal, that accidents happen. Any time a life is lost, a random act of violence occurs, or disaster strikes, I consider what it would be like if such things happened to one of us, and the anguish I feel in my heart at the thought of living a life without my husband in it, whatever the catalyst that might separate us, is my reminder of how much I value him and our life together – and jealousy is no part of that.
I think the hardest thing to do in a relationship is to accept that we cannot and should not control our partner’s heart, mind or body. They must give of themselves what they can and will to us of their own free will and we can’t force or demand that. That, to me, is the proof of commitment, love and desire. I believe that if we require other proof of our partners affections as a test of validity i.e. him showing jealousy, that’s a signal of our own insecurities and doubt and I think we need to explore that more than the trustworthiness of our partner, else we’re requiring them to compensate for our own feelings of insecurity and inadequacies. It would be like saying “I feel fat and need to lose weight, so you have to diet and exercise more.” I strongly believe relationships are (or should be) built on trust and unconditional love and if I express jealousy on a regular basis, the message I’m sending my partner is “I don’t trust you.” I have to trust my partner to mean what they say, to want to be with me, to love me, etc. How else could I live with and build a home and life with someone?
Jeffrey and I, despite being “married”six times and together 14 years, know and understand that every single morning, we make a decision again that, yes, we do still want to be together. Although we believe strongly our future is intertwined and our relationship life lasting, we don’t take that for granted. We continue to have regular discussions: Do you still want to be with me? Do you still love me? Do I still make you happy? Do you get out of our life together what you want and need to be happy and content? Are there things we need to work on or change? But we don’t do this when some act of jealousy or sense of insecurity sparks it. We do it over breakfast on a Saturday when all is good or during a commercial on a Tuesday night when we’re sharing a bag of Lays baked potato chips. These questions, this assessment, is not done in reaction to something negative out of fear. It is done when things are good, as a sign of communication and genuine concern for one another’s happiness and contentment and a desire to never take one another for granted; because we can and do ask and answer these questions on a regular basis with good and sincere intentions, we reinforce our commitment and desire to be together on a regular basis. This may be why I feel no fear or threat from anyone or anything else. Jeffrey’s word, as he has continued to prove over fourteen years, is trustworthy and true. I have no need to be jealous of anyone or anything when it comes to him because I trust him and, more importantly, I trust us.
I am no relationship expert, and how Jeffrey and I handle our relationship is different, I’m sure, from many others. But I do know what has worked for us, and that’s trust, honesty and communication. Jealousy never has played a part in our relationship and if it ever does, I would have to seriously question what the underlying issue was, because to me jealousy is relationship cancer and eats away at the trust we build and have for one another.
We need to trust ourselves and be with someone we can share that trust with. Ask questions when we are ready to hear the truth, not just when we are only ready to hear what we want and need to. Know what we want and need out of a relationship and ask for it. Know what our partner wants and needs out of a relationship and be honest about whether we want to and/or can give it. And in the end, trust one another. If we don’t, we may just know everything we need to know about our relationship, even if it’s not what we want to know.
But what do I know? I’m just a happily married guy…