Jealousy is a complicated emotion, especially when it comes between two lovers. Sometimes those twinges of jealousy are caused by your own personal insecurities, and sometimes they are warning flags that something is not right in your relationship. No matter what is motivating your feelings of jealousy, they aren’t feelings that you should ignore – they mean that there is something going on that needs your attention.
The two times I experienced particularly strong feelings of jealousy, it turned out that my boyfriends had been cheating on me. Yes, it happened twice. The first time through, it took me a long time to realize what was going on and discover that the man I thought I loved was really taking advantage of me. I let him convince me that I was just being a jealous lover, and that I was a bad person for not trusting him. But the feeling would not go away, and in time I discovered that I had been correct in my feelings of jealousy.
The second time I was cheated on, I recognized the feelings of “something’s not right” jealousy right away. And that saved me a lot of time and heartache.
Of course, not all feelings of jealousy are the result of an unfaithful partner. Sometimes, those feelings of jealousy mean you need to step back and do some soul-searching. Jealousy – in small doses – can make you realize how much you love your partner. But if you let those feelings get the better of you and start trying to control your lover without their consent, then the jealousy has gone too far.
A good friend of mine gets upset when her husband checks out other women while they’re out together. I, on the other hand, will sometimes point out attractive women to my husband. Does this mean that I’m a better person than my friend? No. Not at all! She and her husband have talked about her feelings, and they have come to and understanding about what both of them need to do to keep their relationship healthy. The important thing is that both she has spoken with her husband about what type of behavior she is comfortable with, and they have come to an understanding. If my friend had never spoken to her husband about her feelings, yet would still yell at him or punish him in some way when he looked at other women, that’s when jealousy becomes unhealthy.
Jealousy is not good feeling, but it is there for a reason. If you pay attention to those feelings and work on discovering the source, you can’t help but find yourself in a better place.