I was having a lengthy conversation with an old friend of mine yesterday, when the subject of jealousy in relationships came up. Our conversation began with a story about an experience he had at church. As he put it, he met a beautiful lady at his church over the weekend; they spoke a bit and he was kind of interested in her, but later hesitated to pursue her when he realised (that) she was a single mum. He then said to me that he will never date a woman who already had a child with another man. When I asked why, his primary reason was that he didn’t want to deal with another man (the child’s father) coming in and out of his new relationship; most annoyingly, the type of man who did nothing but hurt the mother and their child. This is just to paraphrase.
This got us talking a lot about jealousy and my first question, which was: why will a guy get jealous when he sees another (handsome and well mannered) guy talking to his girlfriend or making her laugh out loud? I recall an instance when a lady friend of mine told me about a mini argument she had with her boyfriend (back when we were in college) just because I pulled over next to her car to say hello, whiles he was in the car with her. So I asked, is this a matter of low self-esteem or plain mistrust? And if mistrust, do people mistrust people because of their own secret sins or because their partners have given them every reason through cheating for example, to not trust them? You know, the simple truth is: people or rather guys especially, who have a weakness for lustful pleasures (ungodly sex, porn and the like) tend to be more paranoid and thus, every guy who either flirts with other girls or has a weakness for lustful pleasures, always thinks that another guy as stubborn as he is, is flirting with his girlfriend. I will talk more about this as we go on. On the topic of low self esteem, however, all I can say is: when a man doesn’t feel that he is the man he is supposed to be, that is, when he isn’t fully fulfilling God’s plan for his life; he tends to be very sensitive to the actions of other “more successful” men around a woman he loves. It, however, takes a ‘good girl’ to let her man know that she loves him for who he is and can be, and isn’t moved by the success of other guys. This, however, is another topic on its own.
(Back on the subject of jealousy.) We spoke about long distance relationships and over the phone conversations as well. About instances when a guy calls his girlfriend (over the phone) and hears another male voice say “hello” or when he hears a man in the background, blurting out silly or sensual comments to his girlfriend. You know, I think generally guys are like hunters, we love to know that we worked hard for something that belongs to us and us alone, we don’t want to ever doubt that our hard work was done in vain or that we haven’t “dominated or possessed our land.” This is why the above instances may lead to a barrage of questions. I think couples should be open to each other about their insecurities, weaknesses and the close friends they have in their lives. This will help to build up trust and minimise unnecessary arguments. It also helps to affirm your love for one another whenever you can. It may take a lot of work, but if you really do love your partner, you won’t just write them off as jealous, but rather, help them trust and love you more and vice versa.
I think relationships should be in such a way that, both partners can confidently say, I know that my man/woman will be able to deal with that lonely boy or girl who is trying to seek love, sex or attention from him/her. And most of all, both partners should confidently know their weaknesses and not “dance with the devil”: it’s easy to want to place yourself in compromising situations when you are arguing with your partner to make him/her jealous, but such gimmicks only open doors to more devils and consequently the demise of your relationship. Most of all, if you (this is, if you are in a relationship) both place the genuine views and concerns of each other above your personal views, there will always be peace: if your wife says she is uncomfortable with you being friends with a certain girl, there is no need to defend the girl or take sides against your wife. Actually unless you are bewitched I don’t know why you will. But the thing is, anyone who takes sides against a person they are dating or married to, has already broken all forms of trust. I think we should never be so close to other people (of the opposite sex) that we find ourselves giving them the kind of love and attention that is reserved for our spouses only.
In summary, I think jealousy can be handled best when couples are open with each other about the other men or women (be they friends or associates) who come into their lives; and most of all like a friend told me, sexual sin is one of the biggest catalysts for jealousy. When sin is brought into a relationship, that is, when a young non-marital relationship for example, is defiled through sex or its various forms, both, knowing they are in the wrong, constantly wrestle with either guilt and/or jealousy.
Here ends Love and Jealousy.
Do share your thoughts, views and stories of jealousy should you have any. Thanks for reading.