Overcoming Jealousy

"Jealousy and Flirtation" depicts a ...

What needs to happen within when overcoming jealousy?  I remember what it feels like to have the feeling wash over me at times.  Yet, I’ve never truly understood jealousy because being in a relationship does not render the rest of the universe unattractive.  Yet, I hear over and over again from some people that they find it disrespectful to have their partner look at another person.  Let’s say your walking down the street with your significant other.  A beautiful human comes walking along.  Guy/gal busts their brain cells to look not right, not left but straight ahead.  Guy/gal fails and instant argument ensues.  Accusations of disrespect are thrown.  I never quite understood how acknowledging another person’s physical beauty could in any way shape or form be disrespectful to an entire relationship.  The sum total of a relationship has got to hold more weight than that, right?

I wonder if jealous people believed without a shadow of a doubt that they are an amazing partner, the jealousy would still play itself out in this way?  I have long felt like I make a really great girlfriend.  I don’t say this to sound arrogant or conceited.  Knowing this does not mean thinking I’m perfect.  In fact, it means that I am very in touch with my imperfections so I work on myself as much as possible.  There may be moments where I feel jealousy.  However, what I do is check in with myself before I react.  Usually jealousy, in my case, means I feel threatened by the attention my partner is giving elsewhere.  Often, it is my ego feeling bruised for not consuming ALL of my partner’s attention.  I make it about me and my worth or the lack there of.

The Mask of Jealousy

Jealousy in myself is seldom the cause or fault of anything that someone outside of me did.  It is usually a moment of insecurity.  That is for me to deal with.  It is not something I think deserves an argument.  It is not my partner’s job to make sure my self-esteem tank is on full.  If someone is going to leave, they are going to leave.  There isn’t enough “guard dogging” in the world that  can prevent it.  In fact, it may push them too it when it had never been an initial goal.  I know, I’ve had the experience of feeling like if I was going to be constantly accused and have arguments about it all the time, well, mind as well go ahead to justify the stress.

Usually, the check in leads me to remember that the way I am in relationship with people is something valuable.  There is no room for feelings of jealousy after that.  My inner self gets a little swagger: “Go ahead, let ’em try to find another you.  I promise you, you’re a rare gem ;-).”  Then all becomes right sized in my world.  How could I possibly think something like looking at another beautiful person speaks in any way about my worth in a relationship?  It cannot.

I REALLY want to hear what people who think jealousy in relationships is justified have to say.  So, what say you?

ESSENCE REVEALED – Essence Revealed is first generation Bajan born & raised in Boston.  She got her BFA at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and MA at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education.  Her writing has appeared places such as $pread Magazine, Corset Magazine, BurlesqueBible.com and 21st Century Burlesque.  She now performs & teaches nationally and internationally both solo and as a member of Brown Girls Burlesque.  Her favorite thing to do besides reading is to lay on the beach in Barbados to rest up for a night of calypso dancing.


8 thoughts on “Overcoming Jealousy

  1. I can’t say jealousy is justified, but looking at it from another perspective, some partners will play on their mates insecurities intentionally and jealousy ensues. And for some of, it’s just flat out hard to control jealousy and possessiveness, and those traits can push even the most loving partner away. I admire the womans’ form too, so I understand a man’s compulsion to look. Can looking get carried away? Yes.

  2. Karen says:

    I agree that jealousy is an insecurity within ourselves, however, I think we all may have a ‘pang’ of jealousy here and there, it’s normal, it’s human. The problem arises when it becomes about the relationship. I agree if there is a good looking woman/man that passes and your partner/mate looks at that person, it’s only normal. We all like to look at beautiful people, it’s natural. However, how it is done sometimes might be an issue. If there’s a nice looking man that passes by or is in my prescense and I’m with my significant other, there is a way to admire or take notice without it being threatening to your partner or disrespectful, but then here comes common sense and sensibility which sometimes people do not utilize. It is human nature, it’s when we’re consumed with it that it becomes an issue. We all want the attention of our significant other, but there are other interesting and beautiful people out there, so let’s get over ourselves and use some common sense 🙂

    • Here! Here! I tend to point ’em out: Heeeey 2 o’clock check it out 🙂 It would be unrealistic to expect any of us not to feel it at all ever. It’s about how we react to it. What do we do with that feeling… Was it a one time jealous moment that blew up or is it a main common thread in the relationship. Definitely then it is uncomfortable (and can sometimes be dangerous).

  3. Jla says:

    I definitely do not think that jealousy is healthy. And I agree that if someone is getting jealous over their partner just looking at another person, then there are some huge issues with insecurity.

    However, I do believe that both people in any relationship have two jobs that, if not done well, invite jealousy. Everyone is responsible for their own sense of self-esteem. Everyone needs to do the work to make themselves secure, to understand and appreciate their self-worth. But, in a relationship, I think it’s important for people to show their partners that the value and appreciate them, to let them know that their place is secure. The reality is that no one is perfect, and there are a lot of people whose egos are not fortified enough to withstand loving someone who doesn’t express their appreciation. There has to be a balance.

    Obviously, if one person is expressing their love and caring and appreciation and their partner is still jealous and accusatory – that’s a problem. It means the partner needs to work on their self-esteem. But similarly, if a person with lots of self-confidence finds themselves being jealous, maybe it’s because their partner is not treating them well. Of course, in that case, it takes even more self-confidence to be able to recognize the problem and walk away.

    • Well stated… It takes knowing your value to only accept the type of treatment you deserve, want and expect. I always say that because I grew up seeing how my Dad treats my mother no partner of mine can ever pull a fast one on me in terms of proper treatment.

      But even if that wasn’t you’re experience, I think we all know what we want more clearly the older we get.

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