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.
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.