musings on jealousy

Jealousy is an odd creature.

Somewhat elusive, but incredibly pervasive.  Oftentimes ill defined and poorly examined.  Perhaps it’s my current Nyquil-addled brain, but I’ve been thinking about this emotion.

I think it’s a fair assumption to say we generally think of jealousy as defensive love in vanilla culture. “You are mine, your love and affection is mine, that love and affection is limited, and whatever you give to someone else means that you have less to give me.”

Their love for another is a threat.

Sometimes it’s fear and insecurity.  A girlfriend fears replacement.  A man worries a man will seduce his woman.  Fair. Three times in my life, I have had a friend whose partner dated another woman; invited them into their home; and subsequently replaced them with the new.   Of course, the first girlfriend never thought she would be the one kicked out.  Such is life.

Sometimes it’s a sign that something is amiss.  Sometimes it’s a lot of things.

Should I feel jealous?

Am I concerned, they ask.  I am not.  Perhaps in past relationships?  It’s hard to be jealous when you are actually okay if the person leaves you for someone else.  Relieved, if I’m honest.  When I watched Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, I completely understood the wife’s jealousy (the husband never even had to deal with that as they essentially had a one penis policy, though he admittedly expressed no jealousy towards the girlfriend’s fiancee.).

But the wife had reasons to be jealous; this new woman was amazing; the wife was in a traditional setup with no support, outside understanding, no guarantee her husband wasn’t staying with her as much out of convenience as desire.  And the boyfriend was kind of crap.  Not much to be jealous of there.  But I got that the wife had reasons, normal reasons to feel an emotion that everyone could feel, if triggered.

I think I’m capable of certain jealous feelings, though I have no comfort with them.

I do, perhaps oddly, get turned on by jealous talk. I am similar with humiliation and degradation. The reality of it sickens me, but nothing turns me on quite like it. Something wrong with me? Maybe. Pussy demands what she wants, who am I to fight her? I know how master feels about me. He knows that I know. It doesn’t work, otherwise.

It isn’t that I can’t get triggered; I just tend not to have reasons to be triggered.  I have (perhaps an unfounded) security of self, and I date partners who not only do nothing to make me feel insecure (though sometimes I still do) but also do everything to reassure me that I have nothing to fear.  So jealousy isn’t usually an issue.

Also I don’t feel a strong sense of sexual ownership, which often correlates to sexual jealousy). You wouldn’t feel jealous of a friend making a new friend, right? I don’t really feel an instinctive reason to feel jealous of a partner finding a new partner. Further, once they do meet new partners, they give me little reason to feel jealousy. If anything, they give me reasons to feel compersive.

When you feel safe and secure in a relationship, there’s no need for toxic jealousy.  So being in a good relationship eliminates jealousy? Well.  If the relationship is actually healthy, for one thing.  If you are not simply lying to yourself.  If you are emotionally and intellectually honest and providing an honest environment for each other.

But sometimes we place ourselves into the fire willingly.

But if you are in a healthy place, but your partner deliberately goads your insecurities?  That’s not healthy.  If  you are holding on to past baggage and insecurities, you will still be prone to jealousy.  If something is awry but you are lying to yourself and pretending “nothing is wrong,” you will likely feel jealousy.  If it is your secret desire that both are are utterly dependent on each other and nobody else, an addictive, overpowering craving?  Well, that’s another matter entirely.

At best, jealousy will be the cancerous part of your healthy relationship.  And a cancer will ultimately destroy the healthy body, or relationship, in which it exists.

I’ve met jealousy in random places.

I met a woman on her way to meet her husband for the first time in ten years. When they had a child together, he could not stand that she now loved this child, her newest love, as much as she loved him. So he left. Now they were hoping to fix things.  I wonder how their child felt.

Someone mentioned they never felt jealousy in romances, but they *did* feel jealousy between themselves and a subset of their siblings. I found that curious, and intriguing. Turns out that they felt safe, warm, and protected by their partners- but alienated and set at odds with their siblings. I couldn’t help but feel this wasn’t a coincidence. The feelings, if not the *ability* to feel these feelings.

Jealousy of one’s child baffles me.  How can you be jealous that your child loves all their parents?  Has a safe, loving relationship with a stepparent or a teacher or anyone else.

I will never find jealousy cute or sexy.

Jealousy, when it touches my brain, is something abhorrent.  I want to manage, understand, and eliminate distasteful emotions.  Not something I find sexy or appealing in the slightest.

I wonder if jealousy can be tempered, mitigated, somehow. It may be “natural,” but its consequences are counterproductive. I don’t believe that jealousy can be eliminated, but I wonder if there might be a way to….lessen it.

I think the world would be better off if we wasted less time on jealousy.

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