Moises and Mendez-Palmares: Green-eyed?-A A +A
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Michelle: A reader emailed and asked this question: “Why do I get jealous when my partner talks to other people?” Not having been given the facts of the case, I venture this answer—it’s probably a sign that you don’t have enough trust in your partner that he or she is being faithful to you. The lack of trust can be prompted by many factors, including feelings of insecurity or lack of self-worth. It can also be caused by the projection of one’s behavior onto your partner. If you’re prone to cheating on your partner—maybe even have done so, knowing what you’re capable of, you think your partner might be too. Or your partner might have cheated on you before or is cheating on you. Cheating doesn’t only pertain to sexual intimacy with another person; it often has to do with making emotional connections to others outside the relationship. If your partner is sharing things about your private life with members of the opposite sex, it robs a sense of intimacy in your relationship and leaves you feeling vulnerable.
DJ: There are lots of possible reasons why a person gets jealous. In the case of our reader, why is she green-eyed when her partner talks to other people? Is it well-founded? Is it warranted? I remember a story about Eleuteria, who was almost in tears telling her maid, “Oh, Inday. I have a reason to suspect that my husband is having an affair with his secretary.” “I don’t believe it for one minute!” Inday snapped. “You’re just saying that to make me jealous!” Seriously, distrust indicates that a person is not secure of himself or herself in a relationship. It suggests that something might need some fixing, and ignoring it only makes things worse. Pay attention to what you feel, and discover whether there is truth to it or not. Then decide from there.
M: I agree. Jealousy does not only make the jealous partner miserable but also the other half of the relationship. Instead of focusing on the positive aspects of a relationship, the negative is highlighted. And it’s difficult if you’re being doubted most of the time. It is good to know the factors that lead to one being jealous, as awareness is the first step to getting things fixed.
DJ: Once there was this jealous wife, who immediately searched for hair on her husband’s jacket when he arrived late one evening. When she couldn’t find any, she yelled at him with nostrils flaring, “Great, so you’re now cheating on me with a bald woman!” Jealousy can be cute at times, particularly if it’s not overdone. What makes it destructive is when it already consumes the relationship. Communication is key. That doesn’t mean one has to display it at the moment he or she feels it. One has to remember that talking about it is a two-edged sword. If one communicates it in a way that’s perceived to be accusatory, possessive or controlling, then it can drive two people apart. But if a relationship is mature enough where one can share insecurities and the vulnerable feelings associated with jealousy, it in fact can help increase trust and intimacy.
M: How can jealousy be avoided? I saw an article on the Internet that advised putting one’s focus on building trust. This is easier said than done, especially if you have been cheated on and faithfulness is a big issue. Both of you have to learn how to set boundaries in the relationship, including how your partner should relate to outside relationships that existed prior to the current relationship. Many say that communicating with an ex should be cut entirely or curtailed, unless you have children together, in which case, it is not fair for your current partner to insist that you stop communicating with each other. One should respect his or her partner’s other relationships, especially with family and friends. Respect begets love. And with a lot of prayers, faith and hope, nothing is impossible.
DJ: The wise often say that while jealousy is born with love, it does not always die with it. Trust makes us vulnerable, but it also makes love true. Let’s earn it. Let’s also give it.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 24, 2012.