SECRETS’ CORNER – Green-eyed monster
JEALOUSY IS AN emotional reaction caused by fear of losing someone or something you regard as precious. It stems from fear, insecurity, deception or covetousness, and many times is motivated by thoughts that may not be true.
It affects people of all ages, economic brackets and races, and is one of the greatest motivations for violence between people. Between couples, jealousy can often be a corrosive element that undermines and destroys their relationship. It is therefore an unhealthy response that needs to be controlled if a couple hope to enjoy their lives together.
This week’s question – How Can I Convince My Partner That There Is No Need For Her To Be So Possessive And Jealous About My Relationship With My Female Friends, Whom I Knew Years Before I Met Her? – highlights a common problem between couples.
In many unions one partner may feel threatened by their significant other’s close friendship with the opposite sex. This is never an easy problem to resolve, particularly if the partner with the friends dismisses or minimises their mate’s feelings.
This situation is exacerbated when the friends in question show little or no respect for the aggrieved partner, and continue the disrespect even though a complaint has been made to their friend.
Couples who face this problem need to discuss their fears, doubts and apprehensions and work at resolving them. If they cannot reach a satisfactory resolution, they may need to face the reality that they should separate or be prepared to live a life full of suspicions, quarrels, and even fights.
The following are edited responses:
• “You can’t ever convince her of that. She has to either believe it for herself or she will eventually isolate you from all of your friends, or drive you into the arms of another woman. ave yourself the stress of a controlling woman. Tell her now that this is not going to work if she doesn’t start trusting you.”
• “Many women say that they prefer male friends as opposed to friends of the same sex. When a man has female friends, wives or girlfriends are usually jealous and accusatory. They want to peek at your text messages and listen in on phone calls. It’s almost like they believe a man’s only relationship with a woman must be sexual. That is so far from the truth.
“Wives and girlfriends might have been socialised to believe that men are “evil creatures”, so that when they enter relationships it is difficult for them to develop trust in their partners. Their insecurity tends to be the limiting factor in relationships.”
• “Do you read Dear Christine? The number one lie people tell is “he/she is just a friend”. Do you blame her for feeling anxious? Consider that how you behave around your female friends may be making her suspicious. Trust is not owed, it must be earned. Most of us say we will never snoop in our lover’s business, but no one wants to be taken for a ride either.”
• “Yes, you had these friends before she came along, but has she ever met any of them and did you get to meet any of hers? Maybe she saw something between you and one or more of your friends to make her feel jealous. Are you giving more of your time to them than to her? Do you always seem to laugh and have more fun with them than with her? These are things that need to be addressed . . . Communication is important.”
• She’s wounded. You’re either going to have to live with her or without her. Your old friends might know . . . a hug or even a kiss on the cheek and references to old times don’t mean anything, but to a newcomer and onlooker, to see you do the same things with another woman that made her fall for you . . . might be a bit hard to take. So when you’re together cut back on the externalities, but never give up your old friends entirely. Such a request is selfish, controlling, and a sign of trouble to come.”
• “I’m going through the same thing with my husband. He thinks if I’m on facebook that I’m cheating and that is so not true; I knew them before my husband. I’ve actually found something I like and he’s having a hard time with it. He also started my facebook page, but now he wants me to shut it down – the hell I am!”
• My boyfriend had a relationship with a woman old enough to be his mum. Now he says they are friends and the relationship is platonic; yet she calls him whenever she pleases and doesn’t stop calling until he answers though she knows we live together. See why wives and girlfriends get jealous?”
• “The fact that you have chosen her to be your girlfriend, as opposed to your long-time female friends, should be an indication that she should not feel the need to be overly possessive or jealous.”
• “Consider if you’d be comfortable if your partner kept her old male friends in her life. If you love your partner and it makes her more secure that you put distance between you and old females, then do it for her.”