Last night, we were kissing and watching a movie called “Bandidas”, starring Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz. Steve thinks they are gorgeous, and voiced his appreciation for their beauty, and I agreed. I mean, they are incredible. This exchange reminded me of another that took place a few months ago.
We were watching a movie with another couple (let’s say Terry and Jane). Some actress walked on screen in a skimpy outfit and Terry said, “Man, she is hot.” Well, this hurt Jane’s feelings. I mean, truly, she was upset, we could all feel it. They left after the movie, obviously heading home to a fight.
Later, I questioned Jane about it, “Don’t you think she’s beautiful?” “Well, of course,” she said, “but Terry didn’t have to say it like he wanted to have her!” We went back and forth a few times, and I let it drop; she was getting angry. I didn’t know her well enough to start with my amateur psycho (babble) analysis.
But of course, I did so in my head (honestly, I can’t help it). Was Jane jealous? What exactly is does that mean, anyway? One definition is to be “envious”, one is to be “suspicious of rivals” and a third is to be “watchful”. When it comes to jealousy in a relationship, I think the word wraps its grimy fingers around all three. Synonyms for jealous are: covetous, resentful, invidious, protective, wary, and mistrustful. Yuck! Who wants that garbage in their marriage?
Jane’s is a pretty small example, but shows jealousness (this is a word) nonetheless. It has no place in a healthy relationship. Way easier said than done, right? As in, “I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I do and I can’t help it!” Why? Some experts say that feelings of jealousy are closely linked to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. Turning those issues around is a lifelong quest for most, so how can we expect to kick jealousy out of our lives just like that?
Perhaps we can’t. But maybe we can reduce the wreckage it causes. If Jane were to look at her jealousy from the inner perspective, she would see that the problem has every thing to do with her outlook rather than Terry’s actions (i.e. thinking an actress - whose job it is to be alluring – is sexy just should not be an issue). If she can see this through this green mist that clouds her vision, I think she would be much happier, and the marriage healthier.
I try to avoid jealousy mostly by being aware of it and by shifting my focus. If Steve happens to be gigging with a sultry vocalist (he’s a drummer), I repeat the mantra: He loves me, I trust him, he loves me, I trust him. When I am successful, I end up being more envious of her voice than jealous of the smiles she shares with Steve. Makes sense, right? (Well, o.k. the envy part isn’t good, but that’s another blog for another day.)
Anyway, instead of sulking the night away and starting a fight in the car on the way home, I am enjoying the music, and savoring the kisses I get during his breaks. In fact, if I were to act pouty during his break, the next one he just may spend backstage with the band and the sexy singer just to avoid my mood. Doesn’t make sense, right? It’s really up to me how I spend my evening.
One of the reasons I fell in love with Steve is because of his lack of jealousy. It spoke volumes to me about the level of trust we could have (although I have found throughout the years that the little green guy envy visits him too, periodically).
Awhile back we were at a party and I saw a good (male) friend that I haven’t seen in awhile. I gave him a big and long hug. Steve was standing right there, beside another friend. This guy said to Steve some time during my long hug, “Hey, man, you o.k. with that?” pointing at me. Steve laughed and said, “It doesn’t matter who pumps up the tires…I get to ride the bike.”
I’ve always enjoyed going on a bike ride.
This concludes another view from my married life.