I admit, I’ve been stung by my lack of jealousy (or “a man will do what he wants to do” attitude); in my marriage, my spouse traveled a great deal. I have no idea what he did and with whom. I have my suspicions, but it’s immaterial. I resented the amount of time he was away, but that’s a very different state of affairs.
Realistically, I had no control over who he saw or what he did, so how could my doubting that he was working make any possible difference? He also had many women friends, and I wasn’t jealous. It never even occurred to me to be concerned. I still don’t know what he did – or didn’t do. I never will.
During the marriage, I never suspected anything. Call me crazy. Better yet, call me Gullible.
Mostly, call me Tired. I was the textbook case of “married single mom” before I officially shed the Missus before my name.
Of course, I won’t say that I’m not hurt by the inevitable comparisons that can arise in any relationship. When you’re dumped, when you’re not loved, when sexual intimacy is breached by knowledge of another woman (or man), it’s painful. Trust is broken. Bridges require reconstruction.
Envy By Any Other Name
Dictionary.com provides another definition of jealousy:
"resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another’s success or advantage itself."
To me, this variation is more familiar. It is recognition of competition (or its potential) in both professional and personal domains, but it has nothing specific to do with the arena of love, lust, or marriage. It is envy.
I envied the insouciance of my traveling spouse for his apparent lack of guilt at being absent from so much of the marriage. Yet that doesn’t mean I aspired to living that way, myself. And I am far more likely to envy the accomplishments of others rather than romantic rivals, and yes, to be jealous – particularlyif they are achievements that I value.
So what about you?
- Are you the jealous type? Envious? Resentful?
- Can jealousy help a marriage?
- Is jealousy a relationship killer?
Written by D. A. Wolf for Divorced Women Online
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