How can I be involved with Jefferson, who is involved with other people, and not be jealous?
How can I be involved with Marcus, the misunderstood slut, who has regular fuckbuddies and sex clients- the graphic details of which he shares with me- and not feel jealous?
Madeline, how do you avoid feelings of jealousy?
I think jealousy is a good tool for introspection. It feels awful, but when I recognize that I’m feeling jealous or envious or otherwise excluded, I force myself to consider why.
Jealousy, though convenient to blame on the actions or inactions of another person, is always about oneself. Jealousy feeds on insecurity. If I’m feeling insecure, I almost always start to have feelings of the green persuasion.
I am not normally jealous or possessive. When my ex, Daniel and I first got together, we would go to parties and clubs where he would be surrounded by women-- some friends, some flirts. I gave it very little thought. My girlfriends would ask me, incredulously, why it didn’t bother me that Daniel talked with, danced with or even flirted with other women.
“He loves me. I trust him,” was all I needed to say, and they would go off, shaking their heads.
When my marriage ended, the final straw was his lying to me in the wake of an affair. I met the woman he’d been with before they’d started sleeping together. My intuition told me not to trust her, but I never felt jealous. I trusted Daniel.
It wasn’t the affair that ended it for me; the problem was the dishonesty and betrayal of my trust.
It's why I don't fuck married men. It's why I couldn't get involved with anyone who was attached unless their partner was aware of it. Bad Karma. Really Fucking Bad.
The friends who’d shaken their heads at me now returned, saying,
“You see?! You can’t trust anyone but yourself.”
I don’t believe that. And I guess I could have taken that experience of being betrayed by someone I loved and run with it. I could have made generalizations about all men, all men of his nationality or culture, all men named Daniel.
It could have made me extra-cautious about trusting people in the future.
I’ve told Marcus and Jefferson and the other people I’m involved with that the only thing I want from them is honesty. I can handle just about anything as long as I know what is expected of me. Life is full of uncertainties; knowing my role in their lives shouldn’t be one of them.
That’s why, on this visit, when I was standing behind Jefferson, rubbing his shoulders as he responded to emails, I never looked at the screen. Not at the emails, not at the IMs. He’s told me his feelings for me and how I fit in his life. That’s enough.
I don’t need to go looking for validation or for a reason to distrust him. There really is no reason for him to hide anything significant from me; it’s not in his nature, anyway. So I know about the instant messages and the emails and the dirty pictures that people send.
But I respect his privacy. I don’t look at them.
Ever. Unless, of course, he shows them to me.
And it’s cool. Most of the time.