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Je veux être la fille avec la plupart de gâteau. Regardez-moi dans la glace.
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24 August 2005


Hey, Jealousy!

It’s the million-dollar question.

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 don’t.

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.


Blogger Ohpineyun said...

Been there, thought that, left the wife who couldn't tell the truth but sure could strut her stuff.

Perhaps I am a wimp at heart but I wonder if I could reasonably expect honesty from someone who not only betrayed me but also betrayed herself. Betrayal must really start from within. Afterall she made the decision to marry me, to bind her life with mine and take a vow of fidelity before God and country.

She broke HER vow before she broke the matrimonial bond. What I find even more telling is the fact that her lover was also a priest who had a similar vow of celibacy made to God which he was willing to break for the pleasures of the flesh and the power of seduction.

As I look back many years later on this period in my life I realize that my desire for honesty was a need I had not a need or desire she had. She was content with lying.

It wasn't until the boss tired of her that she fessed up so to speak and acknowledged an affair that went on way too long (yeah I guess I am a wimp).

I wasn't prepared to forgive and forget at that point. The pain her revelations inflicted (as they were intended to do) on both me and her lover clouded everything and my marriage collapsed in the rubble of jealous rages.

At that point I'm not sure if the jealousy wasn't really a mask for a rage I felt toward myself for accepting the intolerable and keeping a dead or at least a terminal marriage propped up way too long.

One thing I do know however -- when you take the snake in be prepared to die when it bites because it will bite - it's the snake's nature and you can't transform a snake into a saint.

Blogger ThreeOliveMartini said...

omg.. was that comment a blog post or what? anyway ..

I totally get what you are saying Maddie.. too bad not every one can be as enlightened right ?

it would make life much easier to handle ..

Blogger Philosophy of Being said...

As always, an insightful post by you. :)

Both of us understand your viewpoints all-too-well on "Hey, Jealousy!" No polyamorous relationships are devoid of the pangs of jealousy. I like to think I'm above such things - and normally am, although I'm human and different situations create unique circumstances and matching emotions.

Jealousy is a commonly recurring theme which we deal with fast, lest it creates major dischord in our lives. In our relationships, we work daily to tame the beast. We're accepting, involved partners. And we don't take that for granted whatsoever. It's so damn rare to find like-minded partners.

Samson & Delilah

Blogger Wendy the Cavewyfe said...

...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 exactly how I feel. Nothing makes me crazier than being "protected" or deceived. Or people named Daniel. ;)

Blogger Jo said...

Holy shit, girl. Now I know why I liked you so much when we met at the pizza shop. You have no idea how much we really are similar.

I was in a relationship for a number of years with who I like to consider the love of my life. We dated, committed, for a number of years. He fooled around, but always told me. Always came home, and said to me "I kissed someone today", or "I got my dick sucked this morning", or what have you. As long as he was honest, as long as I didn't have to hear it on the "street", I was so OK with it.
I was OK with it b/c I knew that regardless of what was happening, anywhere in the world, I came first. If I needed him, he was 100%, without a doubt in my mind, abslutely, definitely, THERE. When he said I love you, I beleived him. When he promised to love me forever, I knew he wasn't lying. Sex is sex.
I chose to stay faithful in the relationship. I don't know if it was because maybe subconsciously I feared that he might not accept me if I did go out there and play, or if it was just that he did everything that I needed him to do for me. There were times when he asked me to be with one of his friends, wanted a MMF 3some. I declined. I couldn't see anything good coming of it..
Ultimately, we'd break up after I found out he fucked some girl up her ass while in a drunken/high episode.. I found out on the "Street" - Calls came into my cell phone about how he'd been seen in public with some other chick. In a way, he "brought it home". I couldn't handle it and finally decided to leave. --

When I try to explain this part of me to men they cannot seem to understand how I might be OK with knowing they're out there having other lovers. Whatever, sex is sex. I know that what is important to me is being able to not doubt whether or not someones intentions for me are true. Trust. That's all I really want in life. It's so, so hard to find though - -

I am 100% totally with you maddy. When you're in NY again, we must get together.


Blogger W. S. Cross said...

We talk about jealousy and dealing with it, but the truth is that talking is rarely going to be enough. One can talk about irrational fears, for example, but it doesn't change the fact that I'm petrified of drowning, and would never go on a ship or certainly as small boat. I know it's an irrational fear, but when I see dark water at night, I freak.

Sex has become something we disassociate from love, so we believe, as a culture, we can have one without the other. Sometimes we can. But the element of jealousy is so strongly embedded in our natures, that I think we should not optimistically assume it can be overcome. I'm not saying it can't, but at times I hear polyamorists talking as if they believed they could eliminate the frictions of jealousy by talking about it.

Blogger introspectre said...

I can learn much from you.

(shakes head, deep in thought)


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