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Jealousy; Insecure or Untrusting?

Updated on August 25, 2011

"Read this later. I know you're busy. No response necessary. I just wanted to apologize for thinking you were abnormal because you said you didn't get jealous. I have been doing some research and found this is possible. Doesn't mean, though, that I didn't trust you. It means that I have very deep-rooted insecurities. Your being excessively flirtatious and insensitive to how I felt about that triggered my jealous reactions. Just thought I would tell you that."

This is a text that I recently sent to my now ex-boyfriend. In preparing to write this article, I discovered some new things about myself that I am neither happy with nor proud of. I have always believed that being jealous was a way of showing someone how much you cared for, or even loved, them. In my case, jealously highlighted my insecurities. There was a time in my life when I was a very strong, secure, and independent person; an abusive marriage of twenty-eight years changed all that. I have been on the road to recovery since my divorce, but have decided I still have a long way to go before I can be considered healthy again.

I professed to my boyfriend that I trusted him; looking deeper into myself, I now believe I only "partially" trusted him. On the surface, I knew that he would never have done anything to intentionally hurt me. I now know when he said someone was just a friend, that is exactly what he meant. My past experience with my ex-husband kept me from truly believing; the years of him professing to be faithful while in actuality, the oppisite was true. Years of wanting to believe him all the while knowing he was not--denial.

Webster's dictionary defines insecurity as someone "...prone to fear or anxiety..." while jealously is defined as someone "...intolerant of unfaithfulness or rivalry...mental uneasiness due to suspicion or fear of rivalry." I now understand more clearly why I flew into a jealous rage in both my marriage and my relationship with my boyfriend. The fear of not knowing was crippling; the knowing was just as dibilitating.

While my ex-husband was a liar and a cheater, I have driven a very honest and loving man away. But, in my defense, while he was deserving of my trust, he did nothing to help me understand. All I saw was the attention and kindnesses he gave to his female friends. I expressed to him on numerous occasions how i felt left out and sometimes jilted as his partner. He continually accused me of not trusting him. He said he could not understand why I would overreact to his friendships with other females. I had admitted to him that I was jealous, but I myself could not understand why; he didn't understand the concept of jealousy.

His response to my text was "That is a virtue, too. I give you major points. Don't take this the wrong way, but that had to hurt for you to admit. That's a good thing." I responded with "It didn't hurt to say it. It hurt to realize it."


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