My boyfriend can get jealous sometimes. Not in a scary movie, abusive boyfriend sort of way — but from time to time he “wonders”.
He wonders who I’m texting. He wonders why I stepped out of the room to take a phone call, while we are watching a movie. He wonders why I am still in contact with my (gay) ex-boyfriend. All of this “wondering” is totally natural, but sometimes it’s annoying.
I think to myself, why doesn’t he trust me we have been together for 4 years, we live together, we have planned our lives around each other, what is HIS problem that he can’t fully trust ME?! Doesn’t he know I am a sweet dotingly loyal angel, who would never hurt even the grossest fly, and ESPECIALLY not his sweet perfect heart?!
After some self-examination, I have decided that it is not all his anxiety that’s to blame for all of this wonderment. I play a large (unintentional) role in this insecurity that he has in his heart. Things I don’t realize I’m doing that hurt him. I put him on a pedestal. However, sometimes, he feels that the pedestal bends his neck to a silver medal.
Jealousy happens in all relationships and it’s up to each of us to recognize it and figure out how to deal with it before things get out of hand.
Look for these common signs of jealousy in relationships and how to deal when the green-eyed monster rears his ugly face:
1. “Who are you texting?”
We all have heard this (and said this), but what does it really mean? In laymen’s terms, when your S.O asks who you’re texting, it insinuates you may be talking to someone you’re secretly dating (i.e. cheating). Many of us have unfortunately dealt with cheaters in some capacity — we all know a cheater and a cheat-ee. It’s out there, people! So that deep seeded fear is in us all, whether its constituted or not.
So when my boyfriend asks me “Who are you texting?” my instinct is to yell “OMG NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, PSYCHO!” But the thing is, he loves me, and I love him, so it IS his business.
Instead of finding his distrust annoying, I accept his human side and just tell him who I’m texting. He can’t assume I’m cheating on him if I’m really just texting my grandmother.
2. “Why can’t I come?”
I am lucky to have a boyfriend who I WANT to bring with me everywhere. Sometimes, however, I want to do things on my own.
Getting my eyebrows waxed, for example. I want my boyfriend to believe that my eyebrows naturally grow into perfectly sculpted arches, framing my eyes just perfectly, with only the necessary hairs to do so. I don’t want him to know I pay my favorite beautician way too much to pull out all of my gross, reject hairs.
However, because we spend so much time together, when I tell him I want to do something on my own, he could question that. This would put me tough spot, because I don’t want him to sit with all of that worry and insecurity, but I don’t want to spoil the illusion of my unnatural brow perfection.
It can be annoying to feel like I have to explain myself. After ruminating over what to do, I realized that it is MY insecurity, not his, that is pushing our relationship back a step. If I would tell him I’m going to get my eyebrows waxed, then he would know he has an honest, albeit hairy eyed, girlfriend.
3. “That took a while.”
This is a question/accusation that is hard to explain. Maybe when I was at Duane Reade, I meandered around aimlessly, contemplating buying fuzzy socks for 25 minutes. Maybe there was a really long line and they were understaffed. Maybe it was a perfect day outside and I wanted one more walk around the block.
But explaining this, under fire, can seem not reason enough, or lacking in enough substance.
This is a time when I usually start to feel defensive. But at the end of the day, he just worries about me. I know he doesn’t think I went off and had a wild affair, then stopped by Duane Reade to get him a bag of cheese-it grooves. He likely thought someone murdered me. Or I went to the pet store to buy a puppy. So I can’t be upset with him for loving me, and caring if I get murdered.
At the end of the day, we all wish our partners weren’t jealous. But keep in mind that sometimes, (as in the case of me and my boyfriend) “who are you texting” means “I’m bored and you’re on your phone” and “why can’t I come” means “I’m going to miss you and I want you to know” and “That took a while” means “That took a while”. Your partners insecurities could be all in your own head. It’s important to communicate so you don’t “wonder” away your relationship.
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