Posts tagged ‘is jealousy a sign of love’

August 5, 2010

Some insight about jealousy, and how to talk to a jealous person…..

by Rod Smith

Jealousy destroys beauty

Jealousy abounds. “My girlfriend won’t let me talk to my childhood girlfriends,” or “My husband won’t visit my family. He says I ignore him when I am with them,” are frequent themes in my inbox. One man I know is jealous of men his wife reads about in novels. Here are broad principles to apply if you face the “green-eyed monster”:

There are reasons you found each other attractive. So while your partner might play host to the virus of jealousy, somewhere in the mix you may have some limited responsibility for fostering its success if jealousy is an issue between you. First examine your contribution (how have you fed the monster?) before you point fingers at your partner for any expressions of jealousy.

A virus, jealousy is an emotional virus, must have a host to survive. Once hosted, having no capacity to self-monitor, it will run wild within the host. The only effective treatment for the virus of jealousy (as is true with any virus) is starvation. So do not allow it to succeed. Bring it into the light (it hates exposure) every time it shows its ugly, borrowed face. Do not try to work with, understand, or appease jealousy. You cannot reason with a virus so don’t waste time trying.

You do not cause jealousy (by ANYTHING you do) and it is never an indication of love.

Here are some very healthy ways to address jealousy:

Facing the green-eyed monster!

Very healthy sentiments to express to your partner (modified according to your needs) when jealousy rears its ugly head in an intimate relationship:

“As an adult I select my own clothes. Why don’t you always take care of your clothing and I’ll always take care of mine. It’s much easier that way.”

“Let it be known I am comfortable with having many friends and having a lot of interaction with my family. If any of this is threatening for you then I don’t think we are suited to each other.”

“Of course I have remained friends with many of my former intimate friends. We have a lot of history together. Remaining friends is healthy for us all. Things will go better between us if we each enjoyed the freedom to enjoy a wide range of friendships.”

“Of course I am not going to give you my passwords for any of my email accounts. No, we are not going to share an email account. No, you will not examine my phone or text messages. Being with you does not mean ownership! We’ll do really well together if we respect each of needs for privacy.”

“Tell you everything? Of course not. That’s a ridiculous expectation!”

“What are you going to do about your jealousy? It is apparently a problem for you. I will not make your jealousy my issue.”

January 22, 2006

The myth of love at first sight

by Rod Smith

Love requires knowledge and experience

Love at first sight is impossible. Love requires knowledge, time, maturity, conflict, fun, experience, mutual struggles, and a lot more together before authentic love can develop. People can know “at first sight” that love might develop. Such knowledge, in itself, is not love. Every “in love” couple knows they are still learning what love is and means. They know it requires a growth period of twenty, thirty, or even fifty years. Sadly, many couples give up on each other, and on love, before it has the time to mature into something exceptional. When they see it is very hard work, having hoped for something easier, sights are lowered and something approximating love develops, then boredom peaks, and even the divorce court can beckon. Sometimes an affair stands in the wings or a grave brings relief.

Authentic love is about effort, decisions, actions, attitudes, and commitment spread over many years.

Loving someone is about seeking his or her highest interests while, at the same time, not ignoring your own highest interests. It is impossible to love someone more than you love yourself. It is impossible to know someone more deeply and more intensely than you know yourself. Pseudo-love can masquerade as authentic love and, at first, feel very good. In its early stages, manipulation can be confused with caring, intimidation with a “watchful eye” and domination with “strong commitment.” These are the love’s poisons and distorted love follows. True love’s hallmark is freedom for both and a respected, acknowledged voice for each. Anything less is not love.

When a couple, say Anne and Bob, are both healthy people who develop a lasting and loving relationship, she is able to focus on him without losing or compromising herself. They don’t become each other nor are they glued together. Being apart does not mean falling apart or the undermining of the relationship; being together does not deny individuality. She’s decided to love him. Bob has decided to love Anne. It has nothing to do with the performance of either. The love lives inside each one for the other.

Anne and Bob focus on what they can give to each other without giving up themselves. They know a mature loving relationship is about total equality. They desire mutuality in every respect and both work very hard toward it. There is a palpable freedom between them and a team attitude even when they are involved in unrelated or separate activities. They inspire each other toward separate and shared goals. Neither is threatened by the other’s willingness to grow and achieve and both heartily applaud and encourage the success of the other.

They are willing to hear things from each other they would prefer not to hear. Neither changes what they think, feel, experience or believe to accommodate what they believe the other might prefer to hear. Truth is told with kindness. Anne and Bob share a sacred trust. Questions are born out of a desire to participate in each other’s lives and not from suspicion about each other’s activities. They know and often experience that love casts out fear.

Ann and Bob are faithful to each other because faithfulness builds healthy, sound friendships with all people. Ann is faithful to Bob because even if she did not know Bob, she’d be a faithful person. He is faithful to her because he already is a faithful man. In a sense, their faithfulness has nothing to do with each other.

An absolutely private world, holy territory, lies between them. They go to places together in this world that each has never been before. Here, they touch the heart of God through commitment, mutuality, freedom and respect. In this private place of communion, the depth they know in this sacred intimacy is never equaled with another or devalued or soiled through compromise with another. It is highly valued, a protected place for them both, and, like very expensive art, is defended, enjoyed and treasured by each of them.