Jealousy in Relationships
Jealousy. When I think of jealousy, I hear Nick Jonas singing “I still get jealous” in my head. That song is catchy and appeals to so many because almost all of us have experienced jealousy in a relationship at one time or another. I hadn’t thought about jealousy in a long time, until the other day when a young friend asked me if I’d ever experienced jealousy in my relationship with my husband when we were dating or since we’ve been married.
My first thought was, “Nah, I’m not a jealous person.” But then I began recalling times when I had been jealous during our long relationship. There weren’t a lot of them, but they were there in my memory. I told her that I had experienced jealousy a few times both while my husband and I were dating and after we were married. I said that those times I’d experienced it during our marriage were when I needed clarification about a situation. In those cases, I’d talk to my husband, get the clarification, and then let it go.
When my husband and I went on our walk that night I brought up that conversation. I told him what I had said and what I would have wanted to say if I’d had more time with this friend. I would have said that it’s a matter of trustworthiness. If she trusted her partner, she should talk to him about it and then trust him to deal with the situation in the appropriate manner.
We were both quiet for a while, probably running through the same scenarios from our past history in our minds. We’d dated for a long time, starting when we were very young. We spent several years coming and going from each other as we completed our education. There had been times when each of us had been jealous of a relationship the other had formed with someone else…a deep friendship, a friendly work relationship, a memorable experience with someone while traveling. It was a natural, though sometimes painful, part of our journey toward the certainty of our love and commitment to one another.
After a few moments of companionable silence, my husband said, “I don’t know; I think sometimes jealousy can be a good thing.” He continued by saying that even God says that he is a jealous God and wants us to have no other gods before him. In the same way, our jealousy over someone else’s attention can be telling. And there we were…at a…