I am confident the phrase, “What are you so jealous about?” has been said so much its impact is diminished with the repetitiveness. When you have no idea where your mate is and he/she comes home past midnight after a night of “walking” with a “friend,” you would almost invariably ask a series of frantic questions: Are you okay? Who were you with? What have you been doing? Where have you been? When were you planning to come home? Why didn’t you call me? These are the usual 5W, “who, what, where, when, why” type of questions that make up your response to a situation like this.
When you ask these questions what happens? Do you get answers, or do you get avoided? Your questions probably don’t elicit a response you would like to hear, like; “I’m sorry Honey, I got tied up” or “I know I should have called, I’m sorry” or even “I thought you knew I was going to be out late honey, I’m sorry.” What you will most likely hear is something like “What are you so jealous about?”
This is a situation that calls for jealousy. Yes, you read right. Jealousy is required at times like these. You don’t even have to call it up; jealousy should rise up all by itself. If it doesn’t, if you really don’t feel any jealousy at all after going through an evening’s worth of wondering, worrying, panicking and being deeply concerned, then you might consider yourself having a problem. Your problem of not feeling anything after a night like that may be more serious then feeling a rage of jealousy. Jealousy is your one strongest, instinctive, emotional pain receptor. It can save you years of misery.
What is the matter with your mate? How, you ask yourself, can anyone meet your desperate and pain-filled cries of “What’s going on?” with a terse “What are you so jealous about?” All you want is reassurance, reassurance everything is secure. You need a little comforting and stroking. You just want to know your mate is still yours, your relationship is safe, nothing has happened and that he still wants to be with you.
Is he staying with you just for the security of the environment you have created for him? Is he so comfortable and secure he doesn’t want to risk losing the familiar and face the unfamiliar? Have you made such a cozy environment; a new home, kids taken care of, money coming in, cars always running and food always available that he doesn’t want to lose it? He just does not have the courage yet, to leave something he definitely has, for something he is not absolutely positive of.
I think people in general believe we should feel bad about ourselves if we feel the pangs of jealousy. It tends to be looked at in a negative sense and it seems to receive a bad reputation based primarily on inexperienced, biased, personal opinions. These may be educated opinions but there is much to say for real life experience versus textbook education.
If you haven’t lived it, if you have never been in the type of situation we are talking about. If your partner has never done any of the things we are discussing, then you have not had to deal with “Jealousy.” You really don’t know what you have your hands on. I just don’t think the great amount of negativity surrounding jealousy is deserved at all.
In fact, much of the negativity probably comes from “bad” partners from all over the world trying to convince the “good” partners that they shouldn’t be jealous. Without even trying to define the word people just automatically associate it with a wild, uncontrollable reaction to some mistaken image some one thought he saw. If something is associated with negative long enough then it becomes negative. For instance, certain hand gestures, that really don’t mean anything, can now bring people to a rage simply because those gestures have been associated with something negative for so long. So, what does jealous really mean?
“…intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness.” (Also, suspecting or hostile toward)
“…vigilant in guarding a possession.”
INTOLERANT OF RIVALRY: If you are being called jealous you are being told you have no tolerance for rivals or for those who would vie for your mate’s affections. You are being told, by being called jealous, that you don’t want your mate to have any partner other than yourself. This definition indicates that you won’t tolerate it, in fact you may even become “hostile toward” a rival.
INTOLERANT OF UNFAITHFULNESS: The second half of that first definition of jealous is the one I really like. It says a jealous person is intolerant of unfaithfulness on the part of his mate. Not only will you not tolerate someone chasing after your mate or your mate chasing after someone else, but you will also certainly not stand for your mate yielding to the chaser and allowing that pursuit to be successful.
You seriously are jealous, right? You really do not want your spouse to have intimate relations outside of your union, right? I hope not. Please, call me jealous and let me call my wife jealous. That is the only way I want it. If your mate is upset about you being intolerant of his messing around with someone else of the opposite sex, don’t you think you need to take a closer look at your own partnership? On the other hand, if you really don’t feel bad when your mate steps out on you, shouldn’t you take an even longer, harder look at the relationship?
GUARDING A POSSESSION: Let’s take a look at that second definition of the word jealous; vigilant in guarding a possession.” Vigilant means to be “alertly watchful so as to avoid danger.” Be on your guard! Sleep with one eye open. Have eyes in the back of your head. Always be on the lookout! Try not to miss anything. You are still fulfilling the promises in your vows, one of which is to protect. This is not so much an obligation or a promise as it is a privilege. Be “alertly watchful” over your investment.
Both you and your mate need to be vigilant, or very watchful, very careful, so that both of you can stay out of trouble. You owe it to each other to keep an eye on each other. This isn’t about trusting your mate. You just want to make sure you both know the other one still cares. You need to ensure that neither of you gets yourself into a situation that may prove to be extremely difficult to escape from, or one you really do not want to escape from. You are just keeping an eye on your “stuff”, that’s all.
Without jealousy you might never know when your mate was about to or already did get into trouble. Without jealousy you might never recognize the predator, stalking your partner, right there in front of you. Let this most valuable, instinctive emotion reign. Let it help you, protect both of you through some of the most dangerous times.
Despite all the benefits of jealousy, please remember it is only helpful if you can control your response to it. I thoroughly promote jealousy in both concept and in application, but you must control how you respond. When jealousy flares up like it was naturally meant to, to alert you of something happening in your relationship, you must respond. How you respond is usually what gives jealousy its negative connotation.
People often don’t take the time to consider that the response itself is not jealousy any longer; it is the anger that followed on its heels. Jealousy has left and the rage or anger has replaced it. Jealousy only informed the person of the situation; anger was the response of choice. If anything should have a negative reputation it should be the anger. Jealousy is good, but your response is the telling factor. Choose your response carefully and methodically.
The Bible – KJV
“Thou shalt not bow down thyself to him nor serve him: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.”
In this passage from Exodus, God delivers the Ten Commandments to Moses. He makes it clear to everyone that reads those commandments that there is not to be any other gods held above Him. He does not want His people worshiping anybody but Him. God demands that He be the number one priority. In other words God is intolerant of rivalry, wouldn’t you say? He is intolerant of unfaithfulness. He wants to be the only God and He wants no one else to get in the way! Would anyone dare to tell God “Get rid of your jealousy?” Anyone? I didn’t think so.
Jealousy is not something to be trifled with. Jealousy is an instinctive, emotional pain receptor. Acknowledge it, accept it, respond to it. Never deny it nor try to get rid of it. Jealousy is your one best tool to protect and preserve your emotional sanity. Get rid of jealousy? I think not.