Jealousy is and always will be tied and connected to trust. If you have trust in the person you’re with then you shouldn’t be jealous, right? But it’s not that simple. Nothing is ever that simple in life. There can be the utmost trust between two people, and yet jealousy can still creep in because we are human. In fact, jealousy can even be seen as a compliment by some, a sign that you still truly have feelings for someone. But what is jealousy anyway?
“Jealousy: resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage.”
I remember liking a girl in kindergarten, when most of the rest of the boys in my class were still talking about girls having cooties. Her name was Kareema, and she was the most beautiful girl I had seen to that point in my life. So I hit her one day during recess, which was my clear sign to her that I liked her. She didn’t get it, instead telling the teacher on me and getting me a demerit for it. I would watch her from then on, but I stopped hitting her, and I noticed her having fun with her girlfriends. I was jealous that I had missed my chance and they were having fun with her instead.
Then fast-forward to fifth grade, and there was Mia. Ah, Mia. By this time the other boys were finally admitting they liked girls, and the girls were playing attention-seeking games. But Mia was different. She was a quiet sort, but she had a dynamic smile. And she was my friend, but we had a bit of a flirtatious relationship. Well, flirtatious for fifth graders in the mid-80s anyway. I was even very close to asking her to go steady when Jermaine showed up. He was smooth, and before I knew it he had asked her to go steady and she said yes. I think maybe she tired of waiting around for me to ask her. I was so jealous of him, not only for getting Mia, but for being confident enough to ask for what he wanted.
Maybe that’s the key, really, the confidence piece. Instead of asking Kareema if she liked me, I hit her. Instead of telling Mia how I felt, I hemmed and hawed, letting things happen around me. And I had the nerve to be jealous, to let that green monster inside of my head to fester there when it was all my fault. That’s where the trust issue comes in, not lack of trust in the object of my affection, but lack of trust in myself and my own confidence issues. I didn’t trust that I worthy of affection, of the love that I’ve always wanted from others.
“And it feels like jealousy. And it feels like I can’t breathe. And I’m on, down on my knees. And it feels like jealousy.” -Will Young
Now, my wife is the most amazing woman I’ve ever known. She has a quiet, but spectacular, soul, and it shines through anything and everything she does. Sometimes when we’re out somewhere together I will look at her when she crosses a room, and she literally takes my breath away. She has always done this. And when I look into her eyes I see that love there, undeniable and neverending. But I don’t feel like I’m worth it, deep down inside. So I get jealous of others who see her cross that same room, of people who talk to her in crowded halls and through the phone. Not because of anything but my lack of trust and confidence in myself, in who I am, the man she chose and chooses every single day.
That’s the crux of jealousy, and after 12 years together I’m finally understanding that I don’t have to be the best man. I just need to be the man I am, and that makes me her ideal man. So yeah, go ahead and talk to her, Denzel Washington lookalike. I’m good. No more green monster here.