petite anglaise

September 30, 2005

this corrosion

Filed under: navel gazing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 1:20 pm

Because I never experienced jealousy when I was in a relationship with Mr Frog, I wrongly assumed I had kicked the habit.

Not so. The green eyed monster was only lying dormant; in prolonged hibernation.

I wonder now whether this absence of jealousy wasn’t a warning sign, which should have alerted me to the plain fact that my feelings didn’t run deep enough. I was complacent, secure in my belief that whatever our failings as a couple, he wouldn’t look elsewhere. Despite late nights spent in the office in the company of pneumatic young stagiaires, and nights out on the town with colleagues, to which I was never invited. Which could have been a cause for concern, but only aroused resentment and bitterness that I was trapped at home, while he was out in the real world seeing people and socialising.

Now, for the first time in eight years, I am subject to bouts of totally irrational, corrosive jealousy. I hate myself for even having these feelings. As if wildly unpredictable mood swings weren’t enough for any man to deal with.

It’s not that I don’t trust the man in my life, or the women he is friends with, whether they be old flames or not. On a rational level I know that he is a very moral and proper person. I also know that he is so hopelessly smitten with me that he is willing to overlook all my failings. But this is purely irrational, and no amount of reasoning – with him, or myself – can lay these demons to rest.

Because I’m not jealous of anyone in his present. It’s his past I have a problem with.

Sometimes I find myself wishing I could erase whole swathes of his history. Those dark times when another woman was there to pick him up when he stumbled and fell, to comfort him, to heal him, to put him back together again. Wildly contrasting highs and lows, moments which I fear were more intense than any we may live together.

I know that these things have made him who he is today. Her influence has helped to mould him into the person I fell in love with. And yet, even though I understand this, I want to make these times disappear. To erase them. Overwrite them.

This jealously is a form of masochism. When I’m alone, feeling low, I torture myself. Willingly. Vivid pictures of their shared past swim before my eyes and try as I might, I can’t banish them. Words that he used to describe that period of his life, in emails I received long before we were an item, play over and over inside my head, refusing to be silenced.

I can’t make this stop, so my strategy is to share these feelings with my lover, preventing them from festering quietly below the surface, only to erupt one day and cause irreparable harm.

I can only hope that one fine morning I will wake up and realise these feelings have left me.


  1. Maybe it’s just an outward manifestation of the general insecurity you are feeling while your life is still in a phase of transition?

    Or some other cod psychology nonsense.

    Still, just cos it’s psychobabble, doesn’t mean it’s not true…

    Comment by Clare — September 30, 2005 @ 2:05 pm

  2. Great! Sorry you have to go through this torment but it’s producing your best writing ever. Face up to it -you are a WRITER.

    Comment by Parkin Pig — September 30, 2005 @ 2:16 pm

  3. I have been guilty of what you describe….it’s hard to deal with. And even though you probably already know this – with time, you will become the person who has helped halve his troubles while doubling his joy.

    If you’re anything like me, you want all that to have happened – yesterday……..but it will come Petite – trust me…….


    Comment by Kasey — September 30, 2005 @ 2:18 pm

  4. Better that you share these worries with him. If you let it silently eat away at you, it will begin to eat at him too, and there’s no going back from that. I think many of us have all felt what you are feeling to some extent, it’s just that some people aren’t brave enough to confront it head on until it’s too late. It seems that you are and that in itself shows a certain degree of trust.
    Lover fell for you via your writing, I wonder how many other people could lay claim to something so powerful? I think you will be just fine.

    Comment by Katherine — September 30, 2005 @ 2:41 pm

  5. Hey, you’re his ‘Woman’, you’re allowed to be Jealous and have feelings like that. It’s only when those feelings become controlling that it’s a bad thing.

    I’d find it flattering, honouring and a mark of how that person held me in their eyes.

    Comment by Greavsie — September 30, 2005 @ 3:01 pm

  6. The way I see it, love is like mail order. So, you paid such and such a sum for a thingie. That thingie better come. But, when you paid the money, and you start to think you only got the thingie only on loan, you get flummoxed and pissed. You think of calling the operator, but you know how it works… when they got your money, the operator seems to go on a coffee break.

    Jesus Christ! What a mess… you think you gotta go straight to the office and beat someone over the head. But no… the better advice would be just to enjoy the thingie like there’s no tomorrow.

    It’s also like the flu… y’know… everybody catches it sometime… regularly, every year… vitamins and stomach crunches for you…

    Comment by nardac — September 30, 2005 @ 3:15 pm

  7. I find myself bizarely wishing I’d been a part of my beloved’s life before we met, even though I know it’s a physically impossibility.

    I’m inclined to agree with Greavsie: so long as you are aware and admit to your feelings being somewhat irrational (but entirely normal), it’s quite flattering.

    Comment by Huw — September 30, 2005 @ 3:16 pm

  8. These kinds of feelings WILL subside, but probably won’t ever go away completely. They’ll lay dormant, and surface every now and again. I think it’s an unfortunate fact of meeting people at this time of life – we have significant others in our personal histories – so different to those childish first loves at school.

    My other half went out with someone for six years before he and I met. We’ve been together for seven years now, so thoughts of this woman have been far from my mind for a long tome now (although, like you, at first I was very jealous). Then she popped up at a family wedding recently, and when I saw my in-laws (who I am very close to) greeting her with warmth and delight I was absolutely furious inside. I really, really hated the fact she was there, but had to grit my teeth and bear it (although I avoided her like the plague).

    Thing is, I can’t do anything about it. She’ll always turn up now and then, and I’m just going to have to accept it. My gut reaction is to behave like a child and have a temper tantrum, but of course I can’t. I have to be a grown up and be really civilised and polite, when of course I’d like to tell her to fuck off.

    Comment by stressqueen — September 30, 2005 @ 3:36 pm

  9. That’s a very scary photo you’ve used by the way :)

    Comment by stressqueen — September 30, 2005 @ 3:37 pm

  10. Try Julian Barnes – ‘before she met me.’ It will pass, especially if you can talk about it. Promise.xx

    Comment by grannyp — September 30, 2005 @ 3:45 pm

  11. The photo reminds me of the last image in the film, the grudge. Now that was some film (yep of topic ever so slightly), The bases of the film was someone who is killed rather violently, but it was a crime of passion, from then on, the ghost of the victim appears to hold s grudge on everyone who enters the house. So, moral of the story, Yep, Grudges are soul distroying and really don’t help at all. Talk about it, get it of your chest and yes, it will pass.

    Comment by Andy — September 30, 2005 @ 4:17 pm

  12. You chose the passion, now you have to deal with the poison. Two sides of the same coin. Just as boredom was the flipside of the peacefulness you had with Mr Frog. And as far as his past goes, just don’t go there. Best to keep away from long, intense exchanges of your respective sex lives. A certain amount of privacy is essential to a healthy relationship.
    PS Some trivia: For the best depiction of male jealousy, check out Andy Garcia in Internal Affairs. Richard Gere plays every man’s nightmare.
    PPS A good male technique for jealousy is going out and sleeping with somebody else :)

    Comment by dan — September 30, 2005 @ 4:19 pm

  13. It’ll take about 6 months.

    And as Stressqueen said, it will then surface every now and again.

    But it gets better. :)

    Comment by drou — September 30, 2005 @ 4:21 pm

  14. Your jealousy probably has just a teensy weensy relationship to how you and Lover started out in the first place. This relationship was not born in integrity, and the fallout is insecurity and worry.

    You’ll get over it, because at your heart I do not think either one of you is a “bad” person and I am not trying to sermonize. But you did make a bad decision to start off the way you did, and consequences follow choices. Just keep talking to each other and be honest.

    Comment by Anita — September 30, 2005 @ 4:31 pm

  15. Imagination is a powerful devil – it allows us to paint the most mundane aspects of our lovers’ lives in colors to rival any opera…If things had been so rosy, he would never be with you!

    Remember that all of his experience has been lifes’ “training” in order to learn how to love & be with YOU…

    Once you become aware of yourself DEEP IN YOUR HEART as the loving,passionate and devoted mate that you know that you are,nothing in the world can take your confidence away and the desire to rewrite “The Past” will cease to tempt & torment you.

    `A l’amour comme `a la guerre, Petite!!!_

    Comment by Belle — September 30, 2005 @ 4:54 pm

  16. I totally agree with Belle. The person he’s with is you, Petite, so you shouldn’t worry about anything that came before. (Although of course it’s not that simple – jealously comes naturally to me as well!)

    Comment by Hazy — September 30, 2005 @ 6:06 pm

  17. Dan mentioned something that may seem inscrutable to us women, but bears note: (that some men respond to jealousy by then stepping out with someone)—First response to that may be: ‘that’s a crappy idea, and not plausible’…….

    But in human nature there IS the inclination to feel some license if one is in the “damned if I do, damned if I don’t” position.

    That is, if a person feels in trouble over a certain kind of infraction, e.g. past loves, as if that were an infraction, it may happen (someday) that the pressure from that in the face of temptation will open a crack in the armor, with the rationalization that “I’m held to the fire over this anyway, might as well get a reward for my trouble after all.”

    It still wouldn’t be right. But it would be a path that one might steer further away from knowing what we know about human nature.

    That said, it should remain academic if your amour is half as crazy about you as you are about him.

    I half suspect the game of revelling in jealousy is more about sharpening the passion, amplifying the dynamics of just what a prize you have found. To imagine not having, is to savor all the more. But some lose their appetite for this game sooner than others. And Petite, you seem to have good intuition—I’ll wager you’ll know when to cease and desist.

    Comment by millie — September 30, 2005 @ 6:21 pm

  18. I think jealousy in moderation is not a bad thing. It can make the other person feel even more special. It is when it tumbles out of control and becomes all consuming that it can, in itself, be destructive.

    Comment by Universal Soldier — September 30, 2005 @ 6:42 pm

  19. My boyfriend was with his previous girlfriend for 7 years (we’ve now been together for about 5 months) and although I’m becoming confident that he won’t do it, I’m always worried that his friends will compare me to her and I’ll come up as this newbie upstart who doesn’t measure up to Ex-Girlfriend and — hey, when are you two getting back together, anyway?

    I recognize it’s irrational, but it’s still caused me a lot of anxiety and worry when I know I’m going to meet a new set of his friends. I guess it’s just something I’m going to have to work on. It seems to be getting better with time.

    This past week I found myself getting jealous of the attention he had been paid by another girl, even though I knew he wasn’t interested. I think in that case it was sort of a warning along the lines of “Hey, I don’t know if you’ve picked up on the secret girl signals, but let me clue you in that she might be interested in you. I’m just warning you so that you can nip that in the bud instead of gradually being flattered by her attention, falling madly in love with her and LEEEEEEEAVING MEEEEEE!”

    Comment by srah — September 30, 2005 @ 7:04 pm

  20. Petite, I know so how you feel.
    “Bof!” is what I say to this ” i’ve had a life before you ” thing.
    But here’s something to chew on :
    “I won’t try to stop you
    When you speak of the past
    Doubt is over now
    And I can join in when you laugh
    Facination makes us ask for more
    Than we’d like to know
    I needn’t explain
    I think you know
    Reaassure me when my hearts
    Not bold enough to bear her name
    If you were in my shoes
    And scared I would do the same
    And though I may ask
    There’s no need for past details
    Although I may laugh alone
    My courage fails
    Did you know
    See how I’ve changed now
    My heads so clear
    Still there are some things
    That I don’t want to hear
    There must be so much I know
    That you cannot forget
    And I mustn’t wish your life began
    The day we met
    They say as we go remind you
    Of when you were here before
    So you talk and tell me
    You don’t think about it anymore
    There is something I know
    Hasn’t quite been left behind
    So I’ll ask you once again
    To prove that I don’t mind
    To prove that I don’t mind”

    Fascination, by EBTG.
    Courage, petite. Clench your fists.

    Comment by nanakilouche — September 30, 2005 @ 7:04 pm

  21. Did you know that Mike has posted a link to a video of the blog meet you guys went to?

    Comment by stressqueen — September 30, 2005 @ 8:00 pm

  22. …complete with lingering footage of my derriere. Charmant.

    Comment by petite — September 30, 2005 @ 8:14 pm

  23. I, too, have experienced this morbid fascination with my husband’s past. He was married the first time for 18 years… we’ve been married 8 months. For some strange reason, I feel the need to know the details and compare them against our life together.

    Why do we do this?

    Comment by Dawn — September 30, 2005 @ 8:36 pm

  24. When I went to Portugal for the first time to meet my in-laws, I was totally gung ho about seeing pictures from my husband’s past…baby pictures, high school pictures etc…for about five minutes I was having a great time. Then, after the third page or so of photos of Antonio and college girlfriend, I was filled with this relentless urge to reach into the photos and claw her eyes out.

    It made no sense. The pictures were many years old. But she was the girlfriend he was going to marry, and he’d bought a condo with. She was the only other woman he’d loved as much (or almost as much) as he loves me.

    He hadn’t seen or talked to her in five years at that point, they live in two different countries, and he was engaged to me, but I was completely psychotic and had to stop looking at the pictures.

    To this day, I can’t explain it.

    Comment by Sarah — September 30, 2005 @ 8:55 pm

  25. I guess I’m quite lucky in that Big had only had some minor disappointments before he met me, there were no real long term relationships.

    But I am still fascinated by his past and stare at old photos of him with long hair having fun with his friends at uni, looking very skinny.

    I also feel wistful that I’ll never know his father, who died when he was 13. I’m so curious to know what he was like and to see how Big takes after him…

    Comment by anxious — September 30, 2005 @ 9:17 pm

  26. This corrosion? (hey now, hey now now, choir swells in background).

    Having done the 8-9 years on Continental Europe with a (okay differnet here) German girlfriend thing when the split finally happened – no third party – I was still consumed with jealousy at the idea that she might be intersted in other men. I had no problems with German girls thanks to an English accent and movies featuring Colin Firth and Hugh Grant – bless Northern English grammar schools and their elocution lessons and wavy/floppy brown hair.

    Personally, I’d say 12 rather than 6 months, but that might just be me (I’m sensitive you see – as well as being masculine, with a deep sense of melancholy, without it going too far)…..

    Comment by neil — September 30, 2005 @ 9:26 pm

  27. Oh god, your post and the comments resonated so much. That was me for the longest months last year. There is probably no one universal cure for the green eyed monster. It was a painful time for me. I had to work really hard to realize why I was feeling those insecurities and talked out those insecurities with him. Eventually, other things in my life became more dominant and that monster only very rarely rears her head now.

    Comment by Alice — September 30, 2005 @ 9:40 pm

  28. Sounds a bit of more of insecurity, rather than jealousy. Or maybe it’s a bit of both.

    I suppose we have to learn to live with these human feelings (amongst others) and in my experience, my demons have not gone away (but have lessened with time).

    Anyway, are you really jealous of a person who is not now actually with the Lover? You are the person you are now (shaped through the experiences you have had) and similary so is he now. THAT is what makes you attracted to eachother.

    The next time you go walking through a Parisien parc on an autumnal day, holding his hand, just think, what a special moment you are sharing (that no-one else is sharing) and then smile to yourself. ;-)

    Comment by Lorna — September 30, 2005 @ 10:21 pm

  29. It’ll be okay

    Comment by andre — October 1, 2005 @ 12:18 am

  30. It was many years ago, so I like to think I wouldn’t do the same thing now….but never say never.

    My husband was married before years ago. I remember feeling the same way Sarah did about seeing old photos of him and his ex. I got rid of all the photos. Fortunately, he didn’t mind at all. But if someone had done that to me, I wouldn’t have liked it not one bit.

    Comment by Elle — October 1, 2005 @ 2:03 am

  31. yep – sounds like love alright

    Comment by hobbes — October 1, 2005 @ 2:19 am

  32. I know how you feel I have been married to my husband for 7 years next month and for the last couple of months I have had this green eyed monster thing to, I’m not saying that I have never had it before but not this bad. I felt like my life was ending, that he didn’t wanted to be with me anymore and that this woman that he is friends with he wanted to be with her. Lately it has been never ending tears for me and very depressed. I think the one thing that scares me more at the minute is that I’m pushing him away because of the way I’m being. I love him very much and I know that he loves me. We have spoke about it lately and that has made me feel alot better. But like you I wish one morning that I woke up and I never thought about it again. Sometimes I feel like it is taking over my life and I can’t stop it. I just have to remember that he loves me and he does want to be with anybody else.

    Comment by Growing Up — October 1, 2005 @ 8:41 am

  33. I have done absolutely irrational things because of the green-eyed monster. My husband has been married before and I still try to dig the dirt on that marriage. He won’t play ball.

    Comment by Outer East Girl — October 1, 2005 @ 9:47 am

  34. Ooh, I know this one well.

    My boyfriend is still *great* friends with his ex-girlfriend, who in turn is enmeshed in his group of friends like Japanese knotweed. We have a healthy mutual dislike: she burst into tears the first time she came across me at a party, while I can’t help feeling sometimes, much like Srah, that his friends would much prefer it if they were still together.

    The best way I have found to deal with it is exactly as you describe – talk about your feelings with the Significant Other. It’s not a foolproof strategy (I don’t believe it’s possible to talk a feeling into non-existence – and I think after a while it probably gets quite boring for the other person), but at least it avoids any nasty undercurrents.

    Chin up!

    Comment by Anonyme — October 1, 2005 @ 3:37 pm

  35. I so know that irrational feeling ! And haven’t been able to find a solution yet. Sometimes I feel so angry about his past that I could cry. Even though I know there’s no reason at all to worry. I just can’t help it. I try to reason myself and hope it will fade with time.

    Du courage, Petite !

    Comment by Emma B. — October 1, 2005 @ 4:18 pm

  36. Hope that you don’t wake up one fine morning to find Lover has left you.
    You are feeling guilty about cheating on Mr Frog, and so you should.
    Hope it works out between you and Lover Boy.


    Comment by Pointy — October 1, 2005 @ 11:54 pm

  37. I sympathize. Several days ago I discovered my ex-boyfriend, whom I have not seen or spoken to in nearly 6 years, has been stalking my blog under an assumed identity. I have no idea why, because the last time we communicated as post-love-relationship “friends” he politely asked me to stop getting in touch with him. I was a tad insulted by that, especially since up to that point he had been the one making the contact “as friends”, but I respected his request and that was that. Although I am curious, I don’t really CARE why he is now posting anonymous comments to my blog (I know it’s him because he is inserting clues into his posts that only I would understand, and it’s his personality type to play games this way). But what I observe in myself is a faint tinge of jealousy as I idly wonder about him: Is he still with “her” (the much older woman he started seeing not long after we broke up)? Is he happy with her? Did he get fat and bald? And of course what I want the answer to be is that he is miserable in the life he has chosen and finally realizes what he missed out on with ME (never mind that I am very clear that I am SO much happier without him and do not want him back).

    The logical me knows that this is only my ego talking, the part of me that wants to believe that every lover I’ve ever had is secretly pining away for me and has suffered cruelly without me, and that he will never love anyone the way he loved me. Even if I no longer have any use for the guy and don’t want him back. It’s all ego, plain and simple.

    All you can do is chalk your own feelings of jealousy up to a little bit of ego; don’t beat yourself up for being human; and remember all the good things you just listed about how you know you can trust him. The jealousy is about YOU, not about HIM.

    Comment by Lisa — October 2, 2005 @ 1:14 am

  38. Right after I got together with my fiancé we were out having drinks with another male friend and there was this weird flirty energy going on. Walking home, Stuart told me, “I was so jealous. This is so cool”

    He claimed to have never felt jealous before and we has happy that he was experiencing it.

    I thought he was a freak but happy he was happy. . .

    Anyway, you know it is natural but it goes without saying you want to keep it in perspective and not allow your inner monster to chew you up. . .

    Comment by Nicole — October 2, 2005 @ 2:46 am

  39. The longer you know him, the more you’ll create your own world together. Then you won’t think like that any more.

    Comment by Taupe — October 2, 2005 @ 3:39 am

  40. there was certainly a girl in my hubby’s past that i could not get over- i was wracked with jealousy over it- and then i realized that he was the one who was over her, and i was not! that was then i was finally able to put it to rest.

    Comment by mamak — October 2, 2005 @ 5:59 am

  41. It’s odd because I assume everybody here has experienced jealousy, but none of the posts seem to really get to grips with the concept. What’s everybody afraid of? Well, plenty, let’s be honest. To those who say jealousy will be extinguished by love, I would respond that jealousy is integral to being in love ( I mean, romantic, sexual love). Deep down we all know that our lover has the potential to obtain sexual pleasure with others. Jealousy is an expression of the pain and fear that knowledge creates – a scream of protest against the fact that the most important factor in one’s life is inherently unreliable. That was my concern when Petite embarked on this adventure, actually. The new relationship seemed too passionate to end happily.
    The other peculiar aspect (the masochism that some have mentioned, which by definition means that at least some pleasure is involved) is the sexual excitement that sometimes accompanies jealousy. It’s this that really upsets people who feel it, because it seems so un-natural. I have no idea what causes it and no idea how to eliminate it, other than to prioritize relationships where sex plays second fiddle to joint life goals, loyalty, kindness, and companionship. (Dreadfully middle-aged of me I know, even though I am ‘only’35!) This is why I was a fan of the relationship with Mr Frog, especially given Tadpole. Anyway, I really hope it all works out for you.

    Comment by dan — October 2, 2005 @ 7:09 am

  42. …And so now, having “won”, or having been “won over by” (whichever way round it is, probably a mixture of both), you desire (or need?) to “own” or “be owned by”. That’s what jealousy is, n’est-ce pas? A total refusal to recognise that someone can be anything other than “yours”. Yours to own, yours for keeps, past, present, always.
    Imagine that your lover feels a similar jealousy for you. I’m not saying that he necessarily feels the same pangs, but just for the sake of argument, let’s imagine that he feels a crushing, brutal desire to erase from your mind every slight regret, every rosy memory that you secretly harbour of your previous relationship. He wants you to think only of him, as if there had never been any love in your life until you met him. Would you willingly erase those memories from your mind?
    No, I don’t think you would want to do that (although I don’t know you; I may well be wrong). Jealousy says “I own you; you own me; there is nothing outside of that. No past, and also no future beyond me”.
    I wish you all the best, but I can’t help fearing…I can’t help…What if – what then?

    Comment by Tom — October 2, 2005 @ 8:43 am

  43. I know exactly how you, and seemingly so many others, feel. For me it is such a strong feeling, and one that I am incapable of supressing. It is never a conscious feeling either, and I always know that it is completely irrational. I was so jealous in my last relationship, and any attempt on my part to talk my concerns through were met by derision and what seemed to me to be increasing dislike because of what I’d admitted to feeling. He refused to give me the reassurance I needed to help deal with the way I felt and so it turned out to be the end of us. Even now, 2 years on and “just friends”, I cannot shake the remnants of jealousy when I see him with other people.
    I am sure though, that if you are able to talk things through in a more adult manner, that things will turn out more positively.

    Comment by Hannahish — October 2, 2005 @ 5:06 pm

  44. What Andre says. You’ll be fine. Really – you will.
    Beautifully written. Three house points and a gold star.

    And nice Sisters Of Mercy reference. Once a goth, always a goth, eh?

    Comment by Tim — October 2, 2005 @ 6:37 pm

  45. If you figure out a way to get over it, do let me know.

    I’m still jealous of one of my ex’s exes. (Is that the correct grammar? Somedays English sucks.) I probably know more about her than he does at this point…

    It’s been the same with all the passions of my life.

    Comment by Anna — October 2, 2005 @ 10:48 pm

  46. Some comments mentionned 6 or 12 months… for me it took more than a year but the turning point was something that we did together rather than time (and that he hadn’t done with the other(s), i’e moving together to a new country).
    I’m glad you’re talking about it with Lover because I was more insecure than you obviously are in your relationship and I did one thing I do regret now (and that I’ll never be able to tell him).

    Comment by Maurine au bout du monde — October 3, 2005 @ 5:21 am

  47. I think jealousy is insecurity… it’s not really anything to do with the other person, just something you tell yourself is lacking within yourself… that you’ll never be good enough, rich enough, pretty enough, witty enough.

    Like you need more advice… but I think the key is not to listen to the self-talk and to go and do something more constructive. Hopefully something that reinforces the good things about you… bake a cake, visit a friend, play with your child, write your lover a romantic letter talking of the good times… anything so it that the negative doesn’t take over.

    Oh, and buying yourself some seriously negligent pants never hurts! Especially if you think about how you might put them to the best use.

    Comment by Sarah — October 3, 2005 @ 5:52 am

  48. I still get amazed by the level of honesty on which you operate your blog.
    I hope the feelings go one day soon, good for you, being able to share with your new lover.
    Have a great week Petite!

    Comment by Anne — October 3, 2005 @ 10:04 am

  49. I went through agonies of jealousy with my husband..we have been together now for nearly 4 years, married for just under 1 and I just woke up a few months ago and realised that it had just disappeared all of a sudden and I hadn’t realised it. Things are wonderful now. It was a horrid feeling to have all of that time, but now, however, I feel as though it was a small price to pay to realise that I had been fortunate enough to marry the love of my life.

    Comment by fiona — October 3, 2005 @ 3:07 pm

  50. Petite

    I am sorry to read this but you better deal with it.
    I divorced my insanely jealous husband and his unreasonable behaviour drove me mad for years. It came to the point that I doubted myself for obviously not being able to give him the security that he was the one. Rather than including him in my thoughts I excluded him, worried that it might upset him.

    Ultimately it became a self fulfilling prophecy and I left him.

    My second husband is like me, never jealous (so Dan, I have to disagree with you. I don’t know what it feels like, at least not in a relationship). Just as well as he has had a rather colourful rich PAST.

    Comment by Laura — October 3, 2005 @ 4:01 pm

  51. Can anyone tell me why gravatars are malfunctioning at the moment. Some work, some don’t?

    Comment by petite — October 3, 2005 @ 4:05 pm

  52. When I tried to sign in at the site, it told me “ is Down for Maintenance”. But it’s been doing that for several days!

    Comment by srah — October 3, 2005 @ 4:30 pm

  53. Thanks Tim, that’s been bugging me all day.
    And did you used to do the Temple of Love dance too
    (bet Petite did).
    Anyway Petite, no-one as sussed as you and Jim go into a relationship involving children on both sides if you weren’t mad about each other.
    It’s good he was with the other lady and it’s good he has children too. Now it’s your turn, so enjoy it! We’re all with you.

    Comment by Flighty — October 3, 2005 @ 6:40 pm

  54. What I think has been missed here (at least I haven’t seen it discussed) is the fact that jealousy is a primal instinct, a holdover in the most basic part of our human brains. It is the animal portion of our psychological make-up.

    Jealousy is part and parcel of the same instincts that make humans territorial creatures. The difference here is that unlike our ancestors, we have the capability to control it. Our more complex brains have the ability to override our basic, animal instincts, as well as the effects of social conditioning.

    Now I know this sounds very cold and didactic, but, it is still normal.

    Petite, I think your decision to share your feelings with your lover is a good one. It is the best way to not only reassure yourself, but to shove down those nasties into your mental Pandora’s box.

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — October 4, 2005 @ 3:06 am

  55. I’ve been wondering whether to comment for this post, but what Laura said struck a chord.

    I have also been in Laura’s position and I would agree with her. This is something which needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later, as it can become a poison which subtly, insidiously, almost without you noticing, spreads through the whole relationship. When that lovey-dovey, passionate, obsessive phase of your relationship with Lover cools down a little and develops into something more stable (as it shall) you need to make sure that what it evolves into is healthy, honest and free of jealousy. Jealousy is NOT an integral part of love in my opinion. It is about fear and low self-esteem. A person who is jealous is afraid that who and what they are isn’t enough to keep the person they love in love with them, and that somewhere out there is someone who has what they don’t, and thus has the power to take away their most precious possession (I choose my words carefully). I’m glad you’re able to discuss it with Lover, but I really think you should consider it an alarm bell.

    I hope, of course, that I’m wrong as far as you’re concerned. But as I say I’ve been there and it sneaks up on you- forewarned is forearmed, as they say. ;)

    Comment by suziboo — October 4, 2005 @ 9:16 am

  56. Paris t’embrasse !

    Comment by mimidup — October 4, 2005 @ 9:48 am

  57. Suziboo,
    I agree with your point about the fear of losing one’s ‘most precious posession’. Given that description, surely fear of loss is by definition logical, whatever one’s level of (in)security.
    I disagree with your comment that jealousy is not integral to love, partly for the above reason, but also because jealousy is directly proportional to the sexual pleasure one feels (and witnesses) with one’s loved one. I defy you to be jealous of someone you are not having great sex with. That’s the confusing/disturbing thing about it. It’s got less to do with envy of some rival’s personal or financial assets, as you are arguing (I think).
    Actually, I think the very fact of having great sex reminds one of the inherently pleasurable nature of sex, and our unlimited appetite for it. Hence the fear of being substituted? Perhaps jealousy is the foreknowledge of the end of the relationship.

    Comment by dan — October 4, 2005 @ 1:30 pm

  58. That came out really negative, sorry…not a reflection on your relationship, Petite, just thinking out loud.

    Comment by dan — October 4, 2005 @ 1:42 pm

  59. Great sex eh? You may be on to something there.

    (Sorry mum.)

    Comment by petite — October 4, 2005 @ 2:58 pm

  60. dan,

    The reason I feel that jealousy is not integral to love is that I have never, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, felt jealous in my life. I have certainly loved though, and I’ve also had some damn good sex ;)(with the same people I hasten to add). So I would have to disagree that sex and jealousy go hand in hand, as you seem to suggest. On the contrary, in my experience, jealousy in a relationship, and I’m talking about real, obsessive jealousy, kills slowly but surely sexual desire because as Laura mentioned, the “victim” (hate that word) of the jealousy begins, without wishing to, to edit out certain details which might cause pain to their jealous loved one, and suddenly, the relationship is no longer 100% honest. Which of course the jealous person perceives as, “If you can lie to me about that, what else do you lie about?” That kind of mistrust and fear is, I have to say, diametrically opposed to all that makes sex great, for me anyway.

    Interesting though, to speculate that the jealousy I have experienced was because I was great in bed! So perhaps I should have taken it as a compliment? I don’t know, I still feel that it was the *perceived* threat that others posed which was the problem. I couldn’t get him to understand that he was the only one I saw.

    Comment by suziboo — October 4, 2005 @ 3:11 pm

  61. Nice blog.I like this.

    Comment by Nick — October 5, 2005 @ 8:14 am

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