January 13, 2020

To Those Who Struggle with Relationship Jealousy – A Final Unapologetic Message

As you are now aware, I am in the process of sharing my final thoughts with the world, one personal message at a time. This message contains my final words and thoughts to those who struggle with jealousy in their relationships.

Dear all too human friends of mine,

These are my final words to those who get jealous in their relationships, and also (in a lesser degree) to those who struggle coexisting with a jealous partner. Can we all have an honest and real discussion about jealousy for a moment? What it is, and what it isn’t? What it does, and what causes it?

In my experience, there are two types of jealousy. There is cute jealousy, which I also consider healthy jealousy. Cute jealousy is the internal squirm a person feels in small moments of insecurity, such as when someone flirts with their partner. To be cute jealousy, the feeling can never turn into anything more than that squirm we all know too well, and (in my opinion) it is a healthy jealousy to have. After all, would you ever want to be with someone who literally, in no way, gives a shit what happens and with whom?

Healthy jealousy can exist in almost any relationship because no matter how strong our relationships are, every one of us knows in our subconsciouses that our relationships could actually come to an end. We can’t possibly know what the first catalysts might be that would become the beginning of the end, and so things like strangers flirting with our partners make us squirm a bit as they tap into our subconsciouses and remind us that nothing is guaranteed to be permanent.

If someone in a relationship never feels any (and I mean any) healthy jealousy, then their partners should be worried much more than if they catch them squirming. Complete indifference in a relationship is not a healthy relationship.

That’s all I will say about healthy jealousy, except for this: learn how to look at it as cute and endearing in your partner, because that’s what it is. It’s your partner telling you that they still very much care that you see them as the one you want to be with.

Let’s talk more thoroughly now about unhealthy jealousy in a relationship.

I have learned a thing or two about unhealthy jealousy, what it can cause, and how to overcome it in a relationship. I have been the jealous partner and I have had jealous partners.

People don’t tend to be open and honest about unhealthy jealousy when it is a struggle in their own lives, and I understand that what I’m writing today might paint me in a less than ideal light to those who have been hurt by jealousy, but you all know me by now… Share my shit with the world, come what may.

Anyways, when I graduated high school 22 years ago, I had no confidence with girls and no self-esteem whatsoever. I was heavily bullied in school, I was obese, and I certainly did not feel a lick of belief that I was truly lovable by anyone.

That last part was probably the most important in this discussion of relationship jealousy: I did not believe I was truly lovable by anyone.

So, knowing that, what do you think my response and actions were once I finally landed love in my life?

At first, if I’m being honest, it wasn’t jealousy at all, as I would probably expect should be the case. It was actually what seemed to be indifference.

I remember I had my first girlfriend in college, who was also the first girl I had ever kissed. We had agreed we were exclusive.

Several weeks in, we had this mutual friend who we went to visit together, and she got kind of flirty with him. I don’t remember thinking much of it. Then this mutual friend asked if we were dating, and with me sitting right there next to her, she told him “no, we are not.”

We broke up without any drama at all that very night, but the reason I bring this up is to tell you that in that moment, I just felt kind of like, well duh. Why would she ever want me over literally anyone else? In other words, the moment that happened fit perfectly with the story of myself that I already believed deep down. All she did was type the words, “the end” onto my own narrative for me.

The next girlfriend was a young woman I ended up marrying. Something changed in me. I went from indifference with my first girlfriend to absolutely crazy jealous with my wife. If she talked to another guy in any way that didn’t make me feel secure, I let her have it verbally. If she looked at a guy in a way I didn’t like, I let her have it again.

What changed between my first girlfriend and my wife? I don’t have an answer for that, only an educated guess. I think what changed was the surface-level belief that marriage meant she was mine and that she had to love me and only me, godamnit. We’ll get into the “ownership” problem later, but for now just look at the surface-level belief, which I promise you was surface-level.

The real problem was that while my thoughts told me we were locked-into the relationship for life, my subconscious very much knew the real truth, which was that nothing is guaranteed to be permanent when it comes to relationships.

And isn’t that where unhealthy (crazy) jealousy is born?

Isn’t unhealthy jealousy just what happens when one’s surface-level thoughts of a partner’s love somehow belonging to us gets mixed together with the subconscious knowledge that nothing is guaranteed to be permanent, and then all of that gets swirled together with the self-belief that we are not actually lovable?

It’s a guaranteed recipe for absolute mental disaster and emotional chaos in anyone trying to navigate love and a relationship. From the outside, the rest of us see overly jealous people treating the ones they love so viciously and we think, what an asshole. That bitch is crazy. God, that relationship must be so bad with that terrible jealousy and control going on all the time.

I am not going to pitch any other reality here. Terrible jealousy is just that… Terrible. But it’s something so much deeper and more complex than what we realize looking in from the outside, where we only see what we perceive as terrible people doing terrible things to each other. It’s not that. Not really. It’s hurting people doing terrible things to each other, and that’s a very important difference.

I didn’t know how to process watching my wife talk to some other guy (and pretty much any other guy).

I didn’t know how to handle hearing her talk to some other guy or laugh with some other guy.

I didn’t know how to process some other guy being friendly or flirty with her, except to assume that any one of those moments, as they happened, were more or less guaranteed to be the catalyst for her to…

You guessed it:

…Realize that she didn’t love me, she had never actually loved me, and that she could quite easily find so much better than me.

After all, that was what I believed about myself, wasn’t it? Deep down. I believed it so deeply that I had no control over how that belief presented itself. I didn’t just subconsciously believe that the relationship might end; I subconsciously believed that it would end.


Unless I could somehow control it all and keep the end from ever happening.

Enter jealous rage.

As complex a thing as jealousy is, it really is just that simple, I think. It is the subconscious belief that controlling the environment of one’s partner, thereby controlling that partner’s actions and thoughts, will keep “the inevitable” from ever happening the way we believe it absolutely will if we don’t intervene.

So, we fight to fucking control it all. We fight to make sure nothing ever fucking happens that could even lead to a thought in our partner’s head that could lead our partners away from us.

The reason why, in my opinion, it is so important for us to fundamentally understand what actually creates jealousy is because knowing what creates it is the only way to fix it and eliminate it. And, friends, if you have unhealthy jealousy in your relationship, it does need to be fixed. It does need to be eliminated.

Before I talk about fixing it, though, can I just get you to admit something to me?

Isn’t unhealthy jealousy just really fucking exhausting as a whole? Don’t you get tired of having it and letting it out to play dirty in your relationship? Don’t you just get so worn down putting so much effort into it keeping the monster alive?

Unhealthy jealousy (aka trying to control the complete environment of one’s significant other) takes work, it takes effort, and it takes a lot of both. I just want you to admit that it is an absolute energy drainer, constantly. Can you admit that?

How about we get rid of it, then? How about we ease your burden and get rid of that which drains your life of so much energy all… the… fucking… time?

Here is what I have learned about that.

First, I think it is important to distinguish between unhealthy jealousy with partners who are faithful and devoted partners, and with partners who are just chronically unfaithful.

If you have a partner who is chronically unfaithful, and who gas lights you about it, and who makes your life hell… Do not work on becoming unjealous with them. Your jealousy is there for a damn good reason. Just fucking believe in the truth that oozes from every action they take and every lie they make, and grow the coconuts to walk away and leave them for good. If fidelity is so important to you that you are forced to live a life of constant jealousy just to keep your own sanity about you, then you deserve better. Get the fuck out of the relationship. Boohoo. It’ll hurt. But it won’t hurt as bad as constant infidelity, abuse, and your own jealousy draining you constantly.

If, however, you have a partner who has shown to be faithful and committed in the relationship… DO EVERYTHING YOU POSSIBLY CAN TO OVERCOME THE JEALOUSY. Was the bold and the caps locks enough to get my point across?

I am going to tell you something that (when dealing with committed, uncheating partners) you can take to the relationship bank… I highly suggest you commit this to memory and say the words aloud every single day until you get over your jealousy problems…

When you are jealous and controlling of any person, they will always be desperate to be free of that jealousy and control, somehow, in some way.

When you fully trust someone and they know that you fully trust them, they will always be desperate to keep that trust.

Before I was married, I had never known what unhealthy jealousy was, and so I had no idea how to control it or get rid of it when I suddenly was faced with it, but I promise you this…

I absolutely hated myself more each day for having it and not being able to control it, and (this is important), that only made the jealousy cycle worse. The more terrible and controlling the actions were that I took because of my jealousy, the more I felt completely unlovable, and so the harder I tried to control everything.

Here’s some more tough love. Unhealthy jealousy is abuse, and it falls into its own special self-loathing abuse cycle that is very difficult to break free from. But you can break free from it and your relationship can most likely heal if you haven’t done too much damage with your jealousy yet.

How did I break out of it when I experienced it?

I got help. I had to get help. I did not go through a professional, which is totally okay to do. I ordered a book, instead. This book: