It wasn’t until fairly recently that I was able to pinpoint the exact reason for my jealousy when it came to my partner being with other women. I always sort of narrowed it down to my overwhelming inferiority complex that I’ve battled with since teenagehood.
She’s prettier than me, she’s cooler, she has a less hectic schedule, she’s better in bed, etc. I think that the women in his life are able to offer far more than I can causing my insecurities to surface.
I never really questioned that assumption until I was trying to communicate about my jealousy towards one specific person that my partner had an intimate friendship with. What made her so different than other women he’s formed these sorts of relationships with? Why did she make me feel so insecure and unhappy with myself when I felt nothing but compersion for the other women in his life? He began asking me questions to help me dissect those feelings when the answer eventually came out: she hardly acknowledged my existence.
From that point on it all made sense. I wasn’t completely off base when I assumed it was because I felt inferior, but the deeper reason behind that was the lack of respect that I felt I was getting. Any plans that I had attempted to make to even just meet her never lead to anything, nor was I acknowledged by her when in public with my partner.
We were always conditioned to see jealousy and envy in black and white:
“My partner is giving affection and time to someone else, therefore that I am jealous”.
However, it goes a bit deeper than that.
“I feel jealous because someone my partner is interested in might be better than me.”
And sometimes, depending on the situation, that can be broken down even further. In my case:
“I’m jealous because the person my partner is interested in thinks they’re better than me.”
There have been partners/women of interest that I have genuinely found either better looking or more enthralling than me, and I have felt nothing but happiness and excitement for him. It was more a feeling of wanting to high five him than it was questioning my own worth. The difference with these women is that they respect me, my boundaries, and the relationship my partner has with me.
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