When I was in high school, I had a boyfriend named Cam. Cam was clingy, depressed and suspicious of my friendships. He was also not above inventing situations to “test” my loyalty. “My buddy told me you got together with a guy at a party,” he once accused.
“What? Who said that? What guy? What party?” I sputtered.
“I can’t tell you. I promised I wouldn’t say,” he responded.
Amazingly, I took the bait and we argued about this alleged incident all night as Cam alternately accused me of cheating and then swore not to leave me if I just told him the truth.
The truth was that nothing had happened. But by the time Cam finally believed this and admitted to his lie, it was with a lame explanation: “If I didn’t love you so much, I wouldn’t get so jealous.”
I’d like to say I broke up with him then and there. But partly because I was convinced he would fall apart without me, I put up with his insecurities far longer than I should have.
And yes, this breed of jealousy is usually born of insecurity.
!Sometimes jealous people say things like, “I was cheated on in the past, so I can’t trust anyone now.” Other times they flip the script. “I’m only jealous because you’re such a flirt.”
If you hear either of these things, remind yourself they are just excuses, and not very good ones. Then run far away.
Jealousy isn’t cute and can easily move beyond whiny accusations into full fledged control mode. The partner who hates when you spend time with friends, tries to turn you against your family, explodes over what you wear, and why you didn’t pick up your phone immediately, isn’t showing great commitment and devotion. He’s showing seriously abusive behavior.
It’s not as if there is never a reason to be jealous. But overblown, baseless jealousy isn’t a sign that you have a deep passion meaningful relationship. It’s a sign that your relationship is in trouble, and as I’d like to tell my high school self, that kind of trouble just isn’t worth investing in.
What do you think about jealousy? Ever experienced anything similar to my realtionship with Cam?