Jealousy is that lousy feeling you get in the pit of your stomach, and it makes you all shades of crazy. It feels like everything is happening to you at the same time; headache, internal heat, sweaty palms, blinding rage, loosened tongue, and a pain that is absolutely heartbreaking. That is what happens to you the moment jealousy holds you in its grip.
Life becomes a mess, your vision becomes blurred, your thinking becomes crooked, you seem to lack focus…it is a devastating emotion that can destroy a good thing. It can make you say, and do, things you will, more than likely, later regret but unfortunately can not take back. Jealously ruins relationships!
However, it isn’t bad in a healthy dose. It can provide the right balance in a relationship, but just the smallest step further, and you are in a place you would rather not be. When you have a gut feeling that your partner is cheating on you, jealousy is often the natural reaction. However, if all you are doing in basing your jealousy on just your gut feeling, with no proof to substantiate it, or if it is just a function of your insecurity, then there is a problem…a big one.
This type of jealousy is fed by fear, not fact. It is the fear of losing the other person…the fear of the other person finding out that there are, indeed, better options out there…that the grass is greener on the other side. That kind of fear can feed a self-created fit of jealousy.
Jealousy can be cute at first…but after a while, it gets tired, and old, and stifling. There is nothing sexy or attractive about a jealous partner. Rather than act as an endearment, it is a downright put-off. And instead of holding on to your partner, in most cases, the jealous party loses out in the end.
A member of our community, Nengi* could not get over the fear that her longtime boyfriend, Fola*, was cheating on her. He had just started working in a bank that was notorious for it’s light skinned and beautiful female staff. She was constantly checking his phone for anything incriminating, and found herself constantly driving by his branch, to see if she would catch him a compromising position.
She made sure she called all unknown numbers on his phone, and heaven forbid if it was a woman’s voice on the receiving end! She would rave, rant, curse, and warn off such women from her beloved Fola. The same fate met any women she saw around her Fola on his bank’s premises. Let’s just say that his colleagues witnessed one scene too many in the parking lot. The result was that she made him a laughing stock, not only to his colleagues, but, worse still, to the bank’s customers. Embarrassed and humiliated, he had ended their relationship. So, her jealousy had taken her nowhere in the end.
So, how do you know if your own jealousy has gone out of hand? The following are some key indicators:
1. If you are on your partner’s social media page, more than they are
Well, this one is called social media stalking. If you find yourself constantly monitoring what your partner is doing, who they are talking to, what they are sharing, who they are following, what posts they are liking…then we hate to break it to you, but you have become a full bona s.t.a.l.k.e.r! Worse still is when you extend this stalking to the pages of the suspected love interest(s) of your partner. If you find yourself scanning a stranger’s pictures as far back as 2007, colour yourself jealous! Doing this will only increase your blood pressure, not to mention heighten your feelings of insecurity.
And don’t get us started on the search for passwords and/or phone pins! So you find them…then what? Send messages to, or worse call, people you suspect your partner is cheating with, to warn them? Apart from making you look a fool, you gain absolutely nothing!
2. You call your partner throughout the day
Are you one of those people who become really agitated when their partner doesn’t answer his/her calls, or reply messages, in what you think is a timely manner? Do you become physically sick, and make yourself go crazy with you wonder, visualizing what could, or couldn’t be? As people who have been there, we know that this is a miserable life for the over-jealous partner.
3. You find yourself constantly second-guessing them and setting ‘traps’ to catch them in a lie
Do you find yourself constantly trying to verify information given by your partner, especially with respect to their location, associations and friendships? Have you set traps to deliberately catch them in a lie? Have you found yourself flying on Okada (in typical “Follow that cab” manner), just to trace them to a suspected lover’s nest? If you have answered yes to even one of those questions, you definitely fall into the cray-cray jealous category!
If any of these characteristics ring true for you; you need to ask yourself why you are so intent on hurting yourself this much. What do you intend to achieve from all this under-the-radar detective work? When you act with such senseless recklessness, you have lost control of your dignity and your pride. Your relationship, if it can be called that, now lacks one of the most important qualities it needs to thrive: Trust. Even if you have reasons to be suspicious, you are still responsible for how you behave in the relationship…and, sorry to break it to you, this is no way to behave.
To avoid acting like a crazy person, and allowing jealousy usurp your brain, there is need for self-love. You have to remove the focus from the other person and transfer it to yourself. If your partner has truly started straying, rather than wasting your energy throwing water out of a sinking ship, grab a life jacket and jump the heck out of it. If the ship can be salvaged, you can always get on board at the shore. But in the meantime, you have to focus on you!
The green-eyed monster kills relationships! Don’t let it be yours!
Kristine is a member of the The Lovelint team. She is a down to earth person, who says it as it is. Having given relationship advice for years in a national daily, she has found out that fear is one of the main reasons holding people back from enjoying a healthy, happy relationship. She is married with kids and is willing to listen to you and help as much as you let her to.