It had all started with an innocent telephone conversation (at least from her point of view, it was innocent), her caller had been a colleague from the office, who was trying to get updates about a work related issue on which they were both working. But the call came at the wrong time; Mercy and her long time boyfriend were in the middle of an argument about how much time she had been spending with the very person who had just called her. Although, she had excused herself to pick the call, her boyfriend soon heard her laughter. Here was someone, who had been close to tears, while they were talking and now she was laughing, not just smiling.
He was intrigued and at the green eyed monster’s prompting, immediately Mercy dropped the phone, he said, “I was right after all, it is the same person calling you right? I know you are seeing this guy, this is not just work related any more, you are having an affair with him and you are pretending to me. I’m not a fool” He shouted. “See, the way you were laughing over the phone, were you discussing work or something else…?
Mercy was lost for words to defend herself. He was right about whom the caller was, he was right that the call had not been related to the project they were working on together in its entirety. He was also right that she had started to feel as if her work colleague was looking for more than a platonic relationship. However, knowing this did not stop her feeling as though, her long time boyfriend did not trust her. Much worse, she thought, he was probably tired of her and was looking for any avenue to get rid of her.
After all, this was not the first time he would be accusing her of dating other men, this was the second guy in three months that her boyfriend had linked her with, all of which were false. It was one disturbing aspect of her relationship. He just could not stand not being only male in her life. If she so much as mentioned a guy’s name twice in a conversation with him, his antenna was up, and his expression would fall. Before long, questions will start about the guy she had mentioned. Unless, she had spoken about the guy in an unflattering way, was he ever happy. But that was not case all the time.
However, just as Mercy thought about the fact that her boyfriend may be trying to push her out of his life, she remembered; here was a guy who had been jilted more times than he could count by ladies. That, in turn had made him suspicious of every move of hers. From the story he told her; his very first girlfriend had left him for his best friend and ruined the relationship between them. And his last relationship before her was also a disaster. He had actually gotten engaged to the lady and they had started planning their wedding, but she broke it off, as she went off with another man. He got involved with Mercy after two years of being single after that incident.
So, he was a man used to expecting the worse from women and utilized attack as his defense. Unfortunately, Mercy was at the receiving end, even though she was nothing like the other ladies that had broken his heart into tiny pieces. Even he, would admit that he struck gold when he met Mercy but when jealousy took over, he would not see through the fog created by it. Coping with the situation was never a palatable one for Mercy but she loved him and would still wanted to marry him, when he had healed from the wounds of his past disastrous dating life. But quitting the relationship was always an option.
However, the story is different in the case of this married couple, the wife was the jealous one and she believed she had every reason to be so. They have being married for a long time but early on in their marriage, the wife discovered that her husband, who was born and bred on Lagos Island had an affinity for women. In fact he was what you would call a woman magnet. Women are drawn to him and his open personality did not help matters. In their neighbourhood, church, their children’s school, women ran in circles around him.
When she attempted to caution him that she was not comfortable with the way woman flocked around him, he merely dismissed her feelings. He said, she was allowing jealousy to becloud her judgement and that she knew he did not have anything to do with any other woman.
But after a while, she stopped going to church with him and started attending another church. The first Sunday, she did not go, she gave the excuse that she was tired. Accepting that as an excuse, he went to church with the kids, the second Sunday, the same thing happened, only they came back to meet, the wife’s absence from the house. Some few minutes later, madam walked in with the holy book in hand. It became a huge issue between them.
But when the wife narrated how she could no longer tolerate the sight of women regularly holding her husband’s arms as they pulled him in different directions for meetings, while he laughed and tried to persuade the women to let him go, as he would be attending both meetings anyway or all the other instances. That was just one instance that broke the camel’s back for her. She also told him of how, walking on their street resulted in her being asked about her husband by more women than men.
She thought she could cope by limiting the chances of her witnessing the jostle for her husband. Fortunately for her, husband agreed and today, she still goes to a different church other than her husband and nothing has changed except that they are much older now and definitely set in their ways.
Jealousy is a lousy visitor in any relationship; it saps the joy out of it, leaving it empty and the partners wondering why they chose the other person in the first place. Instead of bringing a couple together; jealousy can actually drive them apart.While jealousy might be a cry for attention, it may also be driven by the fear of losing the one you love. It is only human nature, after all, to crave for reassurance and love when doubt arises.
It might not be easy to sit and watch your partner have a good time with someone else or hug a friend, they have not seen for ages or even an ex, with whom they parted on a good note and whom you, knew about. But have you stopped to think about what you would do, if you were to be in their shoes. Wouldn’t you hug and kiss such a person even more? Would those few moments with the other person reduce your love for your partner?
Before, you go off on that next accusatory rant, think, what would I have done? Or not, if you are bent on destroying your relationship.
The ball is firmly in your court.