Dig Baton Rouge

East of the River: Hey, Jealousy

Jealousy is a base human emotion. Even babies want the toys the child next to them has instead of the one sitting right in front of them. In fact, jealousy is truly an animalistic instinct. A dog will steal a bone from another dog’s mouth before finishing his own.

At its core, jealousy is not rational. Jealousy is a feeling that most often you know is not warranted, but you can’t help but feel it anyway. Now, often cheaters will use that against a suspecting spouse. What is a gut instinct will be explained away as paranoid delusions. Besides those specific cases, jealousy in relationships is usually something you try to get over because you know it does you no good.

As a rational thinker in a good relationship, I try not to ever be overcome with jealousy. Sometimes, though, you can’t help but succumb to the feelings. Have you ever had a dream that a significant other cheats on you? You wake up and know it wasn’t real, but you can’t help but feel a little mad at that person. Rationally, you know you can’t be upset, but you have to fight with your brain to feel otherwise.

The same thing happens when hearing a partner talk about exes. You know that person has had past sexual experiences and, of course, you can’t fault them for that. But, it still feels gross to hear them talk about it. You have no right to be upset about something that happened in the past, but you still get that feeling in the pit of your stomach having to imagine them with another person.

Personally, I view innately jealous people as unintelligent. To me, it’s a caveman-like quality in a dude if he always gets jealous. Not to mention, there’s clearly not enough trust in the relationship. It is one thing to fight off those feelings, but it’s another to make decisions based off of them. And it’s even worse if someone uses their unwarranted emotions as an excuse to control their partner.

I’ve been lucky; none of my long-term relationships were with jealous men. Even the dude who was bi-polar gave me space to do my own thing. My first serious boyfriend was so anti-jealous he didn’t even mind if I cuddled with other boys when he wasn’t around. I remember wishing my boyfriend was more jealous because I felt like that meant he didn’t care enough about me.

Suffice it to say, I don’t have much experience when it comes to jealous partners. So, I got taken aback this weekend when one crazy woman flaunted her insecurities by being bizarrely jealous in a weird situation.

I rode on a float this weekend with a bunch of strangers. Apparently, they are notoriously known for being the party float of the parade. Thus, a lot of bad decisions were being made. And though I love to party, I am also a mom when it comes to things like blood sugar, dehydration and sunburns. So I definitely annoyed everyone by constantly offering snacks, water and sunscreen to anyone who would listen.

The guy who organized the float was working in the sun all day and I kept pestering him about putting on sunscreen. Finally, he did apply some, but I continued to pester him all day that he was burning. Many hours after the parade when we were about to leave to go home I made one final joke about SPF. His girlfriend responded quickly: “Do not speak to my man.”

I was shocked. My first thought was that she must have misunderstood me. Not to mention I was quite confused considering I had been joking with him all day, and she was nowhere in sight. Immediately, I said: “I’m just joking around. This is my husband right next to me anyway.”

“I don’t care,” she said. “I don’t like you talking to my man.”

I wasn’t going to start a fight, so I just walked away from the car. When we were still in earshot, we heard her say to the group: “I mean am I crazy? But–”

And before she could continue with her question my husband yelled back: “Yes, you are crazy! Talking sh*t to my wife for no reason. What do you think she’s going to do with me standing right here?”

By that point, I was basically running us to the car hoping to avoid a scene, but the hilarity of the situation wasn’t lost on me.

Of course, you can’t rationalize with an irrational person, but I still appreciate my husband standing up for me. And though he’s never gotten upset when a guy hugs me for too long, or I hang out with an ex, I like that he’s still ready to defend my honor…even if it is just to a crazy possessive woman. At least, he’s secure in our relationship and still obviously cares a lot about me.

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