Monday, May 21, 2012

Things That Make You Go Green

When getting married, your partner becomes everything to you; a spouse, a lover and a friend for starters. That friendship could be built on or integrated to strengthen the bond and relationship between husband and wife. But then, does that mean your spouse will be your only friend?

I’ve seen it happen a lot; one gets married and cuts off any and all friendships with the opposite sex. Although it has yet to happen to me personally - at least not with someone close enough to matter - I fear the day it does happen. It all just seems so sad. You’ve been friends for x amount of years and suddenly, nothing? I mean the friendship is expected to experience a shift in boundaries once one or both sides are married, that’s normal with any friendship of any gender and any culture too. But cut off altogether? It makes me feel like the friendship was cheap and meaningless, feels like it wasn’t supposed to happen or it was wrong to be friends in the first place.

I don’t know if this cutting-of-the-ties is done on the spouse’s request or it’s some sort of unwritten rule. If it’s the latter, I wish someone would go ahead and just write a rule stating otherwise to cancel out this unwritten version. But like I said, with the start of any serious relationship one does naturally step back a bit with friends, and that’s usually if they consider their partner separate from their friends. Couples who socialize together and have the same group of friends could be either very lucky or unlucky (more on that later).

Do people really discuss this though? When a couple starts to get serious do they discuss who they will and will not continue their friendships with? I know in some cases there is always that jealousy from friends, especially if your partner does not like your friends. And in those cases sometimes there is a clear and resounding “them or me” ultimatum. I can never picture myself in such a situation and God forbid I ever find myself in one. I would hate to have the person I love ask me to cut ties with the people I’ve been close to probably and most likely far before he was ever a part of my life. And vice versa, I would hate to ask that of anyone.

The idea just makes me sad. I don’t want to have to say goodbye to any one of my friends, and I don’t want to lose any one of my friends for this reason. One may be willing to do this for a partner at first but that might breed resentment further down the line. Of course this applies to close friends; I’m not talking about people you merely know. For those you just ‘know’, if you’re partner just does not want you near them for whatever reason no matter how ridiculous, they’re not worth the battle, regardless of 'principle'. So in cases like this I would understand how it's best to respect your partner's wishes at least to some degree. But with close friends, it boggles my mind how people let go so easily without a fight. If crazed jealousy is to blame here, the friendship can be a bit more limited without total destruction. If you genuinely feel or even notice that a certain 'friend' is being a little more than friendly, consider just talking about it. Mention it once, twice, 10 times. Actually discuss what you see/feel and let your feelings on the matter be known. Let the decision to deal with this person be their own. If they sense discomfort from your end, give them a chance to do something on their own accord. As long as they do so with conviction and not simply to shut their partner up!

"....the demon of jealousy, that dragon which slays love under the pretense of keeping it alive." 
- Havelock Ellis, On Life and Sex: Essays of Love and Virtue (1937) 

Jealousy is a monster I have yet to meet. I have met envy, boy have I met him! We are very well acquainted. But jealousy, especially the irrational kind that pushes one to unthinkable lengths, has never stood before me. To me jealousy is a mythical creature, sort of like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster. I don’t believe in mythical creatures beyond the realm of myth. Which is why I cannot comprehend how one could allow something not real to cloud their judgment time and time again? You tell me your spouse is jealous of your friend. Pray tell me dear spouse, why are you jealous of this friend when it is you who are envied for being lucky enough to call your other half your own? Why are you so worried you will lose your love to this friend when your love has chosen to be with you? He/she could have chosen the friend, but they didn't. If fear of losing them is due to lack of trust, that’s a whole other ball game here. The question you should be asking is why would you be with someone you fear will leave you (again?) so easily if you didn’t keep them on a short leash? Forgive me but I see nothing loving or romantic about having to keep tabs on your spouse to keep them from slipping through your fingers. And keeping them from friends to avoid them slipping away will only delay the inevitable, not prevent it. Although I can't deny that people do feel jealousy, I can fault them for how they choose to act on it.

“Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy - in fact, they are almost incompatible; one emotion hardly leaves room for the other.” 
- Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
Jealousy and trust cannot coexist in a single relationship. Oddly enough just as some might see jealousy as a clear indication of lack of trust, others see the absence of jealousy indicative of lack of love! My partner is not jealous ergo he/she does not love me. Wow, some logic! Don't try and convince me there is a healthy kind of jealousy because it will never stay 'healthy'. As soon as it rears it's ugly green head even slightly, it will drag the rest of its ugly body around with it, and it will grow and fester within your relationship. However, I do believe one can be protective of their spouse, now that would be out of love in my opinion. But the minute you allow jealousy in, it will slowly but surely chase the trust out and eat at a once healthy love.

Since when does your partner micro-manage your social life and dictate who you may and may not befriend? When did love give them the right to do such a thing? Where’s the trust in all this? You want to be a part of each other’s lives, be a part of it as it is. Do not try to bend it at will to fit your liking, and that goes for the people in their lives, regardless of gender. Even worse still is when a spouse urges the other to cut ties with family members. The audacity of such requests drives me mad! That is genuinely how I see the issue, I do not see anyone has the right to tell me who to keep in my life and who to kick to the curb. But alas, not many people share this view.

People may believe that in a relationship, sacrifices such as this must be made for the sake of compromise, to please their other half. If and when the sacrifice is constantly going both ways - a two-way stream – I could perhaps say that’s fair. Foolish, but fair. They wanna play the sacrificial lovers that will do anything for each other, I get it (not really but I’ll let it slide). However I for one strongly believe there is such a thing as too much sacrifice and it leads to resentment. You shouldn’t need to give up so much for someone who supposedly loves you for who and how you are, not how they expect you to be. I’ll reserve this theory of mine to discuss in a later post in more depth.

Until then, if anyone has any pictures of 'jealousy' sightings as proof of existence, please share!


  1. in my opinion, a real man would never allow his wife to have any kind of relationship with any man outside the known boundaries of professionalism and stuff. That real man will make sure that cutting off of potentially harmful relationships is worth it .. or so i believe ;)
    I'm 1 of those women that believe that absence of jealousy indicates lack of love. a little bit of jealousy of course, not the crazy "don't talk to anything that moves" kind of jealousy...

    1. To each his/her own! And hopefully a real woman would expect just as much from her husband, no?

      I believe that little bit of jealousy is more out of possessiveness than love, and I don't take lightly to being seen as a possession. This is why I hate jealousy regardless of dosage. With true love and honesty, there will be no room for insecurities such as jealousy.

  2. I respectfully disagree, the kind of jealousy I'm talking about has absolutely nothing to do with insecurity. i see it as a beautiful part of love...
    I find it very Interesting how opinions differ.

    1. Different perspectives give different opinions, it's a beautiful thing to see. If jealousy is what floats your boat then I wish you the right amount of jealousy to make you the right amount of happy :)

  3. Jealousy is to an unfit relationship as STD are to unsafe sex. Jealousy is an irrational feeling that will take over any relationship if you greet it with arms wide open, to justify jealousy by thinking that the absence of it results or indicates in ack of love is quite childish. One thing that i see many middel eastern women do is go on believe this lie, that without jealousy in the equation your husband doesn't love you. a civil relationship is a lasting relationship, and any relationship that welcomes jealousy is a recipe for disaster. along with jealousy comes suspicion, which is kind of like a second degree burn, suspicion is a bacteria that will eat you up alive. last but not least there is not such thing as a "real man" we are merely human beings, do not flatter the opposite sex with useless titiles such as "real man"

    1. *Applause*
      Suspicion is a second degree burn, I like that metaphor...

      If he is not jealous it is not because he does not care, it is because he trusts you. I'll choose trust over jealousy any day!