Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The insecure partner

The insecure partner

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Monday, November 8, 2004 11:50 PM

It was Margaret Mead who said that “jealousy is not a barometer by which the depth of love can be read; it merely records the degree of the lover’s insecurity.”

True. And the greater one’s insecurity, the easier it is for jealousy to kick in. A very insecure man can get jealous at the drop of a hat regardless of the loyalty of the beloved. Little things, innocent in themselves, are seen as threatening.

A good-looking man who joins the company and works in the same office as the wife is immediately seen as a threat even before he opens his mouth. I know of jealous men who get furious if the partner looks at a stranger in a fast- food restaurant. And the two don’t even know each other.

The insecure person can get jealous and feel threatened at mere possibilities, at situations that might arise and persons that could come into the picture. His mind is always working. He wants to know every movement the beloved makes. He is suspicious of her calls and of the clothes she wears. He can get very unreasonable and take drastic measures when no real threat exists. I know of men who insisted that their wives stop working because of jealousy.

The insecure man (woman too) gets obsessively jealous because he senses that his woman is all he has. He doesn’t know what he will do, how he can survive without her. He believes all is riding on this relationship and if it doesn’t survive, neither will he. This is why the obsessively jealous man sometimes resorts to extreme measures and kills his partner and then turns the gun on himself. With his woman gone, he feels he has no reason to live and blows his brains out.

The man who is at peace with himself and has a reasonably healthy self-image isn’t jealous without reason. And when he is jealous, he does not hesitate to confront the issues at hand and look for solutions. He is confident that even if his relationship does not work out, he can and will love again. In short, he isn’t a desperate man who needs to desperately cling to his partner.

Steve Berman tells us that jealousy dies hard. “Intense jealousy is nothing less than a plea from a man’s deepest self to look at his darkest pockets of self-denigration, as well as at his deepest uncertainties about his desirability to women. When jealousy strikes, it’s time for a man to radically and honestly reevaluate himself.

“For a man, making peace with the jealousy that is eating him up means nothing less than making peace with his most despised shortcomings and his most fragile insecurities.”


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