Yes, I know, hard to fathom the unbearable torment and unimaginable suffering of these men who never got to hear “Do you like her?” or “Do you think she’s pretty?” in a borderline hysterical, tight, strained voice. I’m such a cruel bitch.
My ex-husband used to bemoan my lack of jealousy, and he recounted endless tales of his ex-girlfriend, pushing the stories of her manic, militant need to know his every move and monitor his every eye flicker as if holding this behavior up as a standard to model and mold myself to.
My attitude about relationships, though, is that it requires a certain amount of work from me in order to be in them, so there must be enough positive returns to make it worth me hanging around. I don’t mind being single. So if a man informs me by words or by actions that he isn’t quite certain he wishes to be with me, then I would rather walk away and enjoy my “me” time instead of tormenting myself wondering if he likes me, does he like someone else, is he going to leave me, blah blah blah. I’ll simply exit stage right and take my pride with me.
Despite common male complaints about jealous women, I daresay many men don’t appear comfortable with a lack of jealousy either. “You’re too independent.” “Don’t you ever get jealous?” And even several attempts to deliberately try to arouse my jealousy, that simply annoyed me.
Little surprise, then, that the woman my ex-husband married after our divorce was the Queen of Jealousy. Maybe some people equate your attachment to, and your investment in, a relationship by how jealous you get. It is twisted logic, but many appear to subscribe to it.
In my starring role as The Evil Ex-Wife, I had very little intentional contact with Mr. Ex, but this didn’t curtain the Queen’s accusations and attacks. She just knew I was out to steal her man back, to entangle him in my lecherous clutches, and the fact that I breathed and had discernable brain waves was proof enough to her of my vile, cunning, harlot nature and the need to stop me in my man-hunting tracks.
Mr. Ex put forth some token protests and complaints, but it was clear he enjoyed her antics and her clinginess. It was bizarre to watch and realize that this is what he had wanted from me, something I was not equipped to give him (thank god). I watched the hysterical jealousy act and felt sorry for her, sorry for her lack of self-esteem and sense of worth, sorry for her willingness to bite the bait he dangled for her by calling me or mentioning me. Sorry that this masquerade of a partnership passed for love to some.
Do I have a point to this fascinating trip down Memory Lane? Why, yes, as a matter of fact, I do. In remembering the depths of Queen’s behavior, I wonder how much of the nasty, vicious behavior post-divorce is rooted in jealousy: between the exes, between the ex-wife and the stepmom, between the parents and even the kids. “I’m jealous” is about as likely to trip off someone’s tongue as “I was wrong”, but maybe it should, more frequently, at least to themselves. Masking emotions and labelling them something else, something easier to deal with, lets the wounds dive deeper and the poison spread faster.
*Photo courtesy of Petroville*