Seek and ye shall find.

I’d like to take a bit of time tonight to talk about jealousy, insecurity, control, and double standards. Basically, I’d like to tell you to KNOCK IT THE FUCK OFF RIGHT NOW, but perhaps a bit more finesse is needed. It’s worth a shot anyhow, right? Right. Let’s get started.

First off, I really don’t get the jealousy thing with couples, and I guess I really never will. I’ve never been the jealous type. If I’m in a relationship, I’m pretty secure about it and when I’m not, I either get out of the relationship or I talk about it with the other partner. But a relationship is about trust, and I guess if you don’t trust your partner (due to them giving you reasons or due to your own insecurity) then you shouldn’t probably be in that relationship to begin with. However, you should probably decide which of the above reasons is causing the distrust, and if it’s the latter, just own it and get over yourself already. If it’s the former, you should just get out. No point in dragging it out, or thinking that the other person will change. But, y’know, communication is a key item in any relationship, and if you’re not talking (and talking honestly), then eventually you’re going to behave like an asshole. And you’ll have nobody to blame but yourself.

Warning: Yeah, I’m gonna exorcise a couple of demons here in the name of making examples. It’s my blog, I can do that. Because reasons. Keep reading or don’t.

Example 1: A and B live in different states, and have a non-committed relationship. Every month or so, B will go to visit A for the week-end. Generally, they sleep in, laze around, eat snacks, occasionally go visit restaurants, watch movies, and just relax. Sometimes, A has things like work obligations or an obligation/event having to do with A’s offspring that take up some of the time on the week-ends. B doesn’t complain, seems pretty game for it all, and goes along without issue. One day, as their next visit is being planned, B gets an email from a friend asking for some help at an event going on in A’s city, while B is planning to be there. B checks with A, A says, “Hey no problem!”, and planning continues with that one day marked to help out B’s friend and everything else left pretty nebulous, as they tend to be on those week-ends.

Well, the week-end comes, B travels many hours to get to A’s city, but things seem okay until the evening of the Helping A Friend Day, when A comes a little unglued. The rest of the week-end is a little off-flavoured, but B has no way to fix it because A hasn’t stated a particular problem. So B makes a suggestion for dinner, A makes no counter-suggestion and says that the first suggestion is fine, they watch a movie, and the next day, B heads back home completely baffled as to WTF just happened. The next day, B gets a very very angry email from A, stating that B was incredibly self-centered, ignorant to everyone else’s wants and needs, wasted everyone’s time and was incredibly hurtful in the process. A says that B needn’t respond to seventeen paragraphs of bile and invective unless B can think of a legitimate reason that A & B should remain in contact. B chooses not to reply. A can’t take that, and so insists on incessantly calling and texting for the next week. A cannot understand why B wouldn’t want to be friends anymore.

This is all about control. A has previously had control of all of the week-ends, and hasn’t really had to work that hard at it. B went along with whatever was going on, be it a lazy day, getting up early on a Saturday to attend one of A’s required work functions, or anything else that happened along. The one time that B actually expressed a preference in activities ahead of time that took the focus from A, A freaked out. And didn’t communicate what was going on in their head. When A wrote the email, they chose to express their hurt and upset in such a vehement fashion that B was taken completely aback. A clearly stated that they thought the relationship and the friendship should end. But when B took A up on that, A tried again to control the situation by saying that they only said those things because they were angry, and maybe some of them weren’t true, and what do you mean we shouldn’t still be friends???

If A had, at any point, felt like actually discussing what was going on in their head, perhaps B would have reacted differently. Perhaps B would have suggested different activities, or found a way to fix the issues at hand. But A said nothing until the issues had festered, grown, and become (in A’s mind) totally insurmountable, hence the hyperbole. A went over the entire week-end in their mind, and looked for every possible slight, every tiny mistake, every perceived reason for hurt, and used them.

Any time you go into any situation looking to find the negative, you will find it. Without a doubt. Which is why I tell people to never look and pry into the lives of others they claim to love. Never read the journal you “accidentally” found. Never go into their phone and read their texts or emails. Never ever ever. You will either find what it is you’re looking for, or you will think that you’ve found it, blow something completely out of proportion, and then you’ll do something stupid.

Let’s go back to trust. Trust is important. So, in an ideal world, a person would be able to leave their houses and cars unlocked, and never have to worry about random people going in and rifling around in them. We call those people criminals, because when a stranger does such things, there are laws that they’re breaking. However, we don’t live in an ideal world. And we can’t even trust the people with whom we live and love and everything else. Which is why passwords are on telephones and computers and everything else. You lock your car. You hide your journal. You lock your phone. You protect your files on the computer. You do these things because the items within are yours, and belong only to you and those with whom you choose to share them.

What kills me is couples in which one person goes nuts when they can’t access the other’s phone or email or whatever. Listen: if you do this? If you read your SO’s texts or emails or ANYTHING AT ALL like that? Stop it. Stop it right now. Because it never ever EVER leads to anything good. What, you want to make sure that they’re not having improper conversations with other people? You want to know what they’re saying about you? No you don’t. You’re not their parent, you’re not protecting anyone from anything, and if you trusted them AT ALL, you’d let them have their conversations and never think another thing about it. It is, quite frankly, none of your goddamned business who they might be talking to or what they might be saying. If they choose to share some of that information with you, THANK THEM. They’re sharing, and they’re doing it of their own volition. When you attempt to control the communication of your SO with anyone else at all, you’re blatantly saying that you don’t trust them and that you’re also ragingly insecure and are making a power play in the relationship. There are even commercials that show people looking at their SO’s phones when texts come in, and showing that person on the edge of going bananas when they see that it’s a text from a person of the opposite sex, until the receiver of said text is able to come up with a good alibi. Not only does this condone lying to your SO, it also condones looking at things that are none of your damn business in the first place. I’ve never understood it, and I never will.

Let me tell you another story.

Example 2: We have Husband and Wife 1 and Husband and Wife 2 (hereafter referred to as H1, W1, H2, and W2). H1 decides that he needs a hobby, and finds one in something that he used to enjoy. While engaging in this hobby, he meets W2. They hit it off famously, and are soon fast friends, texting each other incessantly when they’re not engaging in the hobby together. The texting has become so constant that, when friends come across H1 and he has his phone in his hand, they automatically say, “Say hi to W2 for me”. But W1 doesn’t say much about it, just makes the occasional wisecrack and gives H1 the benefit of the doubt. This goes on for well over a year, when H2 and W1 find that they actually get along pretty well too, and declare that they are going to start hanging out as Hobby Widows when H1 and W2 are off engaging in said hobby. Everyone thinks this is fine, and H1 & W2 actually encourage this behaviour, so that neither spouse will be needlessly bored during Hobby Widow season (and, one imagines, less likely to bitch about the amount of time the hobby takes from the home life of both sets of couples). However, after a couple of months goes by, W2 suddenly starts making the occasional comment that says she’s unhappy with the friendship that’s sprung up between W1 and H2. She wants to know what they talk about. She doesn’t think they should spend so much time together, or talk to each other as much as they do. Of course, whenever the amount of time that she and H1 spend together or talk is brought up, her response is, “Well, that doesn’t count, because of the hobby! We’re doing or talking about the hobby!” (HELLOOOOOO, DOUBLE STANDARD! Because honestly, there isn’t a person in the world who would believe that the hobby requires literally thousands of text messages as well as time spent doing the hobby, rides to and from the hobby, after-hobby drinks/dinner, extra-hobby activities, etc. You simply cannot find enough things to talk about regarding the hobby to take up that much time and texting. You can’t. And saying that’s all it is that H1 and W2 EVER talk about just automatically says that the person to whom they’re offering this justification is either stupid or gullible in the extreme.)

Well, W2 hints around at a few things, and makes her distrust even more palpable and glaring, and eventually she reads the texts with W1 on H2’s phone. Saying nothing to H1 about it, she then accuses W1 of screwing her husband, and also tells H1 about it for good measure. She has taken her own meaning and applied it to an innocuous conversation, and in her mind, she has found evidence that he’s cheating on her.

NEVER. GO. LOOKING. Because now, what W2 has done is alienate W1 and H2 even more than her previous insecure actions have already done, and she has made a baseless accusation to and of a woman (W1) who has trusted her and given her the benefit of the doubt for a significantly longer time than could reasonably be expected. But W2 was positive that if she could just get past the password on H2’s phone, she’d find everything she needed to prove that H2 was screwing around, and went directly to his conversation with W1 for it. She honestly could have gone to almost ANY conversation and found it, though, because she was actively seeking it, and was willing to apply her own meaning to any conversation as long as it meant validating her mistrust and insecurity.

This happens every. Single. Time. Every time you go looking for something with your own verdict already in place, you will find it. It may not be true, but you’ll find it. Trust and communication have gone completely out the window, despite any trust you’ve been shown, despite any truth you’ve been told, because you’re actively looking for the opposite.

Oh, and by the way? Just another small observation here: The only people who accuse their SOs of cheating without actual SOLID proof? Are those who have cheated in the past or are currently doing so and wish to redirect the focus elsewhere. The accusation just reeks of guilt. Also, it’s the easiest way to GET your SO to cheat on you. Because if you’re going to accuse them of it and then punish them as though they have, many figure that they may as well go ahead and be guilty of it. They’re paying the price anyway. So, yeah. Way to go.

So basically, it comes down to this: If you go looking for misery, you will find it. If you are insecure, try to figure out why and address that first. If it’s something that your current SO has actually done, talk about it, work with it, and try to move past it (or break up). If it’s something somebody in the past has done (an SO, your parents, whatever), recognise that and don’t punish the current person in your life for it. But look at each situation for what it is, not for what it might be or what you fear it could be. Look at it clearly. Reasonably. And for fuck’s sake, mind your own damn business! (The first person who says, “It’s my SO, EVERYTHING they do is my business, there should be NO SECRETS!!!” gets a hefty kick in the shin from the Pointy Boots Of Regret. That’s bullshit. You just want to know all of their details but likely aren’t willing to hand over your own entire life with all of its details in return. Knock that shit off, because that rationale makes you a liar instantly.)

Close your eyes and take that leap of faith. Or keep ‘em open and dig through things that don’t belong to you and take a flying leap off of a tall cliff. I don’t really care which anymore, because if you do the first, you’ll be happier for it and if you do the second, I won’t have to hear you bitch anymore. End of line.