Q My fiancé says I am too jealous and that it’s getting in the way of our relationship. But it’s just the way I am. She’s not exactly helping the situation. I’ve told her I don’t like it when she talks to other guys and dresses too sexy. And she’s always on her phone. What am I supposed to do?
A ‘Not caring’ is not the flip side of jealousy, as jealousy is not about caring. Jealousy is a feeling of suspicion, rage, impotence and possessiveness that stems from deep insecurity and a lack of self-worth. It’s not something that is caused by someone else’s behaviour. In this case, your jealousy is not caused by your fiancée talking to other guys or wearing ‘sexy’ clothes. Those things might trigger vulnerable feelings you have around your own self-worth or attractiveness, but they’re not the cause of those feelings.
To find the cause you will probably have to look at your personal history, maybe even as far back as childhood, to examine where these insecurities started for you. This isn’t ‘just the way you are’. It’s a coping mechanism that can change if you want it to. And the onus is on you to make these changes.
Expecting someone else to ‘compromise’ – in effect changing themselves – in order to accommodate you and stop you from feeling bad is not the solution. That’s like telling someone to put on a jersey because you’re feeling cold. And your fiancée is right. Jealousy, suspicion, distrust and accusations – not to mention the really manipulative behaviour of trying to change her to suit you – is going to usher in the end of the relationship.
I’m not saying that there aren’t people who will go out of their way to push your buttons, but then you need to ask yourself why you would want to stay with someone like this? Instead of seeing your jealousy as proof of caring, you need to see it for what it is. If you don’t, you will only carry this destructive behaviour into subsequent relationships. Get help from a therapist if you feel you need some guidance in this.
Do you have a jealousy problem?
You may have a problem if you:
• Check your partner’s social media platforms all the time.
• Sneakily check their phone, email
and calendar behind their backs.
• Call them all the time to check up
on where they are.
• Get angry or sulky if they pay anyone else attention.
• Expect them to behave or dress
in certain ways to ‘stop you’ from being jealous.
• You are suspicious of any male
that speaks to them, no matter how innocuous the interaction.
Once a week…
Is how often you should be having sex to maintain optimum happiness. Long term research into sex, love and happiness has revealed that while a couple’s general life contentment increases with sexual activity – it peaks at sex once a week. The study,
led by social psychologist Amy Muise of the University of Toronto-Mississauga, looked
at established heterosexual couples between 1989 and 2012. Says Muise: ‘Our findings suggest that it’s important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner, but
you don’t need to have sex every day as long as you’re still maintaining that connection.’
Do you take your daily fitness seriously? You’ll be pleased to hear that Spanish start-up Geeksme has developed a new smartwatch that will track your sexercise output. Set your watch to ‘love mode’ and the device will monitor the frequency, duration and intensity of your ‘workouts’.
Men fall in love quicker
It turns out men may be the more love struck of the sexes. Research psychologists from Pennsylvania State University, Marissa Harrison and Jennifer Shortall,
set out to find which of the sexes catch feelings first and came away with the conclusion that this particular honour belongs to men. Publishing their findings in the Journal of Social Psychology, they revealed that men experience feelings of love – and express this – almost three times more than women do. So if you’re feeling the need to gush, you’re not alone.
8 000 The number of nerve endings in the female clitoris
4 000 The number of nerve endings in the male penis
DID YOU KNOW
British spies in the First World War experimented with using human semen as invisible ink. Since it was undetectable and readily available, the officers thought they’d found the perfect solution for their secret messages. Unfortunately, the idea had to be abandoned when correspondents started noticing unusual smells from the ‘secret’ letters.