Monday, May 15, 2017

Toxic Jealousy vs. Protectiveness

Jealousy, the overly romanticized and normalized green eyed monster. It seems these days I cannot log into my facebook without seeing some naive person posting about how jealousy means you really love someone. I am so tired of the memes "your girl doesn't love you if she doesn't get jealous" or "my girl can only have three male friends: the father, the son, and the holy ghost." This is a form of abuse. It is an unpopular opinion, but if you are controlling any part of your significant others life (including who they can and cannot be friends with) you are abusive.

In my previous post, Identifying Jealousy & How To Deal, I went over the three types of jealousy:

  • Your needs aren't being met.
  • You aren't communicating properly.
  • And ownership.
The type of jealousy I began this post ranting about is ownership, and that is why it irritates me so badly to see it being normalized. You cannot own another person. You cannot own another person. You cannot own another person. 

While it is perfectly fine to feel protective over your significant other, saying they can or cannot do something based on your feelings is unhealthy. You can discuss why you do not want your partner to have friends of the opposite gender, but you cannot go on their facebook and make them delete all of their friends. You can talk about why you aren't comfortable with your significant other hanging out with someone in particular, but you cannot ban them from doing so. 

Let me give an example, I dated this guy, M1, back in 2015 and was deeply in love with the idea of being with him. PolyHubby saw that M1 was using me and that although I had thoroughly convinced myself that everything was okay, it was not okay.

M1 was in a bad place and that doesn't excuse how he treated me, but it explains why he treated me the way he did. He and I had a very unhealthy relationship, but I wanted to be with him so badly that I ignored all the red flags. 

Instead of banning me from being with M1, PolyHubby talked to me about the behaviors he was seeing and why they concerned him. PolyHubby could have gone a completely different direction with this, banning me from talking to M1, fighting with me about wanting to be with M1, but it was healthier for our relationship for him to talk to me about it. 

In this situation, PolyHubby was feeling protective of me because I was in a bad place. It is not the same as jealousy, but you can see where he handled it how I am suggesting you handle your protective feelings. You don't have to be jealousy and controlling to be protective. You don't have to own someone and monitor their every move if you love them.

Jealousy is, most of the time, unhealthy and presents itself in unhealthy ways. Can we please stop trying to normalize it? 

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