I think it goes without saying that people who are insanely jealous — to the point where they track their spouse’s movements with a GPS or hire private detectives to watch them — have some serious issues going on.
Look — most of us have been cheated on, betrayed, lied to, or just plain done wrong in some way or another in the relationship realm. Some of us have also been the ones who cheated or participated in affairs. But eventually — one hopes — many of us can move on from these past experiences and subsequent heartbreaks to begin sustaining healthy relationships based on mutual trust and respect.
If I notice my husband giving a glance to another woman I can either react the way I would have 15 years ago, rushing to judgement based on my emotions and immediately thinking he wants to leave me OR I can realize that he’s not trying to intentionally upset me and that it’s totally okay for another woman to be attractive. She’s allowed to exist and be gorgeous. And people will look.
My husband isn’t lewd, disrespectful, or inappropriate towards women. Of course, I understand that some men are inappropriate. But there’s a big difference between observing people and acting out of line.
If you don’t trust your partner enough to go about their day or interact with others without the fear that they’re going to cheat on you, then you’re either with the wrong person or you need to work on yourself and hone in on why you’re so insecure.
There’s always going to be someone to be jealous of. There’s always going to be a man or woman who’s better looking than you think you are or has all of the attributes you think you’re lacking. There’s always going to be that fear of never being loved by anyone. We’ve all been there.
Just know that if you’re in a relationship or marriage your partner definitely sees other people. They see them at work, on the street, in restaurants, and basically anywhere else people gather. And once a while your partner may glance at an attractive person. I do it. My husband does it. We all do it.
It’s not another woman’s problem if I can’t handle the fact that she’s objectively hot. If my husband gave her a glance, I honestly wouldn’t blame him. It doesn’t mean he’s going to chase her down or try to come on to her. And the same goes for me. If a devilishly handsome man walks by and catches my eye for a few seconds, it doesn’t mean I’m about to cheat. It means I noticed an attractive person and then went on with my day.
If my husband and I are watching a movie and I have a crush on the movie star we’re viewing, I’m not afraid to say it and my husband isn’t either. It’s certainly not grounds for divorce.
Would it be nice to be as hot as some of those movie stars? Sure! But someone like that is really just a fantasy. I’m not a fantasy. I’m a woman who lives with the man she loves, maintains a home, raises kids, helps to run a business and countless other things.
My internal gauge of how hot I look to myself, my husband, or anyone else is based on many things, such as hormone fluctuations, how tired I am, if my roots are done, if I shaved my legs that day, or if I feel bloated. I could go on — but I think you get the point. No other person is responsible for the amount of confidence or self-esteem I bring into my relationship with my husband except for myself. And vice versa for him.
We get out of our relationship what we put into it. If we let external influences such as other people’s opinions or how attractive we think the other people around us are affect how we trust one another, then we’d be in for quite a bumpy ride.
Many people aren’t loyal. Lots of people do cheat. But if you’re going to commit to a relationship or marriage with someone, you have to cut them a bit of slack sometimes. Noticing that other people are attractive is not only normal, it’s instinctual.
Building trust within the folds of mutual respect and mutual acceptance is what makes a real relationship so divine. Learn to know the difference between what the real issues in your relationship are and what are simply your own insecurities.
More from Michelle: 5 Things Wives Should Know About Mistresses
You can read more from Michelle on her blog, The Pondering Nook & also listen to her co-hosting at The Broad’s Way Podcast. If you so desire, you can also follow The Pondering Nook on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter.