Friday, January 22, 2010

Oh jealousy...What a nasty little thing you are

Main Entry: jeal·ou·sy
Pronunciation: \ˈje-lə-sē\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural jeal·ou·sies
Date: 13th century

1 : a jealous disposition, attitude, or feeling
2 : zealous vigilance

Jealousy is the only vice that gives no pleasure”

“If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.”

-Cesare Pavese

While I am definitely not proud of it, I must admit that I have a problem with jealousy. Yuck! It's awful to have to be so truthful. No one likes to believe that they can be a jealous person. Everyone likes to think of themselves as great people, with kind hearts, and likable. Get real...not everyone is all those things. If it were, in fact, true...we would be living Heaven on Earth and that clearly is not the case. At least not from the street that I'm on. 

So my jealousy tends to appear about the time that something is happening with my husband. Most recently it was when he announced that he had a "business" trip out to Las Vegas. Really?! A last minute business trip that is not planned at all, but with the purpose of having a board meeting one of the days out there. So when he first tells me about it the second thing out of his mouth is, "So Jim likes to go to strip clubs, if that happens I want to go." Not really sure how that fits in with a business trip, but whatever. The mere fact that he's telling me that he wants to go is a whole other blog all together. 

Well, I resigned to just go with the flow. There was nothing that I could do about it and really when I thought about it, what was the big deal anyway. I made the decision that I was going to be supportive of the trip and continue with my personal changes. One of them is to express my love for my spouse through how I talk to/with him. So he leaves on a jet plane on Wednesday and honestly, I was okay with it. When I would feel it trying to creep up on me, I would take a deep breath and be resolved to move forward. It was working and I was doing well. Then last night I was exchanging texts with my husband right before bed and this is how it went:

 "don't be jealous, but Jim is talking about taking a select few to see Garth...I'm stoked." 
"Who? Garth as in Garth Brooks"
 "You know it...I'm excited"

Now anyone who is from the Midwest, especially Oklahoma, knows who Garth Brooks is. It's his home state and whatnot. If you're a country music fan, Garth Brooks is like the Hank Williams of our generation. He was retired and there was talk about him coming out of retirement. Apparently, he did and is in Vegas. Seeing as how I enjoy country music and was, well, raised on it...seeing Garth Brooks would be an amazing opportunity. My husband...well, Garth Brooks is about his extent of country music. I'm exaggerating here...but his country music taste is limited. First, to start the text with "don't be jealous.." that is a clue and who would not be jealous when you hear that someone you know is might get to see Garth Brooks in concert! 

Needless to say, I was jealous. I was angry and jealous. I was quickly becoming a very unhappy wife. Angry thoughts were rushing through my head. 

"Why is it always him? Why am I the one who is always left home. 
I am the one who hates living here. Why am I the one who has be stuck here. 
When we got to together my life just kept going down and his has just kept getting better. 
How is that possible? 
Because of this debt...that was created by my husband and his ex-wife...I am not doing what I want to do. They were irresponsible, not me. 
She should be the one helping to pay of this debt and he should be the one sitting at home. 
But no, she's not paying and he's not at home. 
His job has him traveling all over the place, all the time!

I did try to take some deep, calming breaths to regain focus. For one, he said talking about seeing wasn't definite. With all these negative thoughts pushing their way around my head, I had to sit and read for a bit. I had to take my mind off of it and relax again or I was never going to get any sleep. Of course, before that I sent my sister a text asking about their cruise I thought they were going on in February. If he was going to get to go on all these mini-vacations, then I was taking one too. Screw the budget. I'm not going to sit here anymore!! Fast my book and then fell asleep.

Now last night, Rob had sent another text stated that Garth was sold out. When I got around to reading it, I had two rather different was of vindication! Ha, teach you. But that one was quickly replaced by guilt. Awful, awful guilt. What kind of wife was I? What kind of person was I? Why would I not want my husband to have a good time and enjoy himself? Did I not what him to? Of course not. I want him to be happy. I want him to be able to enjoy things. What I don't want is for him to enjoy things without me. What I don't want is for him to get to have all these amazing opportunities without me...and I get left behind. Still never experiencing anything. Still stuck in unhappiness. That's what I didn't want. So I felt bad about it, but decided to forgive myself. I thought it would be a good idea to talk to Rob about it and go from there. Throughout the day, however, my thoughts of unfairness were bubbling below the surface. I was still blaming him for my unhappiness and an occasionally accusation would push into my active thinking. I was still determined to talk to him about it, to apologize for my behavior. 

When he finally woke up and called, he sounded kinda down. We talked a little about this and a little about that. It was bothering me that he seemed upset, so I asked him about it. He wasn't having the best of time. While the trip was a company "get together", the company wasn't offering any money to do anything. He could use his company card for necessities, but not for activities like going to a show or gambling...anything like that. Because of our budget and it not being planned for...he has no money to do anything. If he is not doing something with the group, then he was back at his hotel room; which is not one of luxury. Incredibly slow internet, small t.v., no fridge.... He was frustrated that the company insisted that they come out, but didn't think to include money for activities. Unlike the other guys, he's not getting an extra retirement checking coming in and we are living on a budget. Overall, I think he was feeling a little left out; as well as, frustrated that the company didn't think of such things. 

Hearing him talk about how he was feeling made me feel even more guilty than before. He was having to deal with the constraints of the budget and feeling a bit left out too. He wasn't having the amazing vacation that I was picturing in my head. It did help put it more into prospect. 

Looking back on my behavior, especially my thoughts, I am more embarrassed than ever. I am ashamed of my behavior and can't believe I was so childish. How could I find even the slightest bit of enjoyment out of my love's disappointment?! How awful jealousy can be. How terrible that I let it get the best of me. 

I have made it to the point of being able to recognize it and do what I can to address it right away or deal with it after the fact. I love my husband...but I don't love my jealousy. I long to be rid of it. I know that it would be silly to believe that I will never feel a slight pang of jealousy again; but, if only a slight pang every now and again was all I felt...I would be embracing the difference. I look toward the future in hope of these feelings being long past...but until that time comes, I will be raging a war on it...winning some, losing some...but continuing regardless. The battle will be won and I will be victorious.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.  (Romans 12:15)

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