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It’s hard for me to talk to my lover about her lover.

There was a time in my life when I was a decidedly jealous person.  In retrospect, I often feel like that is less a personality flaw of mine, than a product of the specific relationships I was in during my youth.  My first real girlfriend fucked her ex mere hours after having sex with me for the first time, so losing my virginity didn’t quite have that je ne sais quois advertised by word of mouth and media.  I was too great a pushover to end it though, and actually stayed with her (as much as can be said for any high school relationship) for three years after that, during which time she fucked two coworkers, a boss, and the same ex multiple times.  I was insanely jealous because I was too scared to end it, and I knew that she could be fucking someone else if I weren’t on my game.

Then Kelly.  I was still pretty fucked up from the first girl (I should really give her a pseudonym at some point), and I had difficulties trusting anyone.  I don’t know if it was my insecurity that eventually drove her to cheat on me, or if it was the kind of atmosphere fostered by her performance arts department (all those kids fucked like rabbits all the goddamned time), but it happened, and I was insane with jealousy and insecurity any time she was out with that crowd, doing a show, or whatever.  I couldn’t bear the idea of losing her, and simultaneously, hated that I was in another relationship where I cared so much for someone who cared so little for me.

I’ve often said that Kelly was a major milestone in my sexual education.  Aside from giving me the opportunity to explore certain facets of my sexual tastes, she also “drove me” to cheating.  I hate that phrasing, because it implies it was her fault, which is terribly unfair.  It was always in me to be a lecherous bastard.  I just needed an excuse, an opportunity.  Kelly gave me that excuse.  Because of her, I learned how to cheat and get away with it.  It’s a skill that I carry with me to this day.  Not one I’m super proud of, but there it is.

Kelly also taught me to stop caring so much.  After her, I let go.  I stopped trying to control the situation.  I accepted that people are weak and unreliable, and driven by carnal urges that no amount of love and respect can overcome.

Everyone–and I do mean everyone–has it in them to cheat.  And you have to be cool with that, or shit will drive you crazy.

So, in the decade since my relationship with Kelly ended, I have been incredibly mellow and laid back about sex and relationships.  It has caused several women to hate me, not because I cheated on them (I did, but they didn’t know that), but because I was never jealous.  They thought it meant I didn’t care.  They would push me, try to make me jealous, and I just never gave a shit.  I’m not sure why it surprised them.  Perhaps because most guys are inherently jealous and territorial.  But not me, man.  I am cool as a cucumber.  Chill as fuck.  That’s me.  It’s part of why Ashley loves me so much, so it’s served me well.

But, for some reason, talking to Tina about her lover just… gets my hackles up.  I don’t have a high opinion of the guy anyway, for reasons that I can’t go into because those things would be awfully specific.  Suffice to say, he strikes me as an inherently untrustworthy fella.  (Not that I’m the most honest guy around, mind you.  I acknowledge the hypocrisy here.)  But she has real feelings for him, and she likes fucking him, despite his flaws.  So I let it go.

Most of the time, I’m okay with it.  But when she talks about how excited she is to see him after a trip… or how badly she needs him to fuck her… or how she wants to tell him to try this new thing… or how she has developed genuine feelings for him… or how disappointed she is that he doesn’t last as long, and can’t fuck as frequently, as me (take that, asshole)… something in me stirs.  I guarantee you know the tightness, the wrenching in your heart that makes you have to take a deep breath, because it feels like your chest is suddenly too small for your ribcage.  My jaw clenches, my muscles tense, and all I want to do is tell her, “NO.  That is NOT okay.”

Naturally, I don’t say that.  It would be ridiculous.  I fuck Ashley, she fucks The-Guy-Who-Can’t-Fuck-Multiple-Times-A-Day.  I’m married.  She’s not.  I can not possibly impose restrictions on her.  And I want her to feel like she can talk to me about anything, including her sex life, because I care that deeply about her.  But I can’t seem to fight off the tightness.

And yet I never get that way with Ashley.  It’s strange at times, trusting someone as much as I trust her.  But I can’t help but wonder, is the fact that I feel no jealousy toward her, but I do feel it toward Tina, an indication of trust, or apathy?  Do I genuinely trust Ashley, or do I just not care what happens?  I love her, certainly.  But I don’t feel the same sense of excitement, of longing, of absolutely need, that I feel toward Tina.

Do I truly love Ashley?  Or do I just love what we used to be and have?

Do I love Tina, too?  Or am I just experiencing residual anxiety from previous relationships similar to that which I have with her?

This is what I’ve been kicking around the past few days.  I wish I could say I had some kind of answer to it, but typically, I just mull the questions over, then go to the gym or have a glass of scotch and try to forget about it.  I’m really much too passive about the whole thing.  But I don’t know how to be active about it.

I’m not sure I *want* to be active about it.



  1. I can completely understand this. I recently went from an open to a closed relationship because of that feeling you describe (I wrote about it on my blog)…and hadn’t felt it in ages. For me as well, the irony is it’s totally about my past experiences – I think – and I’ve been trying to figure it all out. I’d be interested in your opinion on my take on it if you have a chance to read. The post is called “possession”.

    • I do feel like those past experiences color my interaction with her now. I still struggle with wondering whether these feelings are simply a territorial thing or a sign of some greater problem I don’t want to acknowledge, but I don’t think I’ll have an answer any time soon.

      • I completely understand! I have the same internal debate. Is it just how I’m wired, or the result of some damage. And how is it possible that I can be with others and have it not affect how I feel about Johnny….but not be okay with it in reverse. Hmm. Glad I’m not the only one 🙂

  2. The parallel situations in our lives astound me sometimes. Read that as you will.

    About not being jealous over your wife–perhaps it is simply because she is your wife and she adores you and accepts you and she is there, always. I don’t believe you can ever truly own another human being, we’re far too fickle and flighty, but being married? You’ve got her “locked down,” for lack of a better term.

    Your lover has a significant other and at any moment could, in fact, choose to start being faithful to him. That’s frightening, knowing that the intimacy you’ve come to need and crave from that person could walk away any moment… and another man could be the cause of your loss. So… jealousy.

    It may be that you love Tina too. Or it may simply be that you recognize that she isn’t “yours” and that there is another man that is getting what you get from her.


    • Does it really seem that simple to others? Because the issue strikes me as devilishly convoluted and difficult…

      • I don’t think it’s simple at all. But I can speak like it is because I’m not inside of the situation, and because I’ve had plenty of time to evaluate my own situation. But I know that when you’re in it… it’s the farthest thing from simple.

  3. Perhaps with your lover it comes down to knowing you have something amazing. But because of the situation it’s not going to be more than it is. And in my experience, realizing that I’m not “enough” hurts like a nettle in the tenderest part of the foot. Even though logically space, etc. force me to see the rational behind it, it still hurts like hell.

    • I am not sure I mind not being enough. No one can ever be everything another person needs. Perhaps where I begin to feel troubled, is when I feel like I am less important. Because I am selfish and juvenile and how dare someone else presume to be more interesting and wonderful than me. 😉

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