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The Love Lint: When Jealousy Makes You Lose Your Mind

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Jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savor, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances, can be life-threatening – Maya Angelou

Jealousy is that lousy feeling you get in the pit of your stomach, and it makes you all shades of crazy. It feels like everything is happening to you at the same time; headache, internal heat, sweaty palms, blinding rage, loosened tongue, and a pain that is absolutely heartbreaking. That is what happens to you the moment jealousy holds you in its grip.

Life becomes a mess, your vision becomes blurred, your thinking becomes crooked, you seem to lack focus…it is a devastating emotion that can destroy a good thing. It can make you say, and do, things you will, more than likely, later regret but unfortunately can not take back. Jealously ruins relationships!

However, it isn’t bad in a healthy dose. It can provide the right balance in a relationship, but just the smallest step further, and you are in a place you would rather not be. When you have a gut feeling that your partner is cheating on you, jealousy is often the natural reaction. However, if all you are doing in basing your jealousy on just your gut feeling, with no proof to substantiate it, or if it is just a function of your insecurity, then there is a problem…a big one.

This type of jealousy is fed by fear, not fact. It is the fear of losing the other person…the fear of the other person finding out that there are, indeed, better options out there…that the grass is greener on the other side. That kind of fear can feed a self-created fit of jealousy.

Jealousy can be cute at first…but after a while, it gets tired, and old, and stifling. There is nothing sexy or attractive about a jealous partner. Rather than act as an endearment, it is a downright put-off. And instead of holding on to your partner, in most cases, the jealous party loses out in the end.

A member of our community, Nengi* could not get over the fear that her longtime boyfriend, Fola*, was cheating on her. He had just started working in a bank that was notorious for it’s light skinned and beautiful female staff. She was constantly checking his phone for anything incriminating, and found herself constantly driving by his branch, to see if she would catch him a compromising position. She made sure she called all unknown numbers on his phone, and heaven forbid if it was a woman’s voice on the receiving end! She would rave, rant, curse, and warn off such women from her beloved Fola. The same fate met any women she saw around her Fola on his bank’s premises. Let’s just say that his colleagues witnessed one scene too many in the parking lot. The result was that she made him a laughing stock, not only to his colleagues, but, worse still, to the bank’s customers. Embarrassed and humiliated, he had ended their relationship. So, her jealousy had taken her nowhere in the end.

So, how do you know if your own jealousy has gone out of hand? The following are some key indicators:

If you are on your partner’s social media page, more than they are
Well, this one is called social media stalking. If you find yourself constantly monitoring what your partner is doing, who they are talking to, what they are sharing, who they are following, what posts they are liking…then we hate to break it to you, but you have become a full bona s.t.a.l.k.e.r! Worse still is when you extend this stalking to the pages of the suspected love interest(s) of your partner. If you find yourself scanning a stranger’s pictures as far back as 2007, colour yourself jealous! Doing this will only increase your blood pressure, not to mention heighten your feelings of insecurity.

And don’t get us started on the search for passwords and/or phone pins! So you find them…then what? Send messages to, or worse call, people you suspect your partner is cheating with, to warn them? Apart from making you look a fool, you gain absolutely nothing!

You call your partner throughout the day
Are you one of those people who become really agitated when their partner doesn’t answer his/her calls, or reply messages, in what you think is a timely manner? Do you become physically sick, and make yourself go crazy with you wonder, visualizing what could, or couldn’t be? As people who have been there, we know that this is a miserable life for the over-jealous partner.

You find yourself constantly second-guessing them and setting ‘traps’ to catch them in a lie
Do you find yourself constantly trying to verify information given by your partner, especially with respect to their location, associations and friendships? Have you set traps to deliberately catch them in a lie? Have you found yourself flying on Okada (in typical “Follow that cab” manner), just to trace them to a suspected lover’s nest? If you have answered yes to even one of those questions, you definitely fall into the cray-cray jealous category!

If any of these characteristics ring true for you; you need to ask yourself why you are so intent on hurting yourself this much. What do you intend to achieve from all this under-the-radar detective work? When you act with such senseless recklessness, you have lost control of your dignity and your pride. Your relationship, if it can be called that, now lacks one of the most important qualities it needs to thrive: Trust. Even if you have reasons to be suspicious, you are still responsible for how you behave in the relationship…and, sorry to break it to you, this is no way to behave.

To avoid acting like a crazy person, and allowing jealousy usurp your brain, there is need for self-love. You have to remove the focus from the other person and transfer it to yourself. If your partner has truly started straying, rather than wasting your energy throwing water out of a sinking ship, grab a life jacket and jump the heck out of it. If the ship can be salvaged, you can always get on board at the shore. But in the meantime, you have to focus on you!

The green-eyed monster kills relationships! Don’t let it be yours!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Kiosea39

The Love Lint (www.thelovelint.com) is a relationship support community, and a safe haven for all things about LOVE…the good days, and the not so good. Our forums offer a platform for people to commune with others, share their experiences, seek expert advice, and get the strength required to move on.

26 Comments

  1. laby Bee

    October 7, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Thank you. Just what i needed.

  2. Yemisi

    October 7, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    Hummm writer you are so on point some of theses talks to me ohhh though not all. If I begin to tell you all the decective mode I have employed to hold on to something on hubby phone no be small thing. But reall jealously is draining and exausting. Thanks a lot for this write up god bless very very timely

  3. k

    October 7, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    but why? if your flying okada to follow your boyfriend then it time to check yourself….why go through al that hassle, dont get me wrong.. i get that at some point you might be doubting him blah blah!!! but risking your life just cause… his not ur husband yet? but your flying okada? hnmmmm……

    • Tkum

      October 8, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      looool..i tire oo…fly okada ke!… no time oo..

  4. Paul Babalola

    October 7, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    When jealousy is of very low dose, it is good for a relationship, it shows you care about the other person. When it extends to the level where you start losing your mind, it becomes very unhealthy. I was in a relationship back in the days in Unilag, this particular lady was beautiful and was social, we were very close and in love, I discovered much later that I was entirely unsecured when I see her with other guys to the extent that I won’t be able to concentrate. I gave myself a reset slap and cut the relationship off and I could then face my academics squarely. A bit of jealousy is good, beyond that is destructive and malicious. If you are losing your mind due to jealousy and insecurity, pls cut off such relationship.

    • Olu

      October 7, 2015 at 9:36 pm

      Not sure that is totally fair on the other party. Did he other she deserve to be cut off like that….due to your own jealousy?

      How about you work on the insecure feeling? I know it is not easy but that might actually be the person for you.

      You are the problem…fix it.

    • Doxa

      October 8, 2015 at 6:54 am

      Yes, I think he took the best decision by ending the relationship, fair to the other party or not. To him, that was the best way he could handle the situation, by fighting it from outside. If he stayed, he would have probably become an embarrassment to the lady and she would have ended it anyway. You said he could have stayed and worked on it, what if he was not ready to, and ending was his only option?

  5. Olu

    October 7, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Some will real and thank you for this post but will not (or never) change.

    It is a habit and requires MFM deliverance 🙂

    • Tosin

      October 8, 2015 at 9:54 am

      hmmm.
      I like unjealousy very much. The gospel of chill. If Warren Buffet’s wife could give him a small wife and move to California to play, mennn, then what are we talking about? God keep me from jealousy palaver, God protect me from by-forcing marriage lool, God never let me enter over-love wahala. Amen.

  6. lizzyfrank mbere

    October 7, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    My boyfriend needs to see dis, av warned him severaly dat it now looks like am a heartless girlfriend. In fact now I detest him so much dat even his calls irritates me talk more of the sight of him.he is guilty of of all,I knw he loves me but he makes me hate him.how I wish guilty people reading this will learn and change

  7. Girlbeingreal

    October 8, 2015 at 9:21 am

    A good relationship shouldn’t make you so jealous to a paranoid level. If it does, then it’s not an ideal situation. Trust is very important in a relationship. I have been in both situations and I can tell the difference. It’s totally ridiculous if I have to ride over to your work place to maybe catch you cheating. It’s totally not worth it(for my heart and health). The trust issue cannot be overstated. Some people just don’t give you enough reasons to trust them. I’d rather not be in such situation

  8. Weather

    October 8, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Jealousy; odikwa serious.

  9. Rose

    October 8, 2015 at 9:56 am

    These are not indicators of jealousy, rather they are indicators of a severe psychological disorder.

  10. Where is Natu?

    October 8, 2015 at 10:24 am

    BN commenters you have successful scared off our one and only proudly non-Nigerian afro haired commenter – NATU. Ever since all you sharp tongued men and women attacked her comment on a Nigerian actress (which was quite ill-presented) she has disappeared from the comments section. BN abeg go in search of a lost soul, she used to comment on virtually every post here o – after all you should have her email address, tell her to “mabinu” and come back, only to be a bit more careful with her comments cos Nigerians can criticize their own from now till tomorrow but would rain fire and brimstone if an ‘outsider’ does it.

    • tlo

      October 8, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      Hehehehe. Was that when she zoomed off? Thought it was when they gave her a hot serving on her comment about attending an international school…on Ari’s article.
      Oh well, maybe she is off to an ‘international’ website. Bellainternational maybe…hihihi

  11. Share your boo with a bae who is booless

    October 8, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Girls, be generous small na 😉
    share your boo with a bae who is booless na 😉

    In reggae blue music, Harry song say

    After the reggae play the blues (the blues, the blues)
    Make you do as i do (i do, i do)
    Enjoy yourself baby boo (Bae boo, bae boo)
    EVEN YOUR BOO GET A BOO (A boo, a boo)
    Share the gala share the booze (the booze, the booze)
    Everybody wanna groove (they groove they groove)
    …..

    Girls be generous jo
    No allow jealousy turn you to CIA

    • Tru

      October 8, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      LOLOLOLOL O.Y.O

  12. Oluwatobi

    October 8, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Jealously is not something good. In fact in a relationship is the most dangerous aspect wch can lead to untimely death. In a relationship is good to be jealous to show how u really love the other opposite but!! Not too much. My ex boy friend slapped me because he was jealous of seeing other guys speaking with me just because am smiling while talking.. (That the biggest fool I have ever seen in my life)……later I understand the love was too much he had of me but the best way of both of us is to end the relationship just because over jealousy is killing him.
    Relationship is all about understand not over jealousy

  13. missappleberry

    October 8, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    My own is that i have always been fascinated with why green eyed monster has to be associated with jealousy and envy. Like why is it a monster and why is the monster green lol. This article just reminded me again on my fascination with the word or idiom “green eyed monster” lol, so i embarked on a google search and heres what i found.

    Green is a colour associated with sickness, possibly because people’s skin sometimes takes on a slightly yellow/green tinge when they are seriously ill. Green is also the colour of many unripe foods that cause stomach pains.
    Jealousy can lead even the nicest people to do awful things. That’s why it’s often referred to as the green-eyed monster. Because it’s so universal in human nature, jealousy is a common theme in storytelling. It’s one of the rawest human emotions, and if left unchecked, it will most likely result in devastating consequences.

    The phrase was first used by, and possibly coined by, Shakespeare to denote jealousy, in The Merchant of Venice, 1596:
    Portia:
    How all the other passions fleet to air,
    As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embraced despair,
    And shuddering fear, and green-eyed jealousy! O love,
    Be moderate; allay thy ecstasy,
    In measure rein thy joy; scant this excess.
    I feel too much thy blessing: make it less,
    For fear I surfeit.

    In Othello, 1604, Shakespeare also alludes to cats as green-eyed monsters in the way that they play with mice before killing them.

    Lago:
    O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
    It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
    The meat it feeds on; that cuckold lives in bliss
    Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
    But, O, what damned minutes tells he o’er
    Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!

    Thank me later. Lol. Yes! I am that jobless.

    • Tosin

      October 8, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      #bless

    • Sugar

      October 9, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      You should do your PhD on the Green eyed monster”

  14. mojiji

    October 8, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    I literally skipped through the article…it sounds like insecurity not jealousy being described….just saying

  15. vivianmorh

    October 8, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Just what i needed. Thanksss,,,,, omo i use to think i cant get jealous bt lately ehn av been surprisin myself gan. ((Oya every spirit of jealousy thunder by fire)?

  16. Esther Asuquo

    October 13, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    When jealousy is of very low dose, it is good for a relationship, it shows you care about the other person and also reveals some secret things to you about your partner that could be helpful to you in future; like I was able to find out that my Ex was wooing my kid sister through the chat history I saw btw the both of them in his Facebook inbox because I have the password. it helped me to signed out of that “timed bombed” relationship cos I would have married a man possessed with the spirit of incest.

  17. Tolu

    October 15, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    So I lost my relationship. My boyfriend (ex) said I loved him too much he felt I had ulterior motives. Reading this article now, I wonder if he felt I was too jealous (maybe I went overboard) but I just don’t understand the ulterior motive part *sighs*

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