Controlling the Green Eyed Monster

Sometimes I think I’m destined to spend the rest of my adult life alone. Even though I’m in, what I believe to be, a happy relationship, I feel that at any given time I’m going to say or do something that will ruin everything and leave me alone once more. The worst part is that I feel it’s what I deserve, and it doesn’t stop at my private life, I don’t think I’m worthy of sporting, academic, or professional successes either. This, I believe, is the root cause of my sabotaging anything that vaguely resembles the beginnings of something good in my life.

I used to represent the county at rugby, and South England at hockey. I chose not to pursue them after leaving school because I’d convinced myself it wasn’t feasible to achieve, but the reality is that both were distinctly possible with a little bit of effort and a minor amount of inconvenience. I excelled at academia yet decided to join the Army before finishing my A-Levels because I had convinced myself I was going to fail them, job security was the wiser option to choose. The reality is that I chose to skip classes, miss exams, and deliberately avoid completing course work because it gave me the perfect excuse if I did fail them.

The one common factor was that I had deliberately sabotaged any chance of achieving success and hid behind a convenient shroud of lies. The truth, that I didn’t realise at the time, is that I didn’t, and still don’t, deserve success. What I haven’t managed to work out is why. I fumble with the odd cliché: fear of failure, fear of success, humility of achievement, avoidance of limelight, but the reality is that I don’t know why I do what I do, and without that knowledge I’m destined to keep on doing it.

When it comes to relationships I’m exactly the same. I don’t know why I feel I don’t deserve a happy, loving relationship with someone who cares dearly for me, but that’s exactly how I feel. I’m lucky enough to be the boyfriend of a beautiful, intelligent, funny, strong, independent woman who shares joy in the same things I do, and is quite frankly the best thing to have happened to me in years, yet rather than embracing the moment, I’m waiting for the time that she realises she’s made a horrible mistake and leaves me for someone more worthy of her love.

I’ve done an incredible amount of self reflection recently, and while I haven’t worked out why I feel I don’t deserve to be happy, I have spotted a few traits about myself that will probably lead to the sabotage of what happiness I do have:

I’m an unbelievably jealous person. It’s deep rooted in my body image insecurities, but I find myself getting jealous all the time. When we watch a movie, or the TV, or pretty much anything, she regularly points out people who are exceptionally good looking, commenting on their looks, and I can’t help but note that not one of these people look anything like me. Most recently, as soon as Liam Payne popped onto the screen, the question of why Harry Styles is considered such a heart throb when Liam is so much better looking came up without prompting, it made me loathe him and myself for not looking anything like him. Every time I hear her enjoy the sight of a muscle bound, long haired, stubble sporting, probably well endowed man, I become more and more insecure and more convinced that it’s not long before I’m alone again because if that’s what she likes, why is she putting up with me. Every time we’re out, and we happen to end up in close proximity to men who fit the above description, I see stolen glances, fleeting looks in their direction and I truly believe that she would happily walk away with them rather than me, if only they would give her the chance.

The rational part of me knows this is utter rubbish, but it’s struggling to convince the irrational part of my mind. I don’t act on this jealousy, I don’t fly off the handle, or make false accusations, or attempt to spy on her…rightly so…I can’t abide when blokes do this, but it does affect me both mentally and physically; the thought that in her mind she’s criticising my body and imagining herself with any one of the other people that she thinks is so good looking, absolutely devastates me, but it’s my problem to resolve. She has done absolutely nothing to warrant this degree of jealousy, those looks that I imagine I’ve seen, almost certainly never happened; she’s never criticised me, only ever complimented and reassured me that I’m exactly what she’s looking for, I just wished she didn’t find so many other men so damned good looking. I need to find a way to convince myself that someone like me can actually deserve a woman as perfect as her.

I’m not as good at communicating as I think I am. When it’s objective, and I’m commenting on others, I can analyse human behaviour with a professional degree of accuracy. I’m naturally empathetic and have been studying collective human factors, and how it affects decision making, with my work for a very long time, yet when it comes to recognising the behavioural cues of loved ones, or understand what and how I’m feeling, and communicating it in a clear and succinct way, I’m atrocious. I get tongue tied, blurt out emotives without consideration of how the other person may feel, and end up getting it wrong anyway by saying something that I don’t even mean. My ‘go to’ reaction is to run away. Seclude and isolate myself, and hope that it just goes away. I’d rather that than try to find the courage to risk confrontation and lose everything. The problem is, unless I get a grip of these two traits, I’ll probably lose everything anyway.

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2 thoughts on “Controlling the Green Eyed Monster

  1. Martyn Kitney

    There is a lot of this that I can relate to. So many of your feelings and words reflect how I feel. I have spent 25 years of my life of having my own gender constantly telling me I’m not a “whole” or “complete” man because of my disability. I’ve had women outwardly and publicly criticise me because I don’t “fit” the man type. I mentally challenge myself and logically try and fight it. Yet those thoughts are there. Wouldn’t my loved one be better off with someone else? Wouldn’t they be happier with someone like them, and not me? Wouldn’t they prefer someone with muscles rather than one without? And that’s just a few. Like you this has run deep for many many years. Therapy itself identified where it comes from and although enlightenment to this is important to tackling it it doesn’t stop it from consuming me. I took a slightly different route though and instead of trying to sabotage my future in the ways you have I sabotaged my social future. I didn’t go out with friends because I didn’t want to be the comparison friend. I kept my head in school books promising I’ll do it all later. I stayed on at uni longer and longer taking on more and more degrees so I didn’t have to find the reality of growing up into a working grown up partner. Yet, despite all of the fleeting glances and comments or my own mind bringing things up until I burst and say what I feel (which has happened a few times) I keep trying to count the small things. The cup of coffee when I wasnt expecting it or a snack that I don’t ask for but was perfectly timed for when I was hungry etc. My mum said the big issues and the big issues. That’s the make it break of a relationship. But if you keep notice and keep the little things going then you have nothing to worry about. So I try and mentally count them. It helps in the sense that I’ve realised she’s staying with me for me. That she wouldn’t do those things if she wanted someone else. The rest of the time I still balance the green eyed monster. But if you can hold firm in the belief that you’re not alone.

    • tonypitt828

      Thank you Martyn, it’s those little things that make me know I’m loved.

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