Let’s say he was subdued. Unloading the dishwasher, reloading it, opening cupboard doors, but lo, they were bare because grocery shopping was wildly overdue. Let’s say we went out for dinner instead and still it seemed he had reservations. Reserved, subdued.
“What’s wrong? Is something bothering you?” It seemed, I thought, like his usual shining light was flickering, wavering, wobbling.
He shook his head. Over and over he shook his head, because I asked him the same question intermittently though thankfully not consecutively all evening.
I couldn’t imagine what was wrong but it was clear something was wrong.
I mentally reviewed the day: big news from his company (good); picked up the kids from daycare (good); worked (good); ex-husband unexpectedly stopped by to pick up lunchboxes and school things (good, glad their dad is being organized about their week); no dinner, no groceries (maybe not so good, but he never assumes those are my exclusive province). So what was wrong?
He told me the next day.
My phone was off (I was on a conference call, forgot to turn it back on) and my ex-husband’s car was in the driveway. He didn’t expect to come home and see another man in the living room and he felt it: jealousy. Unreasonable, and he knew it, and then felt ashamed because the green dragon clenched his heart into fists. It wasn’t reasonable, it wasn’t fair, it wasn’t deserved and there in fact was no threat and he knew it, but there it was.
Jealousy. Fear. Bad Feelings.
We try to exorcise them – amazeballs! awesomesauce! everything’s amazing and you can control reality like it’s a Playstation and your mind is a joystick! lalala I can’t hear youuuuuuuuuuu! – but they haunt us.
And that’s ok. It really, really is. There is no life unblemished by spots of negativity.
No one sails through life without feeling jealous once in a while, whether it’s reasonable or not.
Having a bad feeling isn’t a problem.
Insisting on not having them is a problem.
So yes he felt jealous, which is ugly and unfortunate but also truly fortunate: he cares. He loves me. He never ever wants to lose me.
And he told me about it.
And let’s say we kissed and I ‘fessed up to my own jealousy and sometimes (a lot of times) facebook-stalking his ex and we laughed at our mutual ridiculousness and made up and made love and are stupid in love, amen.
Yes, let’s say that, because it’s true. When you acknowledge, accept and share your ugly spots and negative feelings and fears and weaknesses and vulnerabilities, you don’t erase them or prevent them – because truly, if you’re breathing, they’re inevitable – but you do let love in.
And don’t we all just want to be loved?