Thursday, October 13, 2011

Why We Need Jealousy

I'm in my car yesterday and there's this doctor on the radio talking about a series of research studies he did on relationships. The host asks him about studies on open-relationships of straight people (for those of you who don't know, an open-relationship is one where you get to sow your seed all over town as long as you come home to your main-squeeze), and the doc replies, 

"Well, we actually haven't been able to do any studies on them. When we made appointments with open couples it was often the case that they had broken up by the time they were scheduled to come in. So I assume, from that data, that these types of relationships lack stability."

Of course, this is no surprise to us. Anyone who has listened to good 'ol Dr. Drew Lapinsky knows that the best way to get divorced/break-up is to 'de-exclusify' your sex life. That's not morals or religious doctrine talking, that's scientific fact. When people do this, trust is replaced with it's antithesis; jealousy, and jealousy quickly corrodes any healthy relationship.

When the doctor on this program was asked what it would take to have successful, long term open-relationships between a man and a woman he said, 

"It would take two very amazing people. It is an amazing person who can resist jealousy for a long period of time."

He went on to say that 100% of gay couples that last 35+ years are open, because they get less jealous and are more honest with each other, and straight couples have a lot to learn from gay couples.

At this point I choked on my Diet Coke.

I'm a pretty liberal guy, and I have close friends who are gay and I love them and they know it. So let me preface this by saying I have no qualms with the stats the good doctor quoted, I'm assuming they're quite true. But I have something to learn from people who don't feel jealousy? Really?

What I have a problem with is the crackpot idea that an exclusive relationship is an antiquated institution, and that in order to be truly enlightened we should be able to do whatever we want and not have jealousy enter into the picture. 

Is it really AMAZING when someone's spouse messes around on them and they don't feel jealous? Or is it inhuman?... In my opinion if your spouse is a philanderer and you're not jealous, you need some serious counseling and perhaps a professional to test you for a heartbeat and a spine.

The problem with this post-modern thinking is that the purveyors of it believe they are taking on traditional social structures that are out-dated, like we all should take cues from folks who feel nothing in order to have their cake and eat it too. What people like this doctor are implying is that these folks get to follow every sexual impulse, and thats a good thing because those are natural, where as feeling jealousy is bad because jealousy is primitive. They think they're progressing out of mindless tradition, but I believe they're actually messing with nature. 

And when you mess with nature it always ends badly.

The reason we feel jealousy is because it fills the void that trust leaves. Without trust, jealousy enters. We need trust because trust breeds intimacy, and we all long to be intimate, to have our true selves known completely and loved anyways. 

We all want to be known and loved despite our faults. This is a primary need for a human to survive, it's the heart of community. This is completely natural and has been for thousands of years. Without jealousy there is no true intimacy because there is no true trust. So why do some think in our modern age that we can rise above it? And more importantly, what are our motives for "rising above" jealousy? I'd argue that they are purely selfish and immoral and damaging to all things pure and good, but that's just me.

Jealousy is natural. You can't breed or train or counsel this out of the human psyche. So contrary to what the doctor said I don't believe I have anything to learn in the way of jealousy, other than perhaps what not to do. It doesn't matter to me that 100% of gay relationships that are 35 years and counting are open. 

All that tells me is that they've sacrificed the potential of true intimacy with one person to have plastic intimacy with dozens. 

That lack of jealousy comes at too high of a cost. The motives behind such thinking are selfish, and selfishness will quickly make shallow the depth in any relationship. I pity these folks (straight or gay), because they've traded the kind of beauty and depth of true intimacy (that I've personally experienced) for something fast and cheap. 

Without jealousy there is no trust, and without trust there is no intimacy, and without intimacy you're just rubbing skin together.

That doesn't seem enlightened to me, it seems entitled. Progressing doesn't happen when you invest in the temporary gratification of impulse. Any Grandpa still married to Grandma with loving kids and grandkids will tell you that progress is the lasting, unspeakable peace that comes from fortitude and integrity. 

There is nothing richer. /Rant


  1. One question Matt,
    You said that "jealousy fills the void that trust leaves". Then later you say that we need both jealousy and trust. I just don't understand what void exactly jealousy is filling...Explain?

  2. No problem. Like Good and Evil, Jealousy and Trust are opposites. Without one, there is no such thing as the other. If there is no evil, then there is no good; and if there is no jealousy, then there is no trust. Each is validated when contrasted against the other.

    As far as Jealousy filling the void that Trust leaves - I was referring to when trust is lost, jealousy is the natural substitute of that trust, and so one shouldn't say that it's unnatural. You can't have one without the other.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Ahh I understand.That makes sense. Thanks for explaining. Looking forward to the next TCC album!Come to Greenville, SC for a show sometime

  5. I have a friend who didn't know she wanted to marry her now husband until she realized that if she said no to him (he was purposing at that moment) some other girl would get him. She couldn't let that happen because.. (big shocker) she loved him. Her husband told me once that he was thankful for that bit of jealousy in his wife because she wouldn't have said yes otherwise.

    I mention this because, well, I think it's a hoot of a story and with it, there is nothing bad about that twinge of jealousy. Sometimes, maybe it makes someone realize what can be loved or lost. Obviously no one wants the crazy green eyed monster, but I like this balance of jealousy and trust described.

  6. You’ve made an excellent case on this subject, but there are two things that seem to stand out in my mind. One is that, if you are calling your relationship "open" and each of you is out there satisfying your own desires, then like you pointed out, there is no real relationship at all; it's each to his/her own. The second is, the whole point of a relationship is to have the intimacy, and so if you are out there spreading yourself thin, then again there is no real intimacy, no need to trust and no need for jealousy, so basically you are just roommates, nothing more, hence the reason it works for some. To me this seems bland and very boring and way overrated!

  7. Jean' GuilloryOctober 26, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    Your last paragraph sums your point/rant up perfectly, and I believe says it all. Love it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I love to think! This is great. Can't wait to hear your new music too!

  8. Seems like there's such a thing as a "healthy jealousy," or maybe a better way to say it would be an "appropriate context for jealousy." God seems to think so. Exodus 20:4-5.

  9. 1) It is preposterous that "100% of gay couples that last 35+ years are open." It's preposterous that 100% of ANY group the size of the gay community would fall into one category of that sort. It reminds me of the law in the Jewish Sanhedrin where they figured their vote had been rigged if at least one member didn't vote the other way. And not only is that stat preposterous, but also highly insulting to a large portion of the gay community. There are thousands of LGBT people living in committed relationships... thousands of Christian gay and lesbian couples living just like straight couples.

    2) I recently watched the movie "Kinsey," and came out of it with the same conclusion you've made. Fascinating movie. Although I imagine the agenda behind the movie is much like that of the doctor with the kooky stat, there are a few parts where you can tell that the whole open-relationship thing really isn't as rosy as it's made out to be...hearts get broken, relationships are strained, intimacy gets uncomfortably divided between parties. I think it's really quite ugly to witness. That's coming from an extremely monogamy-inclined individual, though. So don't mind me.

  10. I a Shelly i lives in Texas and i was in a serious relationship with my Ex Guy for 3 good years.. One day we were in a dinner party, we had a little misunderstanding which lead to a Quarrel and he stood up and left me at the dinner party. i try to call him but he was not picking my calls so after than i contacted my brother and told him about it,my brother so much love me that he had to see him on my behalf,he told my brother that it is over between us.. Then i contacted a friend of mine that had this similar experience and she directed me to THE HIGH PRIEST OZIGIDIDON and i contacted him on, at first i thought it was not going to be possible and i contacted him i was ask to come up with a little requirement information of me and my Ex Guy,so i did what i was ask to do, after 24Hours after the spell was cast i was in my office when my Ex Guy called me and was asking me to forgive him and come back to him. i was very surprise it was like a dream to me,so ever since we have been happily married with one kid my lovely baby(Anita)...i wish you the best of luck... friends you can contact HIGH PRIEST OZIGIDIDON on his email, I know you will Thank me later.

  11. Good day everyone,I am sharing about my experience and testimony online in search of a spell caster that will restore my marriage and make me live a happy life. I was introduced to a spell caster by my neighbor and i contact him. to my greatest surprise i never though that there was going to be a real spell caster for me but i was amazed when i met a real one in the person of His Majesty,HIGH PRIEST OZIGIDIDON who helped in in bring back my man and making me have a happy marriage and home and also help in restoring back my job and life and sincerely it is to numerous for me to mention, i just can't thank him more that enough for all he has done but i want to sincerely thank him for restoring my hope that there are still real spell casters out there. Indeed he is so real and true to his job. i am glad i met him and i will hold him in high esteem till i leave this earth. Your HIGHNESS i will never let you go you are my foundation.High priest can be gotten on i know when you contact him and he worked for you, you will definitely come back to thank me. high priest is so great and powerful.. i have lost the adjective to classify him.