Sunday, November 30, 2003



*The absent are never without fault, nor the present without excuse.
*Absence cools moderate passions, and inflames violent ones; just as the wind blows out candles, but kindles fires.
*The absence of the beloved, short though it may last, always lasts too long.


*Our tragedy is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it...the basest of all things is to be afraid.
*Things done well and with a care, exempt themselves from fear.
*An anthill increases by accumulation. Medicine is consumed by distribution. That which is feared lessens by association. This is the thing to understand.


*You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me.
*The quality of being jealous; earnest concern or solicitude; painful apprehension of rivalship in cases nearly affecting one's happiness; painful suspicion of the faithfulness of husband, wife, or lover.
* Jealousy Test
As with many of relationship topics, a certain amount of attention to what we mean by particular words is helpful and often necessary when discussing jealousy.It is important to distinguish jealousy from envy. To oversimplify, jealousy is angry, envy is wistful. Jealousy is destructive, envy rarely is.Insecurity, as used below, just means a lack of security. It does not imply that the insecure person is bad, or good. It does not imply that the insecurity is warranted or unwarranted. It simply means that the person is not secure, either in themselves, their relationship, or what have you.

Jealousy is Insecurity
This is an important point. Feelings of jealousy always appear to stem from one's sense that something about their life is not secure, e.g., is uncertain or in danger.Several readers have objected to this particular point because they believe that insecurity is necessarily pejorative. That's not what I mean by the word. (I'd love a better word, but I don't have one.) It could be that this lack of security is very well founded--that the partner is about to run off with 'the other woman'. Is it okay to be bothered by that? Of course it is.In some cases, the insecurity is not founded on realistic dangers to the relationship. If that is really the case, then you (the jealous partner) may wish to consider where your insecurities are coming from. Solving those sorts of insecurities isn't easy, but until you do you'll continue to face those feelings.Since we tend to become more secure in relationships as they become more stable with time, you may find that time is your ally in dealing with jealousy.

Jealous Feelings vs. Jealous Actions
Unfortunately, it is all too common that jealous feelings get translated into actions. While I have the greatest sympathy for people who feel jealous in different situations, and while I understand that those feelings can be painful, I have little patience with people who use those feelings as an excuse for inappropriate, overly dramatic, or violent behavior. Such behavior is at best unacceptable, often unethical, and, when it becomes violent, illegal. And in general the pattern of such relationships is that they get worse.Are you in a relationship in which your partner constantly makes false accusations about your intentions because of his or her jealous feelings? Do these accusations proceed into arguments, or, worse yet, violence? Does your partner seem to fear you having friends, having a job? Do they try and control your life? If any of this sounds familiar to you, you aren't dealing with jealousy, you are dealing with abuse. Domestic violence. Battering.
These words refer to more than physical violence. They also refer to a whole relationship pattern in which the abused partner begins giving up power and independence to the abuser because of the threat of the abusers actions, whether those actions are premeditated or not. Abusers are not necessarily proud of what they do, many of them are simply unable to control their own actions. In many cases, abusers are survivors of abuse themselves. But that doesn't make it right, that doesn't make it tolerable.As a rule, peaceful negotiation techniques and counseling have a poor record of turning violent relationships into healthy ones. If you are in such a relationship, in particular if you find that the situation is worsening, even slowly, you may be in danger, and my heartfelt advice at this point is that you get out now.Why are my feelings so strong on this subject? Perhaps it's the letter in my inbox right now from a person who tried to work through an abusive relationship, and is now trying to work through the damage the SWAT team did to the house when they had to be called to deal with the abuser. It doesn't matter if you are gay, straight, bi, transgendered, Lesbian, white, black, brown, green, or polka-dotted, male, female, whatever, abusive relationships happen in every segment of the population.Nobody deserves to be treated abusively

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