All good relationships are built on trust. When the trust goes, the relationship is often damaged. When we enter into a new relationship, one can often bring their past emotional experiences into that relationship. If trust issues were a problem in the past, one could find it hard learning to trust again in a new relationship. Jealously may then rear its ugly head and prove to be destructive.
I wasn’t aware of any such issues when courting Sandra. Maybe I didn’t notice them, but as soon as the ring was on her finger the green-eyed monster surfaced.
The first episode I recall was the destruction of my aftershave collection. I never received an explanation as to why she felt she wanted or had to pour bottles of expensive aftershave down the sink. I’ve thought about it since and all I can think of was that her thought process was such that she thought if I wasn’t wearing aftershave, I won’t attract other women.
Sandra also took exception to me talking to friends. Initially, these were female friends. During our courtship, I was at College and mixed with all other students. However, once we were married if Sandra so much as saw me pass a brief comment to a friend she would verbally attack me wanting to know exactly what I had said.
This type of behaviour would also be true of any church activity I undertook solo. For example, I would have to chair regular church council meetings. When I would return home, Sandra would demand to know what was discussed. If one is familiar with such meetings, there is a lot of ‘debate’ before decisions are made or viewpoints are reached and so I would summarise the meeting for Sandra’s benefit. Her response would always be, “You’re been gone over two hours, there MUST have been more said.”
The extended family were also drawn into this behaviour. Visits to family members would be arranged. Just before we were due to set off on our visitation journey, Sandra would launch into a tirade, making personal insults about the person we would soon be visiting. And yet, on arrival, Sandra would be sweetness personified in the home of the relative while myself (and the children) would be very subdued because of the anguish of our journey there.
With hindsight, I can now see that Sandra was jealous of all relationships I held with other people: family, friends, work acquaintances. I ended up withdrawing from these relationships to try and keep the peace at home.
However, there was seldom peace at home. Such ill-founded jealously led to other patterns of behaviour such as Sandra’s violent outbursts against me. Beware such jealous tendencies in a relationship as it may lead to physical assault.