“O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-ey'd monster, which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.”
Shakespeare’s Othello, Act III, Scene III
Normal jealousy is a healthy part of most relationships if it is balanced. Each of us at some point has felt a tinge of jealousy toward our partner. Delusional or insane jealousy is much more explosive than the trivial green-eyed monster that we’ve heard about or experienced in our lives. While the antagonist, Christine, in A Beautiful Mess: Confessions from the Second Closet was never diagnosed with the illness, all the elements were there. The term delusional jealousy is also interchangeable with the term insane jealousy.
The mind of a person who suffers from insane jealousy is fixated on the belief that their partner is unfaithful and cheating on them. It is not founded in reality. The belief of unfaithfulness is entrenched in the psyche of the insanely jealous person. It is unshakable. Even when presented with ample evidence that the partner is not having an affair, the person suffering from insane jealousy is not appeased, in fact, they often become more enraged. The question of a partner’s faithfulness borders on obsession to the point of imagining acts of unfaithfulness and then believing those to be fact as well.
It was towards the end of my relationship with Christine that I discovered the existence of this illness. I remember doing a Google search and stumbling upon the term. As I read the symptoms spread across several articles on the web, I realized that I had come face-to-face with the hideous green-eyed monster of insane jealousy.
The symptoms of insane jealousy include the partner being extremely moody. The person gripped with insane jealousy will monitor their partner’s actions and movements closely, often bordering on stalking. This person will not allow their partner out of their sight and will often spy on the partner. The insanely jealous person will find friends of either sex or orientation to be threatening to their relationship. They will not tolerate any affection, attention or compliments paid to their partner by others regardless of how non-threatening the interaction is.
There will be sudden and unexpected outbursts of rage related to jealousy that often turns into physical violence. The insanely jealous person will repeatedly doubt and accuse their partner of unfaithfulness without reason or basis, and will question with intense severity any time spent apart. The insanely jealous person will often manifest that their partner is having an affair with a coworker, and will question scathingly about partner’s amorous relationships with people at work. The insanely jealous person will be relentless and untiring in questioning past relationships and will often accuse the partner of unfaithful behavior related to the past relationship. The insanely jealous person will demand a confession of unfaithfulness from their partner and often will become violently enraged if the false beliefs are challenged with facts.
I experienced all of the things described above with Christine. I found myself in an emotionally, mentally and physically abusive relationship with what seemed no way out. This would become my life for the period between September 2005 and January 2008. As the story of A Beautiful Mess: Confessions from the Second Closet unfolds, the symptoms are obvious. Finding my way out of the circle of violence I lived was not so easy…
This is my story…A Beautiful Mess: Confessions from the Second Closet available April 7, 2011.