Our Cheating Hearts

Jealousy tends to run amok no matter how much we try to contain it

I'm more concerned about emotional fidelity than physical, but even that maxim utterly depends on the person. I feel incredibly possessive about certain people, and when I see them with someone else, I can't handle it. Even if I technically have no claim on them, their public displays of affection still hurt, and that pain is something no amount of alcohol or logic can cure.

I used to be extremely high-minded when it came to cheating; it was wrong, all the time, under any circumstances. Having been on both sides of the situation, I've learned it's much more complicated. I believe honesty is more valuable than strict physical monogamy. I would rather have lovers share their complex fantasy lives with me than be technically faithful yet thinking about someone else when we have sex, another questionable instance that surely isn't "cheating" but may feel even worse.

We've probably all experienced intense jealousy (and if you haven't, I truly envy you), but each of our breaking points is different. For some it's a phone call, an e-mail, a flirtatious glance; for others, it's kissing, sex, spending the night, or a declaration of love. The tricky part is knowing what triggers our jealousy and learning to manage it so we can deal with people honorably, without letting the green-eyed monster dictate our behavior. In that department, I have my work cut out for me just as much as the next person.

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