Can you imagine having to carefully, in small increments, in total fear of the answer...ask your partner for permission to do everything? And every time you even see someone of the opposite sex (assuming your hetero) out in public, you avoid them so your partner doesn't get suspicious and angry. You have to completely block out any life you had before your partner, because he or she is so jealous and insecure that anything from your previous life is grounds for argument. You cannot hang out with your friends without bringing your partner along. Your friends, whose partners trust them and allow them to have their own experiences, make fun of you for not standing up for yourself. I bet there are many of you who live like this.
Or how about the opposite. You feel sick every time you see or hear about an ex of your partners. If you find porn in the internet history, you fly into a rage accusing your partner of being a pervert. The thought of your partner going anywhere without you fills you with fear. You need to know his or her every move. You check your partners email, pockets, and bank statements. There will be no stripper for your partner's stag(ette) if you ever get married. You control your partner's every move. He or she knows to obey or risk losing you.
I've worn both of these disguises. The first one turns you into a liar. The second one turns you into a jerk.
With my first love, I couldn't even have female friends (I am hetero) without my partner thinking I was cheating. He was suspicious of everything. If he went out for an hour and I had showered while he was out, he'd think I'd had a lover in the house. We argued often about this but after awhile I just didn't go out with friends, we became hermits in our house, and when we did go out together - we'd fight.
My partner now occasionally gets a little jealous. So rarely though that I almost rejoice when he does. I make fun of him. "Are YOU jealous, Honey? Wow, I'm so flattered." He supports my opportunities to get out of the house. He gives me a kiss goodbye and says to have fun. With him, I don't have to hide anything. I don't have to be a liar.
Being a jerk, on the other hand, is something I struggle to avoid. It's easy to fall back into old patterns of dysfunction. But I've found a way to reduce those irrational outbursts.
When I first have the gut reaction of revulsion to an activity of my partners, I keep it to myself. As time passes, it lessens. Then I can think clearly. I say to myself: "Are you being a jealous bitch?" If I am to respect my partners journey in the human comedy, then I must allow him freedom to make his own way through it. You see, I realize this to be true but it doesn't stop me from feeling the psychopathic urge to control him. So I practice my spirituality by first letting my initial reaction pass without comment, then examining my true motive for being upset - which is inevitably some form of jealousy or insecurity of my own. Once I recognize this, I can usually let it go.
When the sick, angry feeling passes, I am left with a feeling of peace. I release myself from the obligation to control him. I put my trust in the outcome - that whatever it is, it is for the best. And because I didn't jump to craziness, he doesn't even know it was there.
So every day, my partner gets a little less fearful of sharing his plans and experiences with me. And every day, we grow closer. Every day, I feel more and more love coming in. And every day, I feel more and more trust going out. The outcome is wonderful. Thank Goddess I'm learning to control myself instead of others. It is one of the most profound, enriching epiphanies I've had in my life.