Tracy’s unreasonable jealousy even as I take pains to be above reproach

Tracy saw everything I did through green-colored glasses.  I was always careful to not cross the boundaries, to dress modestly, cover my cleavage when bending over in front of Richard, to only kiss his head or cheek if I kissed him at all (which was rare), to make sure my e-mails to him were about life and religion and such, etc. etc.

Yet she still saw everything I did through her jealousy, even my ingrained personality trait of being quiet!

Everyone I’ve ever known has commented on how quiet I am.  Yet to her, my being quiet with her was proof that I was not to be trusted with her husband.

It was inevitable that one day it would all blow up, that somewhere I would mess up and she would refuse to believe she had completely misunderstood me.

I have already described why he was not sexually attractive, including poor hygiene.  I occasionally find an overweight guy attractive, but he was morbidly obese.

Hygiene aside, I find infidelity to be disgusting.  If I even get tempted, my moral objections flare up; while I can’t help being tempted or being attracted to someone else, my conscience keeps me from acting on it.

I love my husband, who complements me quite well; we get along quite well most of the time, which–from what we can tell–is more than can be said for far too many couples.

There were many things about Richard that I wouldn’t be able to stand in a husband, while Jeff wasn’t like that at all.

Jeff is like my other half; he’s my main confidante, so there is no danger of me confiding far more in any of my friends, male or female, than I do in him.

For me, Richard was someone to whom I could tell the things that would bother Jeff, such as details about past boyfriends, or religious musings that would actually upset Jeff (make him wonder if I was turning atheist or heretical or the like).  While Richard was no stranger to religious questioning, and on the side of Orthodoxy.

So there was no danger of Richard usurping Jeff’s role, and I also did not want to usurp Tracy’s role.

In fact, whenever we went out in public, such as to church or the grocery store, I took pains to distance myself from Richard physically and tell anyone who misunderstood that no, we are not married, we are not “together,” we are just friends.

When he lived with us alone, I anxiously looked forward to Tracy’s arrival (once Richard secured an apartment) so she would be at his side during church, leaving my relationship to him more obvious.

(We sometimes went to other churches where our relationship to each other was not known.  I’d spend the entire service worried that people thought we were married.  Heck no!)

While visits with Richard were far too short, I was still quite happy to have him go to his own filthy house, with his own children and his own wife, and his extreme politics and coffee and other things I couldn’t stand–

while I stayed in my clean house with my little family and its moderate politics, no coffee, no alcohol (because we don’t like it), and other things that I preferred.

Also, after I had worked so hard to find the Truth and get access to the Eucharist–the very source of Life itself, direct access to the Holy Spirit and union with Christ–I wasn’t so stupid as to risk excommunication from the Chalice with the very person who brought me there.

I also kept my husband updated on our conversations and such.  He never objected to the friendship, so it was never some shady, secret thing.

In fact, I’d often say, “Hey, I got to talk to Richard for an hour on the phone today,” or “We chatted for two hours online just now,” and Jeff would say, “Oh, good, I’m glad you finally got a chance to talk with him again.”

It’s also quite ridiculous that I even have to explain myself.  One adult shouldn’t have to explain/defend his/her friendship choices.  Yet I’ve actually encountered people who thought our relationship was somehow wrong–simply because Richard is a man and I’m a woman and we’re married to others!

It made me wonder if I’d slipped back 100 years or so.  I thought such backward thinking had been eradicated a long time ago!

Until Tracy’s jealousy flared up and I encountered these people, I never felt the need to explain or defend this friendship to anyone!

If Tracy had been sweet, kind and accepting like most of my friends’ significant others, I would’ve loved her like a sister and freely given her hugs (once I got comfortable with her).

She’d probably make a terrible animal trainer, because instead of using love and kindness to draw me to her, she punished me with harshness for not being comfortable around her, chasing me further into my shell.

If only she would take the lesson from my son and one of our cats, a shy and skittish little thing: When he was little, he kept harassing her, so she became afraid of him and ran away from him.  She still gets nervous around him and will sometimes bat at him.

But he grew out of his meanness, and I taught him to be kind and gentle with her, which, over time, is winning her over.  If he kept being mean to her, she would never want anything to do with him.  But now she’s finally beginning to warm up to him, take pets from him, even curl up on his lap.

Whenever I had to deal with false accusations (whether from Tracy or from clueless people on the Internet who don’t understand male-female friendships can be platonic and that it is possible to love without lust and sin), it was ridiculous:

There was no infidelity, no attempt from me to start infidelity, no attempts to get into his pants or even kiss him, except on the head or the cheek (like with a child or beloved brother).

Yet Tracy kept treating me like some kind of ho who doesn’t understand boundaries, as if I were her own ex-friends who apparently did try to screw around with her boyfriends.

To me, she was the one acting extremely inappropriately–Heck, an ex (Phil) had called me “possessive” for far less (not wanting to hear about his lust for others)!  A friend (Catherine) accused me of having Jeff “on a long leash” for far less (not wanting him to share a hotel room with her)!

If I behaved with any of my boyfriends or husband the way she behaved with Richard, I would’ve been unceremoniously dumped immediately.

Tracy’s behavior transgressed boundaries, showing her belief that she could yell or scream or bully anybody she liked, showing a desire to gain control over others/her husband.  It was possessiveness, jealousy without cause.

I believe no one has the right to behave this way with a spouse:

  • to pre-approve his/her friends
  • to control what he/she can or can’t do with friends who haven’t been “approved” (short of infidelity)
  • to tell him/her to stop being friends with someone and get mad because that friend’s name was on his/her cell phone call list
  • to chase away his/her friends (such as Todd or me)
  • to act jealous of his/her friends
  • to yell and scream and/or want to kill as a knee-jerk reaction to anything less than a liplock or groping or finding proof he/she has slept with somebody else
  • to go through his/her cell phone logs, e-mails or pockets without legitimate reason/permission

I believe that anyone who thinks a spouse does have the right to behave this way, has serious control and boundary issues–unless the spouse slept with somebody else.

This is a serious red flag of abuse from this person, so it’s best to get out ASAP, before you find all your friends/family gone and yourself locked into marriage/parenthood with a control freak and domestic abuser.

Every website on abuse I check, seems to list jealousy and isolation from friends/family as major signs of abuse.

In fact, on Facebook an old classmate asked if his girlfriend’s behavior (checking his phone, calling it her “right”) was legitimate.  The responses were a resounding NO, this is not right, and you need to trust someone and give him room for friendships.  One said RUN!

But Tracy blamed others for this behavior and grew angry and accusatory when they objected.  It was all quite maddening, more of Alice in the rabbit hole.

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house 

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me 

4. More details about Tracy’s abuse of her husband and children 

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

 
8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

Sequel to this Story: Fighting the Darkness: Journey from Despair to Healing

 

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