Americans generally find jealousy to be a sort of tangible evidence of how much less worthy you believe you are in comparison to the object of your jealousy. Or maybe that’s just my opinion. I like living in a foreign land because as I am far removed from my native context, I can see things about myself I probably wouldn’t be able to see if I was immersed in my own backdrop. I can see things about myself and about fellow Americans that I cannot see when I am the victim of the ambient patriotism and various psychological trends one is prey to while living in the Mother Land.
When I was growing up, in my family and in my circle of friends, any public display of jealousy was scorned. We felt it but we were convinced that expressing it would be a pathetic disclosure of our own insecurity and self-doubt. With French men, all of their heavy looks, eager smiles and guilty murmuring directed towards other women do not faze me. On the surface. I was surprised when my mastery at hiding my moments of nearly insane jealousy did not necessarily impress them and more or less gave them the impression that I did not really care for them or love them.
I am at a point of acceptance of my husband’s infidelity, (past, present, future, presque-parfait, whatever) and I am now free to live my own sexual life apart. My lover is married, just like I am. Jealousy now seems even more ridiculous to me now than ever. I am well aware that fucking someone and loving someone do not always coincide, in the same way that not fucking someone does not necessarily mean that you do not love that person. This is where my ideas get incredibly scrambled. Mixed up in how I really do feel and how I think I should feel.
As the French say, “You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs!”