Color me content when my ex, an old boyfriend – the old boyfriend – dropped in. Was my husband jealous? Did I want him to be?
This was about five years into the marriage, and while life wasn’t idyllic, I was caught up in the pleasurable haze of being part of a couple, having a home of my own, two beautiful baby boys, and the sense that I had somehow, despite the odds… ‘made it.’
That my spouse exhibited no jealousy whatsoever seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary; he had every reason to be secure, as did I.
I was also extremely happy for my once-upon-a-time Big Love. He was blissfully remarried, and I remember the warmth of that meeting and my impression that things work out for the best.
I confess: I wax nostalgic remembering that “version” of me, knowing the ways in which I’ve changed.
Using an Old Boyfriend to Make Your Husband Jealous?
Some five years later, the scene would’ve been different: My spouse and I were at odds, he was jealous of an old friend we both knew (or feigned it for his own purposes), and I couldn’t comprehend how we had fallen so far, so fast.
I would have welcomed the boost of an old boyfriend’s visit then, if for no reason than to remind me of who I was and my own value, both of which had gone missing.
To make my husband jealous? Frankly, I was so guileless in those years, I doubt I would have thought of it. I’m well aware that many women use jealousy as a tool to garner attention – a dangerous tool in my opinion – but tricks have never been my style in any aspect of life, and I’m not a believer in “bait-and-switch” of any sort in relationships, before or after marriage.
The Value of an Ex Arriving on Scene
I have been contemplating the manner in which relationships reinforce our better angels, who and what we know ourselves to be, or conversely, the way relationships can cause self-worth to crumble. Along those lines, I’ve also been thinking about how an ex, someone we once loved – a former boyfriend or girlfriend – can help us revive belief in ourselves. And it may come at a time when it is sorely lacking.
I remember hearing from an old boyfriend several years ago. He is a fine man, our relationship was special to both of us, and we remained friends long after the romance had waned. I still count him as a friend, and remember catching up on the phone and through email during a very down period. The little spark of flirtation we exchanged, his reminders of the fun we shared – both raised my spirits and renewed my desire to explore the dating world again.
And I’m glad I did. That was the impetus I needed to “get back out there” and socialize.
Had I been in a relationship at the time, might I have used this contact to spark a little extra passion around the place? I suppose the answer to that is “it depends” – on whether or not a poke in that direction were warranted.
How to Make a Man Jealous
As I said, I’m not much for the female “tricks of the trade,” which isn’t to say I don’t adore my “chaussures” and lingerie. But both are at least as much for me as for the enjoyment of anyone else…
Many, single or married, believe that stirring the pot is fair game: Jealousy in a boyfriend or husband can be very useful, if you’re careful not to provoke possessiveness (or worse) that can become unpleasant.
Personally, I would find an overtly jealous partner a drag. To me it would indicate a lack of trust. But for some couples, the green-eyed monster is the muse they seem to need to keep passion alive. And, as expressed in this “how to” on making your guy jealous, the underlying assumption is:
… Jealousy induces desire and attraction…
And that means resorting to a rather long litany of tactics that may include:
- not taking calls
- complimenting other men
- flirting with others
- maintaining your independence
- staying in touch with an ex
And a whole lot more, some of which is verrrrrry dangerous if you value the relationship, or the potential relationship. Might I say the expression “playing with fire” comes to mind?
On Being Your Own Person
While I may not ascribe to the theory that jealousy should be part of anyone’s relationship bag of tricks, there’s no question that moments of comparison, insecurity, and yes, increased desire may be ignited when the jealousy card is dealt.
I can certainly see where there is value in a husband, wife, or partner viewing his spouse through the eyes of someone who doesn’t take her for granted, but I wouldn’t want it to go farther than that.
As for the list above, I consider not taking calls to be childish, complimenting other people (and not just the opposite sex) to be something that should be done in appropriate ways, that comparisons (in any number of sensitive areas) are a poor idea, and flirting in front of your guy – not too bright.
Maintaining one’s independence?
Single, married, living together – I’ve learned this lesson the hard way. I consider a significant degree of independence vital to self-preservation. And I see no issue with staying in touch with an ex when you have no intention of rekindling, and nor does he. If he’s a longtime friend, why not?
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