“What Jealousy Made Me Do”

Think you’ve let possessiveness get the best of you? Our readers share their worst transgressions—all in the name of love!

By Katie Naylon

admit it: Although I consider myself a pretty secure, confident person when it comes to relationships, jealousy has occasionally spun me out of control like the Gravitron at the county fair. My worst experience, by far, occurred when my boyfriend Grant logged onto a networking site and showed me a profile of his “jogging buddy” Amy.

As soon as I saw her profile, alarm bells went off. Amy was pretty and, scarier yet, had tons more in common with my boyfriend than I did. Not only did they run together to
“I figured out his email password and wrote back to random girls who were writing to him.”
stay in shape, they were both getting law degrees, into politics, and addicted to Law & Order. Although he swore they were just friends, I couldn’t help thinking: What if there was more to their bond than a slew of mutual interests?

Once I saw Amy’s profile, I couldn’t help returning to it, obsessively. Whenever I logged on, I checked to see if she’d uploaded new photos or changed any of her survey answers. If it appeared the same, I hit refresh just to double-check. I knew I was being ridiculous, but thought that if I stared long enough, I could somehow deduce what she was like and whether she had some secret hold on my boyfriend that I could never compete with.

In short, I stared at her photos and pondered her existence so much that I guess I wasn’t entirely surprised when I bumped into her on the subway—and immediately recognized her. She was wearing a Tiffany-style necklace I recalled from one of her posted photos (boy, did I pay attention to details) and reading one of the magazines she’d mentioned in her profile. Sneaking glances at her from behind my oversized sunglasses, I knew this was my chance to confirm my jealous fears or put them to rest.

I walked over and introduced myself as Grant’s girlfriend, mentioning that he’d showed me her profile. Her response floored me: Really? She said. That’s strange, because I’m his girlfriend too. I’ll bet you can imagine what ensued between me, Grant, and his other girlfriend after that eye-opening moment. In some ways, perhaps my suspicions — which led me to introduce myself to a stranger on a train — paid off.

But more often than not, romantic jealousy leads us to do things that are wrong-headed and just plain embarrassing. Check out these stories from Happen readers and know that many of us in the pursuit of love have been driven to do things we’re none too proud of.

Don’t call me, I’ll call you
“Before caller ID, I had a girlfriend of mine three-way call a guy that I was dating to come on to him and see if he would cheat or say something about me, etc. He asked her
Needless to say, the relationship ended there.
to hold on while he took another call, but really just muted us… then the two of us started talking about the next thing to ask him and he busted us! Needless to say, the relationship ended there.”
—Julie, New York City

Your not-so-friendly Neighborhood Watch Program
“My ex-boyfriend was pretty shady so sometimes my spider-sense would get the best of me. One woman I didn’t trust had started soliciting my boyfriend for ‘rides to work.’ One night he didn’t call me or come over as planned; he also wasn’t answering his phone. So at 4 a.m., I drove over to his house, but no one answered the door. I knew the general neighborhood where the girl lived, so I got back in my car and drove up and down each and every street, looking for his car. Then, in a frenzy, I got out of my car and started creeping up driveways that went around the backs of houses, to see if his car was maybe hidden in the back of someone’s house—like a prowler! Finally I gave up, and when I spoke to him later he said he’d been playing poker all night over at a friend’s house. Whether or not it was true I don’t know for sure, but still, I felt pretty silly in retrospect trying to track him down.”
—Phoebe, Atlanta

Real class act
“I got these subtle clues my girlfriend was seeing someone else. So one day, I trailed her from her office and you know what? She was taking night classes to get a better job. I felt like such a loser.”
—Hektor, Philadelphia

Email impersonator
“I was convinced my boyfriend was cheating, so to find out for sure, I figured out his email password, checked his email daily, and wrote back to random girls who were writing to him. The girls could have been friends or more than friends with my guy, I’ll never know for sure, But either way I wrote them emails and made sure to say something about ‘his wonderful girlfriend who he is in love with.’ How awful is that?”
—Tamara, 29, Charleston, NC

Katie Naylon is a writer based in New York City.
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