By Kayode Taiwo Olla
The creative talk series Dr. H’Artbeats appears each Saturday with a fictional letter from an imagined lover of the arts entertainment and reader of our blog, and raising very relatable questions and, sometimes also, laughable questions that people may often have about, or even in, the entertainment arts. Opinions of brief practical answers or responses, given amid gentle humour, are gathered for each week’s imagined reader’s question by the moderator of the series—and gathered from selected people that are believed to be well-disposed to give them, by the virtue of their experience, field practice, etc. The arts-entertainment-focused Dr. H’Artbeats Series, inspired by the literature-inclined Dear Brittle Paper Series on BrittlePaper.com, is written and moderated by Kayode Taiwo Olla exclusively on BraveartsAfrica.com.
This week on Dr. H’Artbeats, we consider the question of the much-rumored unfaithfulness in the love relationships of artistes with their spouses, along with the question of suspicion and/or jealousy in love relationships. The responses we have gathered this week are excerpts of written opinion articles around this subject that we came across after we have drafted this week’s creative letter.
Enjoy this week’s edition.
—Kayode, Saturday, January 23, 2016.
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Dear Dr. H’Artbeats,
Thank you for opening up your talk series platform on Bravearts Africa mag, accommodating questions and issues in the arts and entertainment industries and providing practical answers. I am not just a far-off fan of the entertainment industry (though technically I am), I can say I am a fiancée to a notable fast-emerging music star in our country. Many times I’m on top of the world considering this, but then, at other times I am downright low—not unconnected to this as well!
That he is not available for me emotionally most of the time cos he’s very busy ain’t even a big problem for me for me at all. I feel proud of my man even more when he’s busy hosting shows and making guest appearances. When he collaborates with big female artistes, I used to feel quite proud of him until lately I begin to feel quite understandably jealous.
My man seems to me to be he’s sleeping around and he’ll only coming around and deny that to me or will simply keep mute whenever I questioned him. He’s handsome and full of impressive charisma and I’m proud of him for that. I feel so proud when ladies admire him; but I don’t want them owning him too!
Perhaps he’s so playing smart I’d never caught him red-handed. He never admits to my allegations or face to face confirms my strong suspicions. But he’ll always come around and really pleads with me, and yet without owing up directly that he sleeps with this one and that one. There was a single rare time he was quite close to tears begging for something I don’t know cos he didn’t state anything. I was moved and I drew him into me and apologized for not understanding instead. This is what he said, “I’m so sorry, darling, if I’m raising suspicion about this and that! God knows I hate to do that and I’m really sorry about this clumsiness!”
He’s a real star, rising up big time already and I’m proud to be his lady—but I don’t want him to be everybody’s man; that’s what I can’t bear enough to take! I can’t see myself sharing my husband in marriage, whether he’s a superstar or not. I just want him to be mine when it comes to this!
I love him so much and I feel violated when I feel he sleeps around—that hurtful much! Most painful is he still never owns up yet, or even talks about it—not even when I ask him. I’m scared; is this something I’ll have to just bear as the spouse of a star artiste, or something? Dr. H’Artbeats, is there something I can do—I love him so much!
Replies: For N.
While everyone gets jealous or suspicious from time to time, experiencing jealousy on a daily basis can be problematic.
When jealousy strikes, people often compare themselves to their rival, they feel threatened, and they imagine the worst case scenario—that their partner or spouse might leave them for someone else.
Not only is jealousy unpleasant to experience, but individuals, who are chronically jealous or suspicious, often misinterpret what is going on—taking what might be an innocent event and thinking about it in the worst way possible. For example, if a boyfriend or girlfriend does not immediately return a phone call, a highly jealous individual will jump to a negative conclusion (my partner doesn’t love me or my partner is cheating).
Jumping to such conclusions can drive people crazy and it often fuels their suspicion more.
Negative thoughts, doubts, and insecurities often lead to more negative thoughts, doubts, and insecurities…
Learning how to deal with jealousy effectively is critical to maintaining a healthy relationship.
…[S]ome specific advice for dealing with jealousy.
• talk about your insecurities
• try to think about events differently
• last resort – try to erase doubts
On the other hand, a lot of research shows that talking to a partner about being jealous is the best way of dealing with it. As a general rule, when talking about jealousy, it helps to focus on your feelings and not necessarily your partner’s behavior.
In other words, do not blame or attack your spouse or partner because you feel jealous—rather explain how you feel (“Sometimes my jealousy gets the best of me, and I don’t like feeling this way…”).
If you can talk directly to your spouse or partner about how you feel, you are less likely to act in ways that create more distance and distrust in your relationship or marriage. In fact, people often feel closer when they can talk to their partners about their problems in a constructive manner…
Another way of overcoming jealousy involves trying to think about events that make you suspicious differently.
Again, jealous partners or spouses put the worst spin on everything that happens. And a lot of things that happen in a relationship or marriage are somewhat ambiguous—events and actions are almost always open to more than one interpretation.
For instance, if a husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend does not answer the phone right away—there are many different possible explanations (people are busy, batteries die, calls don’t go through, etc). Overly jealous individuals, however, jump to the worst case scenario and dwell on it, which just leads to more problems in the long run. So, when events that trigger jealousy occur, it helps to interpret them in a different light. Rather than jump to the worst case scenario, why not try to think about the best case scenario?
Cheating spouses exploit their partner’s desire to trust. There are few hard and fast signs of infidelity.
Cues of infidelity vary widely from relationship to relationship, making it impossible to provide a useful list of behaviors that has a high degree of accuracy. In hindsight, however, the warnings signs always appear obvious.
In fact, there are so many telltale lists of infidelity cues that it is hard to know what to believe [see their signs of cheating form to determine further].
Given all the different lists that exist, it helps to keep the following in mind.
Providing a list of the signs of cheating is often counterproductive. First, any given behavior is open to multiple interpretations. Does a spouse’s sudden interest in losing weight signal infidelity? Could it be due to some other reason?
The explanation for any behavior is never as clear-cut as we would like to believe.
Furthermore, looking for signs of infidelity tends to fuels one’s suspicions. For instance, does your spouse clear his or her call log after each call? Dwelling on such matters tends to make people more suspicious. The way people generally handle their suspicion ends up helping a cheating spouse.
—Excerpted from ‘What is the Best Way to Overcome Jealousy’, ‘How to Catch a Cheating Spouse’ on TruthAboutDeception.com.
Replies: For Artistes' Excesses
The belief that artists are entitled to be morally careless—that great art excuses everything—has proved to be one of the more tenacious parts of our Romantic inheritance….
Perhaps one way of disturbing our reflexive deference to the bad manners of great men is to read the firsthand testimonies of the women who have suffered them. Listening to the robbed mothers and oppressed spouses and neglected children of literary history, we notice that much of what has traditionally been ascribed to artistic ruthlessness is indistinguishable from the standard selfishness of non-artists…
Sometimes, of course, the claims of art are genuinely at odds with human kindness, and an artist really does have to choose between, as it were, his sonnet and his mother [for instance].
—Excerpted from Zoë Heller’s Opinion article on the subject “Is the Writer’s Only Responsibility to His Art?” on NYTimes.com, January 19, 2016.
Disclaimer: Dr. H'Artbeats Series' stories and characters are fictional accounts meant to be relatble; resemblances to actual person's life stories and events are, therefore, by coincidence. (See past editions of the weekly Dr. H'Artbeats Series HERE.)