Arts & Life

Straight Shooters: Practical wisdom for couples

Samantha and Gordon have been together for 20 years. They are both writers and comics, with Samantha also an animal care giver, and Gordon a musician. They bear witness to the troubles and tribulations of other twosomes with a deep sympathy born from their own experiences together. In this space, they will share what has often been hard-won wisdom, in the happy hope it will be of service.

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Jealousy is not a feeling with which I am particularly familiar, not, you understand, because I am so glowingly Heavenly to look upon that none who are with me would even consider leaving my shining side. Other things are at work. Genetics for starters. My parents are both practical no-nonsense folk who assume, and rightly so, that their spouse is with them for the simple, bedrock reason that they wish to be there. Also, I have never experienced what must be the truly awful feeling that my mate is interested in pursuing another. Well, that’s not quite true. There are very specific times where my self-esteem is just wobbly enough that such things do enter my consciousness. These times can be summed up with 3 ragged little letters: PMS. During these few unsettling and unpredictable days, anything is possible. So yes, I have briefly fallen victim to that tightening ball of panic which plummets boulder-like to ricochet round my pits.

I am more familiar though, with my partner wrestling with that foetid green sprite. He is not a possessive bloke, but, like anyone with a heart and a mind, both of which he has in abundance, he needs to feel loved, safe and attractive. I can give him this by sharing it with him, by catching his eye across the room and smiling, or letting loose with a saucy wink, or giving him the finger to make him laugh. I want him to know two things: 1) He is right on the money that this guy is flirting with me and 2) I remain irrevocably, irretrievably his. This exchange puts us both at playful ease, giving us the freedom to enjoy each other and ourselves, and at the end of the night? We walk out hand in hand, home to our bed and the life we have woven together.


Sometimes justified and other times merely the product of a mind off its meds, jealousy can strike at the heart of any relationship no matter how stable it may appear.  In men, it can manifest as posturing, table pounding and at worst, fighting drunkenly in the street with the offending d-bag who looked twice at your date. In women, the reflex can translate with thrown knick-knacks, toilet bound cell phones and restraining orders. Why? Is any of this grounded in reality or are we just externalizing something much more profound?

My girl is a five foot 10 brunette head-turner who draws appreciative glances from men all around her. You can bet that she’s been hit on, and sometimes when I’m in the room.  I have learned over the years how to recognize when another male of the species is taking a run at my baby and believe me, the heavy hand is not the way to go.  If your girl is jealous then make it your business to reassure her. Embrace her in full view of the public and plant a kiss  on the nape of her neck. Let her know how hot she makes you feel.  If you’re in love, daddy-o, then let the girl know in a way that isn’t cloying.  In short, communicate. There’s nothing wrong with the naturally jealous male; your girl actually gets off on it no matter what she might be telling you, but keep in mind: have some class and above all, no fighting.  If you’re in an early blush, watch it fizzle as she glimpses your coin slot whilst you flail on the floor with a guy in a v-neck.  Play your cards right and you could be flailing floor-ward with the girl of your dreams. At her place.

All relationship queries are warmly and heartily encouraged.
Samantha Bennett is a writer and comic who can be reached at where she cheerfully encourages feedback.

Gord Disley ia a comedian, writer and garde manger based in Montreal.