Help! Jealousy Is Ruining My Relationship

jealousy-ruining-my-relationshipQuestion: Our relationship started on a strong friendship foundation. There was a real connection. But now we’re fighting all the time. I have worked with many therapists to try to control my jealousy but it only gets better for a while then it’s a problem again. Now he does not want to be sexually intimate with me. He says that because of my jealousy it is hard for him to be relaxed and intimate. I believe he still loves me, at least I hope so but can not bring himself to move past some of the things I’ve said and done. I don’t like being the way I am. I might lose him. I love him. Help me. Please.

Yangki’s Answer: There is no simple way to help you. Jealousy is not something you just advice someone to snap out of it and they do. Yes, it’s definitely triggered by feelings of deep insecurity — sometimes unfounded and other times as a result of the other person’s thoughtless or self-centered actions. I am not saying this is the case with you as you have not indicated to me that your guy is playing stupid head games just to get you jealous, but there are emotionally immature people who do this knowing too well how someone with insecurities will react. The other person’s emotional “upset” somehow reassures them they are “important and needed” — which makes them feel good about themselves.

But jealous is more that about what the other person says or does. Jealousy comes from a need to posses; a need to claim something or someone as yours (me and mine mindset). Some people call this “possesive love”. In my opinion when you add ” possesive” to love, it becomes something else.

When you love someone in a possessive way, the more you think/feel he is not acting like he is “yours”, the more you crave constant reassurance that he is yours.  It’s this craving for constant reassurance that makes the other person feel “trapped” in the relationship – and want out.

Therapy does help some people by going back to the past to find out where the behaviour was learned and why, “unlearn” or modify it. As a coach I try very much not to work with the past but with the present to make the future better.

My advice for you is:

1. Develop healthy inter-dependence– having a sense of self that is independent of his. Your sense of self is who you really are without the need for anything or anyone outside of yourself. Discovering what is so “unique” about you helps you operate from a place where you do not feel that you need him to guarantee your “security”. From this place you are more able to function as an autonomous human being with the other’s best interest at heart.

2. Take ownership of your own thoughts and responsibility for your own feelings. It’s good that you’re already taking responsibility for your actions In addition to talking responsibility for your own actions, you must also teach yourself to accept that 100% reassurance that the person will never leave you or cheat on you does not exist even in “perfect” relationships (which we all know do not exist).

3. Redirect all that energy you waste seeking constant assurance to improving your relationship. Become the woman (look, talk and act) he first fell in love with and who (in your mind) you believe he’d want to have an affair with.

If it helps at all (with the jealousy thoughts..:-), him saying he does not want to be sexually intimate with you does not necessarily mean there is someone else or that he wants to start seeing other women. If he deeply loves you as you say he does, he may simply be trying to avoid the “jealousy episodes” by eliminating the “sexual” aspect of the relationship.  You don’t say it, but based on his decision to not be sexually intimate, I have a strong feeling this is what usually begins it.  You might want to pay more attention to this particular area of your relationship — and of yourself.

Don’t let jealousy ruin a good thing!

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  1. says: Sasha

    Thank you for this article. It has made me see a lot of me/my actions in it and I don’t want to continue having marital problems due to it. My jealously caused my husband to have anger explosions and we are now separated due to it. We will begin counseling today. Any advice?

  2. says: tony

    I can relate to this. My GF has a major jealous streak and really says some hurtful things. As I’m recently divorced she continues to say I want to go back which is definately not what I want to do.

    I just sent her this article and she refuses to read and says she doesn’t need to see a doctor!!! I’m just trying to get her to understand how I feel.

    Thanks for the articles, it helps somewhat for what I’m going through.

    1. It’s tough being in a relationship with someone who is overly jealous. But accusing her of being jealous, telling her suspicions are irrational and unfounded, or trying to make her get “help” doesn’t help.

      If you love her and want to be with her, instead of making this about you by trying to make her understand how you feel, try to understand why she’s jealous and ask her what YOU can do to make her feel more safe. It doesn’t completely eliminate the jealous streak because jealousy is about her own personal insecurities, but it helps ease things a little and may inspire her to get help on her own because she wants it, not because you think you can make her change or want to change.

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