Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship/Jealousy
English is not my first language, so I apologise in advance for any mistakes you may find in this letter.
I'm married to the love of my life and I trust him implicitly. He's a very honest, respectful and trustworthy guy. We've been together for 5 years but we've known each other for 12 years (we dated for 4 years in the past).
Even though I've never heard him make any disrespectful comments about women (I mean, of sexual nature) or give any women a lustful look, I'm still very, very jealous. Just the thought of him lusting after another woman makes me cringe. I know this is utterly ridiculous and I'm very ashamed of feeling this way. My husband feeling sexually attracted to another woman doesn't mean he'll dump me or cheat on me. I know this. I don't even know why exactly it bothers me so much when I picture my husband lusting after beautiful women, actresses, models etc.
Whenever I see a beautiful woman on the street, I'm afraid he'll find her attractive. Whenever there's a beautiful actress on a movie, I kinda feel anxious and pray that this woman will not take off her clothes. It feels like a nightmare, because there are beautiful women everywhere.
I went into psychotherapy more than once, I've tried counselling, meditation, exercising, you name it. But nothing and nobody has ever changed the way I feel. I see my girlfriends not being jealous of stupid things like the ones I've mentioned and I envy them.
Could you please help me? How can I overcome this? I mean, I know that going into therapy is important, but I'd like to hear something more "practical".
Thank you so much.
Jealousy in relationships is something that can really effect a relationship in a bad way. It's not only destructive to ourselves, it's also destructive to your partner.
I think everyone has been guilty of a little bit of jealousy. Some get a bit more carried away where it becomes a serious problem in the relationship. Which it can potentially ruin a pretty good thing. Here's the do's and don'ts, along with dealing with it better.1
Be more secure in yourself. Jealousy most of the time leads to insecurity in yourself. Look, if this person is dating you, then they obviously like you. No one dates someone just for the heck of it. If you can develop more confidence in yourself, than you can help overcome the feeling of jealousy. Being more confident also goes with having a better attitude around your mate. If you're positive and confident to be around, they're going to be into you.. If you're always getting mad, angry, and questioning their motives, or who they are with. You're just going to make them angry and push them away. Maybe into another persons arms for real this time.
Stop being controlling. If you're starting to feel the need to control your partner, you got to stop this. You're going down a dangerous path of jealousy. You can't have every waking moment with them, and you have to allow them to have their independence, or time alone. This is not healthy. This does not mean they are going to go behind your back, and cheat on you. Most people who've been cheated on, have this problem a lot. They want to control more of what they're partner is doing, to try to erase what has happen in the past. Or their fears of not trusting. This is not healthy for you, or your partner. This is serious jealousy. Controlling a person, is jealousy if my book. You're controlling them from the fears you have. You can't control everything, but you can present yourself better to avoid bad things actually happening. The controlling is just revealing your most inner fears. That's lack-of-trust in your partner, and who they may be with. Not a good way to go about this, so I'd stop it before your partner hurts you in return. Because I can tell you, they don't feel very good about themselves, or very happy about the relationship anymore.
Give real trust to your partner. If you really can't trust them, break up then. Otherwise, develop real, honest trust. If he or she says the opposite sex is just a friend, then believe that. One thing you have to accept. He or she will never go the rest of their lives NOT being attracted to someone. The same thing goes with yourself. If you can't handle that, then you're never going to be mature enough to be in relationship. You need more self-control and understanding. That does not mean, they'll actually go down the path of betraying you. If you are giving your partner honest love, trust, and respect. Then you are in great hands, with them knowing they have something special with you, that they'd not like to screw that up. There's a difference between being completely into someone, and just having a little attraction. People are pretty sensitive, and it's easy for someone to assume, or think they really don't care enough. Show real trust to your partner. Show real love. You can't fake those things either. Human emotions aren't easy to fake. If you give those to your partner, your jealousy and insecurity will fade. You should never get serious, unless you're serious about giving those emotions to your partner, and vise versa. There's a reason why these two needs are crucial.
Time away doesn't always mean they don't miss you. A relationship is tricky, and sometimes being around someone makes you more edgy, and paranoid at the same time. We also like having the attention in a relationship. You easily feel insulted if they go a day without calling, or something. It's okay to take time to process your thoughts. Sometimes they just need the same thing. It doesn't mean they don't miss, or need you. Sometimes they may be really busy too. Don't let assumptions run wild. Keep your mind off those things. At the same time, if you notice this is a continued theme, then talk to them about it with reason. Explaining things calmly can go a long way of helping, rather than lashing out with emotion.
Think things through and don't overreact. Most the time when jealousy triggers, you're not being fair or rational at all. If it triggers from them smiling at someone, or you notice a friendly look. Look, relax, don't assume something so easily. They can just simply act friendly to the opposite sex, and it doesn't mean anything at all. They might honestly even think the person is attractive. Again, you can't control these impulses and it does NOT mean they seriously are opening an invitation for this person. Let go of your pride, you are NOT going to be the only person they are attracted to in life. Do you honestly think your mate, is seriously going to come on to someone in front of you anyway? If they had serious thing with this person, they'd try to hide this emotion and act awkward instead. Being friendly, is easily assumed as more than that sometimes. Chances are you're making a much bigger deal out of it than what it really is.
Put yourself in their shoes. Say a nice looking guy, or girl, who seemed friendly to you. Say you notice they even seem attracted to you. You like this and are flattered, right? You are even a bit extra friendly back to them. This doesn't honestly mean you're ready to ditch your mate and go out with them, does it? So that's the exact same thing for them. Don't make them feel guilty for having normal human impulses. You aren't being very fair, and you're also overreacting to the situation. The subtle things like this seem to drive jealousy the most in relationships. Don't let it. Your partner wouldn't be with you, if they weren't into you. You got to remember that. Don't make them FORGET what made them fall for you. If you play the bad person, they'll start viewing you as that.
Understand who you're with. Good golly, no wonder so many people get jealous. One, do you really know who you're with? Two, are you just so blind to see reality for what it is? Sorry if I'm coming off rough, it's just I've seen some of my OWN faults in things like this myself. So for a personal situation, it's frustrating, and easy for a lot of us to fall under this trap. Not everyone is who they seem. So you got to dig deep and really understand, and not underestimate who you're with. I feel if you're getting jealous, you either don't know the person well, or you're not reading them right. Understand the person they are. There are signs there, to see what kind of person they truly are and what motivated them. Sometimes you can know a person well and still be so blind to a lot of what makes up who they are. What triggers them.
Get a pencil, paper, and write down who they are. Really think and reflect on conversations you've had, things they've told you. See if things start adding up and try to make sense of how you truly see them as a person. If they're the honest type. The kind of person that doesn't seem afraid of being truthful with you, even if it's painful. That's a positive sign is complete and brave honesty in them. Are they very loyal to their friends? Are they a loyal son or daughter? These should be positive signs to show you "hey it's okay" they aren't that bad. Are they a considerate person to others feelings? Are they not self-centered and do they really think about others needs? If these are all positive signs, relax, you have nothing to worry or get jealous over. These are positive signs of a healthy partner, in a healthy relationship. Only your self ego, and insecurity can ruin it now. So address your own needs, if it's truly not them. Be brave enough to figure out where the jealousy is coming from. Give an honest evaluation of the situation.