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How can I overcome this worst kind of jealousy?

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Hey Mark,

I'm 20 years old and have been in a relationship for a little over four years now. We've been dating out of high school, both going to the same college, and have taken a lot of the same classes. I have the worst kind of jealousy. I think about it almost every day and when my periods come, my anxiety is even more heightened.

A friend of his popped back into his life last summer and it's a girl. I've been around him for so long, almost every day, that adjusting to the idea that a good friend of his is another girl is making me very jealous. She's nice, but I don't like her, because I feel like he gives her a lot of attention, which makes me feel bad, but I know I need to stop because she's just his friend. And I know he loves me, but it's so hard.

Then at school, he's trying to get this other girl to sing for him so he can record music to her voice...and that too is really upsetting for me. I've been crying a bit too much over this and fear he wants to leave me soon too, because I have a hard time letting go and letting him do what he wants. And I feel so guilty about it!!

I just don't have any other friends, no job, unsupportive parents, and really no support except from an old friend who lives five to six hours away...and talk to them online. I don't know how to do this on my own. I feel like a train about to go off the tracks. I don't know how to keep on track and make myself feel good about him giving other girls attention and feeling left out.

Please help me.

This question was submitted by 'Alisha'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hi Alisha and thank you for writing in.

I guess you have read the '7 Tips for Overcoming Jealousy in Relationships' article? I also suggest you start listening to the 'Overcoming Jealousy' download or if you really feel general relationship insecurity is an ongoing issue, then consider taking the '10 Steps to Overcome Insecurity in Relationships' program.

But whether you decide to go down that route or not, I hope I can be of some use to you here. On the one hand, you know with your 'thinking mind' that your man is true to you and wants to be exclusively with you. But on the other hand, with your 'emotional mind', you feel threatened some of the time, especially by this other female friend he has.

The more relaxed you can be about all this, the more he will feel able to trust you, in that he won't feel he has to hide even innocent contact with women to protect your feelings - if that makes sense. One irony of uncontrolled jealousy within a relationship is that it causes secretiveness even when there was none before (but the jealous person assumed there was).

Next time you are tempted to give in to the emotional part of the mind that misuses imagination, write down someplace exactly what those fears are and, next to that, what real, hard evidence for those fears is actually there. Practice calming down your body and your mind will follow.

You have spotted when that jealousy is at its worst (before periods come). Spot other times where you might feel more vulnerable to it, perhaps when you are tired or even hungry. But just as importantly, by definition, because it is sometimes worse, then sometimes it is better. Make a point of noticing when it is naturally better outside of being reassured by your boyfriend. When you are absorbed in something else? When you are talking with your friend? Really notice those times too, because they give you the clue to how to grow beyond the problem.

But there is something else here. You mention you don't have any other friends, no job, that your parents are not supportive, and that you have one friend with whom you communicate online.

You need to build your life up and not just base it all on this one person. It always feels much more threatening when 'all your eggs are in one basket'. No one person should be anyone's all and everything, because if that 'all and everything' does disappear, it feels more devastating. In reality, even if your relationship with him did end, you would be all right. But it doesn't feel that way, partly because you are not currently meeting your array of primal human needs in your life in many different ways.

If your need for friendship, fun, meaning, and so on are just met through your boyfriend, then it will feel so much more risky. Sometimes you overcome a problem by seeming to focus on another problem. So for now, along with the other ideas I've presented here, also focus on getting more into your life beyond just your relationship. Read this article and actively seek to meet your needs in at least a few more ways outside of your relationship. This will give you a 'safety net' and enable you to feel more secure generally, which will help to calm down all that inflamed feeling so that you and he can enjoy your relationship.

All best wishes,

Mark

watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - December 26th, 2014 in

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