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Extreme Jealousy

Question:

Hello:

I’m a beautiful, successful and smart 22 year old female. My problem is, I’m very jealous. I mean, I’m disturbingly jealous. I don’t even want to let my boyfriend speak to cashiers in the supermarkets or waiters in the restaurants. I’m psychically in pain, in my stomach and in my chest, when he goes out with his friends, even though I know that he’s just going to a pub with his male friends. If he occasionally goes to a club or (we’re in different cities right now, temporarily), I cry at home all night and thinking about ending this relationship instead of being in this much pain. And my boyfriend is not even flirty person. He had very few relationships before he met me. I know he’s not searching for anything.

We’re together almost one year, and we really love each other. But my jealousy is tiring me and him. Sometimes try to be reasonable and tell him that ofcourse he can go out with his friends and I’m okay with it. However and in fact all I’m cry, suffering and preparing myself to a break-up because I fear he’ll meet someone while he’s out.

Before I met him, I was always a very attractive woman who was asked out by lots of people. I was avoiding relationships because I already knew my painfully jealous condition. Now that I’m in a relationship, I’m suffocating myself with my own jealousy.

Even though everybody around me says that he can’t possibly find anyone better than me and I can find someone much better than him, I feel inferior.

 What can I do and how can I start to accept that it is normal for him to talk with females, and I shouldn’t be freaked out all the time?

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  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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Answer:

From everything you describe about yourself it is possible that you have something we called a “personality disorder.” In addition, it is possible that you are depressed. Of course, this is not a diagnosis of you because I do not know you. Only a psychologist or psychiatrist who meets you directly in the office can make a reliable diagnosis. So, this is merely an opinion.

A personality disorder means that you have a repeated form of behavior that has plagued you most of your life.  Your low self esteem may indicate depression. It is interesting because you report that you are beautiful and smart but do not really feel that way about yourself. Instead, you suffer from chronic self doubt and do not really believe that your boyfriend wants to be with you. Perhaps you want to avoid real intimacy with your boyfriend because you doubt yourself.

What is worrisome about your jealousy is that you run the risk of sabotaging this relationship by constantly complaining about what he is doing regardless of how much he reassures you. In addition, you regularly think about ending this relationship. Whether you do or not you will continue to experience the same types of feelings in the next relationship. Also, this will continue when and if you marry.

Under the circumstances I suggest psychotherapy, particularly the psychodamic type, where you can talk about your past, fears of relationships and chronic self doubt. Through this type of “talking therapy, you can experience your relationship with the therapist and explore how you are repeating these ways of feelings through the therapeutic relationship as you are likely to repeat these feelings with him or her. A well trainded clinical psychologist or clinical social worker would be your best approach to therapy.

Best of luck. 

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