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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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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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Comments
  • Anonymous-1

    I feel this way too. I have been to different mental health doctors and feel like nothing is helping. I love my boyfriend very much and know that I drive him away with my constant fear of him finding something better, yet I can't seem to stop or find the right help. Losing him would be devistating because I know I could never find someone better for me than him. I feel I'm at a loss of options to overcoming this and really hope you find help.

  • Jeffrey

    I have the exact same thing, but for some reason I want my girl to be jealous as well. It seems I always get the girl who is never jealous. When a girls jealous I know she wont cheat on me, so thats why I need one lol

  • bridgetown

    my god, i feel the same, im engaged to a fantastic gorgeous man who loves me so much, im beautiful (a model) but sit here shaken with anxiety that he will run off and find someone better im so jelous and its driving me mad at the moment. It comes in stages... some weeks i feel great, others i just want to end things so i can end the pain. Either way i end up sitting here crying. Im going to see a therapist soon, but just waiting for my appointment date.

    its so frustrating bc it seems as though your mind wants to mess up your life but you should be able to control your mind.

  • Anonymous-2

    I have a beautiful, successful and intelligent 21 year old daughter. Aside from her accomplishments she is very envious of her brothers and constantly finds something to fight about. It always come back to her constantly wanting attention. She is so mature in many ways but worse then a spoiled child in other ways. This is really hurting my family.

  • Allan N. Schwartz, PhD

    At twenty one years of age it is very likely that your daughter is very conflicted about entering the world as a full adult. She is intelligent, talented and capable. Those are very positive characteristics. At the same time, facing full independence and separateness is very scary. I suspect that is fueling her anger. It is not so much jealously as it is fear of coping with life. It seems to me that psychotherapy would be a very good idea for her. However, she cannot and should not be forced. The family needs to be patient with her and empathetic. It's hard to grow up and harder for some more than others.

    Dr. Schwartz

  • Mom+Wife

    Just to comment on the guy who "needs a jealous girl because she won't cheat", that's not true. Often, women that insecure will cheat to gain the reassurance they're lacking. Just get some therapy.

    Also, this type of jealousy does not go away even if you date someone you believe won't cheat. While it is your mates job to let you know they want you, it is not their job (nor possible) for them to fulfill you as a person. Being jealous to this extent is a result of something in your past or deep insecurities. Which by the way usually stem from something in your past.

    With me, my father constantly cheated and my mother constantly told me I wasn't as pretty as other girls in a sick attempt to not raise a daughter who's stuck on herself. Well she did and didn't get her wish. I'm DEF not stuck on myself thinking I'm better than everyone, but I am stuck on myself in the sense that I forever trying to become something that will finally take away my insecurities enough so that I won't be jealous. And why? So I can keep my man. The man who's where? With me. Where he chose to be.

    So what's the answer to this problem? Therapy from a trained professional. Nothing else is going to fix this.

  • pete

    i am a 31 year old man with pretty much the same issue only the feelings produce feelings of helpless rage that constantly infect and destroy most things friendships i come into contact with. I have a few friends who know i do not like being this way and over time i have come to trust them more than they will ever know my self esteem does not exist i have no feelings of self worth and hate and anger is a frequent entity in my mind. I have used recreational drugs to subdue this emptiness i suffer but now no longer use but now im forced to be face to face with myself my dreams are corrupted by scenes of faliure and desertion of the people whom i really do love wtf am i supposed to do to control this as it has haunted me all my life. I had breakdowns suicide attempt and hate the image of myself in the mirror. I have 3 kids so it is not an option anymore where do i go what do i do i am really losing my soul. I have manipulated situations using malice and tooth gritting anger till the point where people are afraid of my reaction to everyday interactions my now ex-mrs has developed a social axiety because of me. This is compiling my feelings of self hatred and loathing.

  • Allan N. Schwartz, Phd

    Pete,

    Your comment is very interesting. I plan to respond to it with a blog. Look for the article in the next few days.

    Dr. Schwartz

  • Anonymous-3

    i am engaged and i have a 1 year old daughter.. i am constantly getting jealous because he talks to my sister wich i am kind of jealous of my sisters body she has a really nice body and my fiance has told me so too way before we were engaged.. even when they just talk i get extremely jealous and we end up fighting i feel like i am driving him away with my jealousy and he told me he does not want to get married until i stop being extremely jealous.. i want to not be jealous but i feel like i am a completely different person when i am jealous.. i get jealous of everything.. wen he talks to his ex girlfriends his girl friends from the past or even the cashiers and the waitresses.. even when he is looking outside the car window and there is a girl passing by i think he is looking at her.. i really need help i dont want to loose my family

  • jessi

    i've been jealous abt my ex too.. i broke up with him because i thought i will totally lose my mind and also trouble him with my jealous.. i keep reassurin myself that im better looking than him n more successful than him.. bt still i dunno y i get so jealous.. i wasnt the same in the relationship i had before. its just that i found flirty msgs in his facebook n i kept stalking his fb account (i know his password) ever since. he changed his password wen he found that out. i always felt he is intersted in women so much n never trusted him.. i was totally obsessed that i doubt him even if he talks to his cousins. i know he cant find someone as good as me.. i knew i was totally destroyin our relationship with my jealous. eventually i ended our relationship just to save myself from more damage. i remained single for a while thinkin marriage or relationship is not in my cards. i mean i thought il be happy being single. recently i feel in love with a guy who lives in another country.. im happy in love with him n i totally trust him even though he is so far.. bt im afraid i might get jealous abt him sooner or later

  • Anonymous-4

    I think my girl really needs help sometimes I think she can hurt me .... she keeps telling me I look at other girls that just pass by me while im driving cashiers waitresses any girl that she thinks is good looking or any girl that that is not 300 pounds overweight and under 15 or over 70 she thinks i had something going on with them.... or that I want to go out with them she can take any girl and blame me for weeks that I wanna leave her cuz I wanna go with that girl.... a girl can even say... hi sir can I help you when she starts making faces or even start making a scene ..... I know she thinks im cheating on her even tho she makes it all in her mind I never cheated on her so idk wut her problem is ....she says shes gonna get revenge and do the same things im doing to see if I like it..... I love her but Its pissing me the f**k off that I cant even go out to any place with out this girl fighting for no reason .....

  • Rosa

    I have the same problem I don't like my bf almost to be future husband to do anything look at women passing by n if it so happens that a women is bending over n it happens to be in his line of sight I assume he is looking at her pervertively way ....... It's gone extreme to the point where I don't want him watching tv .... I always talk him into watching animation think there is something wrong I look at him every minute to c what's he looking at

  • Anonymous-5

    the women who feel the need to say you are are beautiful and better than your bf? I think you are missing the point BC being a "model" doesn't mean a thing really.. And to say you know you are "better" is a terrible thing to say or even feel about someone you supposedly love and really is that how a relationship should be built? Idk. I suffer from debilitating jealousy but to fluff myself up with shallow self compliments and to degrade my bf by saying he's not as "good" as me just doesn't sit well. What I get from that is that you deliberatly go with someone who you believe to be inferior in order to make yourself feel better about... Yourself. That's kind of sad in itself. Remember... An attitude can make you a very UGLY person idc how beautiful you think you are. The ironic thing is that IF you truly feel so grand about yourself then why would you feel insecure?!?

    Beauty is greatly superficial and many times artificial so why do we feel this way?!?

  • Amanda

    I am 35 and suffered from jealousy my whole life. Even when I was a child I was jealous on behalf of my mother if my step-father looked at another woman. The rage I have felt my entire life, the deep betrayal, over anything resembling my man not treating me like the alpha female in any situation has been absurd. I feel like my anger can set fire to the world.

    I am a pretty lady, not perfect but sexy, hypersexual. The flaws that I do have are a source of great distress for me. I'm bright. I'm nice, at least when I don't know people well. I take care of myself and my partner. But I expect a lot. I always told myself it was my right to choose my own expectations, because I am very loyal and give my best. At this point in my life, my morbid jealousy has shifted to extreme paranoia, consuming my days with suspicion. My emotions are so strong that I get locked into them and can feel nothing but them, care about nothing else, do nothing, for hours, or all day. I think in black and white everyone is for me or against me.

    Only within the past week did I realize I have borderline personality syndrome. Y'all probably do too. It answered so many of my questions, like why I have been so angry, so bitter, so obsessed with being loved, a selfish parent, a self-centered albeit well-meaning and "good" girlfriend (I at least try to spare others from my "craziness" and bury it). I suffer more than anyone I know. And I finally know why it's like my heart is burning and burning and burning and no one else's seems to be, though we share this society.

    it is kind of freeing, because before, it was that it seemed like such an injustice that the world was so wrong and cruel. Now I know it is me. Now when that burning lava in my heart starts going, I can tell myself I'm sick and will get better. There is a light at the end of the tunnel besides suicide, the only light I ever recognized before. it's a little tough because it is so stigmatized. They call people with this manipulative liars and people who feel no empathy. I can say I almost never lie, I hate the way it makes me feel, and always have. If I do lie, it's to spare someone's feelings. I feel empathy. Lots. I cry for another mother's pain, I encourage compassion and am disgusted by the lack of it. I have a strong ethical code and live by Kant's universal maxim. I love a lot of people, i struggle when they get too close to me. Then they terrify me. Then I think they lie to me, are sneaky, are pigs, are rude, are insensitive... But I do have good intentions and I do love very much, I just cannot ever feel it coming back to me satisfactorily. I just need to heal in the deepest way. E

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