i have suffered this problem for around 30years it is now likely to cost me my marriage of35years please help
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Jealousy is a complicated human emotion. In many ways, it is based on love, hate, paranoia, insecurity and self hate and low self esteem. It is important to point out that it is also a normal human emotion experienced by most people at least at one time during their lives. Jealousy becomes a problem when it refuses to diminish in intensity.
It might be difficult to believe that jealousy can be based on love. However, the jealous individual wants to completely possess their lover. They believe that the loved one is so loveable that others may capture him/her away resulting in tragic loss. In a way, it’s a great compliment to be with someone who is jealous because of the value they place on their partner.
Not so fast, though, because jealousy is also based on hatred. The loved one is viewed as having power, choice and the ability to abandon and leave their partner. This is why the loved one must be carefully guarded or they will stray.
But, I hear you ask, why would the jealous person fear that their partner will stray? The answer is that, from the point of view of the jealous individual, any competitor is really more masculine/feminine, handsome/beautiful, sexy and appealing than they are. In other words, the jealous person believes that any other choice of lover is better than they are. Of course, there is a lot of self hatred, insecurity and low self esteem in the way the jealous person thinks.
Sometimes there is a paranoid and obsessional component to jealousy. For people who suffer paranoia, there is constant suspicion that others mean them no good. This type of paranoid jealousy is marked by such things as constantly harassing the loved one with questions and accusations about how they spent the day, where they went and who they spoke with. The paranoid lover will check the cell phone messages of their lover as well as their E. Mail messages and postal envelopes and letters. This person is obsessed with their partner and is tortured with fear that nothing good is happening. In the worst cases, they attempt to control the life of their partner form preventing him/her from going any where or doing anything. For example, a husband who experiences paranoid jealousy may prohibit his wife from getting a job and going to work. In effect, he stifles his wife in every way.
I suggest that you enter psychotherapy and begin to work on why you are jealous and how it is interfering with your thirty year marriage. If your paranoid beliefs are truly delusional, some medication might help relieve some of this thinking. In addition to individual psychotherapy, with or without medication, I would suggest marriage therapy so that the two of you can begin to resolve your differences, suspicions and conflicts. Also, understand that you and your wife each deserve the opportunity to see other friends and engage in activities apart from one another. A successful marriage is based on mutual trust.