I am a first-time user on your site and thought that asking you this question might sensibly help me out. I have been with the same man for almost two rocky years now. At first it started out that he was the one chasing me, until I “surrendered” and returned the chasing- for the first time in my life. But within the past year, I have faced many internal issues and am not happy to report that I am ruining all the best relationships in my life! First of all, I just recently found out that my parents were divorced because my father cheated on my mother (I had been informed for 14 years that they ended because it “wasn’t working” and NOT because of an extra-marital affair). I feel that because of this I have been more afraid that my boyfriend is cheating one me- to the point that I IMAGINE he is and fight with him as though he has! We can’t go to movies or to the mall anymore and I feel intimidated if I look at beauty magazines in front of him- fearing he will put more interest into the models than into me. And I think that this all relates back to my own insecurities. I had been offered a bunch of modeling opportunities previous to meeting him, but turned them down because I felt it would have an adverse effect on my self-esteem. Anne, I know it’s natural for women to be jealous over other women, especially when there’s nothing wrong with that woman- but in my case, it has gotten so bad. I do not watch TV or movies anymore and feel upset when my boyfriend does, I hardly ever eat, I am constantly over-exercising and always in a cynical mood. I have tried overdosing on my diet pills, as well having thoughts of suicide once after reading a magazine. My boyfriend and I wish that this would go away because we had had plans to be engaged. I am seriously considering hypnosis, even though that won’t SOLVE the problem, but only SHIELD it. He has been very helpful with me for the past year, but there is only so much he can do and I fear he is beginning to feel that I can only get better if my jealousy is over- aka WE are over. Anne, if you can help me, please do, as I fear I am losing the best two relationships in my life: one with my boyfriend and the other with myself. Thanking you in advance for any convenient words of wisdom.
- ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
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I’ll try and help you, but you have placed a lot of this burden on yourself, as you realize. It’s hard to love someone else when you feel that person has injured someone close to you. In this case, you realize that your feelings are irrational and not appropriate to your boyfriend — that you’re taking the anger you feel toward your father’s girlfriend (and quite possible your father himself) and putting them into your own relationship. You also realize that this isn’t healthy and is likely to cause the eventual downfall of this relationship. Realizing something and doing something about it are two different things. You’ve started in the right direction by seeking help, but now I’m going to encourage you to take the next step — therapy. A good, caring, and thoughtful listener may also do the job, but I believe a person in your situation would be helped a great deal by a skilled therapist right about now. Consider seeking out help in your local yellow pages and call around to find one you will feel comfortable working with for a few months. Your problems are easily manageable and I think with a little help, you’ll be able to resolve these issues in a short time. Your relationship is counting on it! Best of luck to you, – Anne