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You Asked: How Can I Stop Sabotaging My Relationship?

Dear Sugar,

I need your help. I am sabotaging my own relationship and I can't seem to stop. I am very much in love and for the most part, we have a wonderful relationship — we get along great, we laugh, our interests are the same, we want the same things for our future, etc. The only problem is I'm extremely jealous. I get myself so upset over the possibility of him with another girl, even if they are just friends and I feel like such a hypocrite because I have many male friends. I want so badly to be confident in our relationship, but instead I doubt him and accuse him and push him away. I just don't know what to do or where to turn and I am even getting on my own nerves! Why can't I change this mindset? Why can't I believe in what we have rather than waiting for the other shoe to drop? It's a miserable way to live so please tell me what I can do to change my way of thinking. — Paranoid Paulina

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear Paranoid Paulina,

Something tells me you have been hurt in a previous relationship, which is why you are being so over protective in this one. The thing about jealousy is you can get yourself carried away and really damage your relationship. Has your boyfriend ever given you any reason to doubt him? Since you have male friends, have you ever crossed the line with any of them? If so, you could have some feelings of guilt that is making you think he's doing the same thing. If none of these situations have occurred, I suggest talking to someone about your jealous tendencies. If he's feeling the need to constantly defend himself, you will eventually push him away for good.

It's not uncommon for people to sabotage their relationships because they don't feel they deserve to be loved or happy, but the thing is Paulina, you do deserve happiness. Waiting for the other shoe to drop can't make you feel very secure so I'd start with being honest with your boyfriend about your fears and again, I highly suggest talking to a therapist so you can work past your jealous mindset. Hang in there and hopefully you can get to the bottom of this sooner than later. Good luck.


Join The Conversation
kbmoore kbmoore 6 years
Hello. I am always sabotaging my relationship with my husband of over 15 years now. And I can't put my finger on why except that I just don't feel sexy to myself anymore. You see I was involved in an MVA 5 years ago and I am having to use a wheelchair and adult pullups because I can't make it to the bathroom on time. When my accident happened my aorta severed once and I had to be flown to a hospital in another state for major surgery to repair that. I suffered from 5 broken ribs, 12 fractures on my pelvis and my leg muscles atrophied or became so weak that I cannot bare weight on them. And then in July of 2011, I had to have a total hysterectomy done which means that where I didn't feel broken at before I do now. I do stupid things and not meaning anything by them except as a joke. I don't have the urge to have sex with him anymore and I have tried to explain that to him but it comes out all wrong. When he touches me or brings up things about sex it discusses me and I don't know what to do about it. I feel like I need to be by myself sometimes and then there are times when I want a house full so as not to be alone. What should I do and how can I fix this problem. I am currently taking something for the depression and have been for the last 5 years. I really don't know who to talk with about this. Is there something wrong with me and if so how do I fix it? I haven't had the sexual urge in a couple of years. I am 40 years old. I just feel like I am taking up space and hurting the one person that really gives a crap about me and not meaning to.
Vdogg Vdogg 9 years
i can totally relate to you as well.. but isn't it comforting to see that so many people who have commented have been able to get over their jealousy? That kind of gives me hope and it should give you hope also. I personally think jealousy stems from insecurity, so you need to take a step back and examine what you're unhappy with yourself about.. when i looked at what i thought i needed improvement on i decided to make some changes, and having other thingds to focus on (whether it be friends, new lifestyle, etc.) REALLY takes your attention away from the bf and whatever he's doing. Also, guys love a girl who's living life and busy & has her own independence.. so you still have a chance to make him even MORE attracted to you if you start focusing on yourself! it's not too late and i definately think you have a chance to make things better
kayleigh83 kayleigh83 9 years
I know exactly how you feel, I'm pretty much in the same situation. I love my boyfriend like crazy and he has never done anything to make me distrust him, but I was cheated on in a past relationship by someone I trusted 150% and it still haunts me now. It is an every day struggle to remember that I can trust my boyfriend, and my fears are all in my head. But I know I can do it if I try hard enough, and remember it's all for love of him that I'm trying - so can you!
patrice888 patrice888 9 years
Be confident in yourself. You know how logically you should behave. Overcome your emotions & execute your logics. It is extremely hard initially. But, to me, it is all worth it. I'll tell you the reasons: the more you get emotional/clingy/unreasonably jealous, the more un-attractive you will appear to any males. Any males would not be able to stand such behaviour, I won't accept it myself. It's not a good companion attitude. However, the more positive/controlled/reasonable, the more attractive you are. And, the more any1 will enjoy your companionship. Trust yourself that you can overcome this. Because, deep in side you know what you ought to do.
lilwildone1202 lilwildone1202 9 years
i so could have written this a year ago-- when me and my boyfriend were long distance--i was freaking that he'd go to a party and get drunk and do something stupid. i guess it didnt help that my two previous ex boyfriends cheated on me (one countless times) so i was soo scared. i almost sabotaged the relationship..until one night a friend of mine told me how my boyfriend doesnt shut up about me at parties (they were at school together) and it really made me stop because like other people said..he's with me. we were long distance he didnt *have* to be with me. so yeah. that ended fast haha
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 9 years
im quite jealous also, especially when it comes to exes, and my hubby feels the same way. and we came to the conclusion, that our respective exes are the past and the most important thing is our current love and our current relationship. if it bothers me speaking to his ex, as he puts it, she's not worth upsetting me. and vice versa. so, if u want him to sacrifice his relationships with his exes or friends for u, u must do the same, and im glad u realize ur actions may be hypocrytical. communication is key dear. good luck
FiestyRed36 FiestyRed36 9 years
*hugs* I've been in your shoes and it's an awful feeling. Especially when you know you're sabotaging what is normally a great relationship. I don't have any great advice like the rest of the commenters here, just hugs. Good luck!
Bearwoman Bearwoman 9 years
I never said anything went away like "poof" for me NdHebert, I had to work at it. I truly think you can heal from this with time and effort. And like a lot of people here are saying: He is with you and not some other woman. So enjoy your loving relationship :)
Poster-of-a-Girl Poster-of-a-Girl 9 years
I agree with everyone else above, and my two cents are this: jealousy is normal and happens to everyone. How you deal with it has a lot to do with your self confidence more than anything to do with your boyfriend. So work on that and it will help you deal with the green monster - i.e. you will reach a point where you are able to think like the confident women above "At the end of the night he's going home with ME", etc. Take this as a learning experience and communicate that with your boyfriend, I'm sure he'd appreciate understanding what you are going through :)
gossipqueen gossipqueen 9 years
did your dad cheat on your mom? did your ex cheat on you? maybe something happened that traumatized you...if it did try therapy...if it didn't realize somebody said...he's with YOU. If you still can't get over it...try counselling.
girlfriday girlfriday 9 years
I also have had similar issues. What it came down to for me was that I didn't believe I was good enough to be with him. I thought he was above me in every way and couldn't understand why he was with me. Like Dear said, you just have to keep reminding yourself that he's with YOU. He picked YOU. And you ARE worth a lot. But my telling you that or anyone else telling you that I know isn't going to make you believe it. You have to do the work yourself - find out why you have low self worth, which is being manifested in your fear of him finding someone "better" than you. You might benefit from going to counseling on your own. Best of luck.
red4bonez red4bonez 9 years
I have similar problem and I just try to think positive. You most likely know that your boyfriend is not going to do anything with another girl. You should talk to him and tell me that you need to be reasured about his love for you. It is hard to get over the jealousy . It is a situation that you have to take one step at a time. Maybe couple counseling would be good for you. Because if you are jealous it is not only your problem but his as well you know what I mean? Good luck.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Has it occurred to you that no matter how much you nag/accuse/harp on/bitch at him, if he's going to cheat, he's going to cheat...? So, what you're doing has absolutely NO point whatsoever and is harmful to you, to him and to your relationship. Maybe thinking of it in those terms will help you realize that you really need to stop. You can have control over yourself if you try. Don't harass him, don't accuse him and when you find yourself getting worked up in your own head about whatever you've cooked up, try to redirect your thoughts. Remind yourself that he loves you, he's with you and you trust him. If you honestly can't do that (not just don't want to, but CAN'T), then you should seek some sort of counseling. It's not healthy to be that insecure.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
If you are a jealous person in general, then maybe try therapy. If you are normally complete sane in relationships, and this guy is just bringing out a jealous monster, well, maybe there is a reason.
bchicgrl bchicgrl 9 years
I was the same way with my current boyfriend but I have learned the best way to get passed it is to confront it head on. I used to be jealous with all of his friends at work because he works with nothing but girls. I decided that I would get to know them personally and after I had I realized they were no longer a threat. I do still have issues when his ex's still try and talk to him but after countless nights being upset with him about it we have sat down and talked and his reassurance has helped me realize he isn't going anywhere. We have been together 2 years now and we are living together and everything is going great. Good Luck
Marci Marci 9 years
TidalWave, oh wise one! That is absolutely the way to look at it. He's with YOU. He's going home with YOU. Personally, I'm always proud when other women pay attention to my fiance, and it makes him feel good, which isn't a bad thing. And at the end of the day, he's going home with me.
NdHebert NdHebert 9 years
A dearsugar message board will not help you get over your jealousy. Its not like you can read an answer that says "Show him trust" and poof you are cured. If both of you are really serious and want a future, I would recomend therapy or couples therapy. If he wants to spend the rest of his life with you and knows you have a jealousy issue, he hopefully will think the counseling is a good idea. You need to talk it out, understand why you are jealous, and get to the root of it to change it, not read some answers on dear sugar. Good luck!
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
But he is with you! I used to get upset if girls would flirt with my guy at a bar, but then I realized that I am going home with him, not them ;)
Bearwoman Bearwoman 9 years
I was just like you a year ago. I agree with clareberrys, you should show your boyfriend trust, or you might be driving him away. My therapist gave me great advice: When you want to pull him further in, try backing off in stead. Take baby steps toward trusting him. For e.g. don't sulk when he wants a boys night out (even though you feel anxious and you want to sulk), put on a fake smile and say: "Have a good time!" This might go against all your instincts, but what it does is make you SEE with your own eyes that you can trust him. This in turn makes you more relaxed and he will feel that and it will make him feel less trapped. I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but you really are trapping him in a way and that will make him resentful. On the contrary, if you show him that you trust him and that you are cool with him having woman friends, he will appreciate your trust and he will want to live up to it. Best of luck to you. Bearberry.
clareberrys clareberrys 9 years
I was extremely jealous before too - my boyfriend's best friend was a girl and he had more woman in his past. Whenever a girl would call him, write on his facebook, or want to hang out with him I would get extremely upset. We would fight and fight and fight. Then he finally told me that if I couldn't trust him and if I was so jealous then I didn't truly love him, because if I did love him I would understand that he loved me just as much and would never do anything to hurt me. This made me realize that it was stupid to get jealous because all it ever did was make me upset and make us fight. I will still get a little ping of jealousy (I don't think that ever goes away!) but I would never say anything anymore because I DO trust him. I'm sure you are a wonderful, beautiful, smart, funny, caring girl and that your boyfriend thinks so too! Don't let your one downfall ruin things because you'll regret it later! Just try to remember the good qualities about yourself and try not to think of other girls as potential threats. I hope everything works out for the best!
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