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You Asked: I Can't Control My Jealousy

You Asked: I Can't Control My Jealousy

Dear Sugar,

I am in a relationship with a wonderful guy and the only problem we have is me — I cannot control my jealousy. I take every look or stare he gives another woman as a demerit to myself, leaving me wondering why I'm not good enough. I know a look is just a look, but I can't help but take it personally. I end up silently holding a grudge until he makes me upset about something unrelated, then I bring it up again. I know I am being stupid and ridiculous, not to mention causing problems in my relationship, but I don't know how to be all right with it. He used to be the one in my shoes, driving me crazy and getting mad over the smallest glance that I'd give to someone else, yet he doesn't seem to understand how I feel. Please tell me how to pull myself together. — Overprotective Onnalee

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Dear Overprotective Onnalee,

It sounds to me like your boyfriend planted some unhealthy fears into your head, which are now getting the best of you. All successful relationships should have a level of trust which outweighs any jealous tendencies, and it's pretty clear that you guys are lacking that variable. While some jealousy is perfectly normal in even the best relationships, picking your battles is crucial so it doesn't create too much bitterness or resentment.

Since you both bring a level of insecurity to the table, something tells me you, or both of you, have been cheated on in the past. Since he used to behave this way toward you, he has to understand how you feel, so have a heart-to-heart with him and talk it out in a calm setting, before a fight ensues. Holding a grudge and using past hurt feelings to prove a point will only create more distance, so if you can't get your jealousy under control on your own, I suggest talking to a therapist about it. As you know, being possessive and insecure can wreak havoc in any relationship, so hopefully you can gain a clear head and move on in your relationship.


Kat-E Kat-E 8 years
Ok, so CROAT's story is really, really sucky, and it's reminder that "these things can happen," but just like pregnancy is a risk of sex, getting hurt is risk of loving, so the best way of course to avoid these matters is to "love responsibly." ha. That said, I totally understand feeling this way - on occasion. When I'm PMSing, I feel like a fat, unlovable blimp and get jealous occasionally of the other girls around me. One thing I realized though is that it's not completely the job of the significant other to make you feel secure in your trust for him. In addition to my period blues, I also occasionally freak out a little when I realize I am getting close to someone who could hurt me and I start to look for problems. That is MY insecurity manifested only by ME. That's not my boyfriend's fault. One thing that has helped, however, is talking from time to time about this stuff with him and letting him in on what I'm feeling. When we first started dating, we made an agreement to each other to do our best, as long as we care about the other person, to act in ways that we think would be respectful to each other. We also decided that if one of us ever begins to feel like he/she would rather be with someone else or just be single, we would do the respectful thing and break things off rather than prolong a bad relationship. I wouldn't want to be with someone who doesn't want to be with me anyway, and vice versa. Because of that agreement, we are able to talk openly to each other about our feelings - even when it's tough - and keep both our own and the other person's best interests at heart. We aren't perfect and I still get weird around my period, but it really does help.
lilCROAT03 lilCROAT03 9 years
so here's a story for the ages. while i was still in college, i was at a crowded bar with a tiny bathroom (the norm for city bars). as i was peeing i overheard a familiar voice. a girl from my sorority drunkenly blabbing to one of her friends while putting on lip gloss in the mirror ( i was peeking thru the crack in the door to see who it was). they were discussing how my bf was at the bar with me (he didn't go to our school but they knew him bc i would bring him to dances and socials) and how hot he was etc etc. the other girl had mentioned how i was his gf of 4 years and the girl responded 'that's never stopped me before!'. low and behold, a few months later we were having some issues and thanks for the world of facebook they had already been 'communicating', while she had been sending him 'promotions' for that very same bar. he wandered in there one night 'with the boys' and hooked up in that very same bathroom (details get around when you're a slut). i don't trust ANYONE. nothing is sacred anymore- friendships/relationships...fhaggetit. these days you are forced to be jealous with the mindless bullsh*t going on.
Janine22 Janine22 9 years
You know what is so funny, I was just talking with my friend about the fact that her new bf stares at other girls right in front of her. I told her to call him on his behaviour right away, so that he knows that he is not being subtle at all. If he does it again, call him on it again. I think it is just rude when you are out with a man and he stares at other women. My fiance has never, ever done this when he is with me, because he respects me. But every ex I have ever had did it. I think that they thought they were being subtle about it. I also think that they did not respect me as much as my fiance does. My advice to you is: call him on it right away. Don't be passive aggressive and bring it up later, or get upset about it later. Call him out right away, then explain how what he did just made you feel. That way, you clear the air about it right away, and you don't need to ruminate about it and get upset later. He needs to know right when it happens how hurtful it is. Be very clear and upfront about it, because men do not respond well to subtlety.
sldc sldc 9 years
It is natural or normal for men to look. It is also natural and normal for women to discourage it. Women have an instinct to protect her interests and the interests of her offspring. A man who could potentially sleep with other women has the potential to leave her or split her children's inheritance/resources. Men need to be respectful of their partners by not staring at other women. It is hard not to think a man is more attracted to someone who catches his attention a little too long. I am sorry, but when men with their girlfriends or wives stare at me, I think "gee, what an ass." Those of you who say... "hey, he is with me, so I am not worried" are apparently confident your personalities and looks will keep a man's interests for all time. More than half of you will be wrong in a course of a lifetime. While freaking out is not a good idea, you should talk to him about how gawking at other women is disrespectful and how it hurts you. The whole nature excuse does not entirely hold water with evolved human beings. If I need to control my nature, then so does he.
FiestyRed36 FiestyRed36 9 years
I get the same way sometimes. Whenever I feel like like that, I remind myself that sometimes I look at other guys and think they're hot; but it doesn't mean that I love my boyfriend any less. And it definitely doesn't mean that I would ever want to leave him or be with the other hottie. Hope this helps!
L0neLyHeArT L0neLyHeArT 9 years
He's with you, and not her. Your boyfriend would want you more than any other females, so forget about it and stop worrying.
nina24 nina24 9 years
Accept that he is in a relationship with you and move on. If you keep this up he'll get real tired of your behavior and then he'll actually have a reason to want to start seeing someone else! Just relax and be happy he's with you.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
Id hate to be this insecure.
AyrtonSenna AyrtonSenna 9 years
I obviously cannot speak for all men, but whenever I notice an attractive woman I am not comparing her to my girlfriend (when I had one!). I am simply appreciating an attractive woman (and no, I never stare). If anything this just made me appreciate and become more excited about the wonderful woman who was with me and wanted to be with me. Moreover, I was with her not only because of her looks but because of who she was as a person and as a lady. So, even if there was a "competition" between my very real girlfriend next to me and a woman who I don't know walking by - my girlfriend wins every time... As TidalWave wrote, just chillax (I really like that "word"!) and recognize that at the end of the day - and all through the day - he is with YOU! (I think it works the same way the other way around as well...which is why I would not be upset if my girlfriend noticed a handsome guy walking by...if she turned to me and said "see ya later" and ran after him - then I would be upset! That has never happened though. Phew!)
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 9 years
well i do agree that some things are better left unsaid. why do i need to know that ________ is so effin hot? and y does he need to know that i find _________ so incredibly hot? i think that just builds insecurities. no matter how good looking or attractive u r, there is ALWAYS someone better looking or more attractive. and i think it helps a woman's self esteem when her man makes her feel like shes THE MOST attractive in his eyes. now when it comes to checking out other women, ur just gonna have to get over that. i used to get [quietly] upset about that too, and then a few wise women told me that ALL MEN DO IT, sometimes without even knowing they're doing it. it cannot be helped. of course theres crude ways of doing it which is unacceptable, but otherwise just dont sweat it.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
I am the same way! I dont agree that it has anything to do with him causing you problems in the past or that one or both of you had someone cheat on you. I think people can act this way when they just feel insecure and anxiety and maybe have self esteem issues. I dont think thats anything to be ashamed of, and I think it might help to admit it, if even just to yourself. I am working on my esteem, however I dont really have a game plan yet. I think I'm just going to try hard to feel better about myself from the inside out. Maybe a book could help too. Anyways, if you need a short term fix, just remind yourself that no matter how many guys you see come your way, you love your man more than anyone and if he is choosing to be with you, he feels that way about you, too. I would also advice not acting jealous to his face as it is supposedly a huge turn off, allegedly, or at least that is what I have heard guys say. Apparently confidence is a huge turn on. But then again bottling it up isnt a good idea either...which I guess just brings me back to working on being secure with your wonderful self, practice makes perfect and it wont happen overnight so be patient with yourself ;)
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
Oh not that he should console her, just be mindful of his actions. If she gets upset when he makes lewd comments about women then it's not hard for him to just not do that around her.
designerel designerel 9 years
You didn't mention if he still acts insecure too. I am getting the impression that he doesn't and you've just switched places. What made him get over his insecurity? Maybe you should do the same. Also, you can try writing down a list of what you like about yourself. Sounds silly but I would think on those days when you feel like the jealousy is eating at you and you think are not good enough-- pull out the list and remind yourself of why you are so great. I have days like those too where my self-esteem is down the crapper and if my bf even makes a casual comment about how so-and-so (usually someone famous, not a girl he knows) is pretty, I explode. THAT'S NOT GOOD. Collect yourself and remind yourself of your great qualities. Confidence is sexy. Insecurity is incredibly unattractive in a person, boy or girl.
Berlin Berlin 9 years
Sorry fluffy but he should have to console her every time he glances at another woman. The OP needs to deal with her own issues of low self-esteem and insecurities and get over it. We all look at members of the opposite, and same!, sex and I can just imagine if he takes a few seconds longer than a glance one time and she goes A-wall on him. Relationships shouldn't be that way and you shouldn't make your partner feel like they are walking on egg shells or that they should have to apologize or console when they've done nothing wrong.
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
I used to have the same problem but it was justified... he did cheat and he was in love with somebody else! Your boyfriend should do everything in his power to be aware of what drives you crazy and not do it around you.
angelinamichael angelinamichael 9 years
Realize that the relationship will erupt over time because of this and it will all be your own selfish fault. Really, everyone gets attracted to other people now and then, its entirely natural. Acting on it wouldn't be.
karyn09 karyn09 9 years
I agree with "TidalWave" - he IS already coming home to you. It seems that at one time, he was VERY insecure about himself - so that's why he was always so jealous. Since you said "he used to" means he's probably over the insecurity and now it's passed on to you. You need to feel GOOD about yourself, build up that self esteem and BE secure about who you are. You're going to lose him if you keep this up - he may not have lost you, but men have shorter patience time than women - he could just get up and walk away.
HelloAnia HelloAnia 9 years
I have the same problem, I've never been cheated on, and in my last long term relationship I preferred it to be "open" and I had a good time seeing other guys casually, and I encouraged him to date other women (mostly because I didn't see him and I going anywhere)... Now so many years down the line I am in a great serious relationship (we live together, we walk to work together, and we walk back together, we go out together, or we go out with our guys/girl friends separately for some same gender bonding), there is no humanly way he could be cheating on me, and there is no reason to believe he wants to, but every time he comments on a hot actress or model my head starts to boil and I feel just about ready to explode, although I am confident in my looks, and he compliments me plenty... So, I totally understand what you're saying, it's an unjustified jealousy I can't contain, and I've never been the jealous type before.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
He's going home with you, not them. You already have him! Stop being so afraid of losing him.
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