Jealousy: Relationship Poison

Q:

Hi Dr. Darcy, 

I have a great looking partner and I love her so much but I keep screwing up our relationship. I get jealous, whether she’s with her girlfriends or when some guy talks to her. She says she just likes talking to people and there is nothing to it. I actually believe she’s truly very loyal but it still makes me feel awful. I start to panic and I think she is either going to go off with some guy or she prefers her girlfriends to me. Stupid, I know, but that’s what I feel. I’m so insecure. It affects our relationship and it’s the source of many fights.

 A:

I think we’re in agreement that the problem is yours, not your girlfriend’s.

I’m going to try to appeal to your logic here: You feel jealous because you fear you’ll lose your girlfriend to a third party. Yet the way you’re responding to your feelings is going to repel her because there’s nothing sexy about it.

Humans universally find confidence to be sexy. We’re attracted to self-esteem and to people who appear to be complete with or without a partner. Every time you confront your girlfriend with jealousy, you’re letting her know that you’re insecure as fuck. That you don’t think you’re good enough to hold her attention. It’s healthy chick repellent. Only broken ones will tolerate it.

You’re trying to fix an internal problem by controlling something on the outside and it’s never going to work. To solve your issue, you need to work on yourself - on the things that happened in your life that caused you to have trust issues. That’s the only path through this.

Bottom line: If she’s going to cheat, you can’t build a fence tall enough to stop her. If you try to control her you’ll just continue making both of you miserable. It’s like having anxiety over terrorism: If there’s nothing you can do to stop it, there’s no point in focusing on it.

But I get it: You can’t control what you focus on. That’s why I’m telling you to go into therapy and sort out those old wounds that you’re trying to heal by controlling your girlfriend. I’ve linked here to the type of therapy I think you’ll benefit most from (it’s called EMDR therapy). And let me know how you’re doing in a few months.

Gender and Orientation: Male, Straight.

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