Trust, Jealousy & Abandonment

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I have been in a relationship for a little over a year and every time I open up my heart and fall in love I find that I become insanely jealous of other single women that my boyfriend engages with. As background, my father cheated on my mother and my ex-husband cheated on me. I become jealous very easily and begin questioning him while looking for inconsistencies between his words & actions as i ultimately fear that he will not stay because “men never stay”. I know in my head he is not unfaithful, but once I am in this place of uncertainty, I can not get myself out of the hole which generally leads to arguments about minor things i bring up as i am looking for validation of how i feel and reassurance that he is in this relationship to stay. What can I do to stop fulfilling my own fear?

A. This is an issue that needs to be dealt with. If not, it has the potential to destroy your relationship. Your partner might tolerate your questioning and jealousy for a short while but soon he will come to resent your behavior.

You mentioned that your father cheated on your mother. That betrayal likely contributes to your fear but jealously likely is the major contributor. Jealously comes from not feeling confident about oneself. It is the result of a lack of self-esteem. It is also true that no one can make you feel jealous. Jealousy stems from you and is produced by you. Jealousy is unhealthy and it is up to the person who is experiencing it to get help.

Being aware of a problem affords you the opportunity to correct it. I would strongly encourage outside help if you find that you cannot manage these problems independently. Therapy can give you a chance to save the relationship before your behavior drives away your current partner. I would strongly recommend it. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Apr 2012

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). Trust, Jealousy & Abandonment. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/04/11/trust-jealousy-abandonment/