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How to Deal with Jealousy Towards Friends Having Parents

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From Canada: My mother and father were addicted to drugs my whole childhood (father still is, mom’s not but still messed up from it) and me and my brother grew up having a tumultuous childhood and also were in fosters homes off and on. But now I’m older and I’ve made a really great life for myself and I’m trying to do some self-improvement on emotions.

I feel like i get really jealous of my boyfriends relationship with his parents and I often act weird when he goes there for supper or goes on a trip with them. its like feelings of resentment or jealousy, envious that i can’t do that with my parents and that he’s left me behind on a family trip or his parents bought him his first car and i still don’t have one. Things like that.

I love my boyfriend, and i love his parents. And i really want to know how i can work on these jealous feelings that arise because they really make me unhappy and ruin my mood especially when i should happy for my boyfriend when he’s on trips, because i am happy for him. Ill just be at home and he will tell me he just arrived in Seattle and all of sudden i have these super jealous feelings. Ill even get jealous or have this weird feeling when he tells me his mom needs to talk to him over at her house (usually about finances) , its like the closeness of them bothers me but i really do not want this to bug me.

How can I get rid of feeling like this?

How to Deal with Jealousy Towards Friends Having Parents

Answered by on -


¬†Not every kid gets the parents they¬†deserve. I’m sorry you didn’t have a loving home to grow up in. But here’s the wonderful thing: It’s never too late to have the loving relationship and support of older, wiser people in your life. But first you have to give up on the idea that you own folks will ever do it for you. It may be that you aren’t allowing yourself to get close to older people you know because you are still holding on to the vague hope that your parents will be parents to you. They can’t. They won’t.

What you are calling jealousy is the very human longing to have caring mentors in your life. Since you don’t have that, you think it will make you feel better if your boyfriend doesn’t have it either. I want you to know that it’s human to be jealous. It’s human to want to keep your boyfriend to yourself if you feel like you are competing for his love and attention. But neither jealousy nor distancing him from his family is a solution to your need for parental love.

A more useful solution is to open yourself up to relationships with older people. Allow yourself to get close to a special teacher or an older person you meet through charitable work or activities you enjoy. Look around. There are plenty of people your parents’ age who are delighted by friendships with younger people. If your relationship with your boyfriend becomes even closer, you may even “adopt” his parents. That can be one of the great things about marriage — a second chance at an extended family.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

How to Deal with Jealousy Towards Friends Having Parents

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). How to Deal with Jealousy Towards Friends Having Parents. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 7, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 13 Jul 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.