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Face-to-Face with the Green-Eyed Monster
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Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD posted:
Feelings of jealousy are common in romantic relationships; and can be an early warning sign that your relationship needs protecting. However, when left unchecked, jealousy can eat away at the loving, trusting bond that unites couples.


Have you felt jealous in your relationships? How have you dealt with the feeling? And, how has this worked out?
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BalconyBelle responded:
I'm not jealous, I'm possessive. It might seem like a splitting of hairs, but it's true. Jealousy from what I've seen typically means that one partner's insecurities are leaching over into their relationship, and leading towards a host of controlling, irrational and rather paranoid behaviors in an effort to keep an eye on their other half to ensure that he/she doesn't stray or get snapped up by someone else.

I never went in for that sort of thing. Call me naive, but when someone gives me their word they'll be faithful/we're exclusive--I wouldn't be in a relationship if I didn't believe them. I personally can't stand the thought of someone trying to control my life, so I don't do it to the person I'm with. We establish boundaries and rules as a couple, then leave it at that--I don't see any need for jealousy when both parties understand each other as well as what is and isn't okay in a committed relationship.
 
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Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to BalconyBelle's response:
I agree that jealousy often results in the behaviors that you describe, but I would say that jealousy is the feeling behind those behaviors. A person can feel jealous and hold themselves back from acting on it.
In any case, I'm curious: what makes you say that you are possessive?
 
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BalconyBelle replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
The fact that I'm not willing to share. Once I'm in a committed relationship with someone, I'm totally incapable of willingly sharing them intimately with someone else. I don't mind if they have platonic friends of both genders, don't mind if they socialize without me, don't mind if they're still in touch with ex's--I've even been friends with some of them--but I'm the only person they're going to be romancing and/or sleeping with.

If I find out that's no longer true, the relationship is over.
 
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ImMe26 replied to BalconyBelle's response:
Thats not exactly possessive though Belle....thats just expecting your mate to be in a committed relationship with you. Not possessive at all.

Possessive is no friends, no hanging out without you, calling him 50times a day, controlling where he goes and how long he is there...those types of things.
 
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LovinHelp responded:
Hello, I have felt jealousy on occasion in my current relationship of 10 months. It's a draining emotion for me that is 99% of the time unfounded. And it is seldom I feel it.

However, my girlfriend who I love very much is overly jealous of most environments I am in without her. She started by being jealous of my "former spouse" (did not even like me to give her that respect), seperated and divorced 3 and 4 years ago. We have 3 teen age children, one in college. There is likely too much correspondence but I have drawn boundaries of no calls or texts unless an emergency with the children occurs. Some weeks there may be 8 emails, sometimes only 2. I've let my girlfriend read them to show her there is no personal information or chit chat taking place. No matter the number, she insists her presence in our life is by design. I have no feelings whatsoever for my former spouse.

Next, we love being together and she is a great girlfriend and lover in that time. However, if I take one of my kids to dinner, she wants to know what I'm wearing, texts me while there and insists I've picked that location purposely to check out other women...while I'm with my son or daughter! Last night, I took my son to the restaurant where my daughter is a hostess and this occurred. If she sees a female "like" a picture on Face Book, questions fly as if I'd been having an affair. I've deleted all female "friends" from FB and my cell. She's been in my open laptop twice looking for things and found nothing because I have nothing to hide. My open honesty of my old behavior (in my drinking days 5 years ago) has likely caused her mistrust. My current behavior leaves no reason for her constantly questioning and "punishing" me in my opinion. I love her and would ask your opinion as to where I can get me/us help? Is there hope with so little trust? Am I (or she or both) co-dependent?

Thank you,
Steve (age 56)
 
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An_249530 responded:
Im not sure if im exactly jealous or just have no trust in my relationship. Our four years together have been CRAZY!! I didn't start out crazy or jealous or whatever, i started out telling my man i didn't care who he was friends with who he talked to to, hung out with etc.... however then i began finding out lies and things he would keep from me talking to his ex on FB about our person life (sex life) etc, and talking to more females then he actually was just alot of things. By the end of our three years together after multiple lies and other problems involving females at his workplace. I became so possesive, controling and jealous? That it ended our relationship at least he says that is why although i know there was tons of other problems between us. I would constantly be wanting to go thru his phone, FB, go everywhere with him and always accuse him of cheating. He was always so secretive about things his phone had a lock on it i couldn't know the password everywhere he went he made sure his phone went bathroom, shower, anywhere! Always made sure he logged out of his FB and refused to show me his messages just multiple things. As i said at the end of our 3 years we broke up for about 4 months got back together and now everything is really different. He leaves his phone out, still refuses to show me his FB messages but he is rairly on it anymore, invites me everywhere he goes instead of leaving me home with the kids.....I guess you can say he is the man that i was wanting him to be the whole time before. But, i still cannot seem to let go of the past....i still accuse i still go through his phone from time to time, Don't exactly like him to go out without me and idk why! Like i said our relationship is going pritty good now and we have two beautiful children and he says he wants to marry me. But i just cannot stop. He says that it is because i cannot let go of the past and i know he is right , it's just the things he used to do in the past hurt really bad and i don't think it's right for him to just expect me to forget these things happened/. Especally because he says that he isn't sorry and it's the past so just forget it and look torards the future....I tell him that i am just not built that way. Anyways when it comes down to it he is never going to be sorry or show sympathy for any of it and i do want a bright, good, loving future for my family so how can i get over this? help please?
 
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sluggo45692 replied to LovinHelp's response:
First of all Steve, Your children come first. Wives & gf (husbands & bf) can be replaced, but your kids are your number one priority. This coming from a divorced dad. This is the agreement between my gf and me. I don't even want to be in the same room with ex, let alone talk to her, but I do it for my son.
Secondly, a person is entitled to his/her privacy. I have told my gf, she can look at any of my stuff. If she did it's cool, but the minute she starts what your going thru. See ya. My ex tried that in the early part of our marriage, (I worked in the medical field giving physical exams). I told her stop it or go, I loved her at that time, but wasn't going to take that type of stress and B.S. from her.
I can understand her seeing a picture of someone and asking who they are. I can't tolerate being nagged and 3rd degreed about a facebook picture. I tell my gf where I'm going, but I have never gave her a reason to keep checking up on me. There has to be trust in the relationship, or there is no relationship. My ex cheated on my and my gf's ex cheated on her. We don't do any of the things your talking about. I was a man whore after I got rid of my ex. If she was giving, I was taking. I found the right woman and those days are gone. I get what I need at home and she knows it.
We don't get in each other's purse/wallet, we don't check up on each other's phone, and we don't screen each other's e-mails. That's trust. Don't take abuse. Good Luck
 
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Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to LovinHelp's response:
Yes, there is hope with so little trust, but this is an issue that needs to be worked through. Try doing what you can to talk it out. Pick times when you are both calm and open to having such a discussion. You might find it helpful to begin with talking about how much you mean to each other and the future you'd like to have together. Then you can move on to the obstacle(s) in your way -- the jealousy issue (and other issues, if they exist). You will need to have many discussions to move through this problem.

This is not an easy issue to work out, so the discussion probably won't go smoothly; and progress will likely be slow- but you can make progress. Many people find that they cannot work through jealousy issues on their own, but that couple therapy helps. This is something you might want to try, too.

I wish you luck with this, and please feel free to come back at any time to post a new discussion about what's going on so that we can support and help you.
 
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Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to An_249530's response:
You are clearly 'haunted' by ghosts from your relationship together in the past. The only way to get rid of them is to do it together. Just pretending like it never happened does not work for most people -- the issue just remains there between them even when it's not talked about. How can you feel that you have a caring, loving partner when he refuses to be there for you in this time of need that is so related to his behavior? Also, as wonderful as he's been recently, you still have some concerns (e.g. his not apologizing for or seeming to regret his past behaviors).

So, as I said, the best course of action is to talk this through together. If he refuses to do this (insisting that you just let it all go), then you need to decide if you are willing to live with that. You might also consider couple therapy to save your relationship.
 
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lettemommyof2 replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
Thank you Dr. Leslie for your response, it feels nice to hear someone else say that we need to work through this togther. I don't have alot of family just my mother and father and they are not very educated on our situation. The only people who know anything is his family and of course they have his side they say that i am childish, insercure and jealous. I don't really see how as all i ever tell them and him is that a relationship need communication!!! Need to be able to talk about concerns, work through things together, rebuild trust if it has been broken and share any feelings. I do not in any way shap or form see how this is childish? Yes, i do have insercurities anyone would after the things we went through but how am i supposed to get past them when he acts like its a brush off the shoulder? I do give him a little slack due to the way he was raised, he was never taught to talk about feelings, problems non of it. Just pretend that they do not exsist. Even when i try and talk to him he says nothing, i ask why and it's always the same i have nothing to say, theres nothing to talk about. Even the other night he told me he has no feelings? I felt really sad for him. I think he may be scared of emotion? Not once has he ever tried to comfort me while i cry he just leaves me alone and ignores it, i tell him it hurts my feeling and makes me feel like he isn't there for me emotionaly and he says that them thing's are just not him and he's sorry. I told him he should try therapy but he wont is there anything i can do to try and work on some of these things with him? Like i said it makes me really sad to think of all these things he is keeping in and dragging him down....
 
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lettemommyof2 replied to lettemommyof2's response:
Hehe i was trying to stay ann. oopppsss oh well
 
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Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to lettemommyof2's response:
Your situation is sad - for him and for you. If he won't go to therapy alone, maybe he'd consider going with you. It might help if you explain how much you love him and want to be closer, want to have a happier relationship with him. If being aware of feelings is 'not him', would he be willing to learn how to listen and respond differently to you in order to make you and your relationship happier? Therapy can help with this.

If he doesn't want to make these changes, you cannot force him to do so. Then it's up to you to decide what to do with this problem between you. As I see it, your options are to work around it (e.g. accept him as he is, find the emotional support you need from others), continue to work on trying to get him to be more responsive even though he refuses to now, or leave.

I'm sorry you are feeling so alone in your relationship. Please feel free to continue returning here for support as long as you find it helpful.


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