Posted by: L4H | 2008/08/21

Jealousy / insecurity / anxiety

Hi Doctor

I was so relieved to see that one could pose questions for free to professionals such as yourself.

If I had to start at the beginning, I will keep you glued to your screen for far too long, thus not enabling you to help others, so I will try and shorten my request. I have lived a very difficult life, and thus had to grow up very quickly. I was constantly surrounded by mentally and later physically abusing alcoholics.

I am possibly the most insecure and jealous person. I am 24 years old, overweight and decent looking. I have many friends and am well-liked. I am in a wonderful relationship, with a man I know that loves me. He is 27 years old, divorced, no children and has also lived a difficult life. He walked in on his wife with another man twice and eventually left her. We live together and are planning a long future ahead.

He has never given me a reason to distrust him or suspect him. His only flaw, which isn’ t even one, is that he is friendly. People love him which is fantastic. No one wants someone distasteful. However, if he so much as just touches another woman (not in a flirty way), looks at them  I see red and my heart starts to pound, I break out into a sweat and I feel nauseous.

I am even afraid of us spending time with my friends who are very attractive females, because I am always scared that he will be attracted to them and realize he has made a mistake by being with me. Or often I think that he is with me because he knows I’ m a big softy and would rather in the back of his mind, be with them. I know in my mind that this is madness, because he has been hurt in the past, he knows how it feels and has given his word that he would never hurt someone like that. And also i keep trying to tell myself that if he really wanted them, he would go.

It’ s becoming a huge problem for me, because I too am a people’ s person. I know that I am being very unfair towards a wonderful man. I am just absolutely petrified of losing him, and as you will well tell me, that being jealous / insecure will eventually lead to a break up. I have many friends. My boyfriend is not jealous at all and doesn’ t get cross if other males are around because he trusts me. Why am I not capable of the same thing?? Why can I not control my jealousy?

I just look around and I can’ t see one relationship, or know personally of one person who hasn’ t been hurt by infidelity. And I always think that it is easier for a man to fall in love with / be attracted to one’ s friends because as a couple you spend so much time with them.

I also have a huge fear of losing this man because two years ago, a man I thought was my friend forced himself on me and gave me his STD. My boyfriend is well aware of this and loves me regardless (yet I still treat him like this) and it was so difficult to find someone to love me enough to take the risk.

I have dealt with the disease, accepted it, and have come to grips with it, as I am very lucky that I have never had another break out or infected a boyfriend. I just cannot imagine my life without this man that I am with.

The way I am feeling is sick, and I don’ t want to be controlled by jealousy, insecurity or the anxiety thereof anymore as it is physically and mentally exhausting.

Doctor, please see if you can offer any advice. I am often told that it is just a decision one makes. Yet, it is the biggest battle I have ever faced. Thanks for your time.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hi L4H,
I'm trying to avoid that sort of glue ! OK, it sounds as though your life so far has given you good reasons to feel insecure and untrusting, even when things are probably OK. The trouble with being too suspicious is that it's like an over-active car alarm --- if it keeps ringing, you never know when its actually worth getting alarmed.
And you seem to be describing just that sort of over-reaction, unrelated to objective situations. Apparently you have low self-esteem, and appear to be worrying that he couldn't possibly actually want to be with you, so that ANY other woman would be able to attract him away --- untrue, of course, but sincerely felt, I'm sure.
You could benefit from seeing a personal counsellor / therapist, preferably doing CBT< to work on self-esteem and self-sonfidence, and trust issues --- then maybe some joint sessions of couples counseling, to work on aspects of this together.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Hayden | 2008/08/22

L4H, my email addy is Teardrops555 at
send me a msg and I' ll reply

Reply to Hayden
Posted by: L4H | 2008/08/21

Hi Mikky. Thank you for your response. Also thanks to you and the others for not being judgemental of me because i know that my feelings are so wrong and uncalled for.

I do have a major self-esteem problem. My bf says he doesn' t know why i dont have self-worth in myself because when i look in the mirror, i dont see a terrible person. I have a heart of gold and not quite quazimodo :) I just wish i knew where this stemmed from because i defintely don' t want to live my life like this.

Thankfully he is patient and reassures me, i just need to get my butt into gear and putting all the good advice to good use!

once again, thank you for your response, i do appreciate it.

Reply to L4H
Posted by: Mikky | 2008/08/21

Im also involved with a recently divorced man and its been a while now. In the beginning I was consumed with jealousy over his ex-wife as they still have to deal with each other as they have kids. But Ive overcome this jealousy and I did it by constantly reminding myself of the following -

1. Reality - He IS with YOU. Not anyone else.
2. Really take note of the little things he does for YOU - I find that doing little things for each other every day and acknowledging them builds a sense of security.
3. And finally live in the present. Dont live in your thoughts, far too many people are emotionally a mess because they are living in their thoughts. Your thoughts are not the REALITY.

Dont live in regret of the past or in fear of the future. Neither of which you can do anything about. You learn from the past and put tangible steps in place to secure your future. At the moment you are not securing your future, in fact you are picking away at its foundation.

You must also remember that there is someone for everyone. And not every relationship is marred by infidelity - Those relationships were not meant to be. You really need to be secure in who YOU are in order to make sure that your relationship is secure.

You sound like you deal with a massive self esteem problem. You must feel like you are worthy of him in order for this relationship to work. You cannot go around essentially believing that everyone else is better off than you and you hit on this amazing put of luck by finding this man. He is with you for a reason. Ask him to re-affirm what those reasons are. Grab hold of them and believe it!

I read something once .... Which you may find useful.

You cannot love someone who doesnt love themselves. These people are bottomless wells, they will drink all you have to give and leave you both empty and defeated.

Dont be that person!

Reply to Mikky
Posted by: L4H | 2008/08/21

Thanks Lolo, i' m trying, believe me. It' s like i said, its exhausting mentally and physically, i hate it! How are u so normal?? help a girl out here! :)

Reply to L4H
Posted by: Lolo | 2008/08/21

You need to try harder, turn a blind eye if you can, pactice that , i know is not gonna be easy but is for the best.

Reply to Lolo
Posted by: L4H | 2008/08/21

Lolo, thanks for your response, but that is exactly why i am writing in. Because i KNOW it' s wrong and unfair. Do you think for one second i enjoy being this way? I would do anything to change because it' s like a sickness.

Reply to L4H
Posted by: L4H | 2008/08/21

Hayden, thanks for your response. i know there are people out there like us, but no one talks about it. I have become more open with it with regards to my friends, but i cannot find anyone to relate to. I am so pleased that you posted a response! I dont know if it' s a bit forward, but maybe if you would like to swap e-mail addys and chat and see if we can find a happy medium or even give each other tips? I am eagerly awaiting the good doctor' s advice, so i find myself refreshing the site constantly :) If however you are not comfortable with it, i fully understand! Wont be offended :)

Reply to L4H
Posted by: Lolo | 2008/08/21


i know what you are talking about and believe me you don' t want to live like that, i was in a relationship with someone so loving but jealous, jealosy leat to mistrust which later destroy the relationship because some unesessary arguments will arise.

i coudn' t take it any longer and i ended the relationship.

Jealousy is a painful problem to have and it is equally painful for
the person who is the target of the jealousy and in partnership with a jealous person.

There are lots of other reasons why people continue to live with
jealousy in their lives, such as they love the person in spite of the jealousy, they have a fear of changing, past experiences in other relationships that were troubled and not wanting to " rock the boat"  by dealing with it.

please don' t treat your partner in such a way that you don' t want him to treat you back.

jealousy destroy relationships.

Reply to Lolo
Posted by: Hayden | 2008/08/21

Dear L4H, this might as well be me. i know how you feel. I know the helplessness you feel, the anxiety, the jealousy, heartache (caused by yourself), overwhelming fear of losing the one you love....It drives you insane! I don' t have close friends as i am too afraid they will take away my husband. Yes, I am married, and still nothing has changed. I was molested during my childhood, it has affected my sex life as well. I have no self-esteem, even though I am told I am sexy and pretty. I have a good body etc, but that means nothing to me. My husband is also a friendly guy and every time he talks to a girl( his friends g/f) I go crazy, make a scene, throw tantrums! This leads to me being embarrest and hubby disappointed in me. I spoke to hubby this weekend for the first time about my feelings after 8 years of being together and he gave me some good advice. Do things that make you feel good. If baking a cake makes you feel good, then bake 5 cakes. I am trying my best to set my mind right and try to built up my self esteem, but I still have a very long road ahead of me. Good luck L4H.

Reply to Hayden

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