I Am The Queen of Jealousy

I’ve been a lurker for god knows how long. I have started a few threads here and there that have died. Yet, I feel like I have one common (with myself) thing that I always come back to which is jealousy. I hate that I am like this, I hate that me and Mr. Igloo fight about it.

Any and all insights into what happens w/the jealousy thing is welcome.

Jealousy comes from the part of the brain that detects whether or not he is cheating on you. Studies have shown that this instinct is 99% capable of detecting cheating spouses.

Wow. Thanks for the biological aspect. I can only imagine the cites you have for the info. Thanks again.

I reckon jealousy is the product fear.

fear that you are not good enough
fear of not being able to control your life
fear of not being able to control your surroundings
fear that you won’t be able to handle whatever comes your way
fear of losing yoru hubby
fear of your hubby comparing you to other owmen
etc etc etc
what combats fear best? faith.

faith in yourself, or god, or universe… whatever you choose.

me thinks Eternal was just having some fun, Igloo.

best wishes

Just a little bit more info might be helpful…

I find that such things stem from insecurties. While it is undeniable that “gut feelings” have their place & are effective at filtering out liars & cheaters. However, when misplaced, they become their very own source of contention. Any serious realtionship is based on trust. If you feel you cannot trust your partener, cheating or otherwise, counseling is the order of the day. Otherwise, failure is assured. Hope that helped.

A little more info…

I honestly believe I trust Mr. Igloo. I say it like that because that’s part of what is confusing to me about this. I don’t think he’s the type to cheat, in fact, he’s the type that I think would have serious issues with a friend if said friend were to cheat on a SO.

Yet, we keep coming back to this. He is more independent than I am and welcomes me doing things that I would not be ok with it if it were reversed. Case in point – I was going to have dinner with one of my (male) professors (I am an older student/36) last week and he thought that was great. Last night, in the middle of fight number 4,506 he asserted that he believed if the situation was reversed, I would have flipped at the thought of him having dinner with one of his female professors. He was right.

I guess the ambiguous nature of the OP is really because I don’t understand my jealousy. It doesn’t come from one particular instance. Or two. In my heart and gut, I believe that he is completely trustworthy, yet I glom onto things and end up screaming insecurity and doubt.

I think part of it is because we are at opposite ends when it comes to what we are both used to. We married when he was 38 (was single up until then) and he has many women friends through work relationships or otherwise. I come from a planet where you have a boyfriend, you break up and move on. Don’t keep old pictures, don’t really keep in contact. I have male friends but not the caliber that is equivalent to his female friends. I have a hard time with his female friends and I wonder sometimes if it’s just because the concept is so foreign to me.

Anyhoo, sorry to go on and on.

Oh, igloo, I’m sorry. That sucks. I can sympathize with your husband, though. I’m still good friends with a couple of old flames. I would never become romantically involved with them again, but I value their company and they’re important to me. Fortunately, my fiancee understands and likes them, too.

I don’t want to sound harsh, but you need to get over this. If counseling would help, go for it. I couldn’t be in a relationship where I felt the other partner didn’t trust me, and I suspect many other people feel the same way.

Thanks burundi. I am actually at a point where I wan’t ya’ll to be harsh. I don’t get why this is such a problem with me and if I have people telling me to go to counseling because I’m the one who is “wrong”, I’ll probably do it. It’s frustrating to be married to someone who (in my sane mind) I completely trust yet to constantly have this come up in our marriage. I don’t get it.

P.S.

Manda Jo are you out there?

Igloo, the problem is that you don’t trust your husband. You want to trust your husband, and you feel you should because you love him, but you don’t. Jealousy is equal parts irrational fear and lack of trust. Therapy would probably be good for helping you figure out why you have a hard time trusting people, but at the end of the day, you’re going to have to find a way to not let these feelings control you and destroy your marriage.

The first step is realizing that this is something you can control. JUst because your brain haunts you with unpleasant images and what-ifs doesn’t mean you have to give in to them. When your husband spends time with a female friend, he is not doing anything wrong. The fact that he is part of a situation which triggers your jealousy response makes it natural to want to direct that anger at him (or her). Don’t let your brain try to rationalize the situation into being partly his (or her) fault. It’s not, in any way. That little jealousy part of your brain wants you to flip out – you have to reign it in.

One way to do that is to work hard on developing parts of your life which are not dependent on your husband. Take pottery classes, join book discussion groups, do something to get yourself out of the house and give yourself a chance to make friends, so you’re not always just sitting and stewing while he is with his own friends. The less you make your happiness dependent on him, the more secure you will feel.

Also, maybe try to change how you talk about your jealousy with him. Instead of being accusatory, just come clean. “I know it’s stupid, but I’m feeling all jealous right now. Can I get some hugs and reassurance until it passes?” If you can keep jealous thoughts from automatically sparking a fight, you’ll be a lot better off.

Igloo, I know where you’re coming from.
I used to have terrible problems with jealousy, and likewise my partner would never have given me any reason for any of it.

I got so bad at one point that I couldn’t stand to know he was looking at other women, and I don’t mean oggling, I mean just seeing other women. I completely withdrew, wouldn’t leave the house, couldn’t watch TV or read magazines, and I had my browser set to text only. I had nightmares every night and couldn’t stop myself thinking horrible destructive thoughts. I did some very very stupid things to myself at the time.
The worst thing was even though I was beating myself up so badly about it, but I was hurting him far more, and he was completely innocent.

The reason for my jealousy is/was I have very little self-esteem or confidence. I’m very insecure. Although I’m nowhere near as bad as I used to be, I still find it a daily struggle.

I did try going to a counsellor, but I found it didn’t help me at all, might be different for you, and I’d certainly recommend you give it a try.

Things I found that did help me was taking a step back and examining when and why I felt jealous. Was it something my partner had done wrong? Had he given me valid reason to feel threatened? 99.9% of the time the answer was no.
Ok, so why was I feeling this way? Again 99.9% of the time it was paranoia that I would loose him, because I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, fun enough, and to top it all off I had this stupid hang-up with jealousy & self-esteem - vicious circle! I couldn’t understand why he would want to be with me where almost any other woman out there had so much more to offer than me!

I respected this man and his opinions and values, and that meant that I had to respect the fact he had CHOSEN to be with ME. If I found sense in the rest of his judgements, then therefore there must be sense in this too. Maybe I’m not so bad as I think I am.

Ok, so thats the Why, and a little rationalisation that helps put things back into perspective for me. But that doesn’t really stop me feeling like this.

The first thing I did was to remove myself from things that I knew would make me worse. - Hence the no TV stuff. Extreme yes, but I needed some space to get my head sorted out without the stimulous that was setting things off.
Once I had set my environment to “low-threat” it was time to change my way of thinking.

So I thought I would loose him to a better woman. Yet the fact he was going through this horrendous hang-up with me when he had done nothing wrong meant that he was going to stick by me, and if he could cope with this that meant there was something about me that made him want to cope with it. Therefore if I managed to get rid of it, removing the one thing he might leave me for, the thing he was staying for would have more space to develop.

I started working on changing the way I thought. When I felt myself feeling jealous or paranoid I’d think of all the reasons he’d given for me to trust him that he wasn’t going to cheat or leave. I’d think happy thoughts. I would forcibly stop myself from continuing a negative train of thought.
I also suffer from depression, so trying to think happy thoughts without twisting them into something sick and nasty can be very difficult.

I cant begin to tell you how difficult it was, and still is, I’m still desperately trying to improve my self-opinion, but after 25 years of feeling bad about myself it takes an awful lot of consious effort, and I do have set-backs. I’m able to watch TV again now, although sometimes I will still get a slight burst of fear (and yes, it is fear) when confronted with a woman I know my partner would find attractive. (I still don’t bother with magazines though. ;))

It’s important to remember that although it’s not your partners fault you feel like this, there are things he can do to help. I’m not good at taking compliments, but maybe they would work for you, if they are genuinely heart-felt, and not just said to “make you better”. It helped me a lot that my partner would stick by me, reassure me that I wasn’t completely beyong hope, that he still loved me and wanted to help me, and he was very tactful, he didn’t say or do anything, no matter how innocent, that might make me more paranoid, I have no idea how hard it must have been for him, he must have felt like he was walking on egg shells for such a long time.
(We did actually split up over a year ago for completely unrelated reasons, but he remains my best friend now, and the only “real” person that knows about this or that I can talk to about this - of course people reading this that know me now know about it, but ho hum, I can’t be ashamed for something that I have done so well on or worked so hard to overcome, regardless of the fact I still think it makes me look a bit psycho, we all have our mental quirks ;))

hmmm, on preview this is an awful lot longer and more rambly than I meant it to be, it’s still something that I find hard to put into words as it’s such an emotional thing.
I hope this helps you a little, even if your reasons for feeling jealous are not the same as mine.
Good luck with getting it sorted, it’s a bastard hard struggle!
:slight_smile:

Tir Tinuviel Good Lord, girl. Thank you so much for your insights.

:slight_smile:
My email is in my profile if you want to chat anytime.

Wow, Tir Tinuviel, what a completely honest and insightful post. Thank you for sharing with us!

Agreed. That shows an amazing amount of self reflection and self awareness. Wow.

The only thing I can think to add is that it might help with the fighting–which is a whole new level of stresa nd makes everything worse-if you made it clear to your husband that 1) you feel this way; 2) you know it is unjust 3) you are working on it and 4) you don’t expect him to fix it, and in fact know that he can’t fix it.

Upon re-reading this thread, I really want to again thank Tir Tinuviel and also Giraffe. (I totally have an admiration complex for Mando Jo so that goes without saying).

Mr. Igloo and I had a long chat today about jealousy and one of the things I did was finally admit that I have serious issues in this area. Up until this point, I have been doing the whole “I’m not jealous, you did this and that’s why I’m acting like ____”. For some reason, I have been denying to him that I actually have trust issues which I think has made the situation more problematic for us.

So I admitted it. I do have trust issues. I also obviously have self esteem issues. But I feel good that I admitted it to him.

Well, that’s a good start Igloo. Identifying it as your issue and not his, and not something that he’s expected to fix, can be a real weight off the other person’s shoulders. It’s also your first step into taking positive action. Way to go.

Lots of people counsel others to “think about why you feel that way, then when you understand it, you can act differently!” I tend to be a bit more pragmatic, and recommend that the person try to act differently. Act like you are not jealous long enough, and eventually you will begin to think differently.

Or: If you can’t think your way into a new way of acting (and many people can’t), then act your way into a new way of thinking.

Short version: Fake it til ya make it.

YMMV

Luck,
QtM

Igloo, I’m glad you talked to your husband. I think it’s natural to try to fix jealousy by just bottling it up and hiding it, but I think it actually makes it a lot worse. Talking it out is good, especially once your husband understands that it’s not his fault.

I think it’s great that you recognize this as a problem and are working to fix it – not many people are that self-aware. Good luck. :slight_smile:

Update:

We went to dinner tonight which was great. Having a great old time. I made the huge mistake of joking that a friend had been pissed about her boyfriend going to a titty bar. It came out that mr. Igloo went to a titty bar about six months ago while he was on a business trip in Key West. Truth be told, I don’t like titty bars, but I was more annoyed that he lied to me. Massive fight ensued, to the point where I am disgusted with myself.