Judy Torres is a performing artist and radio personality
I am 29 years old and in my fifth relationship. My problem is jealousy. First I thought that all the men I was with gave me the reason to feel jealous, but I realize that very often I do it to myself. I am in a relationship with a wonderful and loving man. Nevertheless, I can’t help doubting him. I check his phone everyday a few times. I try to check his emails or his MySpace. I don’t want to lose my boyfriend, but I can’t stop this jealousy and rage. Please help me.
I’d like to acknowledge you for being brave enough to question yourself because not many people can do that. When we are afraid, it is easy to blame others. To admit that the jealousy may stem from you, is indeed a noble thing to do. Emotions are great indicators, letting us know whether we are truly happy. Jealousy is not a great emotion to feel. In fact, jealousy can be downright exhausting, panic-enducing, and it can leave us feeling helpless. Jealousy has a way of growing at an astounding rate. Every one of us has felt jealousy at least once in a relationship. The amount of jealousy you experience can reveal how much someone means to you. I understand how you feel.
However, jealousy has BAD consequences, forcing you to do things you would never imagine. Suddenly you find yourself checking the messages, emails; you are checking his cell phone while he’s in the shower. I’m trying to delicately tell you that staying in a state of jealousy for too long is an unhealthy place. There is a fine line between jealousy and paranoia.
Jealousy is usually temporary and it’s usually justified. In other words, you should be jealous if your boyfriend gives you a reason. A good reason would be if you saw him flirting with another woman, or if a girl called him at 2 a.m., referring to him as “baby.” Jealousy can turn to paranoia. An example that your jealousy is out of control is when your boyfriend has done absolutely nothing wrong, but you’re LOOKING to be right. You want to say “Aha – I caught you!” This behavior only leads to two things: he will eventually cheat on you because you continually accuse him of the same or he will break up with you because he doesn’t feel trusted and feels like a prisoner.
Can you remember the first time you were betrayed or cheated on? Were you recently deceived by an ex-boyfriend? Is your current boyfriend paying the price for what someone else did to you? If so, please take a deep breath and just decide to take the chance and trust him. It sounds to me as if this current boyfriend hasn’t given you valid reasons for the alarm to go off in your head.
In my experiences, I have found that if someone is going to cheat, he will cheat…keeping your eye on him won’t have any power to change that. I have also learned that if someone cheats on you, the truth will eventually come out. Give yourself time and trust him – or you’ll lose him. Bottom line: relationships do not survive without trust. Lack of trust eventually will turn him off and it will ruin what might be a good relationship. Clarisa, if you can’t trust him, leave him. If you find the source of your jealousy really stems from your own insecurities, then maybe you’re not ready to be in a serious relationship yet. Seeking counseling about long-term fears and jealousy could be a good thing for you. Good luck and try not to be too hard on yourself.