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Jealousy - how do you stop it?

(4 Posts)

I always was a very jealous person, I was raised by a very controlling step-father who made me beg to be allowed to go out with friends, often leaving me waiting all evening before saying no, or changing his mind last minute. As a consequence I used to sit at home while my boyfriend and friends went on camping trips, punting, had parties etc, while I sobbed about the unfairness of it all and hated them for having fun without me.

15 years on my jealousy attacks are a lot less frequent, maybe only a couple of times a year. It has helped that my husband's hobby of wargaming isn't a shared interest, so when he goes to his tournaments and games nights I am not missing out on something I want to do. However, if there is a party or something that we can't both go to due to no babysitters, I would always prefer neither of us go than one miss out, whereas he would prefer I went than no-one went. Why can't I feel that same relaxed attitude he does? Why can I never feel happy saying 'oh, you go to the party, I'll watch the kids'... instead of feeling hurt, left out and bitter. This has flared up because I found myself crying this morning after seeing he has added some new people I don't know to facebook, people he has met at a party over the weekend that I couldn't attend as I am in England for 2.5 months with our kids. Obviously it would be totally unreasonable to expect him not to go out while I am gone, so why can't I just feel happy he is making new friends and excited that I will get to know these people soon enough when I return? He sent a happy message to e telling me that it was fun and a nice group of people, and suggesting we host a party when I return so I can meet them all too... Why am I sat here thinking I don't ever want to meet them and wishing they didn't exist... how can I hate people I have never met?

Sorry for the long post. Not sure what I am asking really... is it normal to get jealous like that? I'm sure it isn't. How do I stop it, when it is only really me it hurts, it physically hurts inside when I get jealous like this and I would give a lot to be able to stop it...

doigthebountyeater Sun 07-Aug-11 10:47:00

Your husband clearly loves you - your issues stem from your abusive childhood, which I think you realise. I think you probably need to have counselling to get over the anxiety of being left out. I had psychotherapy a few years ago to deal with an unhappy childhood, my psychotherapist used to say, 'The thing you fear has already happened' which in your case is true. You've got to remember that your husband is not your stepfather. He is not excluding you.

havealittlefaithbaby Sun 07-Aug-11 17:11:35

It sounds like you've carried some (natural) anxiety from your past. I'm not sure the term is 'jealous'. You are insecure but it's not like you think he's off with other women is it? I think it might help you to get some counselling to resolve your old issues and move forward.

garlicbutter Sun 07-Aug-11 19:35:07

What a horrid stepfather angry No wonder you grew up to feel envious of other people's social lives, and also to feel impelled to 'control' them. I don't know if you've noticed yet, but you've got plenty to be proud of in that you don't actively try to control your husband's activity! Start by giving yourself a very big hug for that smile

The reason we generally need therapy to help us get over difficult childhood issues is that, due to the very fact they happened while we were learning "who to become", they're woven into the fibre of our mind and personality. It's unwise, not to mention impossible, to 'battle' them because that means battling ourselves - something we're already very good at! Battling makes things worse, doesn't it?

Behind inner-child therapy, and all of its relations, is the simple principle of learning to love, trust and respect yourself. Simple to write - and simple to do, for people who were brought up with love, trust and respect - but a tricky effort to pull off by yourself. When your childhood development failed to provide you with the necessary tools, you can't magic them out of thin air. The good news is: they are already in you; you were born with them. A safe, competent therapist helps you to acknowledge them and learn to trust yourself.

Once you've done that, you can trust yourself to learn love, respect and freedom.

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