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Can I learn to be less jealous?

(5 Posts)
Lastgasp Sat 29-Mar-14 14:32:24

That's about it really.

I suffer hugely from jealousy, particular retrospective jealousy and for various reasons it's not possible to entirely avoid my partner's exes so I have to learn not to let the sight or thought of one ruin the day for me. He gives me no real reason to be insecure, there's certainly no inappropriate comparisons. But in every relationship I've had I've really struggled with the thought of anyone's exes. It's ridiculous as rationally I don't expect them to have sealed themselves away, but I get hideously jealous at any hint of a past.

PaulSmenis Sat 29-Mar-14 14:50:51

I can really sympathise with you Lastgasp. It's really easy to become obsessed once you get into that mindset.

This is a bit of a cliche, but insecurity is often at the route of jealousy. I found that focussing on improving myself really helped. It takes your mind off the other person and makes you happier. You could try taking up a sport, an evening class, volunteering or studying part time. These all helped me overcome my issue with jealousy, because they improved my self esteem.

OuterFromOutersville Sat 29-Mar-14 14:50:57

I used to get this when I was younger. It was mostly an age / maturity thing for me. How old are you OP?

Having said that, it is difficult to have to see or speak to your partner's exes. I used to have to do this when I was a bit older, and it's not the easiest thing to do. I definitely couldn't just 'forget' that the person I was speaking to had previously had sex with my partner.

Sorry, I don't think I've helped at all confused.

Wigsy Sat 29-Mar-14 15:39:07

I find that not knowing things leads to stress: you answer your own questions, you fill in your own blanks, about what your partner and his exes shared together. But you can never know if you're filling the blanks in correctly, so your stress never goes away. There is a huge ? hanging over his ex's head when you see her.

DP and I lived together for years as friends before we became a couple, so I know every girlfriend he had in those years. He knows the boyfriends I had. We overheard each others' sex lives and rows. (One of his exes made really stupid squeaky noises.) We cried on each other whenever we got dumped. We know everything.

We were jealous of each others' relationships then, but I feel no jealousy now. There are no unanswered questions, no blanks to fill in.

Filling in your own blanks, especially when you have an active imagination, is the killer.

So maybe we have to learn not to hurt ourselves, trying to answer our own questions. If you don't know something that you can't ever know - what good times did they share together? what promises did they make to one another? did they have sex in positions we don't? - then all we can do is wonder, and worry, and fill in blanks with answers that can't ever be accurate. Just recognise that you're hurting yourself by trying to answer the unanswerable, and that it stops you living in and enjoying the present. It is a use of your mental energy and your imagination that is working against you and making you sad.

Whatever they said, or did, together, it wasn't right for him. His past relationships are past because they were wrong. He hadn't found you yet, but he was on his way to you.

He's with you now. He's with you because you're you. He wants to be with you. What you two have is yours. Don't let his exes be in it too by allowing them space in your mind.

When you see an ex of his in the street, just imagine the word NO above her head and the word YES above yours. Your YES has flashing lights, and her NO has a sad trombone noise. He loves you, because you're you, you are the YES, and you're great. thanks

Lastgasp Sat 29-Mar-14 15:47:01

wigsy I know you're right. I just worry that he had to try really really hard to accept that "no", and my "yes" is a consolation prize. And I have no reason to think that, as I have enough information to think they were only ever "maybes". It's just that fear that he's secretly still holding a torch and has had to train himself to settle for someone else. Which is ridiculous when I consider that I'm not holding a flame for any of my exes.

Yes thank you Outer, that's put some wonderful images in my head! I'm 29 btw.

Paul I'd have agreed with you in the past but the thing is I don't feel insecure about myself now. Although they have talents and interests I don't, I actually think on balance that he's had a blooming great up-grade!

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