Jealousy as an Illness
I don't really know where to begin about my story of jealousy. Not even sure how I should tell it or what way to write it in. So I'll just wing it and give you a summary of my problem, it would probably be a book if I didn't summarize. I never knew there were other women who could relate to my problem in the same way that I feel, other than my best friend. This *illness* which it really has been for me makes me feel more isolated then I can put into words. I never hear or talk to any woman that empathizes with the depth of my emotions. I've never dated a guy that I was directly worried about him cheating on me, but yet I get jealous of every pretty girl that walks in the room, passes us or is on TV. I feel like he is lusting after every one of them, even just him slightly desiring her, makes me feel crazy inside. I feel silly for even writing this right now, but that's the truth of the matter. My current boyfriend and I (who have been together for about a year and a half) have discussed this matter over and over again and I give myself pep talks daily and pray about my problem all the time and when I'm not doing that I'm feeling guilty and berating myself for giving in to my irrational thoughts of distrust in my partner. We argue about this about every other day to every 2 days. Our arguments consist of me either quietly sulking and then turning into a "discussion" that leads into an argument or of me just getting all fired up and yelling something like "me never being enough and always having half-naked and naked hot girls that will always take away the sacred attention I want him to only give me, and there not being anything I can do about it cause it's just "life" to have it thrown in my face every time I turn around" Once again I'm feeling extremely exposed in stating all of this even though you don't know me personally, but this again is the truth.
My rational self knows that there is much more to beauty and attraction and love then physical appearance but I often let the media and un-evolved male centered mentality rule my view of the world and myself and what I need to truly have what I want. Sometimes my mind runs negative thoughts over and over again and keeps me up at night worrying until I finally talk about it which usually leads to an argument with my boyfriend and I. Sometimes I just feel I don't even have the energy to fight my negative, fearful, jealous thought so I give in to it. Yes I know this sounds crazy and I feel that way a lot. My boyfriend is convinced something is wrong with me and I wonder sometimes if medication would help. I've never been the anti-depressant type, but maybe I should be, I just don't know if it would help ease things at all. I want to do more than numb the issue, but think that in the meantime numbing it might be helpful, I just don't know.
I used to date a guy for about 4 years and i dealt with my jealousy problem with him as well. Though that relationship was very abusive physically, and mentally and not my ideal. And now I am in what I think is my "ideal" relationship and yet those same doubts and fears rule my mind frequently with him. I tried to prepare my mind early on so I wouldn't be brought back to this "prison", but I failed. I would say things are almost perfect between him and I except this *illness*.
I find myself worried that when we aren't together he is indulging in things that would totally disrespect me. For me that is little things to average women, like looking at sexy pictures of other women. He promises he wouldn't do that or even want to do that but it's still unbearably difficult for me to take his word on it. He goes above and beyond most men. He treats me like a queen most of the time and compliments me daily and makes me feel very loved and attractive in many different ways and yet I still irrationally find myself filled with worry and doubt. I don't want to tie strings on him and yet I fear if I don't then he will hurt me even if it's just unintentional. I even question monogamy altogether sometimes and think it might be a false reality. When I'm a positive person I'm unbelievably positive, but this *illness* makes me seem quite different than that. Your mind can truly be your worst enemy. I used to think (and still do for that matter) mental illness would be one of the worst things to happen to a human being and yet I feel that I'm experiencing a certain kind of mental illness myself with this, even if it's been born of something that happened years ago and just fed and nurtured by my own thoughts all these years.
Here another example of my jealousy... My boyfriend was considering going to nursing school recently and my first thoughts were not of congratulations and positive reinforcement towards his idea, my first thoughts were, "He is going to go to school with a bunch of young girls and meet someone he really likes there or wherever he eventually gets a job and find himself more attracted to her than me and eventually leave me and "upgrade" to her. I know that sounds so selfish and ego centric on my part, but that is what i thought. But what I felt was this overpowering, defeating feeling of failure and fear coursing through my head.
I don't think I'm unattractive by any means, I feel I am very loving and have many worthwhile qualities and very capable of being a great partner, and yet I still get like this. My boyfriend tells me more than anyone ever has, that I'm his ideal and yet I still question and think he would rather have something else, that I could never be everything that I want to be to him or that he is just inexperienced and making a mistake by being so "devoted" to me. Which completely contradicts how I feel in my heart. I know I am a very extreme case of jealousy and there is so many ironic intricate parts of mine. My feelings seem so shallow but I don't consider myself a shallow woman in any other way in my life. I know looks fade and that scares me cause then when they do I fear that I will be completely undesirable to my lover, though I do believe, in my heart, that you can be attracted to someone for a lifetime just by their presence when your truly in love soul to soul. Though again another example of a vast contradiction with me.
Since I was 17 (I'm 25 now) I thought I knew who I was going to marry. It's a long story, but a real romantic one that ended up not being the happy ending I thought and I admit I still feel unresolved in that situation. I don't want to be with him anymore, but I just wonder why we didn't end up together. We seemed to be right for each other in so many ways and we really were what you call "in love" for years even though we were always long distance. We were friends who were in love, but always planned on being together at the end and then he just felt different about me one time when I went to see him and I felt like a dream inside me died. This all sounds really melodramatic when I see how I'm writing it, but I can't really express the true depth that this relationship touched my life, and the outcome still confounds me. Anyway, what I'm getting at is for about 5 years I felt secure in him and our future and I don't ever remember feeling jealous, not once of the "silly" things I get so upset over now in my last 2 relationships. It seemed so easy for me to trust him. I don't understand how I went from that to this. I have always dealt with self-esteem problems in one way or another, but have also done a lot to heal them or so I thought. I do remember one night crying and crying in my attic when I was younger feeling devastated about something that happened with "dream guy" and telling myself I'll never let anyone hurt me like that again over and over again and sometimes I fear I'm paying for those words I said with so much conviction that night. I'm hoping to find some new more powerful mantra/recipe than those words I said to myself that night, to heal this *illness* in my mind. I'm always on the verge of sheer imprisonment and divine freedom it feels like in life, and I need to "learn" to choose happiness over jealousy anymore. And I'm really on a quest to do this now, for me and the guy I'm with (who I think is my real dream guy) and my future children. I am happy to know I'm not alone in this state of mind and I feel compelled to try my best to work my issues out and try my best to help other women (no matter what level or kind of jealousy they're dealing with) who suffer with the same thing to do the same.
COMMENT: I can relate. I think the writer is dealing with insecurity rather than jealousy. My boy friend & I have had many "discussions" regarding (his use of) porn and how upsetting it is for me. Can you please address this issue soon?
COMMENT: I believe that jealousy can be considered an illness. It eats away at your mind as a cancerous tumor would eat away at whatever part it decided to attach to. It becomes all consuming; from worrying about what someone is doing when out of sight, to worrying about what someone is thinking and the ways in which these will (because when controlled by jealousy, you KNOW) hurt you.
But more likely is that jealousy is a symptom of a much larger illness. Take, for example, the flu. You experience muscle aches as a result of the flu. The muscle aches are not the illness, just a manifestation of the bigger picture. Often times, in the case of the flu, your only option is to treat the symptoms.
I don't think that this is the case with jealousy. Jealousy needs to be cured at the root of the disease, not just by treating (or covering up) the symptoms. If you are jealous due to low self esteem, pretending to be not jealous is not going to make anything better. Just like pretending I'm a millionaire isn't going to work for me. You have to get to the core of the issue in order to be cured of this disease
Jessica-jessiker on the boards
COMMENT: My husband has these same kind of insecurities. I came home one day to him raving about me cheating on him when I had been at work all day (and we worked at the same place) and he'd been out with his friends. Ever since then he's been very insecure about me and imagines things, he even got mad at me for "flaunting myself" for a guy at a gas station...a guy I never even saw, let alone "flaunted myself" for. At first this made me worry if I even stayed at the store too long, and I never made friends or went out to do anything other than get groceries and such. Then I became so depressed that I went to a psychologist behind my husband's back to try to figure out why I burst into tears all the time. (stress, I'm sure) Without the help of the psychologist I realized my worst problems stemmed from my husbands insecurities and I informed him that HE is going to cheat himself out of a wife if he keeps accusing me of cheating and believing the worst of me even though I am a kind a nd loving and LOYAL and FAITHFUL person. Ever since then I have decided I will not be afraid of what he will think when I walk in the door. Of course, I am still sensitive to the fact that he is insecure, and I make sure he knows where I am and who I'm with, but I no longer punish myself for his fears. I refuse to be a prisoner to his insecurities, especially when he knows deep inside that's just what they are. I think when I would cower around the house and call him every second it made things worse and me regaining my freedom has helped him realize that I have nothing to hide from him.
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