I am so jealous. My partner loves cycling and rides with a mixed group of friends. I feel insecure because he doesn’t need me and I’m upset when he’s been with them. He’s fed up with my jealousy and I know it’s childish, but I can’t seem to stop it.
Jealousy is fed by insecurity. At some level, part of you feels unworthy, inadequate and inferior. When this part is in control, you are sure your partner will find you wanting and leave you for someone better. Spontaneous thoughts arise of him and other women. This feels very painful.
The psyche is extremely cunning. It comes up with a range of clever strategies to control your fear. And it keeps these strategies secret. You don’t even know why you are behaving as you are. One strategy is to sabotage the relationship so that you leave him. This doesn’t seem to make sense because you are sure you don’t want to lose him! Even so, your psyche knows your deepest fears. Deep down, you fear being hurt. Your psyche wants to protect you from the pain of rejection.
Another strategy is to make him feel dependent upon you. If he needs you, then you feel more powerful. Safer. You think he’s less likely to leave. This works quite well as long as he stays dependent. As soon as he grows out of his neediness, he will begin to resent your manipulations.
Perhaps your partner was more dependent early in the relationship.
This is common enough. We frequently come into a new relationship nursing some wounds from previous relationships. Our confidence is shot and we feel unworthy. A new relationship can do wonders for our self-esteem. Once recovered, we are less dependent and want more freedom.
If your partner was needy once, he has grown out of it now. He is capable of going out and having a good time without you. He wants a partner who doesn’t feel threatened when he enjoys himself doing what he loves. Most probably, he wishes you were happy for him.
The logical part of you wants to share his joy. You know he’ll value you if you can accept him as he is. It is the “childish” part that objects and gets jealous.
To regain control of your emotions, you need to accept them. Next time you feel even a hint of jealousy, say to yourself, “I accept that I am jealous.” Really allow yourself to feel jealous; don’t fight it like you usually do. And don’t act on your jealousy. Simply feel the emotion. As these feelings arise, breathe deeply and continue to accept. Some people find that this is enough to break through. Others find thoughts or memories surface. Trust that whatever comes to mind is coming up for a reason. Just go with it, while continuing to accept your feelings. If you find you have trouble doing this alone, seek therapy or counseling to help you through.
There is a part of you that is judging and critical, and another part that feels judged and criticised. Once you make peace between these parts, you will feel worthy of love. Acceptance is the key. Once you know you are loveable, your jealousy is vanquished.