Dealing with Serious Jealousy

Visitor's Question from a 31-40 year old Female
I have been reading through your list questions/answers and it's been very helpful. However, I would like to find out how long the process takes to get over the dreaded "jealously" emotions.

I have been married for 10 years and my husband has NEVER given me an ounce of reason to be jealous. He's never cheated on me although on 1 or 2 occasions he barely made it home after a night out. I am completely aware that I have issues that stem back to my parents' divorce and my father's infidelity. I have also ran into so many male friends who are married but still flirt with women excessively when they go out. I don't understand why men (in general) insist on going out and flirting to the point that women are all over them. I talk to my husband endlessly about how I feel and am constantly reassured by him. I think there must be more to my problem than meets the eye.

My biggest issue is when my husband decides to "go out on the town" with friends which includes both male and female friends. He does it so infrequently (I think it's because he knows I don't really approve) that I shouldn't even be bothered by it but I am. He actually tries to be very understanding to my feelings and yet I still have this terrible green monster inside of me.

I've been taking "baby steps" in dealing with my issues. Obviously, building my own self-esteem and believing that our relationship is strong enough to withstand anything. I am not naive in knowing that relationships are fragile and must be worked at and besides this issue, we have a wonderful life. We always communicate with each other...we take time everyday to sit and be together. We also spend quality time with our children together.

I just can't get over the far and few times he wants to do the "bar & club" thing. Also, it doesn't bother me if he has a day/night out golfing/drinking with the guys. It's when the females are added to the equation. The situation is insane and it drives me crazy. Any advice? Advice
Well first, good for you for really trying to figure this out, and good for him for trying to understand your worries. But after 10 years, you really have to look for help with a therapist. If it was at the level that you could work it out on your own, you would have done so long ago! If it is STILL eating away at you at this point, and causing issues in the relationship, it's way past time to get someone to help you out with it.

Sure you can say "It's jealousy" but I think movies, novels and literature give enough examples of how "just jealousy" can completely destroy relationships to make the warning pretty clear. It's like having a cancer in you. Either you wrangle it out when it's relatively small or it grows into something that destroys the situations it's in. It's really, really worth it to get this handled now.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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