Moises: What to do with my crazy, jealous girlfriend?

·4 min read

RUDY: Hi, Singlestalk. I am among my company’s most productive financial consultants. I must admit part of it is good looks. It opens doors. But absolutely no hanky-panky. It’s just that my girlfriend is the jealous type. She’d require that she has passwords of my email and social media accounts and demands to randomly check my messages. Aside from it becoming a breach of data security, she’s also encroaching on my personal space. I love her. But family and friends are telling me this relationship is toxic and is helping me grow and succeed in my chosen field. Your thoughts?

DJ: Why is she feeling that way? Is it a trust issue? It’s actually different from jealousy. Jealousy is about envy that comes with rivalry. Like when you like someone else’s selfie and you don’t like hers. Oftentimes unfounded. Trust issue is developed due to your behavior. Did you cheat in the past?

Do you have a history of lying that if these lies were bricks, you’d be the Great Wall of China? These are just examples, man. I’m surfacing these because managing her jealousy is different from managing trust issues. And it starts best with what’s within your control and whether, indeed, you are a major sponsor to her insecurity.

I also suggest you ask her what her fears are about the relationship. Why is she unsure about you or life in general? She shouldn’t be bothered if you reach her place in 15 minutes when Google Maps says it only takes 12, right? It might be that she’s afraid of losing you. It might also be because of a personal history. What about her family? How about her past relationships?

As a financial consultant, it’s understandable if you’re meeting a lot of people. See if there’s a way to help her feel more secure in moments where you inadvertently trigger her insecurity. I am not a big fan of sharing passwords. Yes, it’s a potential breach in data security. Love is also about respect and trust, not about snooping on phones and messages. Besides, everyone has the right to digital privacy. Why on earth are passwords created?

Now if she’s jealous when you socialize with workmates or with other friends and you can’t tag her along, gently explain to her that sometimes you need time alone with friends. This has nothing to do with how you feel about her. You are not seeing other people because she’s so ugly that when she walks into a bar, they turn off their CCTV camera. She can also hangout with her girl friends. It’ll enrich her perspective and will keep your interactions fresh. But you can remind her how much you value her every time you make plans without her. But be clear about what you are and are not willing to do. If you’re not going to put up with her calling or checking on you every five minutes, tell her.

Let her know how her jealousy affects you. Use “I” statements to deflect blame. You can say, “I feel frustrated” instead of “You are frustrating.” The focus is on your own feelings instead of judging her. Be honest and compassionate. Tell her what you want and be willing to listen to what she wants, too. Finally, notice if what you say is in alignment with the way you act. Your words have to be backed with your actions. This new awareness will keep you doing the things you say you will do.

Ultimately, you are not responsible to mitigate her trust issues particularly when you’re not a major donor to her low self-esteem. It is okay to have insecurities. We all have at least one. Jealousy is a normal part of every relationship. However, it’s not okay to allow these normal feelings to turn into controlling behavior. Jealousy that has already crossed the line is unacceptable. And it’s damaging long-term.

She needs to take responsibility for her actions as well, to recognize signs when her behavior is over-the-top that it’s already making even an onion cry. A healthy relationship is founded in respect, equality, safety and support. And at the core of all these is trust.

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