Why Do I Have Insecurity in a Relationship?
I'm going to divide jealousy in a relationship into two parts. The first one will be the situation of unprovoked jealousy--your spouse hasn't done anything wrong, but you're feeling jealous or insecure in your relationship. This article will provide information about this type of jealousy and insecurity in relationships.
The other situation is when there is cause for your jealousy. Your spouse is doing or has done something or some things that are at least suspicious. This topic will be covered in a separate article.
Are you feeling jealous without cause?
If you are coping with jealousy, the first question to ask yourself is whether or not you've always been jealous in relationships. If jealousy is something you've always carried around with you, then you have to look inward to your own history and your own personality for understanding and solutions.
- Perhaps you don't know why, but you frequently check up on your spouse without provocation. Your spouse hasn't done anything even suspicious, yet you're checking up.
- Maybe you're monitoring your spouse's dress habits ("Aren't you dressed up fancy, just to go to work").
- Do you fly into a rage if your spouse gets home from work a few minutes late.
- Do you listen in on your spouse's phone conversations even if there's been no unusual or suspicious behavior.
Unprovoked jealousy - even when it "feels" justified - creates its own marital problems and will probably lead to your spouse feeling that you're being controlling. Why would you act this way? Here are some possibilities:
- Consider that you might be prone to pick someone who acts provocatively. Has this happened to you before? Did you get a strong dose of provocative behavior watching one or both of your parents?
- Perhaps you question your own value to others. Do you wonder why your spouse picked you instead of someone better looking, wealthier, or more fun?
- A related issue is if you think your spouse is much better than you. For example, you rate your spouse as a "9" and you rate yourself as a "5". Then you might think you always have to be on the lookout for the moment your spouse realizes the discrepancy or finds someone who is a "9" or "10" expressing an interest.
- Maybe you like drama in your life. Do you need excitement to make your life feel valuable or worthwhile? Can you enjoy calm and peace in your life?
- Consider whether or not closeness scares you. Do you need to maintain a little distance or restrain from a full commitment? You might use jealousy as a way of limiting how close or committed you are in your relationships.
- Perhaps you think jealousy gives authenticity to your love feelings.
These are examples of jealousy rooted in your own issues.
If these describe you, you need to do some introspection and change the way you talk to yourself. Your internal dialogue should argue against ideas that support your jealous feelings.
You might be able to work this out on your own. Or, you might not be able to do this on your own. You might need to be in psychotherapy, either individually or as a couple. Even though you might think of this as only an individual issue, it is impacting on your relationship.
There are some psychotherapists and marriage counselors who work with individual issues in couple's work. For example, when I work with a couple around this issue, one of my approaches is to teach the other spouse to help the jealous spouse talk out the awful feelings. I am reluctant to recommend individual therapy across the board because too often, individual therapy can hurt to your marriage.
Is your spouse acting suspicious giving you cause to ask "Why Am I Jealous?"
Do you have problems in your marriage with jealousy: Do You Have a Controlling Spouse or Are You Provoking Jealousy