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I get very very jealous and abusive

Brian wrote:

I have a quiet life with my work, and my post graduation studies at a local university. I met my girlfriend more than a year ago, and have managed to stay together till now. Both of us have been through a string of unsuccessful relationships, and being together has been the best thing that has happened till now.

There is nothing wrong in our relationship except the fact that I am very possessive and jealous about her. I mean whenever she talks about any other guy, or chats with anyone other than a girl, I get very very jealous and abusive (i.e verbally).

This is affecting our relationship and we both fear that this will lead to total destruction of something very beautiful that we share. She has tried to reason out with me time and again, and I have understood, but that has effect only for a couple of days. and then I revert to being the same animal!!!

Please help me in some way, Ilove this woman, and want to be with her for the rest of my life, and so does she.

Dear Brian

Jealousy is a terrible, terrible thing, and it will destroy the relationship if you let it. She is being remarkably patient, but she is only human, and your behaviour will wear her down.

That's the bad news. The Good News is that jealousy can be beaten, and I believe you can do it.

Why am I so confident? Because you have recognised that the problem is entirely, completely and utterly yours. many think they've admitted that, but there's a little suggestion somewhere that 'maybe if she behaved differently ...'. Full marks for courage and honesty; you've made a major first step.

The second step is to understand why you get jealous; it's not about how you feel about her, but how you feel about yourself. You have a great relationship with a beautiful woman, and you feel, at some level, that you don't deserve it. Nice way to feel; gives you a buzz that an average joe got the gal! You are not alone. But you are taking humility too far, and have decided (consciously or not) that you don't deserve her, and it's only a matter of time before you lose her ... and your subconscious is trying to prove you right!

The third step is to understand that your lack of self respect and self esteem is messing up your life - and so you are punishing her for it!

Without knowing you, it's hard to know exactly where you are, and what your next step must be. But once you can rationally discuss all this with your girlfiend, then your recovery can start.

You may need to seek professional help; now, or if you cannot take control of yourself. Keep that option open, and discuss this with your girlfriend too.

You may be able to do some exercises in self recognition; your mirror can be your friend. But you may need to be more assertive in public.

Improve your eye contact; walk taller; dress more smartly; all these things force you to be more self-aware, but less self obsessed (look outward, not inward). You may be very shy, a bit of a loner; if that's you, try to think about your own social circle. Doing things in fours, with trusted friends, may help.

Finally, be proactive - don't wait until you burst, talk about the problem before it's a problem, not just to apologise!

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