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Dear Fifi: I'm completely unreasonably jealous and it's ruining my relationship

Weekly advice from DailyEdge.ie’s resident sensei Dear Fifi.

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Has something been bothering you lately?

I want to hear all about it. Big, small, medium, weird, commonplace. All of the above and anything I’ve never considered. Send me your confessions and problems confidentially and anonymously here.

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Hi Fifi,

I have a problem that’s kinda my own doing. I’m madly in love with my boyfriend, but I’m also so jealous about absolutely everything. When he goes out with his friends, I’m jealous. When he experiences something with out me, I’m jealous. When I can clearly see a girl eye him up, I’m seething. He’s a perfectly caring, loyal guy, who I don’t believe would ever betray me.

We’ve been together four years and I feel secure when we’re together. I just feel like I can’t do anything without him now and it gives me massive anxiety. He is in Dublin a few days a week in college and I live about three hours from there for work. His Snapchats having fun without me in Dublin just make me sick. I really don’t know what to do? Am I too clingy? I’m getting sick of feeling like this.

I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for you. Yes, you are being clingy and you need to address this. But the good news is that you know your issue is your own and that you need to work on it. Things would be a lot worse if you didn’t have insight into your own behaviour being unreasonable, so fair play on that big first step.

I’ve got a few tough questions coming up, so feel free to take your time answering them. (And unfortunately no one else can.) Are you happy in yourself? Do you feel you have your own identity outside of your relationship? Would you be okay if you were single? Do you have a support network in your life, friends and family who you can talk to?

Thinking about the answers to these questions will lead you on the road to being a strong and independent person. I’m not saying total self-sufficiency is the endgame of life, but being okay alone is very important.

It means you think you’re a whole person on your own – and the great news is that you are. You need to divorce your sense of self from your boyfriend. Chasing after something is the best way to get it to run away from you.

Here’s another home truth: Jealousy is not an expression of love. It’s about control.

You’re making yourself miserable when he enjoys things without you. You’re not suspicious that he’s cheating, you just want to dominate his life. That’s not healthy. That’s not love. You’re going to smother him and you’ll wring the life out of the relationship. Monitoring him and keeping tabs will always cause more harm than good.

So, you’ve got some thinking to do. But there are also some practical steps you can take. Don’t look at his bloody Snapchat. Renew contact with old friends or seek out new ones. Keep yourself occupied while he is away – and while he’s there too sometimes. Develop some interests outside of your relationships – maybe rediscover some hobbies you loved as a kid or teenager. In the longer term, your anxiety in social situations without him may be best addressed by counselling.

Becoming more independent and realising jealousy isn’t about love will be key to you getting over this. Best of luck.

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Confess a story, ask for help or just shout into the void for a bit and see if that helps. All welcome. Anonymity totally guaranteed always. 

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