“What’s Wrong With Me Talking to Her Anyway?”
Steve and I were in bed talking the other night when, out of the blue, my daughter came in to our room crying. Steve, being the gentleman he is, suddenly remembered something he had forgotten to attend to in the kitchen and left us girls to talk.
Through her tears my 16 year old said, “Mum how do you regulate jealousy?”
The story she shared was about her boyfriend spending time with a girl at his school that they both know has a romantic interest in him.
For privacy sake I won’t use real names but will call my daughter Julie, her boyfriend Tom and the girl at his school (who likes him) Leah.
What made the situation worse is that Tom admitted to my daughter Julie that he had bought a pack of cigarettes for Leah, in exchange for her giving him a couple that they smoked together out the back at school. This, when Tom was already grounded by his parents for smoking, meaning he was not allowed to see Julie who was missing him.
In the past whenever the topic of Leah comes up between them, my daughter has become angry and fought with him. This time, as usual, Tom kept saying, “I’m being honest with you, so you should trust me, but what is wrong with me talking to her anyway?” By now Julie knows that if she says, “Because it upsets me and you should care how I feel!” Then Tom will make out it is wrong for her to feel that way.
Maybe you have been in this type of no win conversation?
The solution I gave my daughter is a bit like horse whispering and I will share it with you in my members area post today.
Jealousy is such a brutal emotion, I was glad my daughter and I have the trust built between us that she let me help her through this tough situation.
If you are already a member click through here and read the advice I gave my daughter . . .
If not this series is part of our Intro Membership and also The Love Safety Net Love Boat tour of the Emotions. You can check out all of our subscription options here . . .
Do you need help regulating jealousy? Do you know what your emotions are telling you? The Love Safety Net Love Boat Tour of the Emotions is a great multimedia tour increase your emotional intelligence.
This Post Has 27 Comments
Jealousy can be so cruel. During the last 10 years of our marriage my husband has used jealousy as a weapon . One in which, he admits later , that he purposely did to me, to make me jealous! Being the selfish man he is and always telling me it was his way or the highway! That I was his friend or his enemy! I watched as he flirted with women and directed all his attention towards other women. In his personal life, out to dinner at night , with waitresses that he chose to wait on us. He always wanted to get to know the waitress and ask her to go boating with us sometime. He would hire women to do secretarial work. He worked out of our home. I would be gone at work all day. He would ask me to be nice and become better friends with these women. None of them had experience for the job. I asked him for several years to move his business from our home. I asked him to go to counsel and years ago He refused, saying he would only go if I paid for it! That proved to me , how important the marriage was to him. I finally got fed up with this treatment. A man who never ever considered how I felt! I had an affair! Because I did not care anymore! I met someone who was nice to me, began listening to what I had to say and did not interrupt me. He actually let me have a voice! This was something gone from my marriage. It was never there! The jealousy had overwhelmed me for sure! I did not care and this was the only control I felt I had , over a man that mentally and emotionally abused me daily. I’m still married, but I do not live with him. The torture and jealousy has continued! I’ve finally realized , as much as I love the man, and as emotionally hard this has been for me and my grown children who are 26 and 25 years old,that it is time to finalize this divorce. With out success, we have tried counseling, it always falls back on me. And what I did was wrong!!there is no reasoning. Sometimes , you have to let go of the ones you love, and move on. If not, the torture continues for everyone in the family and you!
Susan – your husband did NOT make u have the affair – that was your choice just as selfish as your husband was to you…
I feel for your situation Susan but I wonder why you allowed this all to happen to you? I think that it is telling that you say having the affair was the only way you felt you had control over the situation. That is where you were then, but I hope that you will stick around and learn some skills to give you better control of your life when you find the people around you disrespecting your boundaries.
I’m not going to join anything to read what your answer was to your daughter in the blog. But I don’t think “shooing away jealousy” as the title implies was the smartest answer, unless you taught her to shoo it away by recognizing that Tom is not the boy for her. He is drawn to Leah so he can do his cigarette cheating and Leah is luring him successfully by promoting his vice. Tom is weak and Leah is capitalizing on his poor choices. I would counsel Julie that while it will hurt to lose Tom she is better off leaving the relationship now rather than later. Tom is self centered and he lies to his mother and will lie to Julie, despite his manipulation of stating “you should trust me because I’m telling you.” There could likely be much more he is not telling Julie. I hope the Mom does the right thing and as I said, not willing to become a member or pay anything to find out. Not my kid, not my ultimate concern. I just know what I would teach my daughter.
While all you say about Tom may end up the truth Sandra, I would rather teach my daughter skills to become emotionally intelligent and strong and know how to take the upper hand when anyone tries to lure her into a fight (like Tom has). I do not believe pressuring her to leave the relationship is my place and certainly would not build trust with her. My daughter is looking for skills right now in how to handle these situations and that is exactly what I am providing her. Telling her she should stop loving him and to forget about wanting to know how to deal with this situation without walking away would rob her of a valuable chance to learn these lessons. I also believe that her denying her heart and walking away (at this point) would be an act of weakness and not strength. Tom is young and as most of us do in relationships he is determining boundaries by finding out how my daughter will react if she doesn’t like his behavior. With healthy boundary setting skills in place their relationship will play out how it needs to.
I think Julie should just trust him. Because how can he trust her if she does not trust him? Even if he cheats, at least he is in the wrong, not her. But if she is jealous and he cheats, both are in the wrong.
Jealousy in itself is not wrong – it is a warning signal to us that something precious to us is at risk. What we do to regulate our jealousy and not make it drive the person we love away is the issue.
This is an issue close to my heart. I have improved and worked on the jealousy I feel for my ‘N’with the help of your materials, loveboat survival workbook, etc. Now, I can tolerate his women ‘friends’, I have learned to cope well, and we are ‘together’. but the inappropriate relationshipscontinue. I feel sane . But disrespected.
Great work Tammy 🙂 Have you done the exercise called my personal bill of rights? Without knowing what the inappropriate relationships are it is hard for me to advise you here – but you certainly should start taking action. Don’t obsess but do get the facts. I would also make a point of surrounding yourself with other people who will disapprove of his behavior. I wonder if you have read Back From the Looking Glass? It has some great simple steps on limiting abuse.
People never develop trust for each other. My bf is extremely jealous. I’m always good, he says he trusts me, but when situations arise he cannot bring himself to actually trust me. Even another man looking at me he’ll yell at me. Yet he can ask me if I’ll be alright with him sleeping with other women. It takes so much patience to be with a narcissists.
I’ve been dancing for three years. And my few months old bf, who I love, wants me to never do it again because it makes him jealous. Should I really give up something I love to build trust with him until eventually…maybe in a few years develop enough trust with him in the hopes he overcomes his jealousy. What is the limit really? How much to sacrifice for someone I love?
If someone is jealous all the time and in inappropriate situations it is usually a sign that person needs to work on their attachment skills to form more secure relationships. Your boyfriend and you would benefit from working through the exercises in the Love Safety Net Workbook! I think you should also encourage him to learn to dance with you as dancing is great for building trust and attachment.
I live in a Narcissistic world. I love him as much as I need to leave him. I am in and out, hot and cold inside my head. He needs me to be faithfully HIS servant while he gives his new supply all my needs and the next time I see him, he is going to want something more from me then what I just gave him. He is going to promise me everything I want later if I just give it to him now. He will forget all about his promise and again justify another need he has from me. If I don’t produce for him, I will be outcasted and given the punishment until I am willing to comply to his boundaries. I am expected to promise not to deny him again.
You need boundaries that rely on his actions and not his words.
Hi kim! Thank you so much for your work. I wish I had found it 7 years ago. My divorce was final one year ago this month. I fought hard to the bitter end and would have given anything to save my marriage. We were married over 10 years and have 2 children together. What you say is true, it just gets worse. It’s so horrible to deal with , and also so sad for me to watch him just get worse. I always felt like there had to be SOMETHING I could do, and looking back I wish I had done things differently and understood the things you teach here. Do you have a section on how to deal with a narcissistic ex ( since he is still a regular part of my life and we have children together) ? Thank you again for you work.
There are many tests sites to see if I’m a Narcissist but are there any really good (accurate) tests to see if someone else is actually a Narcissist or suffering from some other disorder like Borderline PDO, BiPolar PDO, PTSD, etc. (or a combination thereof) ?
Sadly at this time I can’t afford your membership fee.
Very frustrating as I don’t have PayPal so can’t become a member – I did have thee books – I have grown greatly thanks to them . But it would still be handy to b e a member as the emails help me too
Hi Julia, I will get someone to get in touch with you and J to help 🙂
Can you do a blog on jealousy within the family, between siblings and spouses?
Hi CG – That is an interesting one. I know that Steve always says that step parents usually are not parents but rivals. That would take some thought and let’s see if I get some ideas 🙂
Your daughter is feeling jealous because her gut is telling her something is wrong. Don’t deny her that truth. She clearly deep down knows that this is wrong and why would you encourage her to stay with someone that does this to her? It’s not your place? Yeah it is. To protect your own daughter from liars and cheaters. Teach her now so she learns early on.
This is alarming for someone who is giving out advice on narcissism. Tom is acting like a narcissist and you aren’t advising her to leave him or not to trust him? He’s clearly fooling around with Leah in some way, shape or form and denying it and making the problem about your daughter. He’s spinning the truth. It IS your place to protect your daughter from narcissistic behavior. Or else you shouldn’t give advice to everyone else about it.
Hi AJ and Nina, I understand your sentiments but I also feel sad that your views about love have become so harsh.
This site tells the story of how I did NOT throw my husband Steve to the wolves when he was assessed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. 8 years on we have the best marriage in the world and I do not regret that decision for one moment.
I would also say to Nina that yes my daughter’s amygdala is giving her a warning — but abandoning the relationship entirely is not setting a boundary but rather running away. The reason we feel sick when we feel jealous is because WE VALUE the relationship that is threatened. The message is not to flee but that something we value dearly is under threat. As always it is foolish to act while our limbic system is fired up. Instead I have taught my daughter how to ‘cool her heels’ and then how to engage high functioning reasoning to deal with the threat.
What I taught my daughter has helped her and it has helped Tom. That is how I am protecting my daughter. If I had advised her to break up with Tom she probably would have resented that advice and stopped talking to me. Quite rightly she would have felt I was trying to impose my will on her and be controlling. You don’t teach children about better relationships skills from doing things like that. I can guide her and protect her by keeping an eye on the situation as it unfolds (as I have) and setting boundaries where necessary (as I have) but it is not my place to tell her who she should or shouldn’t value and love.
Instead my actions have strengthened our relationship and my daughter tells me everything and is happy to have me as her coach. There is more to the story that is unfolding now that I won’t share here for Tom’s privacy. It is not about Leah – she is long gone – but instead it is to do with Tom’s insecurities in a particular area that are coming to the fore now in a way that my daughter and I can hopefully help.
If you want advice on how to cut and run from a narcissist there are a hundred sites on line where you will get that advice. This site is different and with over a thousand testimonials to date saying that our advice has been effective in teaching people to protect themselves from narcissistic abuse whether they leave or stay.
I can understand that you find that advice alarming if you haven’t read much of my work. In response I would say that advising people to run from a narcissist is alarming. Much like an angry dog – running away sounds like good logic – unless you know anything about dogs.
Just so this does not get out of perspective however I really do need to make it clear that Tom is not a narcissist. He is 15. Tell me at 15 you didn’t have a little time for anyone at school who gave you a lot of positive attention. That doesn’t make him a narcissist – just a human being 🙂
It is very hard living with a narcissist spouse. I used to enjoy our week-ends together, now I feel like I am either avoiding land mines or doing damage control. It is exhausting and I find myself depleted emotionally on Mondays. (I am tired.) I don’t want to end this marriage of over 20 years, but I am hanging on by a thread.
I find myself rereading everything on emotional intelligence.
Kim, kudos for the way you’re helping your 17 year old daughter navigate friendships and romantic relationships.
My parents were very strict when I was 17 and controlling especially my mother. Had they reminded me of the importance of values such as kindness, honesty, respect, and self-control instead of criticizing my choice of date I think I would have avoided a lot of anguish in my late teens and early twenties. Don’t get me wrong. I love my parents very much and I know that they did their best to raise 4 children in a very peer-oriented society.
Anyway, I am hanging in this marriage to see my children off to college. An $8.95 subscription to your articles is worth more than 2 trips to a coffee shop–WAY MORE!!
Thanks Mari 🙂 I hope that you figure out the ‘gap’ with him soon and are able to relieve some of the tension.