@MsBBerry – I completely sympathize with your post. I could’ve written this myself a few years ago. I’m insanely jealous in relationships and I have probably suffered more pain from my feelings than any of my partners did. Like you I went to therapy multiple times and achieved nothing. Like you, one of my biggest issues has always been with porn, strippers, gratituous nudity and the like. Things that bother other jealous women like female friends, coworkers etc don’t bother me as much. Therapists always tried to tell me the things I’m threated by won’t lead to my partner leaving me; and what they just didn’t get or believe is that I’m not actually afraid of being cheated or dumped! I mean I always consider this within the realm of possibilities but not a very likely one, I’m actually pretty confident in myself and my relationships. It’s just that I’m very passionate in relationships, give myself fully, become completely enamored with the man I am with and expext the same; I just can’t bear to share my man with anyone else mentally. It just seems unfair to me he would be looking at others when I’m young and attractive, our sex life is great, and I don’t look at other men.
So have I managed to deal with my jealousy? Only partially. My husband still says my jealousy is the only thing he would change about me, but admits I’ve been better. I feel better because I haven’t tortured myself with terrible thoughts or cried myself to sleep in a long time. Here’s how:
1. Age. I’m in my mid-30’s and somehow have a more relaxed attitude about things. Looks and sex are not my first priorites in life. Guess it’s called maturity 🙂
2. Time. Been in the relationship five years now. With that comes trust (a good thing), decreasing of the intense passion that you had the beginning (sad but true, and helps with controling the intense jealousy that accompanied it), and weariness (tired of fighting the same fights, start picking your battles). Somehow him not cleaning up his mess angers me more now than him watching a sex scene.
3. Realism. Accepting that some things are just fact of life, you cannot change them, and you cannot control them. He is a human being, he will eventually check out someone else on tv or on the street and find them hot, and occasionally fantasize about other people while he’s alone and act on it, or worse, do it while he’s with me. And this will probably happen more and more often in the future as our relationship gets older. And I will probably be guilty of the same thing.
4. Knowing you’re not crazy. Not all your rules and wishes fall into #3 above, there will be some things that are just unacceptable to you even if they’re ridiculous to others, and that you don’t have to let go of all your values to please other people. For me porn and strippers still fall into this category. I told my husband long before we got engaged that I will never be ok with these things, they hurt me deeply, and that if these are his “thing” then he should move on and find someone else because we can’t make each other happy. He accepted, he stayed, and it has never been a problem. He understands this is part of the mutual respect of in our relationship and a rule he would (hopefully) never break unless he wants to lose me.
Wish you the best.