A jealousy diary is a good way to understand your jealous tendencies and to control them.

Having thought long and seriously, begin a written jealousy history going back as far as you can and writing down as many details as possible. Then keep a jealousy diary which will give you some power over this distressing sensation. In the diary write down the behaviours involved in the jealous incidents, and in particular the thoughts which promoted these jealous behaviours and compare them to past jealous behaviours. Write about how your jealousy manifested itself. Was it through anger, rage, or anxiety? When you see something written down it can bring home the irrationality of your jealous thinking and behaviour, and the destruction they are causing. Looking at those other feelings can help you deal with them separately and reduce the bodily sensations brought on by jealousy. You could also look at the triggers that bring on the jealousy and this will help you prepare for them. These triggers might include your ‘checking’ behaviours; checking your partner’s freedom in talking to the opposite sex, checking their Facebook account and checking their time spent shopping. You need to ask yourself what you are getting from such irrational behaviour. It is in your power to change your behaviour. You have a choice.
One of the most important steps you can take is to examine your core values and core beliefs, which are mentioned throughout this book. Remember that your core beliefs are built around your feeling of not being good enough, and ironically these can express themselves as a narcissistic outlook. You are convinced that your partner must meet your needs and you will try to cut out any obstacles to this. Isolation of your partner is your answer to meet this need. See if you have the strength to embrace humility and talk to your partner about your jealousy. Remind yourself that if you fail your relationship will most likely founder.
Extract from my recent book – Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood.
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Toxic or core jealousy is a major emotional issue that torments

Sometimes, we can be carried along by a powerful, destructive emotion, so try and take some time out to think about it. Sit in a quiet place, and think long and seriously about your irrational jealousy, how it controls your happiness and your life, how it destroys your friendships and damages your relationship. Realise that jealousy is a major emotional problem controlling you, just as you try to control your partner. Ask yourself some hard questions. Do you want to spend the rest of your life having frequent sleepless nights, nurturing negative and irrational thoughts, living in a negative fantasy world, experiencing stomach churning sensations? Realise that pathological jealousy is a burden and it will remain with you all of your life, if you don’t do something about it. Consider that your relationship may eventually break down and you will be left alone. Realise that your jealousy will rear its ugly head in almost every aspect of your intimate relationships and you will never be happy or make your partner happy. Look back at all the times that you have been eaten by jealousy. Where has it got you? What has it achieved, apart from misery? This awareness is the beginning of your journey for you to do something about this affliction. If you are a controlling person, patience is not one of your virtues, and endurance is difficult for you. But, if you wish to shed this burden you will have to be patient and to endure. Unfortunately, it may take the shock of your partner leaving you, to spur you to seek help. That is my experience as a counsellor.
Extract from my recent book – Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood.
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Blaming others is projection for your own behaviours. You must take responsibility for your behaviours

Your black and white thinking and sense of entitlement are powerful obstacles to dealing with jealousy. It is important to put this black and white thinking under the microscope and see the fear of being hurt preventing you from reaching out for help. But, you are hurt from childhood, and appearing to be ‘strong’ will only bind you and imprison you. Remember that vulnerability is a decision, a choice, a behaviour, and you have control over it, just as you have control over jealous behaviour. Vulnerability is essential in the healing of toxic jealousy.
You may be unaware of your jealousy. It is well known that controlling people practise projection i.e. accuse their partners of being controlling. This is a blatant denial of their own condition and a projecting of their own undesirable traits onto their partners. It is a defence mechanism that psychologists sometimes cause externalisation, whereby you blame others for issues rather than admit ownership of them yourself. So become aware, and take this first step of looking in the mirror and taking responsibility for your behaviour rather than blaming your partner. Only you can decide how you will behave, and you can decide you will not behave in a jealous manner even if you feel the pain of jealousy. If you continue to act in a non-jealous manner eventually your brain will make a new program and it will become natural not to behave in this controlling way. This takes much time and work.
Extract from my recent book – Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood.
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Couple counselling will not work if one partner is controlling and has toxic jealousy

Communication is the key to a good relationship and couple counselling can help to resolve that issue, although, unfortunately, it will not work if one of the partners is controlling. That is my experience, and I have never seen an exception to it. Individual counselling is essential to ensure that the jealousy is permanently eradicated. As I have mentioned this is a very difficult task, and Nancy Friday shows her many failures to find healing, even with effective therapists. I have a feeling that EMDR therapy may be the best way to heal. Therapy should be supplemented by finding the humility to turn to your partner. I have seen people tormented by core jealousy relieve their torment and jealous impulse, when they begin to talk to their partners about their fears. This is particularly effective if the partners are trustworthy and reliable, so it is important to be aware of potential support from them. There is no point in turning to an equally jealous partner, who will only exploit and control you further. If your partner is supportive you have to give them time to become accustomed to dealing with a ‘new’ you. Turning to a reliable partner will give you a sense of control, because toxic jealousy can make you feel out of control. What is the alternative but to continue to live a life of anger, misery and jealousy, putting the relationship under increasing strain?
As you strive to understand the roots of jealousy, and the importance of good communication with your partner it would be useful to realise that jealousy can be seen as a love addiction, which explains why it is so difficult to eradicate. But, as in any addiction, it is important to recognise and admit that you have a jealous personality, that it has nothing to do with your partner unless he also has toxic jealousy. This admission will be difficult for you because of the nature of jealousy as a control mechanism. Yet, it will also be a relief and the beginning of your rehabilitation, and will help you to take back some the power that the jealousy has taken from you.

Extract from my recent book – Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood.
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Toxic or core jealousy comes from an insecure attachment to a parent, ie it is an attachment issue.

What do you do if you want to rid yourself of Toxic Jealousy?

Understanding fear of abandonment and attachment issues is fundamental to dealing with jealousy. You need to know the roots of this painful condition, why you feel inferior and why you see others as superior to you. You need to realise that it comes from an early feeling of not experiencing love and a failure by a parent of making an emotional bond through meeting your dependency needs. Any individual who feels bonded to a parent will never experience toxic jealousy in adulthood. It is not possible. Further this tormenting body sensation that is jealousy can manifest itself as a host of other negative feelings such as anger, fear, anxiety, sadness, rage, and shame.
Since jealousy is a major controlling mechanism it is not possible to understand it, unless you understand the concept of control and the controlling personality. You must lay bare that personality by understanding its traits and realise that the narcissistic creation is just a show, and behind all the bluster is a vulnerable child struggling in adult shoes. That is not an easy thing to do, because narcissism is a failure to recognise your personal deficiencies and a tendency to blame your partner. Failure to do so, however, may allow a period of control, but ultimately will destroy your relationship and leave you struggling with chronic loneliness.
When you understand the controlling personality, looking at the different theories of jealousy will bring you further along the road to healing it, but it is very difficult, if not impossible, to heal it on your own. It is likely you will need a therapist to help you to make sense of your childhood and find the roots of toxic jealousy.
Extract from my recent book – Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood.
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Separtion anxiety and jealousy are not the same.

Jealousy can also be a symptom of Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder (ASAD). Research shows that about one third of children who suffer from separation anxiety as a disorder go on to be afflicted by it in adulthood. This means that in two thirds of cases it is developed in adulthood. Furthermore, a higher percentage of adults than children suffer from it, although this is not surprising considering the extent of attachment issues among people. Research done by Katherine Shear, Professor of Psychiatry in Columbia University, shows that it is early onset, usually beginning in the late teens, and it afflicts more women than men. It can also develop in tandem with complicated or long drawn out grief. Those who have it are also likely to have social fear, suffer from panic attacks or agoraphobia and are vulnerable to drug addictions. This means that those who suffer from ASAD are more likely to be treated for the comorbid complaint and their separation anxiety is left untouched.
Yet, while jealousy is frequently a symptom of ASAD, I frequently meet people who have significant separation anxiety, but do not suffer from jealousy. Despite their painful anxiety they choose not to restrict their partners’ freedom in an angry or jealous fashion, but cause them constant stress by pestering them with incessant text messages or phone calls about where they are, who they are with, what they are doing and when will they be home. One client, Richard, told me that his wife bombarded him with texts when he was at work, until he eventually turned off his phone during the day, thus ironically increasing her anxiety. It is a vicious circle, but clearly it is very difficult to live with someone suffering from ASAD, because of their unrelenting and intrusive demands. People, whose partners are anxious in this way, always refer to them as needy, a label that points to a childhood where their dependency needs were not met.
As you can now see, jealousy like any feeling is complex. You can experience different types and levels of it, and it is one of the most difficult burdens to shed. Extreme toxic jealousy is almost unbearable. It is a feeling you do not want. You hate having it and it seems to take on a life of its own, effectively ruining your peace of mind. It is frustrating that despite all your efforts it refuses to go away. No one technique will ease the trauma of jealousy, but the final chapter of this book will provide many techniques to help you deal with the issues arising from an insecure attachment, including jealousy. There are also techniques that directly target jealousy outlined in the remainder of this chapter.

Extract from my recent book – Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood.
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Possessiveness keeps a partner isolated

Possessiveness is an obsessional behaviour, and is about isolation and keeping a partner solely for yourself from as many people as possible. The victim is always deliberately isolated whether through violence or through other controlling means, and frequently submits for the sake of safety or a quiet life. Initially the presence of possessiveness seems to indicate love. ‘He loves me so much that he keeps me for himself’, might be how the partner thinks. But, possessiveness is obviously the very opposite of love. It is an emotional prison that sucks the life out of you and leaves you feeling empty and confused. The controlling person is more often than not a charmer and the victim is smitten, misinterpreting the possessiveness and delighting in the fact that he or she has found a soulmate.
Yet, without the imprisoned partner the jealous person’s definition of himself falls apart, because he defines himself as a worthwhile person only if he feels he is loved. It is a strange kind of ‘love’ when you find yourself being confined in almost every part of your life– how you dress, where you go, what you do, being held suffocatingly close, being detached from your friends, hearing your family being criticised or even being isolated from them. Jealousy is always behind these behaviours. Unhappily, possessiveness can extend to the victim even when the relationship has ended, and can cause endless torment. I have seen cases where separated fathers were prevented from seeing their children, or where grandparents were prevented from seeing their grandchildren, because of the jealousy of some mothers. This is not to say that mothers are more jealous than fathers, but in most cases the mother is given custody of the children and she has to power to exclude the father, if she so wishes. The psychological concept of the abusive and jealous personality is not normally considered by the court, unless there are obvious and proven cases of physical abuse.
Extract from my recent book – Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood.

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A jealous person possesses and attaches but does not love

It is appalling to think that the jealous person is not capable of properly loving another, but more of attaching to them. This always shocks those who hear it, partly because they are unaware of the internal conflicts of the jealous person. Love is difficult to define, but it certainly involves allowing the other space to develop and socially relate. Love frees us, and takes joy in the freedom of the other. It is about fulfilment by having our intimacy and emotional needs met. Jealous people, with the controlling impulse, operate in the very opposite way, stifling and restricting victims. They only love themselves and expect partners and children to meet their needs, as they view the world from their narcissistic thrones.
In striving to control his partner, the jealous person keeps her in a prison of possessiveness. There is a distinction between jealousy and possessiveness, although Dr Helen Ford, a holistic practitioner working in Stourbridge, puts it well when she writes about possessive jealousy and destructive jealousy. I suppose toxic jealousy is the parent of possessiveness, but for convenience and because they are so intertwined, I will occasionally use them interchangeably here. In my experience, the possessive person is also a jealous person. If jealousy is a destructive feeling, possessiveness is a destructive behaviour driven by it.

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The jealous person boils with anger and fear

As with fear of abandonment the cancer of toxic jealousy remains for an entire lifetime, because unlike healthy jealousy it is not just influenced by sex, but by control. If sex was the main cause of the jealousy it might ease with age, but toxic jealousy is equally intense as a control mechanism irrespective of age. I have known older people cursed with the impulse to control, harbouring intense jealousy. Indeed, the controlling impulse can often increase with age.
Donald Dutton refers to toxic jealousy in an intimate relationship as conjugal paranoia, as the would-be perpetrator boils with anger and fear and incessantly ruminates about the partner, entering a negative fear-filled world that sometimes culminates in violence and perhaps suicide. The thought of losing the partner becomes unbearable and the ability to control the impulse to kill is sometimes lost. It is estimated that at least a quarter of all murders involve a jealous partner. Dutton makes the point that such jealous perpetrators are split between the violent and the remorseful parts of themselves. Two very different selves, two opposite selves joined by the glue of the hidden fear of being abandoned. The angry self is terrorised at the thought of losing the partner, and the repentant self pleads to prevent the separation.
When there is fear of abandonment, there is no ease, but always an elaborately constructed, negative and torturous imaginary world containing imaginary rivals. Unless you have experienced it, it is difficult to understand the terror that arises in the fear-filled person at the thought of these imaginary rivals. Suspicion corrodes the soul and the very sense of self is threatened by the threat of abandonment.
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Jealousy is crucifying

Irrespective of gender, there is a whole amalgam of other feelings and sensations that accompany toxic jealousy. These include fear, loneliness, bitterness, anger, terror, feeling lost, stomach churning and despair. Many of the symptoms surrounding jealousy are similar to post-traumatic stress – sleeplessness, hypervigilance, irritability and suicidal thinking. It is so irrational and the loneliness so core, that people with core jealousy will remain with their partners, even if they do not love them; anything but seeing them in the arms of another! I remember as a teenager being in love with a beautiful girl. At that time I had decided that I would enter the priesthood, but my fear of abandonment and my jealousy were so great that I clung to her until the last moment, when she broke off our relationship. Seeing this young girl in the arms of another teenager was heart-breaking at the time. I still remember the awful turning in my stomach when I first saw them together. That was over fifty years ago and in subsequent years I discovered how difficult it is to break the stranglehold of jealousy, one of the most painful offspring of an insecure attachment.
From Friday’s book you can see that jealousy is part of control. Normal jealousy makes for vigilance from the evolutionary point of view, but toxic jealousy sets up a system of surveillance to keep constant watch on a partner. In that sense it is a specific and powerful control mechanism and possibly the primary control mechanism in a relationship. It stems from a feeling of inferiority and still-born self-esteem, which Dr Paul Hauck call ‘an inferiority complex of mammoth proportions.’ When both partners suffer from jealousy they use their knowledge as a way of mutual control and they live in a co-dependent state, feeding off each other’s jealousy. Ironically, while jealous people put on a show of strength as part of their invented self, it is easy to control them because of their internal distress.

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