If you have a partner with core or toxic jealousy there is little chance he or she will change.

What to do if you have an irrationally jealous partner, who refuses to do something about his or her jealousy?
In the case of toxic jealousy, this will involve a long, difficult and sometimes fruitless struggle that takes patience, knowledge and determination. If you are in a relationship with a jealous partner your life may be constricted depending on the level of jealousy as a control mechanism, and you will well understand the insightful quotation of the writer Gloria Steinem – ‘a pedestal is as much a prison as any other small confined place.’ You will initially have felt adored and special on that pedestal and then smothered and fearful as the noose of jealousy tightens. Unfortunately, for many the smothering gets worse as the years pass by and the prison door is rarely opened. But, you do not have to remain in that prison. You can free yourself emotionally and even physically if necessary. Your first task is to make sense of why this irrational jealousy exists. To do this you have to educate yourself on the traits of the controlling or abusive personality outlined in the chapter on anger. While this personality is created in childhood and causes many burdens, perpetrators cannot make excuses for inexcusable behaviour caused by jealousy. Whatever their childhood, partners have no right to use it as an excuse for torturing others.
You may need professional help in making sense of abusiveness per se in the context of toxic jealousy, and then your next task in coping with a jealous partner is to understand the complexity of jealousy itself and its roots in an insecure attachment. Your bedrock and safeguard is your self-esteem. Good self-esteem is the basis of happiness and a sign of strength. If you have good self-esteem and you have a jealous partner, despite being oppressed you are the one with the power, because jealous people have no self-esteem. You have the inner calmness of feeling loved by parents long ago, and are not tormented by possessiveness. You do not fear abandonment. There is no contest here, although the jealous person may come across as the powerful one as they project an invented self to impress others. The invented self is no match for the true self. You must, however, be aware of this and constantly remind yourself of your inner strength. I have met people who were physically abused by jealous partners, but were aware of their own goodness and strength, and despite feeling fearful of the violence felt an accompanying calm that enabled them to leave the relationship. It was a strange mixture, but understandable, and they needed therapy to deal with the impact of the abuse. I have seen others in a jealous non-violent relationship who were aware that there must be equality in any relationship and fought to establish it in their struggle with the jealous person. Their assertiveness sometimes paid off, but it is not wise to be assertive with a violent jealous partner. Unfortunately, leaving the relationship is the only answer.
Extract from my recent book – Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood.

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