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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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I am now in a new relationship with a lady i love deeply,i

Customer Question

Hi,i am now in a new relationship with a lady i love deeply,i was married for 34 years before but have recently split up,18 mths ago the same time i have been in my new relationship.But i find myself so insecure and jealous it is making me ill with worry,and we have had a fall out over it,i just dont know how to cure myself
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 5 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

You report you can calm yourself down a bit but it sounds like the problem involves an upwelling of very strong feelings of jealousy and insecurity, and you then say or do things with regard to your lady love that are quite self-defeating and possibly damage the relationship; and you then regret acting up!!!

If you stop to really read and re-read your post to me (above) you will see that it is 'as if' your wise rational mind has the major control over the composition---your writing of this post to me. So you've calmed down and your wise rational mind is objectively trying to figure out how to bridle and control your EMOTIONAL trains of thought or what you might think of as your 'emotional mind'. This latter emotionality erupts dramatically and your wise rational mind realizes it could damage or destroy your relationship. So I hope you can buy in to the idea that you have strong trains of thought that are alternately, highly emotional and irrational, and at other times, quite calm, reasoned, rational and objective. Sometimes these opposing trains of thought 'do battle' inside your head.

The first step in resolving this is to make sure that when you start feeling jealous and insecure, you at least allow your wise rational mind to step in with a caution. I'm not sure what you need to say to yourself at these moments but it might go something like this: "O.K., I'm feeling really insecure and jealous---I'm almost panicked with worry, anxiety and jealousy. I don't know what she is thinking, and I wish I knew what she was DOING right now. But the #1 thing I cannot afford to do is to ACT in a jealous manner, or say or do ANYTHING that reveals my jealous and insecure feelings; doing so will always backfire and make me look silly, insecure, and unattractive to this woman!!. So it is o.k. to FEEL this way but I absolutely must not act out on these feelings right now. They will pass and feeling this way won't kill me.!" And I can assure you that these feelings do and will pass and if your relationship with this woman is meaningful and solid, you will gradually learn to trust her more and feel a bit more confident in the relationship. Something about what you are experiencing now was reflected in your dating experiences once again, much earlier in your life, before you first married. That is, I suspect that as a teenager or young man, you were highly prone to feeling jealous and insecure, even back then. This may have played a role in your marriage in ways you don't realize. Now, if your wise rational mind---the trains of thought that prompted you to write your first post (above) can simply keep you from doing anything stupid when your anxiety and jealousy start to rage, you can at least be more likely to keep this relationship going. You may want to think about talking to a psychologist or therapist about this issue and how you manage these feelings better. You won't STOP feeling jealous or insecure completely, but you CAN most definitely, keep from acting out based on these feelings and in doing so, damage your relationship. I'll pause here and solicit your feedback. I may be away from the computer off/on all day so take your time. responding and exercise some patience in waiting for a response, please.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
you are totally correct in your answer,i do have battles in my head,which i then beleive in things that i have made up in my head,which then i act upon and get eangry with myself and my partner although i dont get violent or anything like that i just get get verbally abusive, then after a while not long at all even minutes i have calmed back down,and cant stop saying sorry and regretting what i said although i cant always remember what i have said,my partnes says im a different person at the time,until i calm down.i do try and have been good for a long time but it all came back recently,and i cant cope with myself and feelings.And at the moment it is making me ill.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 5 years ago.
Probably time to go talk to someone to sort this out and find ways of strengthening your wise rational mind and getting it to dominate your thinking more. It is perfectly normal to feel jealous and insecure, but it is deadly to ACT on these feelings, as you have found out. I'd maybe make an appointment with a clinical or counseling psychologist---someone about your age, to knock around what is happening here. I think it will help. You also now know that thinking and feeling this insecurity stuff is perfectly o.k., but the last thing you want to do is destroy your relationship by acting out your feelings. And you know that if you CAN avoid acting out, you will give yourself time to calm down and think rationally about how to handle each situation. So you take a walk, get on the phone and talk to a friend, go get a bite to eat----anything to buy time so you can calm down and allow your wise, rational mind to figure out what you should and shouldn't do.

I hope this information is helpful to you. Please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. Feel free to let me know if I've overlooked any aspect of your original question.
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Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 5 years ago.
I see you have reviewed my last post. Any follow up comments or question? If not, please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. Thanks.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your response it all makes sense! Another point I would like to put to you is that I am an identical twin, my brother and I have remained very close during our 58 years we even live in the same road, he has also experienced the same emotions !! Is this a contributary factor?
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 5 years ago.
Absolutely. There are a couple of things to consider here. First, as identical twins, you have the same genetics; but genes get 'expressed' physiologically a bit differently, even among identical twins because you have very subtle, different environmental influences e.g., in school or with friendships or slight differences in exposure to chemicals in the environment, etc. But you are enough alike that you have very similar emotional reactivity to live events e.g., you are 'wired' very similarly. We know this from studies of identical twins separated at birth, who lived apart their entire lives, and then are studied together in late life---they still are REMARKABLY similar in their behavior and emotional reactions, due to genetics.

You have remained close over the years and of course, you INFLUENCE one another and tend to reinforce one another's mannerisms, ways of coping and your emotional reactivity. So you influence one another greatly because of modeling behavior for one another. People mostly learn through observational learning experiences. So, one would predict that you two are more similar than different due to genetics and the fact that you continue to influence one another in ways you cannot 'know' or detect on your own.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your relpy,it does help.There is another point my partner has never said and says she cannot say that she loves me,as she finds it hard to say,i dont know why,and i cant ask her why she wont,which i find hurtful. What should i do now
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 5 years ago.
If you two have an agreement that your relationship is an exclusive one i.e., no dating other people, then 18 months seems like a long time for your girlfriend to struggle with saying, I love you'. Literally, it means she wants to keep her options open----to possibly leave if she wants, without feeling guilty ("Yes, I left him but I never told him I loved him; so I didn't really lead him on") The alternative explanation for not saying I love you is because she has felt deeply hurt and betrayed in the past by someone she did love, and she has perhaps vowed to not allow her heart to completely trust someone, and risk being hurt, ever again. So she is withholding her emotional commitment right now.

Given the fact that you absolutely have to repair any damage you've done by your anxiety/jealousy behaviors and the fact that this will take time, I wouldn't confront her about her refusal to say "I love you" for a few weeks or even a month or two. If you can remain on good behavior and not act jealous or cause any fights because you feel insecure, and you can do so for another month or two, and you feel the relationship improves and she SEEMS to feel more attached to you, only then would I talk to her about her inability to say, "I love you". This problem of course, helps fuel your feelings of insecurity, but you do need to solve these issues one at a time.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks,what should i do now,as i understand your answers,shoild i go for more advice
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 5 years ago.
You might have enough information right now to see how this relationship moves forward over say, the next few weeks. If you become uneasy or feel like you don't know what your next move should be, I think you might want to visit an objective expert, a marriage and family therapist, perhaps for more ongoing advice.

Let me know if I have overlooked any aspect of your original question. Please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. Thanks.