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Take a good look at what is triggering atypical jealousy

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Take a good look at what is triggering atypical jealousy

Wisconsin: I usually trust my instincts, but lately I've noticed that I'm jealous or suspicious of most women in my boyfriend's life. Like, if they leave the room together I start to think they are up to something. This is obviously me and not him — any thoughts or suggestions with how to get over this and relax?

Carolyn: It's not obvious to me that it's you. I do rant on a regular basis against chronic jealousy and those who try to justify it, but I am also a firm believer in trusting jealousy when it flares up in atypical ways. If you're not usually jealous but are now, then please look for the triggers — not just at your boyfriend's behavior, but also at your own mental state and physical health. If he's doing stuff that doesn't seem above-board, or if you're hormonal or under pressure, then all of those are quite capable of making you feel jealous, and are worth taking seriously.

So, please don't jump to I'm-the-problem. Take a good look at what the problem might be.

Mom is mum about why she despises daughter's boyfriend

Louisiana: My mom hates my boyfriend and has told me, gently but firmly, that she respects my ability to make adult decisions; he is not welcome in her home. She tends to be very laissez-faire and has chosen not to be specific because she feels it would undermine my decision to be with him. I don't know if it was a psychological tactic or what, but the more she smiles and keeps quiet about her dislike, the more I feel I HAVE to know what's wrong. She is generally a good mom and a good person and I really trust her opinion. What can I do?

Carolyn: Wow, what a mind, uh, bender she is.

If she has a minor complaint about him, then banning him from her home is needlessly punitive.

If it's a major complaint, then refusing to speak up is putting you at needless risk.

So, basically, one of these two prominent people in your life is untrustworthy, and your mom has declined to empower you with the information pointing to which one it is. Wow again. You might want to run this analysis by her to see if it changes her mind on sharing her opinion.

And you might want to revisit the "good mom and a good person and I really trust her opinion," just to be sure you haven't missed something big.

For all of us, the time we have with loved ones is limited

Anonymous: Any advice for waiting for potentially bad news? My grandmother who raised me has to go to the doctor for her test results today and the hours seem to creep by with "what ifs."

Carolyn: Aren't we all just enjoying whatever time we're allotted before the inevitable bad news? No matter what the test results say, your grandmother's place in your heart is constant, assured and eternal, and your time with her is limited. Take comfort in the former, and make the best of the latter.

Sending good thoughts your way.

Take a good look at what is triggering atypical jealousy 11/06/09 [Last modified: Friday, November 6, 2009 3:30am]
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