Audrey asks :

Hi Lucy,

I am 25 years old and engaged to a wonderful guy. However, my extreme jealousy is pushing him away. Sometimes I don't know why he stays with me after I've spent brutal hours attacking and accusing him of liking other women or doing things behind my back. It is breaking our relationship apart. I also struggle with a very low self-esteem and I am convinced I am hideously ugly and that he is staying with me out of guilt. I also suffer from depression and this is serves to further my low opinion of myself. We have been together for 6 years and I have tried very hard to work on my jealousy, to no avail. I don't want to ruin my life because I feel nobody would want to be with me. Please help.


Hi Audrey,

Agony Aunts on Female First

Agony Aunts on Female First

It can be difficult to accept, however men and women will look at other people and find them attractive even when they are with someone else. Perhaps you have looked at someone and found them attractive while being with your man? This is completely normal. 

It’s human nature to observe those around us and make judgements about them, which includes the way they look. Just as he might look at a woman in a magazine and find her attractive he might see someone walking past him in the street that he also does.

This does not mean he loves you any less. He has chosen you from all of these other women to get engaged to, so he must love you. He could leave at any time, but he hasn't. Yes there are other women out here, that are both less and more attractive than you- in your opinion. However, attraction is individual and if you don’t find yourself attractive now- you partner might think the total opposite. But you need to think the same as your partner for this to work.

You have already recognized the reason for these ‘attacks’ and accusations’- your self-esteem. If this is the core of the problem, then perhaps look into some counselling and talk through your problems with an outsider, more so if you already suffer from depression, for this might have been the trigger in the first place.

It is impossible to feel loved if you don’t love yourself first so it might be worth seeking out some help.

Perhaps you could talk to a professional about your jealousy and instead of projecting your own worries about yourself onto him- try dealing with them first and then talking to him about them afterwards. 

It is almost like you are looking for confirmation that you are right in the way that you feel about yourself. By not agreeing with you, you might feel he is lying to you- which isn’t necessarily the case.

Perhaps if you begin with the route cause and hopefully once you start to feel better about yourself you will worry less about him leaving as you recognise the reasons he is with you. Try to remember that attraction is about the whole package- yes the physical attraction but the bond you have on an emotional level too. That is just as important. He could be faced with the most beautiful woman in the world but have nothing in common with her or be able to hold down a simple conversation with her. Looks don’t last forever but the connection that you have with a partner lasts a lifetime. 

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