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Dealing With Jealousy and Insecurity About Past Relationships

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Unless you are in your very first relationship with someone who's in their very first relationship, you're going to have to deal with your feelings and your partner's feelings about previous relationships. Most of us get to this stage before we're out of high school, but no one has bothered to tell us how to deal with the vast array of emotions that surface because of these previous relationships. What happens when these feelings are negative and self-destructive?

First serious relationship or tenth serious relationship, feelings of jealousy and insecurity can cause a lot of stress. These are feelings of wanting to control the other person. We all want to subtly, and sometimes directly, control other people – our friends, our parents, our boyfriends, our co-workers. We want to make them do, act, and say the things that we feel is best.

How to Deal With Jealousy and Insecurity

The easiest solution is to try to let go and understand that you simply can't control another person. You can love them and they can love you, but you simply cannot control them and make them act the way you want them to. This is an illusion that has shattered countless relationships.

One of the biggest underlying problems troubling relationships today is that people feel like they "own" their partner. This is the real reason behind fear, anger, jealousy, insecurity, and similar types of feelings. The best thing to do is to just allow other people to be themselves and love them for who they are and not who you want them to be.

Jealousy and Insecurity About Past Relationships

It doesn't matter who he or she has been with before. It's those decisions and those relationships that have made your partner the person you're in love with today. In the same respect, it's your experiences, or lack of experiences that make you the person that your partner loves today.

Live your lives together, enjoy each other today, and be happy on your journey together.

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About Dan and Jennifer

  • Tee

    I dealt with an insanely jealous boyfriend for years. hardest thing I ever had to deal with in a relationship. I thought he could change or at least get better with time. I realized it was only getting worse. I finally did leave, and am relieved. I think it’s wrong for anyone who has jealousy problems to pursue any relationship unless they get that issue fixed within themselves. What I have learned is to steer clear of that kind of situation. It will slowly destroy any relationship.

  • grace

    the reason why i was insecure is because he had to keep all his past a secret.. even his past marriage. and he still was married when he married me.. how could i not feel uneasy about it when he kept it from me? aren’t relationships built with with trust and honesty?

  • sarah

    I have struggled with insecurities in my life and its such torment. one way i got healing was….if we find ourselves drifting into that pattern again of those thoughts and feeding it by dwelling on them. try to take your control back by laughen at it. speak out confirmations about that you are worthy and loved etc. insecuirty comes from our lack of self worth which has started from the pass. why should we let these thoughts control our lives. continue to speak out good things about yourself and soon what you built up over the years will fall and crumble. hope this helps 🙂

  • manz

    i was in a violent relashionship where he cheated as well , now i am with a new guy who is great but i am ruining it , phone him constanly and text if he dosnt answer i send nasty texts , it is like i have no control over this feeling, he now wants to move out.:-(

  • Steve

    I’m confused-I’ve been burned by me “Trusting” -my gilfriend now -who I plan to move in with-buys me stuff when I don’t ask-tells me she loves me-is insanely jealous-making up situations that dont exist-then she “retaliates” facebook-guyfriends-“I’ll get rid of them when we move in ” she says–how can I trust this-she sats nothing is going on with them-she just doesn’t like being told what to do..

  • Sheneneh

    I don’t really think this article is very helpful. Naturally, I have been cheated on. (notice how I said naturally.. It is almost expected in today’s society to be cheated on at least once while dating or married) I am currently married and my husband feels its fine to make his facebook page completely private and refuses to add his wife as a friend on his page. This causes major insecurity issues on my end and I don’t believe I should have to let him “Just be how he wants to be!” He should respect my wishes and address my concerns with love and understanding of my issues that were neither his fault or mine. Yet, it must still be addressed and dealt with. Preferably with openess and understanding by my partner. We must care about eachother’s needs. Not just do what we please.

  • a work in progress

    i agree. we all know the cliches about jealousy in relationships, but getting to the heart of the matter in a concrete, tangible way so that we can overcome the destructive negativity jealousy can bring into our relationships is what is most needed.

    im in a relationship that is ending, now, today, because of my insecurity, trust and jealousy issues. i was cheated on and betrayed in two past relationships and i guess i havent healed from it yet. its been four years since the last one.

    i got involved briefly with another person and it was horrible because i suspected that this person was sleeping around on me with everyone…literally, everyone!

    im an adult survivor of a dysfunctional family where my physical safety and self-esteem were constantly under attack and love = chaos and destruction.

    two years ago i was sexually assaulted. i tried to press charges but the police dropped it because “there wasnt enough evidence”.

    my most recent relationship has been chaotic. my partner was 15 years younger than me and she had very little experience in relationships. the past two years have been a nightmare because i have been isolated and trying to deal with the garbage in isolation.

    here is a concrete step to help you and your relationship: get help. dont try doing it alone. find someone, a counselor or therapist, who can help you create a step-by-step process for dealing with crap. daily self housekeeping is so important to a healthy relationship with another person….if you dont have the practical skills, tools, context or self-esteem to deal with jealousy in a good way, it will kill your relationship. jealousy is a normal emotion….it is the way you deal with it that determines success in a relationship.

  • Essence

    This was not a great article. But I found Livestrong.com to be very helpful. I read a book called “When your lover is a Liar”, great book! This breaks down the concept about insecurites stemming from people that have lied or cheated on you. From past failures we do not trust in our own judgement – to trust, to love/be loved, and to be respected. Those things are important because they are essential in a relationship. Nevertheless, the reality is we have to trust that regardless of those variables, people are going to be people. None of us are flawless, mistakes will come. We have to embrace them and trust in our judgement and if it fails…believe that there was a lesson to be learned. Learn it and do your very best to move on. We are great people…people who hurt us – just dodn’t know how great we are…it’s ignorance.

  • Green

    I feel like a hypocrite because I’ve had many more partners but I just can’t get over her past. I really appreciate what you’ve said here- does anyone know of a good book/ literature on this subject?

  • The confused one

    This helps? NO…they are just stating facts…they dont mention how to overcome it or deal with it…….

  • Zach

    This is a great article. Does anyone know any others that help you deal with these feelings? The past relationships my boyfriend had before he even knew me still really bother me. Even when I see their pictures on faceboook it makes me feel so sad. I know Im the one with the issue, but how do I deal with it?

  • Wishing it would stop

    I totally understand about insecurities. my husband works with a female he used to mess around with 3 years ago. I fault myself for the way i feel because discussing our past relationships, he admitted to me she was a fling because she broke it off with her man and messed around with him. I now understand why it is not recommended to share too much of our pasts with eachother…the insecurities are there and very real. The thing is though, I trust my husband to make the right decision if she were to ever come on to him…again. The issue is my insecurity in this matter consumes me everytime he goes to work! It is very frustrating to deal with. I also use to work with her as well, so I know how she is. I wish it would go away because I hate the way I feel.

  • Frustrated

    I’m tired of feeling insecure. I know the problem is me.

  • Glass House

    11 – toughin it out
    I totally agree. We can’t do anything about the past. Let’s just focus on the future. Write your feelings down. When your starting to feel insecure, go through a photo album or read old text messages she sent you. That usually helps.

  • Talbert

    This article is like most dealing with this issue. They tell you to “just get over it”, “be happy with your partner”. All of this is good advice but I think people are more interested in “how” they get over their insecurities. If it was so easy we could tell alcoholics and drug addicts to “just stop”. It’s always easier said than done.

  • toughin it out

    i have recently discovered a way to help deal with insecurities as i have tons of them. i realized that i always dwell on people’s pasts, be it good times or relationships and focused so hard on what i thought was a better life than mine that i downplayed my own. so i compiled a sort of journal to remind myself of good memories and past relationships. after looking at that list it made me much more appreciative of my life and made me realize that everyone has their own past and since we all live such different lives there is no way that we can expect to have the same experiences as someone else. the article is not extremely helpful but does provide the basic structure for acceptance.

  • facepalm

    I’m really glad I’m not the only one reading this article in desperate search of help, only to be phenomenally disappointed by hollow platitudes.

    The author of this article also went on to provide such insights as “The Cure to Alcoholism: Just Stop Drinking” and “Why have Cancer? Just don’t have Cancer, and be awesome instead!”

  • cynic

    I think the article writer underestimates the feeling of wishing something in the past never happened. There’s nothing you can do to change it, but there’s also nothing you can do to get over it. We’ve evolved to feel these emotions. It’s fundamentally all to do with getting your genes passed on, rather than another persons, though knowing this does nothing to help you cope.

    I had to read twice to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. Apparently the article does actually completely lack anything useful and instead only contains clíches.

  • addison

    yeah yeah we get it. we have to move on and forgive and forget blah blah blah. Apparently the person who wrote this article has never been in that kind of situation because its not that easy.

  • keepin on keepin on

    btw…great article

  • keepin on keepin on

    My wife came from an open marriage, she has been around the block many times, My difficulty comes from my own insecurities, I learned to lean on the trust of what she says and belief hat she will do as she says. If she violates that trust then shame on me for not being all she needs.

  • nick

    Thought this was great,just wish my girl had enough self worth to read it.

  • anonymous

    yeah – easier said than done… especially when you broke up with your girlfriend for just a few months and she banged two guys during that time…..

  • unkknown

    this doesn’t help at all… it’s easy for them to say it but it’s very hard to do…

  • heather

    hey i really have a hard time because of my past relationships i have had was were i was getting controled the person i was with and i dont trust my girlfriend at all but i don’t know how to let that go because of my past ones because they cheated on me

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