I am a twenty‑one year old married woman. You could say that my marriage is perfect, but what happens is that every time my husband and I go out, I feel jealous of him seeing other young women my age. I am afraid that he will leave me.

I have always been very jealous, even as a young child. I don’t know if it is a sickness. The truth is that it has affected my marriage. I would like to know what I can do to prevent this excessive jealousy.

Dear Friend,

You have already taken the first step in answering your question about how to prevent your jealousy: You have acknowledged that you are jealous and that it is a problem.

Many people are jealous, but they don’t recognize it or they are not willing to take the responsibility for it. They claim that their jealousy is caused by the actions of their spouse. And they say that if the spouse would do things differently, they would not be jealous. So it is important that you have realized that your husband’s actions are not the cause of your jealousy.

Instead, the cause of your jealousy probably comes from your own insecurity. You lack healthy self‑confidence, which is not the same as arrogance or selfishness. Your insecurity leads to feelings of fear that your husband will choose someone else and leave you. However, the reasons that you are jealous are not as important as the steps you must take to overcome the jealousy.

First, realize that God considers jealousy a sin. Paul the apostle wrote: “Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.”(1) Are you surprised that Paul puts jealousy in the same category as the sins of sexual immorality and drunkenness? Jealousy may not seem that bad to you. But the problem is that the feelings of jealousy are most often acted out as anger, quarreling, divisiveness, and revenge.

Many women, generally more so than men, justify their jealousy and think that it shows that they are strong, determined women. However, sadly, jealousy actually shows weakness, doubt, and fear. Jealousy destroys relationships and tears families apart.

Do not question your husband regarding his thoughts about other women. Do not accuse him of having thoughts that you have invented. And do not make him feel that he has to prove constantly that he loves you. These are all actions that will drive a man away, physically, emotionally, or both.

We recommend that you talk about this issue with a professional counselor. He or she can help you overcome your feelings of insecurity. If it is not possible to see a counselor, then find a female friend you can talk to who is wise and self‑controlled in her own home.

Each time you experience feelings of jealousy, try to focus on the thoughts that are going through your mind. When you look at a woman your age, are you thinking that she is better-looking than you or that she has a better personality than yours? Remind yourself that these feelings have nothing to do with your husband. He doesn’t have the problem; you do.

We wish you well,

Linda and Charles
1 Ro 13:13