More than four years ago I broke up with a girlfriend…. She became sick with jealousy, and hounded me and wouldn’t leave me alone. So I mustered the courage to end the relationship….

A year later I made friends with a girl… and before long she became my girlfriend. My relationship with her is unique and beautiful. There’s no doubt I love her very much and don’t want to let her go. We have plans to be married, and that is truly what I want.

But since about a year ago she began to act jealous, like my former girlfriend did. It has been really terrible because I don’t have peace anymore. She has been jealous of my relationship with her sisters… with strangers, and even went to the extreme of being jealous of her own mother!

Truly I have given my girlfriend no reason to spy on me. When we go out, I am very tense because I am always afraid that she will make a spectacle over the smallest thing (she has done it before)….

I have been very close to ending our relationship. I don’t know what to do. Could I be guilty of causing this? Or is it just a coincidence that my two girlfriends should have both become extremely jealous?

Dear Friend,

You are wise to ask yourself what you might be guilty of in this situation, for any time something happens to us repeatedly we should evaluate how we might be causing it. However, if all that you say is true, then your only mistake is the type of girl that you are attracted to.

In many cases, unfounded jealousy is caused by deep insecurity. Are you attracted to insecure girls because you can become their knight in shining armor? Do more secure girls intimidate you in some way? If the answer is no, then maybe this is just an unhappy coincidence.

The Apostle Paul listed jealousy along with other sins such as idolatry and immorality, (1) so it is clear that jealousy is a sinful habit that can be overcome with God’s help. If your girlfriend is not willing to recognize that her jealousy is sinful and that she needs to repent from it, then there is no hope for the relationship. On the other hand, if she is willing, the process of overcoming jealousy will be advanced if she can talk to a counselor about the insecurity that is plaguing her.

The lack of peace that you are experiencing is a red flag that you should pay attention to. Why would you want to marry someone who always makes you tense and anxious about what she might do at any moment? Do not even consider marriage to this girl until her jealousy becomes a thing of the past. Expect the process to take at least a year and maybe longer. If you really love her, you will be able to wait.

We wish you well,

1 Gal 5:20