Jealousy And Insecurity

by Mark Ivar Myhre on December 2, 2010

I just received a question about ‘not measuring up’.

Basically, the gentleman is saying he’s worried about his wife’s past, and the fact that he doesn’t feel he measures up to other guys she’s been with before him.  He obsesses about it, and keeps bringing it up to her, even thought she tries to reassure him everything’s okay ‘down there’.  It’s ended up consuming  his life, and has even gotten to the point of causing health problems.

How do I answer this?

Well, if you tell anybody, I’m gonna swear you’re lying, but I’ve had the same obsession myself.  On the rare occasion I’ve brought up the subject, the woman in question always laughs at me.

Not because my neurotic fears are true, but because they can’t believe I would even worry about it.  (Whew!  I guess I’m okay, then…)  But that didn’t end my obsessions.

Before I tell you how I ended these concerns, let me state some obvious facts regarding the situation.  If you keep bringing it up to your wife, and the two of you argue about it, then it’s like you’ve taken a huge wooden stake and driven it into the heart of your relationship.

You’ve created a barrier that prevents intimacy or any kind of closeness, for that matter.  You might be able to cohabitate the same space and time, but there’s still an invisible obstacle that can’t be breached.  You’ve given your wife two choices –

1. She can rise to the resonance of unconditional love.

2. She can retreat in any number of ways, as a coping mechanism.

You say you’ve had this pattern with other women in your past, of questioning your ‘manhood’ and forcing them to defend you.

The first question you want to ask yourself is, why do I create this distance in a relationship?

The second question is, why do I treat women as a garbage dump for my shame?

Shame forces you to be selfish.  You have to be obsessive when you function from a place of shame.  And that’s what you’re doing here.  You’re shaming yourself, you’re shaming your body, and you’re shaming your wife.

And please understand, I’m only being blunt because I care.  Really.  I mean, why sugar coat anything?

People function from a place of shame for one reason.  It’s because someone else used you as a garbage dump for their shame.  Usually it starts early in life.

Now let me answer my first question for you.  The reason you create distance in a relationship is the same reason everyone else does.  It’s so the other person won’t see your shame.

Which never works, by the way…

As for the second question, the nature of shame is to treat it like a hot potato.  Shame is so painful, so uncomfortable, so horrendous, that you feel compelled to try to get rid of it any way you can.

Like a drowning man, all you know to do is to grab someone else.

Please understand, this is not an indictment against you.  I’m just stating obvious facts about shame.  Which you’ve had the misfortune of being enmeshed in.

So what about some answers?

As I mentioned, I’ve dealt with the same issues myself.  My jealousy and insecurity knew no bounds.  I was truly out of control in my behavior; more than I want to admit.

But now, I’m tempted to say it would be impossible for me to feel jealousy and insecurity.  (But I won’t say it, because I would be setting myself up for failure.)

Let’s just say I’m pretty secure in myself right now.

How did I do it?

A combination of factors.

Healing the shame was essential. I’ve written some articles on it and posted them to this blog.

I was supposed to be writing a book about it, since it’s such a huge influence in so many people’s lives.  I got distracted when I discovered such a wonderful tool to end shame – the self-image changing technique.  Believe me, you’ll be hearing a lot more about this soon!

The reason I got distracted is because this technique works on anything you can think of – ending pain, making money, finding a relationship, losing weight, etc.  I’ve been having too much fun working with this technique.  It’s pushed everything else to the back burner.

Another reason I’ve been taking so long is I had to find the antidote to shame.  It took a while.

Getting back to the point:

Ending my shame was a big step.  But there’s more.

I was extremely jealous. I had a ‘righteous’ jealousy.  Meaning, I believed I had the ‘right’ to be jealous, and out of that, I believed I had the right to behave any way I wanted.

I was telling myself stories.  I was making up all kinds of nonsense that wasn’t even true.  (Or even if it were true, so what?!!)

I was being controlled by my ego.  That’s where almost all the stories come from.  It’s a big load of crap.  Looking back, it’s amazing how stupid I was.

I guess ‘ignorance’ would be a better word.

I just didn’t know about my ego.  I didn’t even know I had an ego. I thought the stories were coming from my own mind, instead of from my ego.  I believed the lies.  I was a chump.

It’s like I had a dog collar on, and my ego was leading me around.  I was at the whim of my ego, and that’s a very dangerous position to be in.

To learn how I changed it, and put the ego back in its rightful place, go to –

Once I was able to separate the fact from the fiction; once I could see the stories my ego was telling me, then it was easy to drop those stories, and release the jealousy that was eating me alive.

Working with the ego is essential for living a happy life, but even that isn’t the complete answer to this dilemma.  Here’s the rest of the story:

In addition to the jealousy, I was also very insecure.  Yes, a lot of that insecurity came from the ego stories.  But once you end those painful stories, you still need to build your security.  It’s not enough to just end the insecurity.  You need to build something in its place.

One way you can start building a rock-solid security by working on your self esteem.  Your self esteem can be an anchor as well as a beacon of light and hope.

I realized we’ve strayed quite a bit from the length of a guy’s ‘manhood’.  Or maybe we haven’t.  It’s funny how we can obsess over little things.

(Yes, that’s a joke.)


Sara December 2, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Another great article. I love your honesty and your willingness to seek out the real cause of the effects. Thank you, Mark!

Helen December 3, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Hi Mark – I am humbled by your honesty and this article gave me the motivation to self reflect and find illumination and the willingness to admit to a shortcoming in my own character – a shortcoming that I am aware of and is overwhelmingly present in a current personal situation. After reading this article I was able to ‘put the brakes on’ – I’m sure it will raise its ‘ugly’ head again sometime in the future – but today I did not act on it and I am going to give myself a pat on the back and express my gratitude to you.
God bless you

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