Dear Fr. Joe: how do I deal with jealousy?

Dear Fr. Joe: how do I deal with jealousy?

My boyfriend is really jealous of me. He won’t let me talk to my friends anymore and wants me to quit activities he’s not in. Is this normal?

No, that’s not normal, or healthy. Here is the deal: Each and every one of us is a treasure. We are created in the image and likeness of God. That makes each of us special, unique – a treasure. Your gifts, your talents, your personality – the whole you is created as God’s gift to the world. But we are treasures meant to be shared.

Now, seeing what is great about you is easy, because you are amazing. But we have to take the next step: Anyone who truly loves you does not only see and love what is beautiful about you, but they want others to see and honor that beauty.

Here is another thing to think about: Pope John Paul II said that we were created because of love and we are created for love. He was not speaking of an emotion – he was speaking of love as a state of being. You see, love is a concept that takes us an eternity to learn; that is why heaven is forever. As you travel on in life, you will learn more and more about love, and hopefully, this young man will as well.

But, what you and he must learn is that some key components of love are freedom and trust. We will explore trust in the next question, so I am going to focus on freedom.

What does freedom mean in regard to love? Well, quite simply, that true love sets us free. Do you feel free in this relationship? Does thinking about it elevate you and encourage you to grow? I can’t imagine that is the case. So what does that mean?

In terms of your boyfriend, I will be blunt – you need to get out and get out quick. The actions you describe are not the actions of a healthy person, nor are they the actions of someone who loves you.

Pray for God to give you the strength to do the right thing, make absolutely sure you talk to your folks about this and get their input and support.

I will pray for you as well. Speaking of prayer, check out the next question.

Dear Fr. Joe: I caught my boyfriend talking to his old girlfriend. I’m really jealous. I know this isn’t a good thing, but how do I handle it?

It’s funny, but on this one, I gotta start with the key I always start with – prayer.

See, as I write this article, I am on my laptop in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I am asking Jesus to help me communicate his love and truth to you through me. This is a big task; by asking this question you are putting a lot of trust in me and I have the responsibility to lead you the right way as best as I can.

So, what do I do? I pray. So should you.

All of us, because of our past, because of our experiences of living in a fallen world, have different things that we struggle with. These struggles are opportunities for us to call on God and ask for divine assistance. We all hit roadblocks in life; some of them are because of our sins, some of them are because of others.

I can’t speak as to whether or not you should trust your boyfriend. I do not know him or you well enough. But here is what I do know: You can only control you, and the best way for you to do that is to pray for God to give you wisdom in this situation and to help you see if he is worthy of trust.

If he is worthy of trust, then ask God to help you grow here. Make sure and ask your parents to pray with you and challenge you to be more trusting. If he is not, then for the sake of your own dignity, you need to walk away. You are worth the best God has to offer; accept nothing less.