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Ask a Therapist: How Do I Get Over Being Jealous Of My Sister?

My boyfriend and I dated for four months. After we first broke up, we started talking again. We talked for three months. Then I found out that the reason why he broke up with me was because he liked my sister.

I was really hurt, but I still talked to him because I really, really cared about him. I could forgive him even if he liked my sister.

Another month passes by and we are still talking to each other. Then one night, I confront him about him liking my sister. He said that he used to get a feeling when he was around my sister, but he doesn’t get it anymore. He told me that he really cared about me now. I forgave him.

After another month, we went for a second shot at our relationship. We lasted for another 3 months. He broke up with me on a text.

After my relationship with him, I’ve become a really jealous person of my sister. I don’t like to have the same guy friends as her. I don’t like her talking to my guy friends. I don’t like her hanging out with me. I like to keep my life separate for hers now. I need to get over my jealousy issue with my sister.

Please help me.

A: Your jealousy toward your sister is certainly understandable given your ex-boyfriend’s attraction to her, but your intense jealousy is misplaced.

Your ex is the one who hurt you, not your sister. I think you’re pushing your sister away to avoid getting hurt again, but it’s not going to work. Some guys will like you and others will like your sister. As long as you’re focused on keeping your sister away from all of your male friends you’ll stay stuck in the jealousy instead of learning how to move on in a healthy way after a relationship breakup.

Feeling hurt and betrayed after a breakup is normal, and the fact that your boyfriend broke up with you via text doesn’t say much about his character. When you feel the jealousy toward your sister coming up, identify it for what it is — hurt and fear. I think that the real question is why would you choose to get back together with a guy who told you he had feelings your sister? I recommend that you focus less on your sister and more on building your own feelings of self-worth so you can feel deserving of a relationship with someone who wants to be with you.

Take good care of yourself.

Julie Hanks, LCSW

This post originally appeared in my Psych Central Ask the Therapist column

Self & relationship expert Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW is wife of 22 years and mother of 4, a licensed therapist, a popular media contributor on KSL TV’s Studio 5, and director of Wasatch Family Therapy. Listen to Julie’s podcast You and Yours , on B98.7 radio as the Bee’s Family Counselor, and read her national advice columns on Psych Central! and Latter-day Woman Magazine.

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