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  1. Hi everyone, I'm a 32 year old guy. I have always pondered on the topic of trust and jealousy in relationships. First, I would like to explain my perspective and then I would like to hear the views of others. It will be a long post, I'll try to articulate my thoughts as much as I can. Platonic relationships: I am quite conservative when it comes to platonic relationships. I know that its a debatable topic. In my personal experience, I have never seen platonic relationships working well unless the two people do not find each other attractive or there is something else holding them back from forming a relationship with each other. For instance, a very big age difference or some religious concerns or if they are married (although we have seen married people cheating too, sadly.) Also, from what I have learned, women usually are more open to the idea of platonic relationships than men. We often see attractive women who have many male friends. However, men usually don't prefer to be friends with attractive girls. I am sure you have all come across those men in your life who try to be nice and stick around waiting for that day when the girl accepts him. Sometimes even when a girl is in a committed relationship, there are men who are sitting at the fence and waiting for something to go wrong and then they exploit her in a vulnerable situation. I have even seen men who bad mouth a woman's significant other by saying that "He should treat you better" and things like that. Its rather rare for men to be appreciative of an attractive girl's husband/boyfriend. In my personal life, even the girls whom I did not find attractive and was just friends with, sooner or later, their feelings were evident and they wanted more than just friendship. There was an attractive lady who was 12 years older than me. I used to have conversations with her sometimes. I was absolutely surprised when she expressed interest in me after 1 year of friendship where all we did was just talk or share some life experiences. Physical intimacy usually follows emotional intimacy. Repeated exposure to a person of opposite sex who exhibits a good level of understanding, offers emotional support and is near your age can result in attraction especially when one of the two is vulnerable. I also understand that there are plenty of articles and videos on Internet who teach "modern men" to be cool, try to act alpha around their women and never be uncomfortable in such situations. Some of them say, that your girl might even try to make you feel jealous at times and put you through some " tests". Always act cool and she will only see you as a confident person. I would like to hear from the women on this Forum. Do you really think this is a sign of maturity from a woman? And why are there so many articles teaching men to pretend to be someone they are not. Infidelity We are living in a time when divorce rates seem to be through the roof. And if I am not wrong, they are only increasing with time. Even in conservative parts of the world where divorce rates were significantly lower, there has been an increase in the past few years. In some places, divorce rates are not going up because many people have voluntarily chosen not to get married and be single. One of the popular reasons for relationship problems is usually a partner cheating and having a "physical" or "emotional" affair with another person (single or married). And in most cases, it turns out that the person they are having an affair with is someone they used to refer to as a "friend". I personally feel that a lot of times, words like "insecurity" and "jealousy" and "trust issues" are used too often to dismiss or act defensive when we know deep within that the concerns of our significant other are reasonable. I do not believe that "trust" is something that comes as a bonus of being with a person. Trust is something which is built with time. It can only take a second to break the trust but take ages to build it. So, in my opinion, its reasonable to have concerns and openly discuss with your partner if something makes you feel uncomfortable about their interaction with a person of opposite sex. Instead of living in the fear that you might be judged as a "jealous" person. I looked through most of the posts on this Forum and there were numerous cases of people being hurt that their partner is communicating a lot with a person of opposite sex. For instance, a girlfriend/wife talking to another guy (single/married) or even an Ex in some cases. And in all these cases, I saw a common pattern. They were assured by their partner that its just "friendship" and soon they realized it was more than that. And I also don't agree with this talk about "be an alpha male" and exhibit confidence all the time in such cases. If we are talking about being alpha then history has shown that men had to fight for what they want and protect it from other men. There will always be other men who want something which you have. Jealous Ex-Boyfriends During my communication with different girls in past few years, I have observed a pattern about the "ex boyfriend being jealous". They often say that their Ex Boyfriend was jealous of "their friends". It takes a bit of digging to realize that, by friends they meant "guy friends". They were jealous of the interaction between their girlfriend and some guy. And these girls say: "He did not trust me, he was jealous of my friend". And at the same time, these girls did not like the fact when their boyfriend/husband would communicate with other women (either on call at home or hang out with them in cafe). So, this comes across as double standards and the lack of ability to think from another person's point of view. I always feel "don't do the things to your partner which you would not like to be done to yourself.". I think meeting as a couple with other couples is healthy. Interaction with opposite sex in such places are healthy and very rarely result in problems. In a workplace, interaction with people of opposite sex is common as well for work purpose. Although, I am aware that even at workplace people try to cross boundaries. I want to hear the views of other people on this topic. And not "politically correct" views but something that they truly feel and think. Something that they experienced. If you have personal experiences, kindly share them too. Would love to learn more.
  2. I think you two need an open discussion and work on improving the sexual life. It will also strengthen your bond in the relationship.
  3. Thanks all for the responses. I will keep them in mind. They are useful. I'll just clarify a few things: 1. Social Media usage: I have no issues with the girl's presence on social media. Its normal to occasionally post some content there, moments from your life. However, I do not like the fact that someone is playing the role of a savior and opening new communication channels to let men come and discuss their life problems. As someone rightly mentioned above, it is boosting her self esteem and it makes her feel good in some way. I never heard from her till date about a female contacting her about her life problems and how she helped a girl. How come its always men? Any guy who is willing to be brutally honest would know that most of these men who want to have "philosophical conversations" about life with her are not just interested in that. I am not saying that they are flirting. But spending time, offering emotional support to random men and then calling all of them "pure innocent souls", she sounds very naive or maybe she just pretends to be innocent. 2. Receiving "flowers" is friendly attention: Ever since she mentioned to me that receiving a bouquet of flowers from a single man (her childhood friend) was just a "sign of friendly attention", I just feel that she either does not understand at all or is not willing to accept that these men are not "innocently looking for friendship". In that man's case, it was proven because he later made it explicitly clear and even tried to threaten me. And then she innocently claimed: "I was never aware of his feelings for me". I think, he made it very clear to her by sending a bouquet of flowers?! She even took a photo with these flowers and posted it on Instagram. 3. Main issue: My main issue has always been related to the fact about how frequently she would come and share "signs of attention" from other men in great detail, how she receives dozens of compliments all the time and then boasts about them. This does not look like a mature woman's behavior to me. Its not about a personal preference or trust in relationship. Its just not pleasant to hear such things often from your significant other. I am sure that any reasonably attractive woman can confirm this point that they receive compliments from men many times and its not in their control. However, what is in your control is how much need you feel to go and narrate all this to your man. And even if you do, what response do you expect from him when he hears it? From my side, I tried to explain this to her about how it makes me "feel" and how it is not helping to make our bond stronger. I just wanted her to understand this by herself instead of me telling her "what to do" and "what not to do". I don't think it requires a lot of thinking to realize such a simple thing. True realization comes from within and that is all I wanted and I still hope for it.
  4. And you believed? It does not matter how he feels about her, what matters is how she feels about him. She misses him and that's all that should matter to you. You cannot depend on that man to save your marriage. To summarize, this is just another case of being cool with your partner communicating a lot with people of opposite sex. Keep playing with fire and before you know it, stuff like this begins to happen. I can only feel bad for you and hope the best for you here. You should have drawn a boundary long back. I think too many people do not take the corrective action because of the fear of being called controlling or jealous. Later, they face the consequences.
  5. @ Pennypanj: A few questions. Why do you call him a narcissist? What has he done to make you conclude that he is a narcissist? Could you elaborate? How many times have you both gone to a relationship counseling? Have you suggested and he refuses to go along? Have you always been the breadwinner since the start of your marriage or did things change along the way? It sounds to me like you already have a strong assumption about him that things won't change and you just want to find a way to justify yourself to continue being with him.
  6. Could you elaborate over this? What kind of demands? And if she threatens to quit, does she go No Contact with you? Who breaks the ice and who makes up after this? Yes, it does appear that she feels attacked for everything and gets defensive instead of addressing the point of concern.
  7. I understand that. I am speaking in reference to the following 2 points mentioned by the OP: "There is one problem tho. He has a very close relationship with his ex and her family." "But he texts her all the time." That does not sound like a communication between her significant other and his Ex only related to their children. Or maybe he is indeed contacting her only regarding the children and she interprets it like a "very close relationship". It doesn't sound right to me.
  8. With all due respect to the OP, this is the kind of experience which should be shown to all those people who say "Be cool and let your significant other communicate with people of opposite sex as much as they want, especially their Ex". Of course, people have different views on platonic relationships, but communicating with Ex, oh please! That is like playing with fire. I do feel bad for you. You have been faithful to him and supported him all through. But you can't expect much from a person who continues to communicate with their Ex even after starting a new relationship. If your partner respected you, the first thing he would have done is stopped his involvement with his Ex. Its as simple as that.
  9. Eastcoast80: She is definitely using you as an option and most importantly, she has already identified your extreme attachment and loyalty towards her. Unfortunately, these days, such attributes can get exploited instead of being appreciated. Your story is a good example of exploitation. First, stop feeling guilty. Does she feel guilty for how she is making you feel? Doesn't look like that.
  10. @Eastcoast80: I think, one should never be cool with their significant other talking to their Ex to begin with. Regardless of whether this is being conservative or controlling, I just don't see any reason to allow this to happen. One of the primary reasons for this is described in your post. Especially if she had a physical relationship with the previous guy she dated. Cheating can be both at physical and even emotional level. I understand how you feel. You have been faithful to her and she has instead misused this trust. And you are not the one to be blamed for trust issues. Its easy for someone to say "trust issues". But did she do enough to instill confidence and trust into the relation? Trust is something that needs to be built as well. How old are you and how old is she?
  11. That is true. And that's exactly what I told her. She is opening channels for communication on her own. Even though there no flirty messages in the comments section of her posts but I don't see any point in offering emotional support to random men. And yes, it does seem that the main reasons for this are to boost her self esteem. I don't know what can I do to make this situation better. I have told her all my concerns openly. At first she tried to explain but soon she ran out of patience and got angry at me. She even stopped talking to me (a rare thing for her to do, even in anger). For the past 2 days, I have been feeling really upset. I am learning with time also, I want to trust more. But I always feel that she makes it more difficult for me to trust. There was a 22 year old guy from another country who contacted her on IG and discussed with her some of his personal life problems and his dreams in life. What he wants to do and so on. She made screenshots of these text messages and then showed them to me. She explained me how she helped this guy with her advises and that this guy has very good motives in life and she admires it. I honestly don't know what to respond in such situations. Since past 1 month, I started losing my patience. Then she would say: "He is just an innocent child". I don't know how a 22 year old guy is an innocent child. I think she's a bit delusional about this whole thing. And that's all the more a reason I wanted her to reduce these activities. Of course, decision is hers. If she truly understands it, she will do it herself. I can only explain my reasons.
  12. I don't know why but your response instills some kind of peace within me. Thank you for that. I found it shocking when she said "it was a sign of friendly attention". And it was no wonder that this same man after 2 months was threatening me and wanted to have relationship with her. Of course, she later said innocently: "I never knew he had feelings for me". I think the fact that he gave her flowers were enough to make her realise this. I have been feeling like a person who has "trust issues" since past few days. I have patiently observed all this for quite a while (almost 1 year). Honestly, I would not like it when it happens. For instance, what does she expect me to even respond when she says: "I received a compliment from a man today". Am I supposed to say: "Its so cool that the guy complimented?". I do not get it.
  13. Thank you so much for understanding and I 100% agree with the statement about these other guys. Yes, I explicitly told her that it disappoints me how she brings up these moments of "attention from men" or "interaction with men" in front of me. I said that it makes me feel unpleasant. I don't do the same to her because I respect her feelings. Moreover, its absolutely insignificant who is complimenting or giving attention. But she seems to give it a lot of importance. I think she does realize herself that she enjoys this attention. The irony here is, the more she does this, the more difficult it becomes for me to give her 100% attention and build a bond. What she is doing is not helping to form our bond stronger. And I don't think its sensible to do anything which will not make the relationship bond stronger. Now she has stopped talking to me. I will talk to her again about it and hope she gets it.
  14. @Fudgie: Thank you for your response. That's exactly what I am confused about now. Of course, she has stopped talking to me and even accused me of describing her as an "attention seeking girl". The truth is, I did not use this phrase explicitly. I just tried to make her understand that it feels unpleasant to be frequently reminded in elaborate details about how she receives attention from other men. I tried my best to hint at these things earlier and she would often say: "You know, I receive a lot of compliments from men. If you received compliments from girls, I would not mind that either. It is not in your control." However, I never had an issue with her receiving compliments. It was about the way she reacted to them. Yes, now she has classified her male friends into following categories: 1. One male friend - There can only be friendship between them because of some religious reasons. 2. Other male friends - they are married and she talks to them only in the presence of their wives. And she never writes to them first. This is what she tells me now after I brought up this concern. But her Instagram activities continue. She wants to be a "savior" and has opened up numerous channels for communication on Instagram/Telegram and I don't know what else. And only men contact her describing in great details their own personal life stories and problems. I personally don't agree that only physical relationships with others is cheating or problematic. I personally don't like to see her offering emotional support to random men online! Is it a coincidence that these random men found a pretty looking girl on Instagram to discuss their personal problems? She is not even a licensed psychologist or therapist. She just makes posts on these topics. I would love to hear your views and also learn more. Thanks.
  15. @indea08: You just spoke my mind! And its amazing to hear this from a woman. I will be really honest here. In my past, due to my personal belief in no existence of platonic relationships, I did tell a girl I was dating that I was not cool with her hanging out with guys in cafes and parks. It didn't work out well and also she had "only guy friends". A month later, she was dating one of these "guy friends" whom she just referred to as her "friends." However, yes, I understand that it is possible in some scenarios that two people of opposite sex could just be friends. So, after my past experience (it was a short dating experience), I decided that in future, I will try to be as cool as possible about my girl talking to guys. I really tried my best in this scenario. As I highlighted, one of her male friends whom she referred to as her "brother", he sent her a bouquet of flowers. She said it was just a sign of friendly attention. 2 months later, this same man was threatening me and said he wanted to be with her. When she got to know this, she innocently mentioned "I never knew about his feelings". These are my main reasons to feel that she does not really understand whether men are interested in her or not. Of course, unless they explicitly start talking romantic and sexual stuff. A lot of men won't come across to a girl straight away with their intentions and will play nice. I want to be my best at trusting her. Its a pity that she makes me feel that I have "trust issues" although she is the one who is constantly introducing doubts. I also receive compliments from women about my attributes. But I respect my girl's feelings and so I don't talk about it in front of her. The main reason being, compliments from other girls don't matter to me so much that I will keep them in my mind and narrate them in great detail to my girlfriend. I'm interested to hear your views on this. Thanks.
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