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Jealousy affecting my relationship... help?


jenjenjen

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Hi,

 

I have a serious problem with jealousy and lack of self confidence which clearly go hand-in-hand. I'll try to explain as briefly as I can but sorry if it turns out to be a lengthy message!

 

My boyfriend has a very "experienced" past, to say the least, especially in comparison to my own past. I knew this right from the start and I really didn't think it would bother me. However, a week or so into the relationship, he started mentioning other girls who he had been with and even pointed out the people he had slept with. I found this uncomfortable, particularly because they were mostly prettier, slimmer, etc, than me which made me wonder why on earth he wanted to be with me. I'd also say here that I struggled with an eating disorder for 3 years and am still VERY insecure about my body. One of the girls he mentioned works with him and we are both on a course with her and every time they are together I just feel so angry. I think I have focussed all my jealousy and rage into this one girl and just want to scream whenever I see her and I can't settle when I know they are working together. He told me that she had a 'thing' for him and wanted to go out with him just before we met. She has her own boyfriend now but it doesn't stop me feeling threatened by her.

 

He also kept a picture of one of his ex's on a pinboard in his room until about 3 months into our relationship!! I couldn't understand this. It particularly bothered me because his family also kept mentioning this girl in my presence which I was quite uncomfortable with. I got quite upset by this a number of times, but my boyfriend couldn't understand it, saying that "he never looked at it". He took it down after a heated argument one day.

 

The major thing which really upset me was when he made a crude comment about a woman in a film, something like "look at the t*ts on that!" This was near the beginning of our relationship and obviously I was crushed and it was all I could do not to burst out crying at that moment. Instead I said something like "oh, but they're not real" to which he replied "well, they're beter than yours". Now, here is where I think I 'changed'. I called him a rude name and ran off crying. After a while he came after me and asked my I was upset (as if it wasn't obvious!) I explained how I felt and he confessed that all of the things he said about other girls, pointing them out, etc, was only to make me jealous. I get that, and it worked, but to the EXTREME! I am SO insecure, it's unreal. It got to the point where I was too scared to go outside with him because I used to get so angry at him looking at any other girl, even if not in a remotely sexual way. I compare myself to them, to his ex girlfriends, to people on films, so much so that I am always on edge when watching new films in case there is a sex scene and he sees something. I get funny if he goes downstairs at night in case he turns on the tele and it's something porn-related. It's insane.

 

This brings up another issue which I have.... I have a real issue with porn. Because I am so insecure, the worst thing he could do is watch porn. He's known this from early on in our relationship and told me that he had never had the need to watch porn because he has always had "the real thing". I've found porn websited typed in on our computer, on his parents' computer, on my parents' computer, on his youtube history, etc. All of the above he tells me is not him. We have this argument over and over and over. I've lost count how many times I've cried over it. But I've never caught him on it. I've come home unexpected many many times to see if I could catch him on it, but never do?? He says he wouldn't lie to me and if he was watching it then he'd tell me.

 

We did break up for a brief period last year. In which time I got with another guy which I know I shouldn't have done. There is no excuse for it but I was just feeling so low and I was drawn in by this guy's complements. But I missed my boyfriend and we soon got back together. I told him everything and he was upset but forgave me.

 

He's never cheated on me (as far as I know). But I think he does lie to me. For instance, he told me that he would stop getting lifts back from work with this girl I have a problem with (the one I mentioned above). I got really upset when he told me he went and had something to eat with her at a restaurant after work one day. He knows I have a problem with her but he did this?? I begged him not to do it again and to walk the 15 minute journey home instead of getting a lift with her. He said he wouldn't get a lift with her again. The next week I went to pick him up but didn't tell him I was there. He got into her car and they drove off together. How can I believe a single word that he says now?? Should you be with somebody who lies to you, even if it is to stop you getting upset??

 

I love him to pieces and we have a house together and have been together for a year and a half. I am just so insecure and we have a major fight about once a week where I bring up things he has said in the past, like the things above. He says that he was stupid and didn't mean the things that he said, but how do I believe him?? He admits that before he met me he was a horrible person - he was into drugs, drunk most of the time, treated girls like sh*te. He understands my problems now and feels guilty that he didn't help me with my insecurities. He even does little things like making sure that there's so sex scenes in the films we rent or changes the channel when something rude comes on. I appreciate it when he does this kind of thing... but it's almost too little, too late. I don't want to be like this. How do I stop this?? I want to be with him more than anything. How do I stop this jealousy and get rid of these thoughts in my head.

 

Help.

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This is a very complicated and twisted problem for which you are both responsible. It seems like he tells you about these girls and his past in order to make himself feel more secure and it feeds right into you severe insecurities.

 

This is similar to a past relationship of mine and it ended up imploding us. When I looked back, I realize I shouldn't have been with someone who tried to make me jealous and I should have had the confidence to not obsess over jealousy and just let it go.

 

I almost think think it is too late now. :s

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Hi! And welcome to eNA.

 

While it does seem that you have major insecurity issues, he still should not be lying to you. The fact that he tells you he will not take rides with this other girl, then does it anyway, sends up a huge red flag.

 

I guess my advice would be to get some counseling for your self esteem issues and talk to your boyfriend about his lying. I don't blame you for not trusting him, because he doesn't make trusting him very easy. The comments about the other women are his way of "getting to you" in a mean way. If he knows it bothers you, he shouldn't do it. Out of respect for you.

 

Just my two cents.

 

Good luck and God Bless.

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Hi! And welcome to eNA.

 

While it does seem that you have major insecurity issues, he still should not be lying to you. The fact that he tells you he will not take rides with this other girl, then does it anyway, sends up a huge red flag.

 

QUOTE]

 

I talked this over with him after said event. I was so angry to see him get in the car with her after promising me that he wouldn't. I couldn't drive my car properly to go home. So I rang him to say that I saw him getting into her car and drive off. He made up some reason why he needed a lift. I accused him of lying to me but he said that he would have told me later when he got home that he had had a lift from her. Now of course I don't believe this because why on earth would he tell me?? It would just start up a huge fight! He still maintains that he didn't lie to me. But he clearly did because he got in the car with her after he said he wouldn't... am I right?? I asked him why he felt like he could just ignore the way I would feel and ignore his promise to me and he said "i don't know, i just don't think". This is his argument quite a lot of the time. I just don't understand. It seems like my feelings didn't come into play at all?

 

I keep seeing their happy, smiling faces together, oblivious to the fact that I am watching

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Sounds to me like he is using the excuse of "sometimes I just don't think" as just that...an excuse. He needs to realize what his actions are doing or will do to you. You are his girlfriend, he should be considering you before he does anything that he knows you wouldn't like or that would make you uncomfortable or feel threatened. I think you need to be very clear and tell him you just can't live like that. Put the ball in his court, ask him how he would feel if you did the same to him.

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Sounds to me like he is using the excuse of "sometimes I just don't think" as just that...an excuse. He needs to realize what his actions are doing or will do to you. You are his girlfriend, he should be considering you before he does anything that he knows you wouldn't like or that would make you uncomfortable or feel threatened. I think you need to be very clear and tell him you just can't live like that. Put the ball in his court, ask him how he would feel if you did the same to him.

 

I did exactly that. I asked him how he would feel in my situation and he admitted that he would be upset. I asked him how he could do something that he knows would upset me so much. It wasn't even a month ago that he went out to eat with her and the memories of that argument are all too familiar in my mind. I almost ended it with him that night. But I always get so close to doing it and then get scared I'm doing the wrong thing.

 

I told him that I can't live like this. I can't be with someone who does the things that they promise they won't do. In my mind, this is his last chance, and I hope he knows this.

 

The thing is, without 'sneaking around' and 'checking up on him', how will I know if he is getting lifts with this girl or not?

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The hairs on my neck stood up when I read the part where he said the other girls boobs were better than yours. Complete and utter disrespect if you ask me.

 

Yes, definitely. He reassured me that he was only joking. But how do I know he wasn't just saying that? I replay this scene over and over in my mind. That's why I am so crazy when stuff comes on the tele or on a film. I made him chuck all the rude films he had, like American Pie, etc, because I couldn't stand to have them in the house. I hate living like this, always so scared of what might be on the tele, what he's watching. I am so insecure about my own boobs. Enough to say that when I get the money, I will have a boob job.

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Of course lying is not ok and purposefully playing on your insecurities is a very cruel thing to do.

 

Having said that however, in any situation were two parties are clearly not at their best behavior, I find it is too easy to focus on the wrong doings of the other person and use that as an excuse/ justification of sorts not to work on myself first.

 

How can I expect another person to change/ grow if I myself am not willing to lead by example. It doesn't matter (in my eyes) if the 'offenses' of the other person are greater, equal, or smaller than mine, but as long as there is something that I am contributing to the problem, I would make an effort first to make improvements on my own behavior.

 

OP, you know yourself that your insecurities are out of control: expecting your SO to not look at movies (and throw out all of his dvd) if there is the possibility of any sexual content is quite extreme.

 

Your bf was totally out of line with his comment if he knows that these kind of things upset you, but truth be told: unless you have the most perfect body in the world, there exist many, many people in the world that are equally (if not more) 'attractive' (however you might define it).

 

That is just a fact of life and we all have to learn how to deal with that. However that does not equal that your partner (this one or any future one) wants to be with all these other people instead of you.

 

You cannot control the thoughts of a partner by restricting his exposure to other women beside yourself.

 

Equally, demanding that he may not take a ride from a female coworker is quite unreasonable IMHO and just begs for him to rebel against (As said, I am not justifying that he has been lying to you).

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Equally, demanding that he may not take a ride from a female coworker is quite unreasonable IMHO and just begs for him to rebel against (As said, I am not justifying that he has been lying to you).

 

You are completely right. And he is the type of person who WILL do something just because somebody told him NOT to.

 

It's very easy for me to say to myself that I'll just sit back and hope that he will not take a ride with her... but the thought of not knowing drives me insane. Particularly because I don't know if he would tell me the truth if I asked?? After he has worked with her I am literally bursting to ask. Because I have to know.

 

The film thing I know is stupid. But that shows you the extent of my insecurity. I know it's unrealistic of me to ask him never to watch a film with a naked woman in... it's going to happen. For what it's worth, I'd give anything to watch a film with a naked woman in and not feel upset or threatened. That's what I want more than anything. I want to feel confident in myself not to get upset by this. I just don't know how to get there?? Or if I ever will get there

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Therapy might help.

 

If that is not an option to you: changing your internal monolog: instead of allowing your mind to run wild with "what if" scenarios try to tell yourself that he chose to be with you.

 

Most insecurities and anxieties are due to what we imagine would/ could be happening instead of actual facts. You know yourself that there is no harm in a 15min ride. But you are imagining what he could be doing in case he found her attractive, more attractive than you, that she might be funnier than you etc without you having actual proof that that is what he is thinking.

 

The fact is: he is using a ride to get home to you, no?

 

The other thing you can do is: facing reality/ exposing yourself to things that currently make you anxious, i.e. to force yourself that those things do not change anything about the state of your relationship. It's not the movie that is making you insecure, it's your thoughts associated with it.

 

As I said, just because he might not be looking at movies, there are still thousands of woman around who are way more attractive than you. This thought might scare you, but just because you close your eye to this fact, doesn't make those women disappear from the surface of the planet.

 

Just watch a movie, maybe by yourself that depicts other women. Realize that those are actors, and not real life people competing with the attention for your bf.

 

Instead of running away from what makes you anxious, expose yourself to it and realize what your inner thoughts are and try to decipher what is a realistic thought and what isn't

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Hi again,

 

Thank you for your reply, most of what makes perfect sense and I realise I am being an idiot.

 

However, I have thought this over and over and, even though you're correct in saying there's *probably* no harm in him taking a ride with her, I do have an issue with this girl which stems from comments he made about her early in our relationship and the fact that I know she liked him when we got together... so these things have made me very conscious of her when she is around my boyfriend and I. I just think personally that the fact that I am threatened by this girl (and he knows I am) that he should do his utmost not to make things worse by taking a ride with her or doing things with her after work that are not really needed?? And most of the time he is not getting a lift home to me.

 

Am I completely bonkers here? I just really don't understand how someone can choose to ignore the wishes of their partners?? I don't think it's an unrealistic expectation, not to get in a car with this girl, is it??

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