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How do I stop feeling jealous of his ex?


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A little background: we have a bit of an age gap between us (16 years) and we've been dating rather seriously for about three months. He is the living creation of everything I've ever dreamed of having, and we have a very happy relationship. I tend to have a little bit of a jealous tendency in relationships, however I've noticed it isn't as bad with him as it has been with exes. We live two hours apart so we don't get to spend much time together, but I'm very trusting of what he does in his own time.


That being said, I'm noticing a bit of a jealousy issue happening toward his ex. They dated for four years, moved accross the country and started a business together... basically everything he is now is in part because of her. She is closer to his age and is older and - in my opinion - more attractive than myself. They shared so much together, and if it wasn't for a major financial crisis and honesty/fidelity issues, I'm sure they would have married. He still has several photos of her - only her, not the two of them together - on his Facebook, and when I'm feeling lovey and want give his photos a look, I can't help but stumble on hers as well. I can't help but compare myself to her, and I feel like this little girl that can't compare to the woman she is, and like he deserves so much more than myself.

Long story short - she makes me feel inadequate and insecure in my relationship with the man of my dreams. What can I do to put a stop to this stupid jealous insecurity and move forward with this relationship? This is a man I want to marry, and I don't want my feelings toward his ex to ruin something very, very good.




And I know, "he's with you now, not her." I know that, and I know he loves me dearly. I have no doubts about his feelings for me, and I know we are a very good match. I just need to know what I can do personally to get rid of this feeling.

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I did not read that and gain a sense of you being jealous of the ex - especially when you came out with this overly nonsensical little nugget: "if it wasn't for a major financial crisis and honesty/fidelity issues, I'm sure they would have married".


FYI, when a couple are both ready to 'mate for life', surface personalities and modus operandi aren't what bond them whereby that bond continues getting deeper and deeper and keeps the couple together forever. It's things like that - core moral values and the myriad ways in which they get expressed and affect each other's ongoing quality of life and mental welfare, both in the present, day-to-day, and whenever they conceive of their future. So, assuming his ex was the one who by whatever degree was dishonest and cheated, you may as well as have said, 'If it hadn't been for the fact she's a flesh-eating zombie they'd have been perfect for each other'. LOL (Sorry to laugh but it *is* incredibly funny if you think about it.)


Another little known fact is this: most of the time, when one party cheats as seems to destroy the relationship - whether they'd taken one step or twenty down that thin-to-thick-ended wedge-shaped path when it all came to light - they aren't "killing the relationship" at all, but merely finally acknowledging the corpse that's been lain on the floor, stiff as a board, for weeks/months/years. It's not exactly a BRAVE OR SENSIBLE confronting of the truth but it is a semi-facing nonetheless. Cheating is 9 times out of 10 a REACTION, in other words.


The greatest sense I got is that this guy/this relationship, despite being rewarding, takes a level of work you're unused to, and you're not sure you've got the energy (or have but wonder if you can sustain it), and that, in order to be capable of quantifying the degree of proactivity required from you, you're using her as a representative image of that imagined level.


Well, so is he, albeit not in the same way as you. Despite him having her picture his FB gallery(?) isn't exactly him considering its effect on you according to how YOU might interpret its being there, the fact he himself isn't in the picture with her gives a very different meaning to if he was. It sounds to me like a snapshot of a landmark, as in, 'This is where I've come from as got me "here"' (some people can't know where they are or where they're headed unless they can fully appreciate (or 'see') where they've been). And I wouldn't be at all surprised if it were also a reminder of where NOT to ever go again, either, where concerns the romantic arena.


I imagine were you and this ex outwardly just hearts-on-legs (soulipops, LOL), you'd win hands-down!... on Looks, Vitality, Nutritional Value, eeeet-cetera. So my advice would be to cease using his "yesterday's lesson reminder" as your yardstick of what he wants and what you should aspire to be. That doesn't mean, however, that you couldn't be (cough!) HONEST with him and tell him how bad and precarious it makes you feel, you seeing or just knowing he has these two pictures of her on his public space, no matter that you've giving TRYING not to let it get to you a really good attempt. If he truly loves and cares about you and your happiness, I'm sure he'll consider taking them down the far more sensible and easy thing to do than to expect you to continue the sufferance without any detrimental effects on you and the relationship he prizes.


Another thing to bear in mind is this: when someone's 'dun you wrong', especially to that deeply wounding extent, because you can't SEE their crime as was generated in the less-than-healthy portion of their non-visible 'innards', you tend to project it onto their whole outward appearance - face and body (particularly the face) - and the ugliness BECOMES them.... they look downright unattractive. And the more time that passes with you getting used to 'living' with someone who couldn't ever choose such a devastatingly hurtful and emotionally-unintelligent reaction as their 'brilliant' solution to the 'corpse', the more and more ugly the person who could seems to become.


(Course, if you now tell me it was HIM who was dishonest and cheated, I'll have to start all over again (doh), so hopefully that's not the case?)



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I'm glad to hear I don't appear to be silly in making any of this up in my head! Yes, it was her that was dishonest. No cheating actually occurred - he ended it before it got to that point - but that was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I definitely agree that dating an older guy is much different than what I'm used to. I'm used to comparing myself to girls my own age and usually feeling confident that I can offer something better. It's comparing myself to a woman 5-6 years older than myself, someone much more put together in her life and someone who seems to have much more going for her than myself, that makes me so much more insecure.

As far as the photos of her, it's clearly an album he made of pictures with/of her that he never deleted. I hinted to him very early on in our relationship that I was taking down any and every reference to my ex off of Facebook that I could find, because I didn't think it was fair to him to stumble on any pictures of my ex. He obviously didn't pick up on my reference, so I agree that confronting him about removing the photos would be a great place to start a conversation on my insecurities with him.

Thanks for your response! You set my heart very much at ease.

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(I hadn't finished yet - get back to your seat! LOL)


Huh! Define where cheating starts. Like I say - it's a wedge shaped path (downwards, like a staircase), approached by the very thin end. Granted, someone can choose to reverse their steps and get right off it again, but that doesn't cancel out that they stepped onto it in the first place. And thoughts are one thing. But converting those thoughts to actual action in the outside environment is what counts. You can't release thoughts into actions if you really don't want to face any of the consequences of them or are capable of considering consequences to begin with (and if you're not, you shouldn't be dragging someone else into your thinking life via a relationship).


She STARTED to cheat is the point. He saw a rigor-mortised and mottled hand peeking out from under the sofa and that was enough to spell DEAD. Most have to stare at the corpse for AGES before they get it through their stubborn heads. So that's one brave and proactive fella you've got there (kudos to him!). He obviously does what's right and never mind the fact of whether it's painful or not.


That's a Diamond characteristic, that is. Uh-oh!...look what you've gone and done: finally got together with someone it'll never END with! Scary stuff, huh? Quick - let's establish an emergency Exit door aka FIND FAULT, shall we?... just in case you lose your bottle and need to flee? How's about the fact he's got her face in his Facebook? Yep, that'll do nicely - particularly if we ever need to make something of it. ;-)


Ignore your stupid imagination and the fact your mind would rather call yourself undesirable names like 'insecure over another woman' than remain perplexed at yourself... they both have their uses but these are some of its downsides. This is like parachute-jumping. YES, you pee your pants (in your case, unwittingly, in the background) in the run-up to the jump, and especially as you're stood at the door. But the minute you're out and doing the actual jump, it's euphoric and you want to go again and again and again and again.... (and you feel stupid for ever having been scared).


Someone more together and who has so much more going for her? Er... NO?! SHE'S A CHEAT! Whether stealing your opponent's Monopoly money or cutting through the woods on a cross-country run to come in first or whether trying to sneak leverage so that you can have unfair power over your partner and/or keep the item you've got by adding a bit of another item regardless that it has no place there and seriously harms the original item, cheating is NOT winning. It's losing by another name. She's a LOSER and what's more she LET herself be a loser - either because she's always been that way or because she was too weak to give herself a turbo-boost in order to stay away from the bottom of the barrel, despite she had too many choices open to her that allowed her NOT to be a loser (so - mentally lazy, to boot!). If things were that bad for her (by her standards and perception given that your guy sounds like a good'un) then she could have done the right thing and issued notice of walking away or walked away! "....Naaah - s*d it - I'll cheat instead".


HOPEFULLY she won't be doing that ever again but... you would even kid yourself that you aspire and feel threatened by THAT?!


I've still got pictures of my ex in my PC. I love looking at them every 6 months or so. Know why? Cos each time I look at them my reaction gets stronger and stronger (it's this: EEEEUUUGHCH! What the EFF was I THINKING!!!). I LOVE that. And what's more - despite I'm not the type to ever take something precious for granted - why even let the possibility exist? So it's like looking at a slug right before logging out and looking at Adonis!! Nay - an ANGEL! And it also reminds me that I'm a survivor - nay, a WINNER! It's very, very inspiring and motivating... like looking at pictures of your once-mud hut when you now live in a castle. My husband has actual video footage of his own cheating ex. We look at the photos and vids together... it's like watching a good horror movie, LOL. But I guess if you hadn't been through the exact same thing as him, he wouldn't think to share those with you? Or have you? If so - hell - get the Popcorn out! LOL


You can say something to him or you can just wait until the day he naturally deletes them. But since it's altogether possible she's the 'slug' that reminds him constantly of the angel he's now got despite that horrid gauntlet run, maybe you won't want to?



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Oh, and by the way - if you cease dedicating mental energy towards "feeling insecure" you would find you had the very extra stamina required whereby the thought of together forever would cease feeling a bit daunting. S'not rocket science when you look at it for what it is, is it. It's just that humans are idiot savants, LOL. xoxo

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  • 5 months later...

I can't believe I never saw these two comments in January!!

Update: I asked him to take the photos down, and he was embarrassed and didn't realize he even had them up (oops!) And my jealousy toward her has ceased. We stalked her Facebook together and commented on how ugly her new boyfriend is and how he matches the way she looks on the inside. Every once in a while, when an old photo of them from a beautiful vacation pops up I get a little jealous - only because he had money to do that back then and she got to experience those things with him - but not because of her.


Thanks for your kind words! I'm doing much, much better in the security department.

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