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am i too jealous/insecure?


boontahr
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hi, this is my first post here and i just stumbled upon this forum through searches concerning jealousy and insecurity in relationships.

 

i've been going out with my gf for almost 5 months now, and boy am i getting hit with lots of thoughts and questions and issues concerning how to successfully have a relationship with someone. i truly love my gf but there a few things that 'irk' me at times. i know it may be natural to feel insecure at times as a human, but i think i have a problem with feeling like i'm a disappointment to others and not measuring up.

 

i guess to give some insight as to why i feel particulary insecure right now; my girlfriend is very much a hottie to me. i know its shallow to focus on the physical beauty, and there is much more to her as a person that i love, but i can't help but feel like im lucky to have someone whos a good looker as well. while i feel lucky, it also brings with it some concerns because she is in a sorority at her school and she holds a position in that sorority where she has to socialize alot, particularly with frat guys to help build and maintain connections and networks.

 

-as a side note, i don't know if anyone can give more insight on the frat/sorority world, and i never wanted to pass judgment on them despite the stereotypical views of them just being party animals, but more and more i feel like all they do is party and like to have fun. which isn't all such a bad thing, but i feel like it's not the best environment for someone who is in a relationship, as they do frequently hold club parties and social events where drinking, smoking and i'm assuming flirting/hooking up will be present.

 

i've made it known that yes, i do feel jealous and insecure because she is in environments where it may not be healthy for a relationship, but i made a point to never let myself get so upset that i point the finger at her and imply that she is indulging in the party life.

 

very recently though, we got into another fight [fights are normal right? granted they aren't pleasant and it takes time to learn how to resolve things, its not a bad thing necessarily to fight right?] where i got upset when she asked me 'are you going to flirt with girls?' when i said i was going to videotape a friends wedding for them, and that they are keeping it a limited attendance so i am not able to invite her with me. yeah, it might be cute that she asks me that, but almost always she has to mention something like 'you flirted with that one girl in front of me' where in my eyes, it was just a friend of mine who cracked a joke and i shared a laugh with her. so i'm not sure how serious my gf is when she mentions stuff like that, but these days i just can't seem to take it.

 

i hear it as a question of my integrity when she asks me stuff like that, so i can't help but get defensive and stand my ground. i've never once been unfaithful nor done anything close to doing something considered cheating, so it upsets me that she even has to ask me things like that. but i do think i might've overreacted this time around because i got very defensive and brought up how she's always at clubs and dancing with other guys because 'it's her job,' and how i'm not 100% comfortable with that at all.

 

at the end of this round of fighting, she was clearly tired of the fighting, moreso than at other times. i could tell she was weary of the yelling and unhealthiness of when i get too upset and overreact. i tried to apologize and tell her i realize i was being hypocritical by getting so upset when she doesn't make such a fuss that i get a bit jealous over her. i wanted to think that she doesn't retaliate with defensiveness because she understands why i get jealous and why her being in the sorority life/environment would concern me, but i don't think that's the case.

 

she expressed to me the next day how she tries hard not to drink or flirt or do anything stupid, for me. but she also told me how she's getting tired, because its hard when i tend to overreact and fight with her. so now i'm really scared, that i'm falling into that stage of insecurity driving us apart. she then tells me how she can get with any guy, she knows that. and that it woudl be easier to just have someone to f*** around with who's closer to her area. i know she told me this to express how there's a reason she's trying and that she believes our relationship is worth it. but i can't help but feel SUPER worried now that she'll gradually start to lose interest in keeping our relationship, simply because of what she said and how she said it; in a weary tone.

 

[i know this is getting very long and i maybe i shouldn't be putting my whole life story here, but i just can't get past some of these thoughts and feelings] she's told me before that she had a problem with being committed and that she would easily get bored with guys after a few weeks, so she hasn't really had a stable relationship. the only other longterm relationship was a few years ago with a total a**hole who really messed her up emotionally and psychologically, which led to her short term/no commitment flings and 'things' as she puts it with other guys. i think this is also something that bugs me at times, is her history with guys. i know she is a hottie, i know she can be with any guy, and i know guys do try and get with her. i'm just not certain how to handle things on my end being an insecure kind of guy already, and what to say or do at times because now i'm so scared i'm going to lose her eventually to all the fun she can potentially have without me.

 

to her credit, she's been patient with me and has done her best to reassure me when i express my jealousy and insecurity that she wants to be with me and that she is happy with me. but even with that, i can't help but have these feelings. can anyone relate? and i'm sorry i wrote so damn much, hopefully it makes sense and isn't as all over the place as i'm worried it is.

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Well i know you're older then me just by the fact shes in college with her sorotirty. (I'm only 16, so if you dont want to read this i completely understand). Im in the same boat with the insecurity, Im going to be with my girlfriend for 2 months this sunday and i have been jealous of stupid stuff for a good part of that. And relationships have bumps in the road (fights if you will), i believe that is normal. How else are we as human beings suppose to grow and compromise together if we just hold everything in, eventually it will all boil over and it will turn out pretty bad. I just try to tell myself that im stupid to think she will do anything to hurt me, seeing she tells me everyday how much she cares about me and how she wont hurt me. Try looking at the positives and not the negatives all too much. I know im not the most wise person on here, but that's my input. Good luck man.

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So what does a guy do when he cares for someone, but feels she may bolt for another guy?

 

You can argue. A very shortterm approach.

 

You can lay rules on her, spy on her, or seek reassurance at every juncture. All of these will make her feel micromanaged.

 

You can put up a brave front, as if you don't care. This will probably convince her you don't.

 

You can accept she has a life of her own, trust her and hope she appreciates a long/no leash. In this case, you may lose her, but not by pushing her away.

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So what does a guy do when he cares for someone, but feels she may bolt for another guy?

 

You can argue. A very shortterm approach.

 

You can lay rules on her, spy on her, or seek reassurance at every juncture. All of these will make her feel micromanaged.

 

You can put up a brave front, as if you don't care. This will probably convince her you don't.

 

You can accept she has a life of her own, trust her and hope she appreciates a long/no leash. In this case, you may lose her, but not push her away.

 

In other and more lyrical words......

 

Hold on loosely,

but don't let go

If you cling too tightly

You're gonna lose control.....

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very recently though, we got into another fight [fights are normal right? granted they aren't pleasant and it takes time to learn how to resolve things, its not a bad thing necessarily to fight right?]

...

she expressed to me the next day how she tries hard not to drink or flirt or do anything stupid, for me. but she also told me how she's getting tired, because its hard when i tend to overreact and fight with her.

 

Hmmm...

 

How about we address the fights first? This might be important, particularly as you seem to be sensing she's had enough and this is driving her away. Fighting is not bad per se, but can be destructive OR constructive depending on how the fighting is triggered and how it's dealt with.

 

So how often do you fight? What triggers the fight and who actually starts it? How long does an average fight last for? Are your fighting styles similar?

 

When you say she says you 'overeact and fight with her' what is she referring to? Are you a bit over the top?

 

I think you sound articulate and genuinely commited to making things work. Maybe she's just chosen a life that doesn't sit well with you and never will - I think a lot of people would struggle to feel truly secure with a very hot sorority leading g'f who openly admits she doesn't like to commit and she could have anyone she wants (it doesn't matter that she meant this in a non-threatening way, it still sounds bad).

 

On the other hand, maybe there IS something you can do to reduce your triggers for anxiety and feel better about all this while staying in the relationship...

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It's not a bad thing to fight depending on how you fight.

 

I think your g/f has an image of the relationship she wants and it doesn't fit yours. So you guys have some disconnect going here. You can't force her to see things your way just as she cannot force you to see them her way.

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In other and more lyrical words......

 

Hold on loosely,

but don't let go

If you cling too tightly

You're gonna lose control.....

 

OMG!!! I sooooo love that song. lol. I've forgotten it!!! Thank-you.

 

Personally, I think college is a very difficult time to "Keep" a relationship. The dynamics and everything going on.

 

Whats her parents relationship like? Thats the first and primary place she draws from experience. And your parents? What are each fighting styles? you both bring these learnings to the table.

 

You will need to learn to trust... somehow learn to find it. If wind up on the outs on this relationship... you will still encounter the same lesson along the way with subsequent relationships.

 

And as the saying goes "its better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. All great things require great risk... and in this case the risk is your heart" Worth it...and worth the potential lesson.

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addressing the fights:

we would usually argue on a weekly basis, not always a fight, but there'd be things we disagree on. more recently, we do not fight as often, but when we do i notice that they seem to be more severe than before.

 

what triggers our arguments and fights are usually one of a few things: she'll make comments like 'you're gonna cheat on me, you don't love me' which tells me that she herself has insecurities about relationships that need to be addressed. this happened for much of the beginning of our relationship, and whereas before i would get defensive and retort why the hell would i do that in a more angry/offended manner, i've since tried to be more reassuring and understanding that she also has insecurities.

 

other things that trigger fights will be personal differences which lead to deeper issues. case in point: a couple days before the aforementioned fight, we had been hanging out and i took her out to dinner and we said hey lets go bowling. i'm not the greatest bowler in the world, but i am decently experienced in the game and so i wanted to kind of impress her with my 'skills,' and as a guy, games and sports get a little competitive for me, even though i'm not THAT into sports or anything [i don't watch football, basketball, baseball, nascar, whatever. i may get some heat for this but oh well]. for her, bowling is just a time to mess around and have fun without having to be too serious about the game itself. i wasn't so aware of this difference between us concerning the damn game, but i wish i were.

 

anyway, it was just the two of us on one lane, and we started off. i thought the cute bf thing to do would be to hold her and try and give her tips on how to knock more pins down. i guess i was wrong, because after a couple of frames of this she got obviously annoyed and upset at what i was doing and just kinda snapped at me. i didn't know what to do because in my mind i was trying to have a fun time. in her mind, i was trying too hard to abide by the bowling rules and regulations and it was telling her that i thought she sucked. the rest of the game was pure hell as we didn't talk and i just started chucking the balls down the lane in my confusion/frustration at what just happened.

 

during our car ride back to her place, she tried explaining what was going on from her perspective. i appreciate that greatly, but what always annoys me is that she starts off saying something like 'what's your problem?' because it sounds more like she wants to argue rather than talk, but maybe its just me. we both kinda tell our side of this horrible bowling experience, how she just wants to have fun, and how i thought it'd be cute and fun with the way i was doing it. i guess we could've just ended it there, but i realize that both of us can't really just let things go. in my insecurity i would say 'i'm sorry i can't be as fun as your frat/sorority friends,' while she would keep saying 'what a buzzkill, waste of time and money.' of course, we get nowhere by continuing to say things like this, but for me its difficult to just drop things. in that sense i do realize that i have a sort of temper [i'm korean and i guess korean guys have a stereotypical anger issue thing].

 

that night i just felt SO insignificant because i felt like once again, i don't measure up to what she's looking for. she said this and i agree; when we get along and interact and work, we do so greatly. but when we don't and we get into a conflict, we greatly conflict. perhaps we both get too upset if things don't go our way. anyway, i guess the kicker to this fight was when we got to her place, we talked a little more about it, but it eventually turned into another fight because she felt like i wasn't listening or trying to understand. i was trying, but i admit i was more focused on how i felt like i was doing nothing but disappointing her, and i feel like i do this often when we fight about things like this because i try and go above and beyond for her in anything i do.

 

so i sat in my car, wallowing in my thoughts, and she went inside. i continued to sit there and sort my thoughts and feelings when she came back agitated and started pounding on my window and door because she wanted me to come inside. i tried to tell her that i need some time to cool off and think and just have some quiet. she feels like everytime i do something like that, i am 'trying to make a statement' and i should just shut up and drop it. obviously it was still not going anywhere and we were both agitated and tired, so i drove a few blocks away and parked and continued to try and calm down and assess what was going on. when i returned after a few minutes, she told me to take all my things and that she doesn't want to ever talk to me again. i no longer wanted to argue with her so i proceeded to do just that, but then she gets even more upset saying so thats it, you're really going to just go? i guess i should learn that this is when i try and make things work despite my issues and pride. eventually we calmed down and things were somewhat ok before we nodded off, but obviously there were things that needed to be dealt with the next day.

 

in terms of the length of the fight, we'll argue variably. the actual act of fighting and arguing may go on for a few minutes or for a prolonged amt of time like i mentioned, but we usually are ok the next day once we somewhat talk and work it out. when she refers to me overreacting, i believe she means that i begin to yell and get angry far too easily, so its a patience thing i think. she also has told me that i need to not take our fights til the very end, because i just cannot give up/give in or drop it very easily. i hate our fights and wish i didn't react the way i do sometimes, but in the heat of the moments i can't help it if i get offended or defensive. not making excuses, just trying to give reasons.

 

so for one thing, i know that i should try and work on my anger/temper thing. i've said this for so long to myself and to her, but she made a point to keep emphasizing that it hasn't gotten better, and it seems to even just get worse. i know it ties back to personal issues and being defensive as well as insecure, so it's not going to be easy nor happen overnight. but in the time we've been together, i guess she hasn't seen much progress from me so i guess i can't blame her if she's a bit weary of our fights and how i handle things.

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addressing the family backgrounds:

my family suffers somewhat from a history of broken families, at least from my fathers side. his parents were divorced when he was very young, and a few years ago, he and my mother separated as well. i currently live with my mother and don't see much of my father at all, and am not too aware of how he handled fighting/arguing with my mother. i think this affects me in the sense that i so do not want to lose this relationship with my gf because i really do care for her and perhaps subconsciously my family's history scares me in that i will lose who i love and care for as well.

 

i'm not too familiar with the way her family handles arguments and fights [not exactly a comfortable topic for her] but i do know that they've instilled a sense of inadequacy in her as a daughter, because she feels like nothing she does satisfies them [this is how i feel about myself and her]. if she feels the same with me, she hasn't made it so apparent besides in instances like the bowling fight where she mentioned that she feels like she can't connect with me because we're not on the same wavelength about things [to which i ask, can we really do that all the time though?] and that i made her feel like she sucked at bowling compared to me. that totally wasn't my intention, but it makes sense that she would feel that.

 

i'm aware that family plays a huge part in our lives, whether its the smallest detail or memory that we may have forgotten or repressed. i guess sometimes i forget that and feel like it doesn't affect me when it obviously does.

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it appears that you arn't problem solving... your fights are non-productive and not condusive to a relationship.

 

Instead of problem solving... you are trying to "WIN". Prove your point... prove you are right and she is wrong.

 

The namecalling needs to stop.

 

The catty barbs about fratboys etc.. has to stop. STICK to the subject and quit throwing wood on the fire. Your barbs had nothing to do with bowling... or how she felt about your attempt at.. doing the BF thing and teaching her.

 

Both of you have to put this "cheating" thing behind you... those comments are uncalled for.

 

To have a successful relationship... you both need to learn "RULES OF ENGAGEMENT" and how to fight fairly. Quit blaming it on your nationality... has NOTHING to do with it. You take responsibility for your own behavior and what you put out. Don't say she made you angry... no one makes you anything unless you allow it.

 

You seemed more concerned about winning arguments. Maybe you should learn to choose your battles and choose them wisely. Was a "bowling outing" really worth a huge blow up????

 

Probably not.

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Yes... those early primary relationships are the ones that imprint us with "HOW THINGS SHOULD BE" even when we later "KNOW" there was wrong in those relationship... we then struggle with how it should be? we don't know?

 

You may have some abandonment issues with your dad.

 

Can you see where she needs/craves praise. Needs/craves acceptance. Needs/craves the strokes???? If she can never please her parents and is never good enough. She needs to get those affirmations somewhere....

 

From you... from her friends. and yes... the frat. Don't knock her for it... she may not realize it.

 

And you.... that losing a primary relationship... you just may be keepig a closer guard on her... watchful... waiting... for that other shoe to drop.

 

Don't predict your own demise... it just may happen that way.

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you're right, it's more of me wanting to be 'right' in our arguments, rather than resolve things with a clear head. she probably wants to tell me this flat out to my face so badly...

 

thanks for your take on things and encouragement as well as criticisms [may not be the best word, critique maybe? feedback i guess will work].

 

i know there are a number of things for me to consider at this point:

-learn to trust and not worry so much over what may or may not happen

-try and effectively resolve issues remembering that its not about being right or wrong

-realize what i'm saying/doing and take responsibility for them as my own words and actions

 

much much much easier said than done i'm sure others will agree... but thank you for your input and suggestions.

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You sound really self-aware and like you have your head screwed on the right way. But what you're describing in terms of your arguments shows a different you - the you in those arguments sounds like he has poor self-control and is a bit egomaniacal. I think that your self-awareness is a huge boon and your girlfriend is lucky to have that - but you have to use that self-awareness for the power of good! No point 'getting it' only after you've been through each difficult situation.

 

Your suggested next steps sound great to me, but I would also suggest you be a bit more scientific and 'plan' your next fight in your head, so that you have a clearer approach for the next time your anger or insecurity is triggered.

 

You might think something like:

 

- I know that when g'f says 'X' it will elicit 'Y' response from me if I don't control it.

- I don't like being like 'Y', so will commit to doing what I can to change this scenario.

- When she says 'X' I will (a) keep a cool head and tell myself to hold off judgement for 30 seconds (b) I will ask her more about what she's saying in non-judgemental language, I will try to be sure I understand what she's saying.

- Once I feel certain she has expressed herself and I have understood her message, I will take a minute to think about it, and let her know I am thinking about it.

- I will then advise her of my position, being clear about whether I agree or not, and explaining WHY I do or do not agree.

- I will refrain under all circumstances from name calling, and will keep my voice level low and slow and consistent.

 

I'm no expert in anger management, I imagine there are all sorts of tools out there, try googling it maybe. But with some pre-planned order in your thinking, and a little practice, I think you will be fine. I guess the key for me is that you do sound a little like you are making excuses. And yes, coming here is a way to start to resolve the issue, so good on you. But you also need to actively demonstrate to yourself and your g'f your commitment to being the best you can be.

 

Having said all that, maybe she's not as good for you as you deserve, but that's a separate issue and one for you to decide as time passes.

 

I hope I did not sound too harsh, my best wishes to you both.

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I haven't been here for long and I didn't read alll of the posts on this thread.

 

Having said that, I do empathise on feeling liek you've struck rich and you're wondering how you found yourself such a hottie. I've been there, done that, and now I'm glad I'm out of it.

 

Studies have shown that couples are happier when both are of the same 'attractiveness level'. You will _always_ be concerned about her being a hottie, and being hit on by guys wherever she goes, and you dont have that similar attraction pattern on your side, so of course you'll feel powerless, and off balance in the relationship.

 

Granted, this isn't any sort of advice to make things work, but I hope it will at least increase the understanding of your insecurities over her.

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