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Just a little too overprotective.

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[Fast facts: I'm 18, almost 19. My boyfriend's 22. Been dating for a year and 6 months, have lived together for 8 months. Before I moved in, we had a long distance relationship in which we only saw each other two or three times.]


Heyo. I posted yesterday. (?t=167150) For anyone who happened to come accross it, what ended up happening was me chickening out. I was going to leave my boyfriend, had it set in my mind for a good two hours, came home from work ready to tell him, and immediately changed my mind the moment I stepped in the door. Then he proceeded to take me out shopping and we had a lovely night together. (sigh~)


Anyway, I'd like to get down to the bottom of something that's been bugging me about my boy since about a month after we started dating. It was around this time that I started to notice that he gets jealous quite easily. Most of our contact was either on the phone or talking on MSN at this point. I know that long distance relationships almost always have some trust problems, because there's really no way to tell, but still. I had a male friend at school (let's call him Bob) who hung out with the very large group of girlfriends I have. Once or twice I'd mention something about Bob in my LiveJournal -- he was in two of my four classes at school, so I talked to him a bit more than my other friends. Even if I was just saying that Bob said something funny that day, my boyfriend seemed to instantly think that meant I was attracted to Bob.


It was frustrating, but eventually I got him to lessen the accusations. A couple months later (he's still jealous of Bob at this point), he changed his mind and started saying that he was sure that Bob had a crush on me. The idea of having this particular friend (someone who was practically "one of the girls", hehe) have a crush on me was almost laughable to me, and I always brushed it off. Even so, my boyfriend didn't trust me with him. This is partially due to the fact that Bob had once said something along the lines of being able to kick my boyfriend's * * * [good job, Bob] and most of my friends weren't too supportive of my relationship with my boyfriend in the first place.


Unfortunately, I found out, MONTHS after that, when I moved in with my boyfriend, that Bob indeed HAD had a crush on me. I also found out that about half of my friends knew this, and had failed to tell me (on purpose, of course). I pretty much lashed out at him, because I'd realised that Bob started to make very subtle moves on me (for example, he wrote something about me being "special" in my birthday card), and eventually stopped talking to him. I did forgive him after a while, but I only see him at large gatherings and even when we do talk, there's a lot of discomfort behind it.


That's probably what started the more intense feelings of jealousy in my boyfriend.


Now, he leaps at pretty much every bit of contact I have with males.


He caught me looking at a guy at a gaming conference we went to, and insisted that I liked him. Of course, the guy had no idea, but he made things worse when he came over and said that he liked my pants (I was wearing baggy black pants with chains -- what can I say, I like elaborate pants). That particular pair of pants gets a lot of comments when I'm in public, so it wasn't uncommon to be told that, but it was really bad timing.


My boyfriend and I used to work together, and whenever I talked to one of the guys at work (I should mention that most of them are kids -- 15 and 16 years old -- and I don't date younger than me), he'd come to me afterwards and drill me with questions about what we had been talking about, etc. Or if I was watching someone for a long period of time (usually due to boredom), he's assume that I was attracted to the guy or something.


Now I work at a different place. Pretty much every day I come home, I'm asked who talked to me, and what we talked about. And if one of the people talking to me happened to be male, he'd be like "oh, that makes me feel just great" (all sarcastically).


I'm not sure why my boyfriend acts this way around me. He has his reasons to be overprotective. His first ex was a big cheater -- he's only certain of one instance (the one in which she dumped him over), but there are signs pointing towards multiple times. His second girlfriend passed away (drowned) about a month before I met him. (Yes, I do realise that this is a VERY short time between relationships, especially when something that traumatic occurred, and many people have looked down on us because of it.) On top of that, his mother also passed away (murdered) while I was dating him.


I understand that this would make *any* guy feel like their girlfriend could be stolen away at any time, but I want to help him get over this. He's told me that *he* wants to get over it as well, because not only does it drive me insane, it makes me feel like I can't socialize with anyone at work, on the street, at the arcade, anywhere. For about a year after *MY* first relationship ended (my ex-boyfriend dumped me for another girl), I was very withdrawn, and then suddenly came out of my shell and was very social.


Actually, I was a little too social, and sometimes overly flirty and misleading (not purposely). Probably another factor in his mistrust. While I didn't like being misleading, ever since I've been with my boyfriend, I've slowly just been crawling back into my shell, and I don't like it.


I've never cheated, nor had felt the temptation to cheat, nor do I believe that I *ever* will. It's just one of those things I wouldn't be able to live with. I have very strong morals. In all honesty, I wouldn't even go hang out with a male friend (or multiple male friends) by myself. It just doesn't feel right. I'd need to have a female there as well. Regardless, my boyfriend does believe that I have the capability to cheat (which hurts a little, but I'm determined to prove to him that it has never, and will never be something on my mind).


We do argue a lot because of this jealousy. I tend to get moody, and being drilled with questions/accusations/whatever is one of those things that will completely set me off. I want these arguments to stop. Obviously just telling him that he needs to trust me and that I'd never hurt him isn't working, because I've been doing that for 18 months.


I know this is something that my boyfriend mostly has to work out on his own, but what do you think *I* can do to help him along? (Aside from giving him a complete summary of every single person I talked to and what we talked about on a given day.)


[...Damn, my posts need to be shorter...]

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To be perfectly honest I can see why your boyfriend is insecure. Perhaps if you re-read your post trying to see it from his perspective you might see it as well.


Particularly the part about Bob.


I do see it from his point of view. I'm not asking why he's jealous, I'm asking how I can help him trust me more.


But -- how another guy (ie, Bob) acts around me or what he feels about me is not my fault. There is honestly nothing that I can do about things like that, other than quit being friends with them -- which is what I did in that situation. I didn't have any feelings for Bob other than casual friendship, nor did I find Bob attractive in any way. I told my boyfriend that every time he brought it up, and I meant it.



Wow, girlfriend drowned and mother murdered. That is a lot to deal with.


Within eight months of each other, no less... They were both things that were all over the newspapers so that he couldn't avoid it, and both things that he had to be taken in to be questioned about. I'm sure that doesn't help his self-confidence much, either.

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I'm not asking why he's jealous, I'm asking how I can help him trust me more.


You can stop socialising with men, stop working with men, don't talk to them on the phone or internet. Do not be in any place that a man is also at.


You can't pander to this type of insecurity, it never goes away no matter how much reassurance you give and often gets worse. Care for him, but don't bend over backwards trying to prove you're trustworthy.


You can't stop him being jealous. You can enable his behaviour or ask him to change it. Ultimately though, the choice belongs to him.


One suggestion I have is that if he is not recieving councelling to take some. He's been through some awfully traumatic times which I'd bet are partly responsible for his mindset. It would do him good to learn how to deal with it properly.

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