Jealous over a Pretty Girl

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
My boyfriend and I have been seeing eachother for six months now. We have so much in common and I find so many qualities that I 've never found in anyone else, he is amazing. It was like we were in a dream.

And then she happend. I feel out of control, helpless and afraid. I was happy before her. Her, is a girl he knew before we met. She always had a boyfriend ( of 3 + years) and they were friends. But he always had feelings for her. When we starting dating he took it into his own hands and decided to stop contacting her, I had no idea. He thought it would be for the best, and even though they never even had a relationship he ended major communication with her.

She worked in an area on campus where we'd see her. I had know Idea who she was. And then it happened. She came up and hugged him, flaunted herself. He didn't introduce me. He didn't mention me. He told her stories of what he'd been up too ( and never mentioned me), the same stories he told someone an hour before and mentioned my names a thousand times. He didn't realize. I was right there, listening. He apologized. He thought he'd introduced us. He told me their history. I got over it. I forgave him.

It was our first fight about anything. We continued to run into her, she continued to flaunt herself. It drove me crazy. I have never been so jealous. I am not a jealous person, its just she was never a closed book, he always chose her, she didn't choose him.

One night we were discussing the predicment, and in a confused blurb, he said, I don't know why I am acting like this, maybe I do have feelings for her. He decided he didn't...he decided he loved me. Then came the little white lie. He hung out with a group of people, she was there, but he didn't tell me (and a coincidence he didn't invite me).

I found out about it, he thought it was better not to tell me, he didn't want to bring her up , he knew it would hurt me. I trusted what he said...I forgave him, I told him lying makes me question, it scares me. I had friends there that night.....I believe that he didn't really talk to her as he says. I am trying everything possible to forgive and forget. I am not usually a jealous person. I am not jealous of him being around anyone else, even a playboy model. He is faithful, he makes me feel beautiful.

Its just this one girl. It haunts me.

I don't know how to trust him, because my exboyfriend did something similar. I don't know what to do. I don't want to push him away. But I think about it . I've gone through phases...comparing her and I....hate...anger...worry. I know he wouldn't do anything intentionally to hurt me...I know I can't push him away. It just scares me. The worst part is...I feel like this and I didn't do anything wrong...I didn't pretend I wasn't with him in front of a guy, I didn't say I might have feelings for another guy, I didn't like. I feel like this crazy, jealous girlfriend....and I don't know how to stop.

What can I do? Advice
It's one thing to be jealous over your boyfriend just talking to pretty girls, that would be something to try to work on on your own. But it's quite another thing to be jealous because your boyfriend always liked this girl before, enthusiastically welcomes her into his life, completely ignores you when she's around, deliberately leaves you out of discussions to protect his "imaginary bubble of a relationship" with this other girl, and leaves you out of social events when this other girl is going to be around. Usually I am very active about speaking out against jealousy, but there of course always IS a time that jealousy is warranted, when you are being used.

I'm not saying your boyfriend is a bad person. He chose to stay away from her, he chose to be with you. He didn't expect this girl to come back into his life. So I really don't think he did anything wrong up to that point. However, when she DID bounce back into his life, the right thing to do would have been to be polite, introduce you two, talk about his life WITH you to her and I suppose be friends with her if things really went that way. For him instead to try to isolate you from her so that he could have his world with her SEPARATE from his world with you is really unhealthy.

Guys should have friends! Guys should have girl friends! But guys SHOULDN'T have two separate women that they are wanting to be with, and trying to develop two separate relationships with. That's unfair to both women. You are his girlfriend. You deserve the majority of his time, attention and affection. You shouldn't have to worry about when he's away from you, if he's sneaking off to be with her. You shouldn't have to worry, when you guys are having dinner together, if he's thinking that he'd rather be with someone else. You deserve someone fully and wholly in love with you.

If it was just a matter of him knowing this girl in the past, it would be one thing. If she came up and talked to you both and he was proud of you being his girlfriend, and you were jealous, that would be something for you to work on. But if he is actively denying your existence, actively excluding you from activities and actively hiding things from you, that is simply WRONG. Trust is THE key to any relationship, and he better get his priorities straight quickly. I would really talk to him. Don't go at it from a jealousy angle. Go at it from a TRUST angle, which he has already failed in several times. If he's not capable of BEING trustworthy with her around, then he has to choose to not have her around, to preserve your relationship. He SHOULD be mature enough to be trustworthy with her in your circle of friends!! But if he is NOT, then he has to take action to preserve your relationship.

-- from Jenn
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