My Guy is Overly Jealous

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
I am a 22 year old recent college grad who fell in love about 9 months ago. My boyfriend and I went to college together, studied the same major, and were in the same group of friends at school. Funnily enough, we sort of avoided each other until our senior year due to the fact that we would morph into lovelorn school children whenever the other entered a room. Anyway, we finally admitted our love to each other last fall.

It was a gorgeous whirlwind, and we both fell hard and fast. I love him very much, but our relationship is full of jealousy and posessiveness, and I don't know what to do about it. This is my first real relationship, while this is his third. He's definitely been burned in the past, and we've openly talked about it.

He was the first to bring jealousy and posessiveness into our relationship, and in the beginning, I almost thought it was endearing--a furthur proof of his undying love for me. And sick as it was, I sort of followed his lead and I too started to become slightly jealous and posessive.

He often says I'm too good for him, and that he thinks every man in the world thinks I am hot (ie: our friends, strangers on the street, any man in a position of power, arrgh!). It's like a double-edged sword, because at first I condoned this behavior because it was almost flattering. Now that flattery is FLAT! We've been apart for the summer, each of us respectively at our families' homes. I've had more time and space to do some thinking on my own, (we spent a LOT of time together at school).

He gets jealous of other men who only exist in the theoretical. He gets jealous if I go out to a bar because he says he pictures some leaonardo dicaprio look alike approaching me and asking me out. He gets jealous of my old guy pals who I've known since grade school, ( I'm a big tomboy). We've addressed the issue and he knows it's a problem, but now it's become a stigma.

How can I help him furthur? I've stopped being jealous completely, after realizing that I was jealous of ex girlfriends who no longer even existed in his life (that is pathetic!) I am sick of constantly reassuring him. I've always voiced my opinion that cheating is an awful sin. And he says he trusts me, but that his head just starts spinning. I consider myself a fairly insightful woman, but I've realized that I've begun to lose my grasp on what is appropriate, and what is not. Innocent flirting? Simple eye contact? Simply TALKING to another man! (Even the local grocer). I will never cheat on him, but I also will never become that girl who hangs on her boyfriend constantly, and never talks or even innocently flirts with her guy pals. Therefore, I am constantly questioning how much my behavior is affecting his self esteem, and I either beat myself up, or feel resentful towards him for making me so self conscious.

Do I eventually give him an ultimatum? I love him so much, I really want to help him and help me. I want to give him a jolt of confidence and show him that he does deserve me, and that he is good enough for me. Becuase if he keeps behaving like this, I'm going to start believing his insecurities, and start thinking that I DO deserve better. God that sounds scary. He's perfect in every other way! HELP! Advice
I know what you mean about jealousy seeming cute at first. "He must really love me"! But as you've found, it gets old VERY quickly and borders (if not crossing over) into obnoxious, controlling and demeaning. Every girl SHOULD have guy friends- it's a healthy part of life. For your boyfriend to now treat you like a possession that he hides in a box and only he can look at is incredibly destructive and will lead pretty much to misery and unhappiness.

I do have pages on jealousy -

but he has to really work on this and want to change. It can't just happen. If it's really that deeply rooted as a part of a psyche, I might suggest finding a therapist to start talking with him with. You don't have to go for years. Maybe a few weeks will be enough to get him to realize how incredibly serious this is and how to start handling it. But he has to do SOMETHING because it will only get worse over time - and there is nothing YOU can do to get HIM to fix it. It's all up inside his brain, and the only place it can be FIXED is up inside his brain.

-- from Jenn
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