Jealousy Over an Ex

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
Lately I have been very jealous of my boyfriend. Small incidents have happened. A couple of weeks ago I found in my boyfriend's computer pics of his ex-fiance naked. I went nuts. We talked about it and he made me feel better telling me he had forgotten about those and showed me the dates that those pics were last viewed. A few days later while moving his comic books I found old naked magazines and I made a little storm about that too.

A few days ago I decided to check his old mailbox because I was very curious about this ex girlfriend he had 3 years ago. In emails he sent her he called her sweetie and ended with kisses (back then we were boyfriend and girlfriend for 5 weeks). If he was the type of guy who would call female aquaintainces by sweetie and honey I would not mind but he is not the type. And the fact that he called (or calls) her like that bothers me.

I also found out that he lied to me. When we started dating he mentioned to me that this girl would be coming to the US for a visit. I told him I was not too happy about it because I knew he had had strong feelings for her in the past. He told me not to worry about it because she was dating a guy for 3 years and they would get married. Well, in the email I read she said she was dating for 3 years but would not get married. My boyfriend also in an email written to her told her that when she came visit the US (she is from europe) she could come stay with him. I also found out that (about 5 weeks of us dating) he told her about me and said I was nice however did not look into getting settled for a LONG LONG LONG time. After that we have decided to live together and have a very good relationship.

We have been together now for 10 months. it bothers me what he wrote is those emails. When i look back into that time and think he wrote that it makes me mad. I wonder if he writes her with the same tone. I can't mention to him I have read those emails because he will be mad at me for abusing his privacy. I asked him if they still write each other and he said he wrote her a month ago. I can't even bring this up because of the privacy issue and because of the recent stupid jealousy argumements before.

I do not want to suffocate him with my worries. I had access to his emails because he left his old laptop home. I wish i had access to his new computer just to see how he writes her. I am acting very immature I know. My jealousy is making me in constant worry! What is the best way to approch this? Advice
Well first off, jealousy can easily destroy any relationship even where NOTHING wrong is going on, so you definitely have to get your jealousy under control. You guys have been together for 10 months - so regardless of whether he dated this other girl for 5 weeks or 5 months or 5 years, she is in the PAST. You have to fully accept that you are worthy of him, that he loves you, and that together you can face anything.

Up until now it seems like the SLIGHTEST provacation would send you into a jealousy fit which involved you attacking him. You found old files on his system and *assumed* it meant he was studying them daily, intead of assuming the good side, that they were old leftovers. And you had a fit instead of talking to him and *asking* him about them.

Next, you find naked magazines, which I have to tell you, just about EVERY guy over the age of 14 has had at one point or another. And again you have a fit, even though in this case they had nothing at all to do with you OR his ex.

Next, you started snooping around in his personal files, and found that he told you he figured his ex was on the road to marriage and she SAID to him that she didn't think they were. It didn't mean your boyfriend believed her - or that she didn't change her mind in later conversations to him! For two people to be together for 3 years is a long time, and marriage is a natural thought. For someone to admit it or not admit it or talk about it in an email is pretty inconsequential and to claim he is "lying to you" for what he said is a pretty harsh accusation. It's not like he said she WAS married now. He said they were together for 3 years and WOULD. At this point, they still COULD.

As far as he telling her *anything* about you, people always go between ups and downs and ins and outs as they are dating. She was (is) a friend of his. He was telling her how he felt. Obviously he has gotten closer to you since then and things have worked out. If you held against someone every little roller coaster of emotion they felt as they started dating a person, nobody would last more than a week or two.

The LAST thing you should need at this point is to dive even deeper into your obsession over this ex!! Yes, he talks to her. Yes, they dated long ago and he and she probably said cute and cuddly things to each other at the time! But that was in the PAST. Part of accepting someone as a partner is fully accepting their past, that they were capable of caring for others, and that they now have fully voluntarily chosen to love YOU. You have to accept that, and be fully comfortable with that, and not try to second-guess them every chance you get. You have to accept that YOU are the one he loves, and that his talking to an ex doesn't affect that at all. The thing that COULD affect it right now is your driving him away by being insanely jealous over a girl from the past.

I would work through my advice on fighting jealousy -

and if you just can't do it, I would talk to a therapist, even for a few weeks, to get yourself grounded. It sounds like you have some serious problems believing in his love, and unless you get this straightened out, your worries will plague you in one form or another for as long as you are with *any* guy. Believe me, there is *always* someone you CAN worry about if you are GOING to worry about it.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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