Jealousy & staying in the past

Visitor's Question from a 31-40 year old Male
My story is long, to give the abridged version. My wife and I met 15 years ago at college. I was not looking for love and I donít think she was either as we were both going to be graduating in a few months. Anyway we hit it off and things progressed quickly.

However, 5 months before we started dating she was working in CA and ended up having a fling. To be fair I had three that summer and we were not together and had not been together up to that point.

Anyway when we started dating she brought up the fling often enough and also talked about other guys she had ďcrushesĒ on. She also talked about how she could not wait until she graduated as she was going to go back to CA to find a job.

I was hurt, felt our relationship was not going anywhere, felt I was the second choice and she wanted somebody else. Even though it was wrong one evening I had a (ONE-TIME) fling with an ex and she got pregnant. Several months later I found out and I confessed what happened to my wife. I beg for forgiveness and asked her not to leave me.

She stayed, I asked her to marry me, she said yes, but things were rocky for about five years. Everyday I was reminded of what I had done and everyday I said I was sorry and begged her to stay. She also appeared to make it a point to make me jealous and she lied periodically about things she had done and was doing. As far as I know she was not cheating on me.

After a 7 year engagement we finally set a date to be married. About six months before the wedding I find out that it was possible she may have had an affair on me 3 years ago. I confronted her, she lied initially but eventually she said the only thing happened was that she flirted with a guy over email and he gave her an unwanted kiss.

I believe her (most of the time) and I was relieved, however I still had difficulties dealing with it and I got caught up in the jealously stuff from the past. her talking about the fling and telling me all about her crushes.

I began to question how important I am to her. My self esteem is shot, Iím jealous, mistrusting all the time over events that happened before me, I question if she truly loves me or if she wants to be with somebody else from her past.

We did get married but for a year now things have been rocky as I have still had a hard time dealing with things. I get so jealous over things that happened in the past. I question often if I am really the one she loves.

But, she did stay, she married me and she treats my daughter very well. I can only imagine how awful it was for her, (still is Iím sure) to see my daughter every few days, the little reminder that I cheated. But she is very good to her.

I just want all the bad thoughts to go away. I donít want to ruin things, I donít want to be jealous. I still feel guilty about what I did, but on the same thought my daughter is wonderful so I am also thankful.

I know I did worse and I owe it to her and myself to heal mentally but I just donít know how to do it. Advice
Sorry you are in this situation.

Either you or you and your wife need to get counseling quickly. Both of you are suffering needlessly because you are having trouble getting over past wounds.

The counselor will help you work your way out of some of your most important problems and suggest ways to compromise. I remember once going to a counselor with my ex-wife (counseling doesn't always work). My wife was displaying behavior which really freaked me out. The counselor suggested we trade off. That is I would give up some behavior my wife disliked in exchange for her stopping her behavior. My wife agreed and said she wanted me to stop bending pillows in half when I rested my head on them (couch pillows). This worked like a miracle and I was no longer freaking out practically every day.

Give counseling a try and I hope it works! George

-- from George
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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