Jealous Over an Ex
Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
I've searched through all the advice on jealousy and am still in need of some advice. The relationship I am in now started out rather strange, but I do believe it has great potential. When we first met, she was with someone else, but I did not know that, nor did she mention it. My feelings for her kept growing and when she noticed it, she told me she was with someone.
Oddly enough, I wasn't upset, just due to the one fact that she said that she did, in fact, like me as well. To make the rest of a very long story short, he ended up leaving her shortly after she had told me about him. Well, what had happened was that he fell out of love with her, but she hadn't fallen out of love with him. After some time passed she had made it clear to me that she had no intentions of getting back together.
Since we officially started dating, her ex still calls pretty much every week and until recently, had been randomly sending crude, suggestive text messages to her on her phone. At first, she was not going to tell me about them, because she knew it would upset me, but after she finally told me about them, she told me that she was going to talk to him and take care of it.
Well, she didn't talk with him, then another week or so went by without one. Then she said they started happening again, and I asked if she had said anything to him since she still talks to him weekly or so, and she said no. Well, finally the last straw for me was when she was with me and one of those text messages came. I got so upset partly due to his rudeness and disrespect towards her, and partly because she hadn't done anything but ignore them, to discourage the act. Then I saw that she still had all the old ones he had sent before still on the phone, which only made me more upset. This ended up being our first real fight.
Now, I know that I can be a very jealous person, but it seemed as if she didn't understand why I was so upset. She is not a jealous person hardly at all. And from some things that she had mentioned to me before that others have said that she considered flattering and I considered rude and disrespectful, I honestly thought that maybe she didn't say anything because she found them to be flattering. She did tell me that she was flattered that he said she would still hold the best girlfriend ever title, and she was also flattered that he can't stop thinking about her. I know she likes attention, but I thought this was going just a step over the line.
Well, the day we fought about the messaging, she called and told him to not send anymore messages like that. Then a couple days later she called to explain that the reason she didn't want him sending anymore messages was because she was dating me. She didn't mention wanting him not to send them because they bothered her. She told me she wasn't thinking about it, so she forgot to say that.
Honestly, I feel as if they didn't bother her, at least as much as I would think they should. That in itself bothers me. I know I am a jealous person, but I want to stop being jealous of her ex. I tried to figure out what exactly it was that I was being jealous about, and I think it's the fact that I wish I was the one that was with her for 4 years, because it would have lasted much longer than that. I feel as if he fell out of love, and didn't want to commit to the real work of a true relationship, and that's why he left. I guess I compare myself to him alot, and that isn't healthy.
I want to stop being a jealous person and I need help!!
Each of us has different tolerances for types of messages. What you feel is fine for you but you can't make her feel the same way. She was with this guy for 4 years, she probably takes his messages with a grain of salt. And yes it's always flattering to think that an ex still thinks about you and cares about you! So no matter WHAT he sent to her, that would flatter her. I'm sure if you had an ex girlfriend who kept writing you to say she was thinking of you, it would make you feel nice, to be fondly thought of.
Anyway, she is obviously with you now, not him. And he is a part of her past, part of what made her the person she is today, that you care about. So you have to accept ALL of what she is - including that past. You shouldn't hate her past nor try to get HER to hate her past!
So accept she had an ex, and that he's now in her PAST. YOU are her present. So your job is to enjoy that present and make it one she enjoys as well. I have a lot of info on jealousy here -
and if you really still have serious troubles with it, I'd talk with a therapist, even for just a few weeks. If you don't get this sorted out now, you can literally drive her away with your jealousy over problems that exist only in your imagination.
-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com