Am I Too Jealous?

Visitor's Question from a 41-50 year old Female
I need to learn how to trust and believe in my beau's sincerity. We have dated for a year and a half. He is 11 years older than I; I am in my mid 40s. He is generally mistrustful of women as his sister and mother were not nice, being very conniving, mean, and manipulative people (I've never met them, this is what he tells me).

He has been married twice; his first wife was unfaithful. He has had relationships with women who have taken whatever he'll give, usually the house and almost everything in it. He has had 2 recent loves that he tells me about, and how much he loved these women. He has told me numerous times he'd have married either of them. He told me once one of them 'was the epitome'. He left both of them as they had relationships with other men as well as with him.

Although he mistrusts women, he is very sexually attracted, and always turns and stares at attractive women (even moving to look around me so he can see them), but heavy women, he scorns. He has always been faithful in his relationships. Me, I have always had a jealous nature. I am fairly attractive and successful, but the way he talks fondly and frequently of his past loves, and openly ogles every attractive woman drives me crazy. I feel I am not number one in his life because of these issues.

He told me once I am much more important to him when he is with me than when he is apart from me. I know I must be number one, as he phones me every morning and night when we're not together (we live a hundred miles apart) and he has quit a job 500 miles away to come 'home' because we're too far apart. My rational self tells me all is well, but my green eyed monster makes me suspicious and feel like he might be lying or might not be faithful.

What can I do to overcome this? We are talking seriously about a life together, but I could ruin it with this irrational jealousy. Advice
Normally I am really in favor of 'handling jealousy'. If you read all my past questions you can see that over and over again. But something strikes me as VERY wrong in this situation - and it's not your jealousy.

First, there are always two sides to every story. But he is diligently shielding you from all 'other sides'. You've been with him for a year and a half and you've never met his family? I certainly know that people - including family members - can be mean. But what is the likelihood that this angel of happiness has gone through the world and attracted all 'evil women' solely out to harm right into his life (up until you of course).

So let's see, he is a predator that actively ignores you to stare at beautiful bodies - but he looks down on imperfect bodies? And he doesn't think that this incredibly shallow view of what makes a woman important might have had an affect on his mom, his sister or either of his ex-wives? I have to imagine that NONE of them had perfect bodies, and apparently he's the type to let them know that, through his actions if not through his words.

His love for you fluctuates based on whether you're there with him or not? That's a huge warning sign. His calling you daily isn't a sign of love necessarily - it can easily be a sign of insecurity, that he wants to make sure you're there and waiting on him.

Any boyfriend who actively moves to look past you at other women and who looks down on women who are not flattering is going to be trouble. All of us age! We all sag and droop. In 5 years is he going to drop you and move on to an 18 year old, because he only cares about that youth? It's one thing to smile when a pretty woman goes by. It is QUITE another to actively alter his position with YOU in order to look elsewhere.

If this guy is so sure that it is everyone around him and not HIM that causes the trouble, then ask to meet his family. It's a quite reasonable request after a year and a half! Talk to his family and get some background on all of this. Find out what really happened with the exs. It's a fair enough thing to know. Also I would highly recommend going to some therapy with him. Tell him it's to help you deal with the age gap. But any therapist who starts to hear these things he's doing is going to have a few words for him.

-- from Jenn
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