I'm Jealous over my Girlfriend's Exs
Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
I Have recently begun a new relationship and I am having problems dealing with jealousy regarding my girlfriends ex's. It is basically sexual jealousy but also I get jealous of times they have shared together. It's not just one ex but a number and she has told me that she had a lot of relationships. She still sees a few of her ex's particularly one who she describes as a close friend. I am finding this very difficult.
the sexual side is affecting our sexual relaionship. when we are in intimate situations and at other times I often imagine her with other guys. Imagining all the things she has done with others and how they may have been better than with me.
She wants to stay friends with her ex's and wants to hold on to pictures jewwlery and other things from them.
Its completly eating me up inside and I'm not sure what to do. I want to change it but at present I have no control over it. I get withdrawn when these things come up and it also can make me angry. Any suggestions. This is affecting my whole life, my sleeping etc.
Jealousy can easily destroy an otherwise wonderful relationship, so you definitely need to get a handle on this soon. I have an entire how-to on dealing with jealousy -
You say you have no control over it. But of course you do! The ONLY place this jealousy exists is in your head. You are the ONLY person who has control over it - nobody else does. You have low self esteem and think that your girlfriend would rather be with her exs than with you. You worry that when she is with you she dreams about her exs and that perhaps given the chance you'll be abandoned when she realizes her mistake and leaves you for one of them.
So this is all up in your brain. And it comes down to trust and self esteem. Imagine a world where you *knew fully* that you were the right guy for her and there was no question of her even considering leaving you. Sure, she had a past - we all do - and she has friends too! But you know fully that you are the best guy for her and the most important guy of her life. She is blissfully happy with you and would not contemplate another guy, ever.
Now add into that a complete trust of her. You trust that she loves you and loves this relationship. She wouldn't imagine leaving - this is what she's always wanted in life! She loves you fully and is very happy with her choice to be with you.
It could easily be that both of those things are true AT THIS EXACT MOMENT and it's only your brain which is having trouble with it. And in fact your jealousy is DESTROYING that relationship because it is actively harming you, and actively harming her too since nobody likes to have an unhappy partner. Your happiness affects her happiness. So this thing in your brain is harming BOTH of you.
If you go through the jealousy pages and really still can't trust your own girlfriend or accept that she is with you voluntarily, it might be time for therapy. If this issue is so severe that it is something you can't handle on your own, get a trained person to give you a hand. You might think it's not worth it. But that's the whole problem here - that you say the relationship isn't worth taking good care of. If you keep neglecting it like that, and allowing the jealousy to destroy it, then it WILL be gone. But it won't be because of "jealousy out of your control". It will be because you *actively chose* not to take steps to make a known problem better.
-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com