Help! Jealousy issues, advice requested.

I’ve had jealousy issues in my current relationship from about the beginning of us getting together for a few reasons, but I figured it was something that would disappear with time. However, we’ve been together for over one and a half years now, so evidently that’s not quite the case.

Basically, I know way TMI about his past relationships - sexual TMI. To the point where there isn’t a single exploit that I don’t know about, in detail. I also know the girls that each exploit happened with, so hurrah for imagery. :stuck_out_tongue: The problem also being that I was friends with one of his exes, and she also spilled a lot more information than I would want to know about the two of them. He says now he mainly told me all that stuff as a way to impress me (rolls eyes the fragile male ego and all that), but I still hold a grudge about how much it had hurt to hear about it all, him going on about how good some things were, etc etc. He was also my first real love, and I lost my virginity to him, so I am a little more sensitive about his past than I should be.

He also had eyes on two female friends of his just prior to us getting together, and still kept up comments about them and voicing worries to me about how bad he’d feel if one of them made a move on him, because he didn’t think he could knock it back. This is all over a year ago in the past, now, but I still can’t quite get over the same worries that I had back when it was happening, since the two girls are still both close friends of his.

On the ex situation… I know perhaps it just makes me petty, but I can’t quite get past all that I know and heard and forget the whole thing. In a way I still haven’t forgiven him from all the things that he did say (how much he’d love to have a certain ex back, etc) and I really need advice on how to forgive him for it so we can get past this. I’m tired of holding a grudge over it, but I can’t quite get all the imagery and comments out of my head.

And meanwhile, the friend situation still makes me wary. I know by now that technically he’s past it all, but I still have the worry that if one of them did make a move, he really wouldn’t be able to reject it. That whole thought was ingrained in my mind by him, and I’m not sure how to remove it. The whole situation is driving me crazy the longer it goes on for, and I’m desperate for some good advice. I don’t want this to cause any more arguments than it already has, and I don’t want it to cause the end of the relationship.

So, dopers, I’m begging for advice here… how can I get past this?

You’ll just have to take my word for it that if someone loves you they do not make you suffer by telling you this sort of thing. This guy is bad news. There is nothing in store for you but more pain in the future. You had better have a good talk with yourself and ask some hard questions. What is it you really want out of this relationship? Would you want this man to be the father of your children? Could you depend on him if you got cancer and all your hair fell out? This isn’t love and staying with him says more about you then him. But, I can tell by your post you are still thinking that the problem is you. He loves it that you are always thinking he might want someone else, or that maybe he isn’t quite satisfied with your sex life because he’s had it better in the past. Personally, I would rather be alone. With this guy, who needs enemies. Git outta there!:smack:

And from a male perspective, I agree with SuZK. As I was reading your post, I was thinking “you arsehole!”. He’s doing it - consciously or not - to hurt/unsettle/destabilise you. Either he’s not very nice or he’s damaged goods.

You seem to be coming at this with the assumption that it’s your feelings that are the problem. It’s not.

I agree. This doesn’t sound good. He sounds like a bit of a player and quite insensitive. I’m sorry that this happened to you. :frowning:

The thing is (I don’t think this was made clear in my first post, sorry), all of this happened over a year ago now - nothing of the sort has been said or done since then. If nothing had changed and if the behaviour had been kept up I’d be agreeing with you guys, but he’s apologised numerous times for being an asshole in the past. He knows he was being an absolute dick to say what he did, and has done what he can to make up for it, but it’s hard to properly forgive the whole thing and move past it. And there is a lot more to him than that side of it, I obviously just put all the bad things in the post 'cause that’s where the problems are coming from. :slight_smile:

He’s been nothing but a completely kind and caring boyfriend for the past year or so, it’s just that I’m still holding a grudge about what was said before then. And then he’ll get upset about my jealousy issues and I’ll get upset since he was the one who caused them, and I’d much rather I could find a way to just make the whole issue go away. I just want past to be past, you know?

to a certain extent, i can understand and empathize with your situation. my husband has a tendency to let his mouth run away with him too. when we were first going together, he’d spill his guts without a second thought about other women he’d been with, his ex-fiancee (who he had many hangups regarding)… the kind of person who seems willing to tell you WAY too much with hardly any prompting.

fortunately, i think i made it fairly clear from the outset that i didn’t WANT to hear and know lots of intimate details from his past. so at least i don’t have that stuff to try and get out of my brain.

the bad news is, i think you and my hubby both share a trait that can make current life very unpleasant for you – the inability to Let Go of the Past. i cannot tell you how many years i had to sit through him rehashing his ex, the sad backstory behind their breakup, his bad feelings about the whole situation, etc, etc, ad nauseum. in some ways, i think he derived a perverse sort of pleasure from picking away at old wounds. rather than letting things go, so they can fade away, he felt compelled to drag it back up and poke at it some more, just to be sure it still hurt as bad as he remembered. :rolleyes:

truthfully, in his instance at least, anger management classes helped immensely in him finally learning to “let go”. he had similar issues over not getting ahead, or getting better positions at work. listening to him talk about his occasional revenge fantasies would have gotten most normal people edging for the doors. but in the final analysis, what he had to learn (and internalize… and put into practice) is: LET GO. stop obsessing over the past. it’s PAST, for god’s sake. you’re not going to change it. you can’t do anything about it at this point. it happened. it wasn’t nice, but it’s over. now learn to move on.

so all i could recommend is: when you start to think about his past confessions – conciously switch to thinking about the recent nice things he’s said and done. if you start worrying about what might happen if temptation wanders his way, deliberately remember the times more recently that he has shown his faithfulness to you, or that he truly cared about your feelings and concerns.
final caveat here: if you can’t counter past points of worry with more current demonstrations of trustworthiness, then… maybe you might want to re-think that whole “he really IS a nice guy” assumption basis.

LDG,

Why the heck did you get together with him in the first place?

When a relationship first begins, it’s natural to spill some stories about past relationships–if they are on a very non-detailed basis. Telling your SO intimate details of your sexual exploits, constantly bringing up former girlfriends…that’s just rude. You had a right to ask him to stop.

What concerns me now is that he did stop, right? But you’re still having jealousy issues a YEAR later? It’s time to move past this and forgive him. Or if you decide that you can’t move past it, get out of the relationship. You are going to be revisiting these jealousy issues over and over again if you don’t let it go, and that’s not healthy.

I used to be jealous - took a LONG time to get over the tendency. I think your SO was acting like a real dick, but maybe he’s changed. If he really has, the question, can you? Have you been in any other relationships? Did their past history bother you? Did they talk about it? As we get older, the chance that we will find someone with no sexual history diminshes. Try and fix this in your own head, if you can. If not for this relationship, then for the next.

Wait a second. Does anyone remember that post about a week ago where someone was drunk, and posting that he said something a year ago that he shouldn’t have, and now she was considering breaking up with him?

Coincidence? Could this be the other side of the story? Or am I just crazy?

This is the thread I was thinking of.

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=217879

What do you all think?

I am wondering the same thing Stephi

LDGYou said that he is still close friends with those two girls he might have been interested in. What do you mean by close? If he is spending a lot of time alone with these women I can understand the jealousy.

If he isn’t doing anything to feed the jealousy now and you are just still obsessing about the past then I think that you need to just start over. Don’t let yourself dwell on the thought of the past. lachesis had some good advice. When you start to think about the past issues switch to thinking about the last time he made you feel loved and special. Maybe even plan a weekend get away or a romantic evening to coincide with your decision to let go of the past. It will give you a nice point to think about when the bad thoughts come up.

Good luck.

Forgive me for asking this, but I don’t understand something.

Your SO told you stories about his sex life from BEFORE he was your SO? This “hurt you so much” why? Do you have some expectation that he should have been a virgin?

When he told you about how how good some things were, etc etc. did you consider trying some of those things with him? Is it possible that he was merely telling you some of his fantasies?

After a year, has he given you any other indications that he might hook up with his 2 close friends? Is your jealousy really based entirely on the fact that he admitted he was attracted to them before you two became SOs?

Once again, forgive me if this sounds inappropriate. I am honestly confused on these points.

It it helps, I think lachesis had some good advice. I’m sure there are many techniques to help control your feelings. But the main thing to remember is that these “worries” and “thoughts ingrained in your mind” are in fact under your control. I know it sounds overly simplistic to say just “let go”, but that is what you have to do (assuming that other posters are mistaken about this guy’s suitability for you). Meanwhile, stop beating yourself up over having these thoughts. Just concentrate on whether or not you want to believe them anymore.

I agree he was a jerk in the first place to fill you in on all the gory details (so to speak)…but if he apologized and truly meant it then it seems to me that you have to decide if you forgive him or not.

Truly forgiving someone means you let it go. You don’t bring it up in the heat of an arguement. You don’t hold it over his head when you are pissed. If you can’t let it go a year later then did you ever really forgive him in the first place?

It hurts to hear about someone you love and their past loves. But if he apologized and hasn’t done it since then…then I have to say that it seems like you are the one holding onto the past.

Good luck!!!

Dump him.

Knorf

After reading your second post, I think he should dump you.

I can sort of relate to the OP, having once had similar jealousy issues myself. It’s hard – you know that you have no right to be upset about something in the past, but it is still fundamentally unsettling when you think about it. Getting over it simply takes mental discipline: when you find your brain creating images of your SO with someone else, you need to simply force yourself to stop thinking about it. Once you stop allowing yourself to dwell on your SO’s past love life, it will lose its emotional charge.

This relationship has taught you that you are not a person who is happy knowing about your SO’s past experiences. I know people who couldn’t care a twig, and if they’re in a relationship with someone similar, they’ll talk about every sex act they’ve ever done without a problem. Since there’s no universal rule for what is too much information, if and when you go into your next relationship, it will be your job to let the person know that you’re happier not knowing any of their past details, and stopping them when they start to tell you something you don’t want to know.

As for your present relationship, this issue may go away if you can learn to stop thinking about it. It may not, at which point you should start over with someone else, armed with the knowledge you’ve gained about yourself from this one. (Alternatively, since these things are almost always rooted in insecurity, you could just fuck like a hundred people before you date someone else seriously and then not have to worry about it. ;))

IMHO a real gentleman doesn’t talk about such such things… even with “the guys” it’s best just to keep 'em guessing.

Unfortunately you are in the position where you will just have to deal with the past if you want to keep things going with this guy. Try to forget about it, and if he brings it up unasked, give him shit.

snort I’ll pass that one along.

Thanks for everyone who gave me advice, I appreciate it. lachesis and Giraffe especially, I’ll definitely try the things you recommended (do you think you could help me round up the 100? :D).

pervert: It didn’t happened before we were together… it happened at the beginning of the relationship… first 4-6 months? I knew he wasn’t a virgin, that didn’t bother me, hearing details was what did. The fantasy bit woulda been nice, but it was more based on the other persons skill level - not the er, event taking place.
The jealousy on the girls thing is mainly about one of them, really - I didn’t explain it all to begin with since I figured if my post was any longer and whinier I’d be kicked off the boards - but it was also to do with one of them having a few power issues and insecurities of her own, and trying to prove she still had the power over him while we were together. Which, of course, was exactly what I was worried about. The fact he could never tell her when to back off was mainly what got to me, and fed the jealousy basically, because it came back to the original worry that if they did make a serious move, he wouldn’t back off either. Ahh, the whole thing is stupid… I guess I’m a much more insecure person than I thought.

Basically, though… I’m just tired of rehashing all of this… I know it’s unhealthy and I know it’s unfair of me, hence the asking of advice. I know I’m the one holding onto the past, and I really don’t want to be anymore.

I think it’s important to distinguish between irrational jealousy (i.e. over past actions which he can’t change) vs. trust issues (i.e. him telling you early on that he doesn’t know if he could stop himself from cheating on you if the opportunity arose). Don’t lump them all together and say they’re all your fault. His statement about cheating with his friend would have been a huge red flag for me early in a relationship, especially since it implies he doesn’t consider monogamy to be something he can fully control. If this is followed by later actions which give further evidence for this attitude, I would have a problem with it. If his behavior makes you have a hard time truly trusting him, that’s not a failure on your part.

You know, there are times when relationships should end, not because of something the other person did wrong, but because you don’t like who you are in that relationship. Don’t feel like it’s wrong to break up just because you can’t point to anything he specifically did wrong. It usually takes a few tries before you know yourself well enough to set up a really good relationship. It’s a common rookie mistake to stay in your first serious one way too long just because you can’t point to specific breakupable offense. (I have no idea if this is relevant to your particular situation, but your posts certainly made me think of it.)