Hi Sasha! I need your advice. I’m 24 and in a long term relationship. What started off really great has turned messy. My boyfriend, who I love, is very jealous. He always thinks I’m looking at other guys on campus or interested in them and it’s driving me nuts. We’ll be in a car together and I’ll be looking out the window and he’ll accuse me and ask me “ do you think he’s hot or something”. And when I go out with my girlfriends for a night, which isn’t very often, he texts me constantly and asks me to text him pictures of where I am to make sure that’s where I am. I’m exhausted but the problem here is that I do love him and he’s such a caring, generous, kind boyfriend all the other times. I need your take on this. K
You know all those nice things you just said about your boyfriend, well, in my opinion they’re all null and void when the bigger reality is that he’s controlling and manipulative.
K, you really need to figure out what the f-ck you’re doing in this relationship because there’s no way you’re happy right now. And you need to realize that if this relationship comes at the price of sacrificing your identity, dignity and freedom then that’s too damn high of a cost.
At this point, you either need to confront him about it or get the hell out of dodge. Of course, I’d rather you go for the latter but I’m no dummy, I know you’re not there yet. So if you’re gonna attempt to deal with your partner’s controlling behavior the first thing that needs to happen is you need to stop engaging in it. For example, when he asks you to send him a picture of where you are, you don’t. In short K, you’ve got to stop reinforcing his negative behavior by bowing down to his ridiculous demands.
Along with that, I think you also need to ask him to go talk to a therapist to get to the root of his jealousy and control issues. In my opinion, that’s a non-negotiable. He needs to do the work and it’s not up to you to fix him.
Then you should also give yourself a realistic time frame for improvement. So let’s say if things aren’t a lot healthier within the next three months, then it’s time to call it a day. Let your friends in on this time limit so that they hold you accountable so that you don’t bail out.
Lastly, severely jealous behavior is one of the signs of an emotionally abusive partner, someone who is a half sweet talker and half maniacal control freak. Trust me, you don’t want be anywhere near someone like that.
Thanks for writing in and keep me posted! xx