I’m in love with my boyfriend, but he is very jealous and insecure. We’ve been going out for almost a year now, and I’ve never cheated on him, or even been attracted to anyone else but him. At first I honestly thought it was cute, but now it’s just getting ridiculous. He doesn't like me hanging out with my guy friends, and he’s jealous of my best friend, who is gay by the way. He sulks a lot when I go out all dressed up because he's under the impression that I'm gonna go out and flirt with other guys, he calls me a lot to ask where I am and who I'm with… I really love him, and want to keep things going between us, but I need him to believe that, and trust me. Do you have any advice for me on how to reassure him? Thanks, N.
Everybody has pangs of jealousy - that’s normal - but it sounds like your man is dealing with some deep rooted self-esteem issues, because that my friend, is where jealousy is born. And as I'm sure you've figured out by now, jealousy has another cheap disguise - control. And N, a controlling relationship is an unhappy relationship. Trust.
So first things first, stop reinforcing his behavior which means you have to stop feeding into it. Every time you comfort him or try to reassure him that you’re not doing anything “bad”, you’re actually engaging his crappy, negative behavior. So for example, the next time he starts pouting or getting grumpy when you go out, don’t ask him if he’s okay and do NOT change your plans and not go out.
The next thing is to lay down some rules. The first rule is that he is not allowed to pick or choose who you hang out with. So you need to tell him straight up that these are your friends and you don’t want to hear another peep about it. The other important rule is that if he wants to be in a relationship with you then he needs to work his jealousy issues out. So whether he wants to crack open a self-help book or go talk to a therapist is up to him, but he needs to do something proactive about it.
N, you’ll know pretty quickly what his reaction is to all of this, and from there you will need to make some decisions. I really hope that he values himself, and the relationship enough to put in the work, but if not, you need to pack it up and call it a day.
Keep me posted and let me know how it all unfolds. xx