How to Strengthen Your Relationship/Jealous bf

Advertisement


Question
Hello,

I have been dating my boyfriend for exactly one year now. He's 22 and I'm 21. The past 5ish months he's been getting ridiculously and irrationally jealous, insecure, and indirectly controlling. After a couple weeks of this, he admitted to me that he cheated on me 3 months after we started dating officially. Around that same time, I would go days without hearing from him and he was all around a sh*tty boyfriend for a couple months. The girl he cheated on me with was a random girl at a party whose last name/number he still doesn't know and he hasn't seen or contacted her since.

But anyways, he regrets it an unbelievable amount. He said that at the beginning of our relationship he didn't really take it seriously and still wanted that "single" lifestyle without actually being single. Now, he's fallen in love with me and doesn't want to lose me. I know he loves me and has made an effort to show me that he would never do it again. I trust him. But he doesn't fully trust me. After what he did, he's terrified that I'm gonna do the same thing to him, since it was so easy for him to do in the past and he worries that I'm going to cheat on him out of revenge. Which I've told him so many times that I would never do. What he did has made him insecure and he will ask me a million questions about something I'm doing, sometimes even if it's just me going to class or something. And when I do something that he can possibly get insecure about, like going out with friends, his entire attitude will change and then deny that anything's wrong. He'll admit it later, but in the moment he'll say that he's fine even when he's CLEARLY not, which frustrates me even more and makes me feel like the bad guy for "accusing" him of acting weird. I'm in college, and a lot of guys hit on me and he knows it, but I never flirt back or even respond to guys so he has nothing to worry about. It just makes me feel uptight around him, like if I say the "wrong" thing it'll make him suspicious and cause a problem. I've stopped going out as much to avoid his attitude changes/questions. He's never directly told me to not do something, but his actions and tone and everything makes me want t just avoid doing certain things that I know will "trigger" his jealous thoughts. He's never been abusive nor has he ever directly ACCUSED me of anything. It's just how his tone and mood changes, like I said. We've had countless fights about it and it's been better at times and worse at times. It's made me start to resent him, and I don't want that because I do love him so much, and I know how wonderful of a person he is when he's not having these jealous thoughts.

I want to save our relationship because we have SO much fun when we're together (we're long distance, he lives about an hour and a half away and we see each other 1-2 times a week on our off days). Is this relationship worth saving, and if so, how? I've proved to him so many times that I love him and that he can trust me, but that only goes so far :( please please help me. Thanks so much x

Answer
Hi Sarah!

If this were a couple's therapy session, and the two of you had brought this up in our session, I would thank him for his honest sharing about his issue.  It sounds like you are walking on eggshells, so to speak, and it cannot be this way if the relationship is to grow and flourish.  I am sure I would suggest for him to consider individual sessions to address more about his jealousy and perhaps deeper issues (a la my hunch about how other, even past issues) may be affecting him.  I would educate him about his behavior in this relationship is not healthy and actually pushing you away.  I think you need to be firm in telling him how his behavior is a problem and not helping the relationship.  I believe he needs to hear this from someone else and I urge you both to address this in counseling.  Please get that support Sarah

How to Strengthen Your Relationship

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Stuart A. Kaplowitz, MFT

Expertise

how to help relationship. How to address issues within relationship......I am pretty open here

Experience

20th year in the field. Managed and directed clinical programs. Now, I work out of my own office as well as supervise counselors

Organizations
California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists

Publications
The California Therapist

Education/Credentials
B.A. Psychology M.S. Counseling Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

Awards and Honors
Hero of the Heart - Covina Valley USD

Past/Present Clients
I work with individuals, couples, families and children

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.