Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Guest Post: Jealousy. What’s a girl to do?

I am pumped to announce that today I am featuring my first ever Guest Blogger! But here's the twist -- we are keeping the author's name and location confidential! You will see why in her post. 

She is seeking YOUR advice, men and women alike, wherever you are out there in blog world. You all always have such great insight to share, so I hope you will lend your opinion to help "Confused 20-Something" out today.

First, thanks Katherine for letting me be an anonymous guest blogger and use your awesome audience as a sounding board. I’m sure others have encountered similar situations before. So let’s dive right in, shall we?

Like most of you, I’m a fairly average 20-something woman with a blossoming career who is struggling to figure out where she wants to go and what she wants to do with the rest of her life, all while trying to keep in touch with friends and stick to budget. Sounds familiar, right?

I also have a long-term boyfriend with whom I live. He and I found each other through a common interest and that’s helped us create a strong bond. We’ve been together almost a year, and living together for more than 6 months. Needless to say, it’s going well. But there’s something about this relationship that I’ve never encountered in past serious relationships: he is jealous.

For the first 6 months, I found this quality endearing. He kept it at bay with little comments here and there that made me feel special. He was afraid of losing me (after all, he is 40 and I’m in my mid 20's. That might be a concern of mine, too, if the shoes were on the other foot). It was cute.

Well, as you can imagine, there have been moments in the recent past where it’s not so “cute” anymore. In fact, instead of getting upset with the men who make comments or come on to me in front of him, he saves it till later and gets frustrated with me. Lately, he’s been having trouble with my spending time with or even talking to male friends that I’ve had since college, or even high school.

Needless to say, I’m dumbfounded. I’ve tried “putting myself in his shoes” but I don’t necessarily understand because I’m not the jealous type myself. Especially with long time friends. I’ve always had this theory that no man should ever come between me and the friends I had before he came along, nor would I ever want that to happen with friends of his. But slowly I’m starting to see that happening to me.

Friends have said in the past that jealousy never goes away; this person will always be this way, though I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. If I can prove to them that I am loyal and honest, eventually they won’t feel this way – or at least, the snotty behavior will end. Right?

Now, I’m not one to run to my friends and be all like “OMG, my boyfriend is a crazy jealous dude, what do I do?” -- because let’s be honest here, your friends are always going to side with you. They know you best. They love you. They want to see you happy. They’re going to tell you what they think is best for you, regardless of the true actions of the other person. Same with family. So when it comes to advice of this matter, I think strangers provide the most honest, objective insight of all.

So let’s hear it y’all. Who has encountered this before? Anyone ever successfully break their significant other of jealous tendencies, or does it usually end up blowing up in your face?

Or, is it YOU that’s the jealous one? Maybe you can provide me a little insight into your envious ways.

Thanks for listening!
Confused 20-Something


Anonymous said...

as a girl who would label herself as 'cautious' (not so much jealous, but having been given reasons to be, just acutely aware), I will say that jealous *can* be wanned down through time and trust.
BUT you are in a precarious situation in that your signifigant other has said generational gap with you. There are a lot of factors outside of the jealousy that you haven't addressed. Has has been married/engaged before? Has an ex cheated on him (thus making him more likely to suspect)? What was his childhood like? (ie, did he have a cheating parent, etc.).

There are a lot of outside influences that will affect a person's ability to trust in general, more than their ability to change. Examine all these factors before progressing.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Whether the root cause is something that happened in the past (with you or someone else) or his own insecurities, the fact of the matter is that he doesn't trust you. And to be honest, I don't think it's possible to completely regain someone's trust. Maybe you can get him to lay off on the comments and other tendencies, but he'll probably always be jealous.

Now whether or not you can live with that is a question you have to answer for yourself.

Anonymous said...

That's guys - I am the anonymous blogger who wrote this post :).

To elaborate a bit, he comes from a family very much like mine, his parents are still together and very much in love. I couldn't image either has ever cheated in the past. He has never been married or engaged, he's been holding off for the right one, spending most of his 20s and 30s with his hobbies and goofing off with his friends. He has been cheated on before, which is another one of those areas where I'm confused, because I've never been cheated on (to my knowledge). Though he personally has never cheated on any of his past girlfriends and I too have always been loyal.

Hopefully you're right, with more time - especially in those times where I push back and tell him that I'm going to spend time with my friends and that he's always welcome to join us - he'll come to understand.

Thanks for the opinions!!

Unknown said...

You all rock with your feedback for our gal! Keep it coming!! :)

SpitFire said...

I had a string of guys like this unfortunately. My first fiance actually told me I could only be involved int the music industry if my contacts were all female. Then I got married...my husband was a piece of work. He would alienate me from my friends out of jealousy, but he would get me dress in very..tacky ways and parade me in front of his buddies. Then I had a boyfriend who shoved me into the wall for having a male friend online. I'm proud to say I'm jealous-man free. My husband is protective, but not jealous.

Confused 20-something said...

Hi SpitFire - wow, you did have quite the string of men, huh! Thanks for sharing your story, makes me realize that a little crankiness isn't so bad after all. What kind of things does your husband now do that lets you know he's protective but not overly jealous?

Anonymous said...

In my experience jealousy tends to come from insecurity. Maybe the relationship is moving too fast and his head is spinning, maybe it's the age difference, maybe it's something else we'll never guess. Letting go of those insecurities, and thus the jealousy, is something he has to come to in his own time - you can help him along but you can't force him into it. The question is what's it going to take and how long are you willing to wait (and how much are you willing to put up with along the way)?

SalKadri said...

Please take this fatherly advise who has been happily married for 27 years and has a bright 24 year old daughter. Get out of this relationship! Studies have shown that all abusive men share characteristic of being very insecure. I'm not implying that every insecure man becomes abusive, but why take that chance? You are a bright young woman who deserves a confident man who will love you as well as respect you. Please don't fall in to that trap of thinking that you will slowly change this man. You will NOT change him! Please don't settle, reach for someone who truly deserves you.

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