6

So I have been in a relationship with my girlfriend for almost a year now and I've come to a point where I need to think about how jealous she is and if it's a natural amount of jealousy.

So, for example, I have a friend and we meet up with some girls every so often because we're all good friends. My girlfriend however has some kind of delusional mind in which she thinks every girl I talk with that isn't one of her friends must be promiscuous and therefore might be out get me.

I have told her thousands of times that those girls are not into me, and that there are not many if any girls into me frankly, but she doesn't believe me if I tell her that even if they are I won't do anything unfaithful. Basically she doesn't seem to trust any girls that she doesn't "verify" herself. This is pretty problematic because she then tells me that her jealousy supposedly should lessen if were to text her whenever I am with other girls. In my mind that sounds kinda crazy and unnatural, that I would have to text her when I'm with other people in order for her to know that I think about her.

I'd think that she should know that nonetheless because I tell her a lot already. I'm not the kind of person who whips out his phone when I'm with other people, because that's kinda rude in my eyes. So I'm in a dilemma, because I basically can't hang out with my friends or any girl frankly without my girlfriend getting jealous.

She is already here a lot -- and I mean a lot -- of my free time (and I don't mind that), but I'd really think that if I'm with other girls, then that shouldn't be a problem because she says she knows I'm faithful, yet it doesn't feel like she does know that for me, which is quite depressing for me because I really try hard.

I really like her, but I should be able to do things on my own without having to tell my girlfriend I think about her. I know I have to tell her somehow, but she will always go into a very defensive position, basically playing the victim when I try.

What I want to tell her is that I think it is not a solution for me to have to tell her that I think about her when I'm out with other friends. How can I talk with my girlfriend about her jealousy?

  • We can't answer whether or not your girlfriend is "too jealous", that's for you to decide. We might be able to help you with how to communicate your feelings or wants, but can you edit your question to reflect a bit on what exactly you want to tell her? (Also, using a real name for these kinds of personal questions isn't always a good idea.) – Erik Jun 14 at 10:22
  • You should also include what you have tried saying in the past since it seems you've have several conversations with her already. – Lux Claridge Jun 14 at 11:17
  • While we have had this conversation already in the past most of the time I'd just say sure I'll do X more or sure I'll do Y less because like I said she is very defensive and I wasn't trying to get into a fight – Yvalson Dronkers Jun 14 at 11:24
13

I think there are a couple problems here in the way you are been talking to your girlfriend about her jealousy.

First, there seems to be a bit of a communication issue. When you say "None of these girls are into me", your girlfriend hears, not entirely unreasonably, "Fortunately, none of these girls are into me, otherwise I would be tempted to cheat on you." When you tell her "not many girls are into me" that also rings very false to her because she obviously thinks you are a good enough catch to be jealous over! (Kind of flattering, right?) I think you are unintentionally placing a lot of emphasis on the idea that you don't currently have a really good opportunity to be unfaithful, and that is sending a wrong message that feeds her insecurity, although it's really not what you mean to express.

When you talk about how you spend time with other girls, it might help if you leave their qualities/interest in you/behavior out of it. This conversation is really about you and your girlfriend, and not anyone else. Even if the girls are interested in you, or even if they are promiscuous or regardless of how they think or behave, that doesn't matter because you are in charge of your own actions and have decided to be faithful. That's what you should focus on as far as trying to reassure her. Words like, "I made a commitment to you, and I care about keeping my promises to you" tell her a lot more about why she should feel confidant in your relationship and your character compared to, "Not many girls are into me". In cases where I or my partner have been jealous, a direct affirmation of our commitment has gone a long way to soothing the insecurity and jealousy.

Secondly, you might what to revisit what happened when your girlfriend brought up texting. If texting while you are with friends is something you are not willing to do, that's a perfectly reasonable position to hold and you are well within your rights to tell your girlfriend so. You can set a boundary around not using your phone when you are with friends if that's what you want, but do it because you need phone-free time with friends or you want to avoid being rude (or whatever your need is around this), and NOT because she is delusional/crazy/unnatural. When your partner says, "I need this from you to feel more secure in our relationship" the response, "That's crazy and I shouldn't have to do it" is not constructive, and even a bit unkind.

Of course, this is not to say that you are the bad guy in all this and your girlfriend's behavior is fine! Spending time with your friends without your partner being excessively jealous, suspicious or untrusting is a really reasonable thing to expect in a relationship.

It is definitely discouraging when someone you care about seems to hold a deep belief that you are just waiting for the opportunity to be unfaithful to them, and this is definitely something you should talk about with her, and an area where it's fair to expect her to change her attitude.

Either way, any conversation where one person starts from the position, "I don't have to change at all, there's something wrong with YOU" is likely to go badly. Starting with a focus on your own needs and feelings is usually a better way to start. I try to use this pattern when I have to have a tense or difficult conversation with someone I care about, and it generally leads to some kind of positive compromise. In this case, you may say that you feel sad that she doesn't treat you as a trustworthy person and you need to be able to spend time with your friends and have your own social life (or whatever better describes your situation), and that you need her to extend a little more trust in you and stop making accusations about you being unfaithful.

Then ask her what she feels about the situation and what she needs. My guess is that her feelings are going to be one of more of the following: left out of your life, lonely, less important than your friends, scared of losing you, forgotten, insecure about her worthiness in your eyes. Whatever her feelings, they may not make sense to you, but that doesn't make her wrong or crazy. What she needs might be to feel included with your friends, reassurance, or something else.

Then, you can ask her to work with you to find a way to meet both of your needs. Maybe she really just needs to be told that she's your number one more often. Maybe you can send her a text once as you're on the way home from seeing friends, but not plan to chat the whole time. It's less about finding a way to make her stop being jealous, and very much about working together so that you both have your needs in the relationship met in a reasonable way.

3

This may be a somewhat controversial answer despite the fact that your question, in its current form, is too broad.

More often than not jealousy in a relationship is indicative of the jealous individual* (her in this case) and not the other partner (you). It sounds like she is insecure about something and she should do some soul searching to figure that out because it's likely that this will carry over into other relationships should yours fail (hopefully it won't). Her cause for her insecurity can come from a lot of sources. Perhaps the ladies you're spending time with are, in her mind, more attractive than your girlfriend. Perhaps she's had a partner in the past ditch her for another woman friend. Maybe the relationship is still too young for her and she doesn't feel secure about the permanence of the relationship itself. Perhaps you've said something that was innocuous to you but raised flags for her. The point is that she should really dig to the root cause.

But you're not in the clear either. Being her partner you should support her in her growth. When you say that you'll never be unfaithful, you're really just slapping a bandaid on the problem. Clearly that hasn't helped, so a different conversation is needed. It seems that you understand this since you're asking this question. Communication is key especially when jealousy is involved because communication clears the air. Without it, the jealousy festers. You say in a comment that you're worried about her getting defensive and getting into a fight. To me it sounds like you say what you think she needs/wants to hear to get past a hiccup in the relationship. Sounds like you could benefit from a purposeful conversation to get the two of you on the same page. If that develops into a fight, so be it. At least there will be some talking being done instead of stifling the communication. Though, do stop when things get heated and take a break for everyone to cool down.

You could try sitting her down when you're both in a calm mood and haven't just talked about her jealousy. Explain that you want to have an open and honest discussion and that you promise to listen to her and to be honest. That you want her to be open and upfront so that you both know and understand what her concerns are. Even if she's stated them in the past, it'd be good to hear them again.

Explain your part. That you're concerned about the jealousy she feels and that you seem to be unable to assuage those feelings. That you want to overcome this together for the sake of the relationship. That you care about her and want to strengthen the relationship. Then ask her "When you say [insert her typical jealousy statement], where does that come from?" Be sure that your tone is not accusatory, but soft.

Then listen. When she's done speaking, parrot some her statements back to her. That way, she knows that you heard her AND you get to hear her concerns again. Then try to figure out how you can help her get past her insecurities. Actions speak louder than words as they say.

I also recommend the occasional check-in. (I think it's good for every relationship.) Every so often like, weekly or monthly or something, broach the subject. Ask her how things are going. If she's had any concerns come up. You can tell her yours too. This is a good time to calibrate the relationship. The point isn't to accuse or call out, but to hear each other's feelings about the relationship.

While jealousy wasn't a part of my relationship with girlfriend, my girlfriend and I did commit to having open and honest communication and occasionally check-in with each other. It was super helpful in the beginning stages since we had our own hiccups to deal with. I was in a bad place early on in our relationship and wasn't sure if I should continue the relationship at all. Over the years our relationship has grown strong and we don't find the need to have these conversations as often.

In regards to texting her, and this may just be my opinion, but I think shooting her a text is a great gesture and has little cost to you. You're right, being on your phone when hanging out with others is rude. However, sending a "Thinking of you text" takes like 10 seconds. I think you're friends can forgive you. I'd recommend not even telling her that you will send those kinds of texts, just do it. You know she appreciates it already and it will be all the more meaningful for her for not announcing it.


* That's not to say that jealousy is always unwarranted. If the current SO has a past with infidelity, then jealousy from the jealous partner makes sense.

  • Thank for the response I have already tried helping her with the jealousy aka my example of doing things more or less etc... But I'll try that more. I'll also try to talk about that more – Yvalson Dronkers Jun 14 at 13:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.