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Question
Posted by: Confused | 2005/07/29

Jealousy

Hi there expert!

I feel very confused by my present state of mind at the moment. I met this wonderful man and we've been seeing each other for 7 months now. He is a very good-looking, slightly younger guy and this is where the problem comes in.

I feel very anxious during the day while we are at work and wonder what he is getting up to while at work. He works in an environment where there are lots of people are, especially gay men. He is quite new to town and he is trying very hard to fit in and make friends.
He has been very up-front and honest with me and told me that he has been given telephone numbers which he has phoned to connect with these guys (but purely on a friendship level) He does tell them that he has a boyfriend at the onset so they know where he stands in his relationship.
But still I get very jealous, even though I know he loves me and wouldn't do anything to hurt me, but it still freaks me out. Why do I feel so insecure about this? I know that the more I distrust him, the further I will push him away, but I just become so over-whelmed with jealousy and do some really irrational things, and don't think before I do them.
I'm a bit older than him, also a nice looking guy and have been through what he is going through now (ie. the attention from a lot of guys) and I know that the intentions of these guys is anything but honourable, let's be blunt and say they would like to sleep with him! He tells me that it is up to him how far these guys go with him and that he is only in it for the friendship and I should just trust him and stop pressuring him.
I do know that all that he has told me is the truth but yet I am still eaten away by jealousy. Please help!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGay, lesbian and bisexual expert

Hi Confused and thanks for your message, which raises several points...

Your relationship (which you describe as "...we've been seeing each other...") is still at an early stage, during which norms, values and trust need to be established. But it can be difficult to establish these significant elements of the relationship if there's no clear and shared understanding of what the relationship is all about. Are you "seeing each other", as in dating, or is there a shared understanding of commitment? Is this a monogamous relationship? A clear understanding of what this relationship means to each of you, in terms of boundaries and norms related to interacting with others, could help you feel more secure. In spite of your feeling confident of his loving you, you guys need to somehow get clarity on the boundaries of the relationship.

Jealousy implies insecurity, often related to a perception of powerlessness. Power dynamics can include material wealth, physical appearance, social skills or even one partner having a higher sense of individuality or independance than the other. Sometimes, age becomes a power dynamic. You seem to attach particular significance to the fact that he's younger than you, and that this could increase your risk of losing him. Maybe the problem isn't that he's younger than you - possibly the issue is that you're not comfortable with your own age and feel vulnerable in this regard.

Is it possible that you tend to over-value your partner, and under-value yourself? Your partner has chosen to be with you, not with anyone else. Appreciate that. In this light your jealousy may not be about him - it could be more about your own needs and issues.

Sometimes people act out their jealousy - and their own sense of inadequacy - by spying on a partner, stalking or 'checking up'. This isn't healthy for either partner and may indicate that a few sessions with a psychologist would be beneficial.


The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: s | 2005/08/01

s

Reply to s
Posted by: Sandy | 2005/07/29

I lived with a jealous partner for 18 months. She had no reason to be jealous at all - it really was all about her own hang-ups and issues. Get some help before you drive your partner crazy or away. Jealousy can be very destructive.

Reply to Sandy
Posted by: Angel | 2005/07/29

I agree with Eve - doing things together without losing your individuality can only add value to your relationship. I would not encourage a situation where one's ego is boosted by the attention of others to the detriment on the other. However, I would encourage you to explore why you have such feelings of insecurity and what are the triggers. if these are your own issues then I would urge you to confront them because this can also negatively impact your relationship. Sometimes people just have friendly personalities and you should value that in your partner. He may not have ulterior motive with his friendliness, but the other parties may have. Open, frank and honest communication arouns both sides would be critical at this moment.

Reply to Angel
Posted by: Eve | 2005/07/29

Hi Confused

I'm no expert, but I'm viewing this from my point of view and if it were me, I would make friends TOGETHER. I don't want to alarm you, but friends of mine had the same situation - one making "friends" alone...it didn't end well. If together, make friends together. Why the need for friends that the other one doesn't know about??

Good luck.

Reply to Eve

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