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how can i resolve my jealousy ?
February 9, 2004
5:22 am
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chives
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hi. i'm new to this website and i'm in need of some advice on codependency.

i'm in a 6-month relationship with a wonderful man, and i'm battling with issues of possessiveness. since we started going out he had to renounce his female friends becos i got furiously jealous whenever they called/send him text on his mobile. i was about to call it quits, but he chose to break up with his lady friends so he can stay with me.

things are going pretty well right now while i'm the center of his attention, but beneath the surface i'm worried about myself. he's a good-looking charming guy and most ladies are drawn to him. how do i fix things within myself so that i dont boil with anger whenever some female befriends him ?

February 9, 2004
8:13 am
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Iolanthe
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Hi Chives

I'm pretty new to this site too. I've been in a relationship for 3years and it was tough, in terms of my codependant nature-very similar to what you are describing. "letting go" is the key phrase. It does not mean to let go of the relationship, it merely means to concentrate on your actions and or words-to think twice before you act. It sounds like you have a low self-esteem and doubt your own inner beauty-Your man is attracted to you for a reason. It is not justifiable why he should give up his friends especially when you should not be threatened by them-he chose you.Get hold of Melody Beattie's book, Codependant no more. It changed my outlook and forced me to look deeper at myself-maybe it could eleviate a lot of the burden you are carrying.
Love
I

February 9, 2004
11:36 am
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Anonymous
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Chives- I can see where it is hard to have a partner who has friends of the opposite sex, but trust is the question. Do you trust him? Because if you did trust him, it would seem like you would trust that his female friends are just friends. I had a guy do that to me once, he got so jealous over me having guy friends, and so I gave up those friends, and in the end I ended up resenting him, because he couldn't trust me. You will have to try to trust him, and if you can't then why are you with him?

February 9, 2004
12:42 pm
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acj
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Hi--

I had this issue with my ex chatting on line with his female friends. Normally, I am NOT a jealous person. But in this instance, and I realize this now, I was jealous because he was not treating these girls like a typical friend. His other friends I'd met and he told me about conversations he'd had with them. He would NOT tell me about the conversations he had with the girls online and got defensive when I asked what they talked about. He also would not let me meet them. He said it would be "awkward".... I know now that he was hiding something and I had every right to be jealous. I also discovered that you can be jealous with someone you don't even love.

I'm not saying any of this applies to you, but it should give you something to consider...I think as long as a guy is REALLY FRIENDS with a female that everything is okay. But when he acts differently with female friends than with male friends or doesn't keep the lines of communication open so that you have a grasp of what is being talked about, then there is a reason to be jealous and to doubt his intentions.... I told my ex that I was jealous and that I didn't know why. He told me straight out that he would not stop talking to the girls on the internet. I told him I wasn't expecting that but that I would like to know what is being talked about. He skirted the subject. That told me everything. He disregarded my feelings, point blank, and chose his "friends" over me. I left him three days later after I got up the nerve...

acj

February 9, 2004
1:07 pm
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gingerleigh
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Does he have any male friends that he corresponds with? Or just other females? I used to feel that way with an ex of mine, and it turns out my fears were well-founded. He was sleeping with all of them while we were in a long distance relationship, claiming that he loved me. Imagine my surprise when he announced to me after about 6 months "I've decided that I want to be exclusive with you, so I had to call up Tami, Sue, Ling Ling, Jenny and Alexandra to tell them I couldn't sleep with them any more." My jaw just dropped. In retrospect, that should have sent me running, but I just assumed it was my fault for not being more understanding, or that maybe we had a miscommunication on what being "in love" meant or what "exclusivity" meant.

But, that's just my experience. Your guy might not be a total dog 🙂 If you are jealous, you might merely be overreacting, as opposed to just responding to something that really doesn't sit right with you. Just something to think about.

February 9, 2004
1:31 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Chives, you wrote:

You do have the right to negotiate a monogamous relationship with this man. You do not have the right to coerce him to renounde friendships, whether with men or with women.

In advising women as to whether they are in an abusive, or potentially abusive relationship, two of the big warning signs are 1) Does your partner express intense or innappropriate jealousy, especially early in the relationship, and

2) Does your partner isolate you from friends, family, and other support.

The fact that you were so jealous, so early, suggests that your problem with jealousy is just that--your problem.

You don't want to poison your relationship and punish him for your issues, do you?

February 10, 2004
3:42 am
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chives
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This is actually the first time I have behaved in this manner in a relationship. My past bf's tended to have more close friendships with other guys than with girls, so I never had this problem before.

I also have friends of the opposite gender. But the way I relate with my guy friends is different from the way my beau related with his fem friends. I always set boundaries when dealing with guys, so that their gf's do not perceive me as a potential threat, and also so that those guys don't get to think I fancy them.

For instance, I would never call any one of them up at 11pm to sob my heart out over some problem I’m experiencing, unlike my bf's fem friends. And I never sent them mushy text messages telling them how much they mean to me - I only send them inspirational quotes. Now & then, I would go out for coffee with one of my boys, and we tend to discuss the economy, art, politics, our careers, rather than more personal things. For the record, my bf knows about my guy friends, and he doesn’t have beef with them.

Now, I would not have had a problem if his friendships were similar. But his lady friends seemed to need him in ways that made me feel uncomfortable. He was single & unattached for a while before he met me, so he developed close friendships with them, being there when they need someone to talk to etc.

During our times of conflict when I wanted out of the relationship, he explained that his friendships with women are something he grew up with. For unknown reasons, when he was growing up he was always rejected by other guys, he was never accepted as 'one of the boys' and he was regarded as a 'sissy'. So he forged friendships with girls, since they were not hostile towards him. Currently he has 2 male friends that he occasionally hangs out with. Other than that, he comes from a close-knit extended family, so he's got plenty of cousins that he's close to.

My background is somewhat similar to his, in terms of friendships. I’ve always wished to have close friendships with other women, but they never reciprocate. I’m always the one who does the calling, the emailing, inviting the other person out etc, but it’s a one-way street. The only friend I had who was equally keen about me died from a car-crash last year. So I tend to have practical, and yet shallow friendships with guys. Fortunately, an exclusive relationship always meets my needs for intimacy and companionship.

I’m getting to trust him more, esp. since there are no 3rd parties disturbing our peace. I’m happy about the way things are, and would like it if nothing changes - i.e. if he remains without female friends. I know this is a sick and unrealistic expectation, and I would like to change. I’ll search for that book on Co-dependency. Thanks.

February 10, 2004
4:36 am
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Zinnie
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Hi Chives,

I guess I have to ask how would you feel if he told you to "break up" with your men friends?

If you trust him, and you feel that there is honestly nothing going on, then trust him. Have you tried making friends with these women?

We have a really good friend of ours, been friends with us for ten years. She and I used to work together, even followed each other from one company to another. She loves to shoot shotguns. My husband is a firearms instructor (among other things), and they enjoy going to the range, and have also entered and won many coed shooting competitions. I could not hit the broad side of a barn, and truthfully have no interest in firearms. Enter the other facet of the equation. She is gorgeous. I'm talking Halle Berry gorgeous. I'm going through chemo, and steriods, and look like a pumpkin.

So I will admit that I acutally had a little flash of jealousy for just a minute the last time he called her to invite her to this last big shoot... and we have been married for 13 years. But then I have to look at the reality of the situation. She is my friend as well as his, and she loves me as much as I love her - she has really been a good friend to me. But bottom line, I trust my husband and any time the two of them talk or have anything to do with each other I generally hear about it twice, once from her and from him as well.

Is there a reason you don't trust him? Also, if you want to be a long term relationship perhaps you need to learn about and meet his friends, all of them. Who knows, you might just make some new friends yourself.

Love,

Zinnie

February 10, 2004
9:54 am
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acj
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Chives:

Your situation sounds so similar to the situation I just got out of. My ex was getting an ego boost from "helping" the girls on the internet.

I wouldn't tolerate this....So, I left him. But only you can make this decision. Just make sure you aren't letting your jealousy keep you in a demeaning relationship. You aren't being paranoid. And you DON'T have to tolerate this. But if he won't at least try to help you feel better and reassure you, I would consider the fate of the relationship.

acj

February 10, 2004
10:19 am
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artist 2
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Hi Chives. Trust is an issue. But in my experience to gain trust, I have had to feel pretty secure in myself first. Trust transcends the feeling of "What if he looses interest?" If I have my shit together, then I'm not going to fall apart if he leaves.

Of course, this me my independent self speaking. If you've read any of my posts, then you'll see that I have had an extremely hard time with my BF.

So, with experience, I can say that the only time it has been easy is when I've got it together.

With goodlooking charming men, their women have to be REALLY secure inthemselves. Men like that don't want to have to take care of you or have to reassure you. they are used to women always pursuing them and have no idea, really, of how to take care of any one. Besides, I don't think they want to. It's too hard.

February 10, 2004
11:25 am
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Chives,

Did it ever occur to you that perhaps your BF's friends were a source of love, support and help to him, and that he needed them?

February 10, 2004
11:31 am
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Zinnie
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Excellent point WD.

ACJ - I totally understand where you are coming from... if my husband did not share what was going on, with whom and always invite me - of course I would be suspicious too. Like I said, I always hear about it twice and am invited. But... (well I know you cannot see me) can you honestly imagine me out on a shot-gun range?

Seriously Chives, have you given any thought to the above?

Love,

Z.

February 10, 2004
2:40 pm
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gingerleigh
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I don't know, something just doesn't ring "true" for me here that his relationship with the ladies is platonic. Being a woman myself and knowing how I interact with men, I do treat the men I am merely friends with much differently from those I have a fancy for. I used to have a very close friendship with a guy, and neither of us were dating anyone else, so sure, there were the Friday night "date" nights, which usually happened when neither of us could find a date for that night. And there were the 1am phone calls where he would give me a rundown of his latest dating disaster, and vice versa. But all of that stopped when he met a girl that he really liked. I felt the change, and that was OK with me. I still hung out with both of them, and truthfully I stay in better touch with her now than I do with him. Things got even "shallower" between us when I started dating someone special.

These girls would not be doing this if he were giving off "taken" vibes. I think that telling him to break off friendships is not the way to go. But I think he might be not ready for the level of commitment you are looking for. If that's the case, you might want to look elsewhere for someone who is ready for the same level of intimacy that you are. That's your thing, and it's OK to feel that way. It's not OK to force someone else to change so that you can get your needs met. Do you see the difference?

February 10, 2004
3:19 pm
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Look, men and women are different. My relationships with my male friends ARE different than my relationships with my male friends. Most, but not all of my male friends are emotionally defended and relatively hard to talk to about feelings and intimate issues. Most, but not all of my male friends are not the people whose shoulders I cry on, who give me hugs when I need them. Women are, for the most part, warmer and fuzzier than men.

And with my female friends, there are just some things I can't talk about. Like the insane jealousy and possessiveness of women, for example. Or that new movie with lots of cars chases in it. The men in my life, are, on the whole, also better at giving backrubs--not because they are more sensitive, per-se, but just because they have stronger hands.

As far as letting you know the details of conversations--there IS a such a thing as privacy, you know.

Finally, Jealousy is THE classic sign of an abusive relationship. Love is notjealous, or grasping, or controlling. The human heart is not just a piece of meat to be divided into smaller and smaller portions until nothing remains but a greasy smaear on the counter, to be wiped away with a rag.

Ooh, poetry!

February 10, 2004
7:10 pm
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i agree with all of u on this issue at hand jelous is no way to have a relationship i should know if a man isnt willing to date u exclusively then u dont need to be with him and if u cant trust him its better to let go and meet someone u can trust

February 11, 2004
6:41 am
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chives
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WD - I fully agree what you said about love not being jealous, and that is the main reason I am seeking for help. Essentially, I would like to stamp out the element of jealousy from my life, since it is such a negative trait. Please would you post details on how to do that. I always have control over my anger, impatience and irritability. But jealousy tends to take over swiftly and unexpectedly.. and its intensely painful.

Gingerleigh - I get the diffrence. But he's already left the girls. I was a bit worried about the choice he made to end it with them, but he told me that he doesn't really need those friends. Yes,it makes me feel unsettled that he had to re-adjust his social circle becos of me - but at the end of the day, he is doing it out of free-will : I presented to him the option of going our separate ways, but he wasn't keen on that.

February 11, 2004
9:24 am
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acj
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Well, if he's done that for you, that is a definite good sign. Why are you still jealous? I would be proud to be with him (as long as you aren't with him as a trophy guy) and hold your head high when other women look at him and he's charming. Just remember who he goes home with and spends his free time with.........

acj

February 11, 2004
11:10 am
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Chives, you wrote:

"but at the end of the day, he is doing it out of free-will : I presented to him the option of going our separate ways, but he wasn't keen on that."

So he did not renounce his friends out of "free will" but because you coerced him into it by threatening to leave--heck of a power move.

In essence, you said to him "If you do not do diminish yourself then I won't love you anymore."

Another classic abusive tactic is to ISOLATE one's partner from friends and family.

Here's my best guess....You still have not quite made the leap to wanting intimate relationships to be based on mutual respect, interest in what's best for each other, and authentic personal power. Therefore you are stuck in using power-plays to get what you want. That way loneliness lies.

Perhaps in your childhood you experienced unstable relationships, probably with your parents. Perhaps one or both of them was emotionally unavailable. In some way you may have felt abandoned, and you transfer that fear of abandonment to current relationships.

Question: Is your story one of stormy, turbulent, intense, short-lived realtionships?

My guess is that you need to first understand that your jealousy really has nothing to do with your partner or your realtionship, but is, instaed and emotional pattern from your childhood. Therapy might be called for.

February 11, 2004
11:14 am
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Worried Dad, I think you might be projecting a little of your personal experiences onto this particular situation. We all do in a way. But you might want to do a quick checkpoint with yourself on it and see if that might be the case.

February 11, 2004
11:50 am
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gingerleigh wrote:

"Worried Dad, I think you might be projecting.."

Naw, this is just what I read about it--no psychotherapist, I. Just guessing, and fishing, thus the question.

gingerleigh, Do you really think that "Dump your friends or I walk" doesn't constitute coercion and a power move? Doesn't constitute isolation? The DV educational literature seems to all attribute jealousy to "insecurity," and the BPD literature attributes it to fear of abandonment.

I have read nothing anywhere ever that describes jealousy as healthy adaptive response. Have you?

As best I can tell, you seem to be looking to explain chive's jealousy as a justified and justifiable thing, correct?

I think we have the right to negotiate monogamy with our partners. That does not give us the right to choose their friends for them.

February 11, 2004
12:31 pm
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gingerleigh
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I fully agree that we shouldn't be choosing our partners' friends for them. With you so far there. But what is going on here sounds a little different from "friendship". That is the distinction that I'm trying to make. There is a huge difference between girl friends that a guy has who he meets for coffee every once in a while and a girl friend who calls him late at night with her latest sob story when she knows full well that he has a girlfriend. I KNOW that men and women are different. I'm talking about what *women* do here. And women who are interested in friendship only do not do these things. Chives' boyfriend may just be oblivious and might not realize what these women are doing. Or, he might secretly realize it, deny any awareness, and secretly get off on all the attention he gets. Only Chives and her boyfriend really know what the more accurate story is.

"Dump your friends or I walk." That's not exactly what Chives was saying and if you'll read more closely, you'll see that. More like "Dump your girls you keep around to boost your ego or I walk." Which yes, I see that as justifiable. He then chose to dump them, and be with her. If those girls were anything other than an ego boost for him, I doubt that would have been the choice he made, no? Also, I don't see anywhere in the above posts that Chives is isolating him from other family and friends, or did I miss something?

Chives states earlier that this is the first time she has behaved this way in a relationship. I'm not saying that uncontrolled jealousy is justifiable. However, her reaction to this could be telling her that something just isn't sitting right. Had it occured to you that her gut instinct might be right? Just because jealousy is listed as a symptom of an abusive partner doesn't necessarily mean that is what is going on here. Coughing is also a symptom of pneumonia, is it not? But then again, it might just be a cold, or even allergies, right?

February 11, 2004
1:07 pm
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Chives wrote:

"he had to renounce his female friends becos i got furiously jealous whenever they called/send him text on his mobile. i was about to call it quits, but he chose to break up with his lady friends so he can stay with me."

AND

"he had to re-adjust his social circle becos of me"

"I presented to him the option of going our separate ways, but he wasn't keen on that"

That sounds like coercion to me.

AND

"So I tend to have practical, and yet shallow friendships with guys."

AND

"Now, I would not have had a problem if his friendships were similar."

AND

"Fortunately, an exclusive relationship always meets my needs for intimacy and companionship."

In other words, chives has almost no deep relationships with women, chooses shallow relationships with men, except for THE ONE who is expected to meet ALL her needs for intimacy and companionship. She is under the illusion that one person can do that. That speaks of a stunted idea of what intimacy and friendship are all about.

Also, she objected to his other friendships because they were not " practical, yet shallow." In other words, she objected to him having affectionate, heartfelt relationships that met emotional needs for everyone involved.

When I need to cry at someone at 1 am, I want someone who I feel close to--and it is not always going to be my lover.

gingerleigh wrote: "And women who are interested in friendship only do not do these things."

To which I respond: That is the mental model that got chives into conflict with her bf in the first place.

If chive's boyfriend has promised to be sexually monogamous with her--that should be the end of it until and unless she has some real evidence of infidelity. The mere existence of close, loving relationships with women that are entirely separate from and protected and boundaried from his relationship with chives does not per-se constitute evidence of infidelity.

February 11, 2004
1:09 pm
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Oh, I almost forgot...

Also, she objected to his other friendships because they were not " practical, yet shallow." In other words, she objected to him having affectionate, heartfelt relationships that met emotional needs for everyone involved.

That is isolation.

February 11, 2004
1:13 pm
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One last thing....

Yes, negotiate monogamy, yes, dump your unfaithful lover...but keep in mind that there is quite a bit of psychological, philosophical, and religious literature suggesting that "jealousy" is a sickness, at all times and in all circumstances. A sickness to be prevented if possible, and cured, if not.

February 11, 2004
1:46 pm
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chives
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WD- thanks once again for your valued input.altho i must admit, i do not necessarily isolate him from close friendships generally - its only those flirtatious lady friends of his that bothered me. at the moment i cannot afford therapy, but i'm looking for that book on Co-dependency that someone recommended. i was brought up by a domineering alcoholic dad, so that kind of childhood must have left me with inner issues that need to be addressed.

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