February 12, 2007 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
The question I have is regarding jealousy in a relationship. I'm 24 and my boyfriend is 26. Our relationship was amazing in the beginning. We both shared the same goals, values, and interests. We both have no children and have never been married but we want to get married and have kids together and soon; however, he tends to be more and more jealous and possessive as time goes on.
I have given him no reason at all to not trust me but that 's the biggest issue that we argue about every week. Men do seem to be attracted to me and often flirt even in front of him, so I guess he thinks that I will one day cheat on him because of all the temptation. If I'm not with him I give explanations on what, where, and who I'm with.
There are so many other positive things about our relationship that often balance out the negativity of the trust issue. . . but I don't know how to solve this issue. I have showed him that he can trust me in 101 ways, but that doesn't seeem like enough? Will he ever trust me? What can I do? Should we go to therapy?
I do love him and do want to work things out because we are good together. Please advice I would really appreciate it.
If you've been reading my columns for a while or you've read my book, you know that all relationship woes can be traced to unhealed childhood wounds. In the case of your boyfriend's jealousy, I am sure that he suffered some type of abandonment in his childhood.
This kind of early trauma would cause him to be forever worried that he's going to be abandoned again. Therefore, his jealousy is just a symptom of his underlying abandonment terror.
You can try to talk to him about it. Tell him that when a childhood wound gets buried alive it resurfaces in our adult relationships--in his case, the wound has resurfaces as a jealousy, which conceals his fear that you will leave him too.
Ask him to talk about what happened to him when he was young. As he voices his feelings, he will be on the path to healing. Next, ask him to compare and contrast you with the people who hurt him growing up. Help him to see how different you are.
If all this isn't enough to resolve his jealousy, then he really should do some individual therapy.
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