- Dr. Love in the Media
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.
"If anger and fighting are ruining your dream of a happy marriage, Dr. Turndorf’s conflict resolution program is for you."
-- John Gray,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
"This well-researched book offers a thorough, step-by-step program that provides tools for couples to heal even the most troubled relationships."
-- Dr. John Mack
Pulitzer Prize winning author and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
“This book is mandatory reading for every couple that wants to build lasting love.”
-- John Bradshaw,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Homecoming
"Dr. Turndorf is an amazing individual who has wonderful advice to offer men and women of all ages and in all types of relationships. Ignore her counsel at your peril!"
-- Bill Hammond III,
Winner of the Best Historical Fiction Award, 2012
"You are awesome Dr. Jamie. You really are. The best part about you is the way you translate complex psychological stuff into easy to understand and actionable insights."
-- Kajay Williams,
Producer Relationship Advice Cafe
"Let me tell you why you're extremely important now. I really believe your message is there. You're spot on. More and more people should be taking advantage of what you're offering."
-- Michael Dresser,
Syndicated Radio Host
"Good stuff. Great insight. I love your approach. Who doesn't need more healing. I love your idea of using your partner as a healing agent. That's such a great way to see your partner. You give great labels and patterns to look for. I love your method. You make it sound so easy. You have a great website with lots of great information and resources. These are the tools we all need."
-- Dr. Matt Townsend,
Host, The Matt Townsend Show