I am writing to you out of exasperation and a bit of desperation. I have been with my boyfriend for merely eight months and he acts as though he owns me.
He is so jealous that even if I speak with another boy about anything, including homework, he flips out. Whenever I wear anything even slightly revealing, he asks me to change and when I say I don’t want to, he acts upset and angry for the rest of the day.
Other than this jealousy thing though, he’s a really sweet guy and he cares for me a lot. I don’t want to break up with him, but I can’t continue like this either. What should I do?
Dear NV SUCKS,
First of all, I’m glad you are not taking his jealousy as a compliment. Many girls tend to think that if a guy really loves them, he will be envious of any other guy who talks to them or even looks at them. If there is anything to be learned from “Dante’s Inferno,” however, it’s that being envious never ends well.
If we take a look at the animal world, in many species it is a male behavior and in some species it is a female behavior to mark your territory. A good example is the lion. Any cub that is born from another male lion is killed by the “king.” So, although you can blame your significant other for his raging jealousy, some of it is due to the fact that humans still have animal instincts.
As for anyone out there with an overly jealous lover, the best thing to do is talk to him about it. Not only does jealousy lead to many problems in the relationship, it’s also an unnecessary burden for both parties.
I’m sure that even though your boyfriend doesn’t want you to talk to other guys, you still do, and sneaking around can really cause some extra stress. Plus, your boyfriend is probably continually thinking about how mad it makes him when you talk to other guys or wear revealing things. Believe me, it’s no fun being mad all the time.
Your boyfriend making such a big deal that you to talk to other guys shows he doesn’t trust you. My advice to you is to tell him how much it hurts you and ask him directly if he trusts you.
If he says he trusts you, you should tell him you don’t feel like he does because he treats you so unfairly when it comes to being friends with other guys. Tell him that if he trusts you, he should start showing you by not acting in such a jealous manner and by treating you like an equal.
As for the clothing problem, tell him he is crushing your free expression. Fashion is expression of self, and you should be able to wear anything you want. Ask your significant other how he would feel if you tried to dictate his style. I’m sure he would feel hurt and angry. I know I would.
If, after talking with your significant other, he still isn’t at least trying to be less over-bearing, it’s time to move on. I understand this is much easier said than done, but do you really want to go through your entire college experience and possibly more of your life not doing what you want to do and not being friends with whomever you want to be friends with?
You need to stand up for yourself and let your significant other know that although you care about him, you need to do what’s best for you, and that his jealousy is cramping your lifestyle. If he really cares about you, he will have to stop being jealous or he will lose you.
Just remember, don’t let anyone take advantage of your love and care for them. Jealousy is a personal issue and if your significant other doesn’t trust you and has no reason not to, then it is something he will have to deal with.
It’s easy to get caught up in a relationship and just do what the other person wants to make them happy. Your happiness matters just as much as his happiness, which is why you need to talk to him immediately about your feelings. If you can’t get up the courage or are afraid you’ll lose him, just ask yourself: is it worth sacrificing your sanity for their jealousy?