I’ve been with my boyfriend for about a year and a half and I’m deeply in love with him. The first few months of the relationship were blissful, as they should be, and that hasn’t changed, but sometime after month 4 and saying “I love you” for the first time to each other, my brain’s been a bit wacky. I have had millions of weird questions pertaining to his past relationships and his feelings and I’ve found it impossible to fully trust him. He has done nothing wrong, and has supported me more than I ever thought anyone could, even though I can tell it hurts him and is beginning to weigh on him. I guess I’m constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have never been cheated on in the past (to my knowledge), but have dated some real “winners”. I suppose what I’m dealing with is anxiety and insecurity, but I’d like to know for sure. I want to know what I can do to trust my boyfriend, who I do believe is fully deserving of my trust. It hurts being scared and paranoid for no reason, especially with someone I care for so much. Help!
I think you have correctly identified the problem. Anxiety and insecurity are driving your jealousy.
As you noted, your focus on his past relationships is hurting your current relationship. If it continues, it could mean the demise of your relationship. Your boyfriend may tolerate it for a time but eventually he may not. If you wish to preserve your relationship, then you need to stop focusing on his past.
People who are jealous don’t feel confident about themselves. It’s the result of a lack of self-esteem. If you thought highly of yourself, then you would not be focused on his past relationships. You probably would never think about them. They would have no bearing on your current relationship.
It’s good that you have recognized your jealousy problem because it shows that you’re open to change. What he did in his past is irrelevant. It can’t be changed. It should have no bearing on your current relationship.
If you continue to struggle with this issue, then consult a therapist. A therapist could help you focus on the “here and now” and address your self-confidence issues. It can take time to develop self-confidence but generally, life accomplishments positively affect levels of self-esteem. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog