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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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I feel guilty for being so jealous in my previous relationship.

Resolved Question:

I feel guilty for being so jealous in my previous relationship. WAS my jealousy valid?
My then boyfriend kept in touch with his ex girlfriend once in a while and I told him that I didn't like it but he just said that they were just friends and that there break up ended on good terms! They were together for 4 years.
He also asked me if he could go to a friends party (his ex would be there to as they have some mutual friends) and he asked me if he could go for a drink with his ex and her boyfriend (my boyfriend knew of him briefly from college before). I never quite understood why!
There was also a time when I caught him texting another woman inappropriately behind my back.
These things ate away at the relationship and I found it hard to trust him. He was good to me and treated me well but I used to worry constantly.
I blame myself for maybe overreacting.
Should he have listened to me if I was uncomfortable with the contact?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 11 months ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am sorry to know about this frustrating and sad situation.

Customer:

Hi Rafael

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hi

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Thank you for joinign the chat

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

From your story it seems that regardless of how well he treated you, his behaviors around his previous long term girlfriend triggered your fears and just fuelled more lack of trust, anxiety and other uncomfortable feelings not helping your relationship.

Customer:

yes but he always told me that they were just friends and that they ended on good terms but I didn't see why he had to hang out alongside her even if they had some mutual friends. The friends couldn't have been that important if I never met them before

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Thus I would say that it seems you may have overreacted but at the same time he was aware of your fears and insecurities and chose to keep in touch with her ex girlfriend, and that besides of texting another woman in inadequate ways just made things tough for you to cope with, and he was also accountable for the way his choices and actions affected you and the relationship.

Customer:

Would you cut contact with an ex if your wife or girlfriend wasn't comfortable with it

Customer:

Yes i do believe that I overreacted in some ways and was jealous

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

That's right and makes perfect sense. In relationships your partner must be set as a number one priority, otherwise it would not work well.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do not mean a person must isolate and end friendships, since that would be enabling an alienating relationship, but just to be empathic, understanding and supporting, and working on building further and solid mutual trust, understanding and support, specially when you become aware of how your actions affect and undermine your partner and the relationship.

Customer:

Basically since this has happened, (with him texting another girl inappropriately one time) I just cant bring myself to trust him and I worry a lot over it and something needs to change. I can't go on like this

Customer:

sorry for all this babbling lol

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I think each of you could have helped each other in order to grow from this problem instead of letting it destroy the relationship.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Please do not feel sorry at all, but proud for allowing yourself to vent and brainstorm, both necessary and healthy.

Customer:

Your right, but if I can't seem to trust him then does that mean that maybe hes not the right one for me.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I think each of you need to offer each other more understanding and support. If the relationship is truly a number one priority before ex-girlfriend and new friends or even old ones, -what does not mean getting rid of them, but being assertive, caring and supportive taking into account the trust issues- then it should not become a problem, but only a useful challenge leading you to work on improving the relationship at different levels.

Customer:

I use to feel angry, sad and worried on a daily basis as well as some good times. He did treat me well and seemed loyal

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

has this also happened in the past with other boyfriends?

Customer:

no it hasn't

Customer:

what could that mean

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If past experiences that were hurtful remained emotionally unresolved, they could easily be undermining your ability to work on present one, buy if this is a new issue only affecting you because of his behaviors, then you need to assess what is there that makes you doubt his loyalty this much. Apparently the fact that he continues to share with a past girlfriend the way he does could be a good reason for you not to feel comfortable about it, and many people in your shoes feel the same, and it is a valid reason for you to set a clear boundary that whenever it is about past girlfriends, it is not fine to keep close friendships, that would not be an abusive or manipulative expectations for many people, and I do support that. But if he does feel that keeping such friendship is more important than working on building your relationship, then you would need to reassess how well him matched your core needs and expectations.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This could be the first time that you happen to have a boyfriend that presents this behavior, and because of the way you feel in the relationship, you just feel triggered by it. Repressing or denying your feelings would not help, neither to let them control you, but both need to talk and get into an agreement based on what eacha nd both of you need and expect from this relationship.

Customer:

why do you think that he wanted to go for drinks with his ex and her boyfriend? (i think they asked him)

Customer:

I understand that we are probably both in the wrong

Customer:

We never once spoke about our future together

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Nobody would do that if already dating another person unless truly caring about the ex-girlfriend, but it is obvious not something very proactive and wise to do when he knows you feel the way you feel. As I said before, many people in your shoes would not like their partners to keep sharing deepening friendships with ex girlfriends in this fashion.

Customer:

Some say that I'm overreacting

Customer:

Your right though

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then there are still many things unknown, unclear expectations and when that's the case anybody could feel entitle and comfortable doing many things, you need to talk about things, set boundaries so you could work together as a team to build what you want from it, whether it is an exclusive relationship respecting your core values and belief system, expectations or an open non-exclusive relationship, both extreme situations and every one in the middle need to be clear for both of you to know what and how to do things, and when working on it you would find out how well team you make or not.

Customer:

Also there was this time when we had just come back from holiday and I found out that he brought back his ex a little present. We wasn't getting along that well.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

My suggestion is always to work on yourself, at the personal level to find out what issues-fears undermine or limit your ability to be in and enjoy the relationship, and from there to work with him, developing a more open, honest and close communication to actually know well your ground and where you are pointing to in this relationship.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then it is not an isolated incident, but a pattern where he keeps feeding this close friendship with his immediate long term ex girlfriend, and this is not something nice nor comfortable for most people in your shoes as I said before, and because of that I do not think it is unrealistic nor immature to set boundaries about that.

Customer:

Well we are not together anymore so all this probably doesn't really matter anymore but I just blame myself for it all

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see. Please do not hurt yourself even more, this was a painful but helpful experienced if you allow yourself to learn and grow from it. Based on what you described it's obvious to me that both play a role in how things evovled, then please only take responsibility for what depended on you and get wiser from it..

Customer:

Thank you very much, you have really helped tonight :)

Customer:

very informative

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome. Thank you for your trust. I am glad to know it was helpful :o)

Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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