How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask DrJackiePhD Your Own Question

DrJackiePhD
DrJackiePhD, Doctor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 191
Experience:  I have been doing research in relational/interpersonal communication since 1998. My Ph.D. is in interpersonal communication.
68163550
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
DrJackiePhD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

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: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 1 year ago.

DrJackiePhD :

Hi I'm Dr. Jackie and I'd like to help if you are still online?

DrJackiePhD :

Please let me know--I'll be here online for awhile.

Customer:

Hi Jackie

DrJackiePhD :

Hi there

DrJackiePhD :

I apologize--I was interrupted in my office but am available now if you want to chat.

DrJackiePhD :

And I have closed my door. :-) So I am online available to you if you want.

Customer:

Which country are you based in?

DrJackiePhD :

US

DrJackiePhD :

Would you prefer UK expert?

Customer:

No an expert from the US is good :)

DrJackiePhD :

OK :-)

Customer:

What do you think of my question on my boyfriend keeping in contact with his ex, he says there just friends and ended on good terms

DrJackiePhD :

That is a very good question and its answer is debatable among experts. However, most research shows that the other person (you, the one experiencing jealousy feelings over these matters) almost always feels jealousy. You are definitely not alone. And because of it, more research does show that to avoid what is going to be obvious conflict, it would be better for the other partner just to not have contact with the past. That said, the fact that he did ask you several times shows me that he definitely considered your feelings before acting. Many self-reporting persons on surveys say that they would just have gone ahead and not bothered to ask the other person.

DrJackiePhD :

So that is why this is kind of complex. I try not to generalize except when research studies overwhelming point that out the vast majority of responses are similar. But your situation is a bit different in that he did ask. However, in my opinion, especially if your relationship is really serious, avoiding potential large conflicts is important because as you know, relationships are often conflicting enough between the partners without adding the addition of an outside source.

DrJackiePhD :

I hope that makes sense.

Customer:

Yes thats true but I don't see why he would want to go for drinks with his ex and her boyfriend?

Customer:

Even so hanging out alongside his ex when they have mutual friends. They couldn't have been that important (his friends) as I've never heard of them

DrJackiePhD :

I would agree--did she sort of want your bf to "check him out" to see what he thought? Since they were together for 4 years, I'm sure she trusts his judgment, especially about other men?

Customer:

He knew i didn't particularly like it but he still asked and there was a pattern of this sort of thing coming up once in a while

DrJackiePhD :

What I am confused about is why didn't he ask you to go--so that there would be four of you--two couples? That would seem more reasonable, right?

Customer:

No my boyfriend knew of her boyfriend a bit as they all use to go college together years ago. i sort of blame myself and maybe my jealously did get the better of me

Customer:

I think he didn't ask me to go because I wouldn't of liked it but your right, he never asked me

DrJackiePhD :

I am sorry--you did say that. But maybe she still wanted your bf's approval?

Customer:

He used to say things like lets leave the past in the past, well then why cant he leave her in the past so to speak

DrJackiePhD :

Do you think he would have reacted similarly if it had been you who was going out for drinks with an ex and his girlfriend? I ask because it's sometimes helpful when analyzing things to try to put yourself in the other person's shoes and figure out how he would react.

Customer:

Ye i did but he just used to say that hes just friends with her and that's all. Would you stop contact with an ex if your bf or husband felt uncomfortable with it?

Customer:

I mean he knew i didnt like it but kept asking about going to a party where his ex might be etc

DrJackiePhD :

Speaking personally to address your question, no, I would not. My then fiance (now husband :-) ) was jealous back in grad school when I wanted both of us to meet an old undergrad boyfriend for dinner. I respected his feelings and called my ex in front of my then fiance so that he could hear us. My ex was understanding, I felt better about respecting my fiance. Eventually after we were married we did end up becoming friends--all of us. And I think it was in part because I did respect my fiance. And he respected me.

Customer:

yea so i blame myself for my jealousy, maybe i should of been understanding

DrJackiePhD :

Unfortunately, that is just one anecdotal incident. And so I don't want to generalize about my one example. It's definitely complex, but like I said, what I can bring to the table is what researchers have found. And again, to make it healthier for the relationship couple, it really is better to not spend time with an ex unless it's possible to do with the one feeling jealous/left out.

DrJackiePhD :

Please don't blame yourself. I can't remember the exact percentage, but it's something like 96% or so of people reported being jealous in a similar situation. It's a normal emotion. We can't and shouldn't try to control how our heart feels. What we CAN control is our reaction TO THINGS.

Customer:

Why did you want all of you to meet if you dont mind me asking?

DrJackiePhD :

My ex in college was and still is a great human being, full of compassion for everyone. He volunteers in homeless shelters, etc. Because he is such a giving person, I just wanted my husband to meet him because my ex inspires me to be more selfless, more giving to others, etc.

DrJackiePhD :

And then too though we we were not really that romantic. I mean, we were "kids" and we had more fun in college hanging out with mutual friends. So I guess that also helped take some pressure off when my then fiance realized were were not "in love" so much as we were friends.

Customer:

yea thats true

DrJackiePhD :

So what can I help you with? I mean, I don't mind sharing my personal examples, but I also like to try to answer specific questions or address specific concerns and I am unsure if I have done that.

Customer:

Yes thank you very much for your advice tonight

DrJackiePhD, Doctor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 191
Experience: I have been doing research in relational/interpersonal communication since 1998. My Ph.D. is in interpersonal communication.
DrJackiePhD and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/deedeeham/2011-1-24_51523_408.64x64.JPG Dear Debra's Avatar

    Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy's Avatar

    Kate McCoy

    Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    1235
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1215
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CO/CoachJenK/2012-3-9_31019_Jen.64x64.jpg Coach Jen K.'s Avatar

    Coach Jen K.

    LMSW, CPC

    Satisfied Customers:

    726
    Providing the utmost care and support.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/intrapsyc.com/2012-2-20_161928_RGMTPicturex5002012.64x64.png Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    549
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HU/hungryjack20/IMG_1281_edit_2.64x64.jpg Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    349
    Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SU/suzmsw/2011-9-2_184634_Thisone.64x64.JPG Suzanne's Avatar

    Suzanne

    Therapist, LCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    338
    Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency
 
 
 

Related Relationship Questions