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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5111
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
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My girlfriend and I are in a long distance relationship. She

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My girlfriend and I are in a long distance relationship. She has a lot of guy friends due to being a female in the military. Recently, one of her old guy friends got stationed where she is. She told me about him and I even met him when I visited once. Last weekend she told me she was going to shoot a new gun she bought. Afterwards, she told me she took that guy with her. Just them two, at a shooting range together. He is single, by the way. I told her that I was extremely hurt that she did that. To me, that's a minor form of cheating. It's like, she can't have my male companionship so she gets it from another guy. Am I wrong for being angry? I want her to have friends, but I feel like I'm being very jealous. Please help!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.

Hi! I'll be glad to help you with this issue.


I see from what you have written me the sincerity in your desires for this relationship. You really care about her and that's beautiful. I want you to also recognize that she truly cares about you: she was willing to see your point of view even though she didn't necessarily agree. That's also a beautiful thing. I don't want you to overlook it because it is something that can make her resentful if you don't recognize her doing that. It is a way that she is showing her caring for you. When someone you love does something to show their love for you, it's vital, not just important, to acknowledge them and tell her how much it means to you and that you think she's great for doing that. It will make her feel good about agreeing not to go with him again and also it will end the argument. And a further benefit is that it will quickly lower your jealousy. You will see this is true because you will be affirming not only your love for her but hers for you.

You're not being ridiculous by the way. I want to describe to you what's really behind your jealousy.

You are her boyfriend and she is your girlfriend. There is a level of commitment in that relationship. But it is a very amorphous level of commitment; it changes and is very undefined. You expected a level of monogamy and commitment and emotional exclusivity on her part that she seems to have not really expected she needed to maintain for a boyfriend. She clearly felt that doing a fun activity with him was within her rights as a girlfriend.


And the same holds true for some of the other expectations. You have a very exclusive quality about your sense of what being someone's girlfriend is and what being her boyfriend is. She seems to have a much more casual understanding of the relationship. And so, along with your disappointment at her lack of sensitivity about this incident, there is a general feeling you have of worry about her commitment, which is what your jealousy is.

So, I want you to spend some time thinking about what relationships mean to you and what your VALUES are. And then notice what her values are. And see if they match. Because when you find yourself feeling as though you are not being treated the way you would like, or that you are not getting what you need from the relationship, it most often is a mismatch in the values of the two of you. That one person sees the relationship to be one thing and require certain things and the other person sees it to be a different thing and require different things.

That's how you would have avoided the discussion you had about this from becoming an argument. Because the conclusion was that she agreed to abide by your values. But it is a much easier discussion if it is openly about what your values are and she what her values are and then agreeing together on which values the two of you will live with.

So, this is the issue of trust for you. And thus you're jealous. But you need to recognize that she has acted with tremendous loyalty here. She has affirmed her love and caring for you and agreed to go with your values even though they're not hers. That's a beautiful thing and something for you to be very, very happy about.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Firstly, thank you so much. I didn't know what to expect, but that was extremely helpful. Do you think it would be unwise to read her your response, or should I simply write down a set of values and ask her to do the same? You made it sound like I should just try to notice her values, which is difficult to do long distance.

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.
That would be a wonderful thing for the two of you to do. AS LONG as you present it in positive terms.


Again, she's the one who agreed to try to abide by your values. That's worth a lot in a girlfriend. And it needs recognition and heaping on the love, okay?


So yes, that would be a great thing for you two to do and a great way to make your relationship much deeper than most boyfriend/girlfriend do. I didn't mean to make it seem to just notice hers, because she also needs to feel like her values are heard and given importance and considered.


I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5111
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
Dr. Mark and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.
Hi! I'm very glad that I was able to help you with this and thank you for your positive rating. If I can help you in the future in any way, please don't hesitate to let me know.


All the best,
Dr. Mark

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