Insecure Boyfriend

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Q: have been with my boyfriend for a year and a half. He told me he went through my cell phone and was demanding I tell him about one of my platonic guy friends from high school that called me. I told him hes just a friend I keep in touch with from high school and he wouldnt believe me and said he cant trust me. Before that he has also gone through my Myspace messages and got mad when a guy I used to date(me and this guy never had sex, went out on date once, remained friends) was flirting with me(I accepted all his compliments and winked back), the guy and I are friends and he respects that im in a relationship, we were both busy and tried to catch up over a cup of coffee one day(we never had a chance to do that by the way), so my boyfriend swears I was gonna run off and start a sexual relationship with him. I have also caught him going through my cell phone at other times, and when I’m sending E-mails or Text Messages he gets paranoid. If I dont answer my phone, he asks if I was talking to someone else or ignoring him. Even before he looked at my Myspace emails he was sneaking to look in my cell phone. I have never cheated on him, never even thought of it. He is 23, I know he was hurt by his first love way back in high school. Can a man like this change or should I just leave him?
Please help me, I love him and I dont know what to do.

A: I can’t tell you what to do. I can tell you that your boyfriend’s behavior is unreasonable. It doesn’t look like he has recovered from his prior break-up at all. Sadly, the things he is doing in an effort to prevent you from abandoning him will likely make you do just that. I doubt very much that you can sign on for a lifetime of being distrusted like this.

I do believe that people can change. But they have to want to and they have to want to put in the effort. It doesn’t sound like your boyfriend thinks he needs to change at all. Instead, he wants you to do the changing — when you have nothing to change.

It’s worth a heart-to-heart conversation. Suggest that he get himself into therapy to work through his trust issues. If he won’t do it or if he only goes for a few sessions and quits, you have some hard decisions to make. If he agrees that he’s got a problem and puts some real effort into it, your relationship might have a chance.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 16 Oct 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). Insecure Boyfriend. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/10/16/insecure-boyfriend/

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