Jealousy and Trust Issues

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I have been with my girlfriend for 7 months and I love her dearly; but since we starting going out I have noticed a lot of jelousy and lack of faith toward our relationship.
The other day my GF asked me that if my ex texted me, would I reply. I said that if I did reply it would only be out of politeness and to ask how she is. I also said that if my ex kept responding and asking more questions that I would respond by saying “Thanks for the txt but I don’t feel comfortable staying in communication as I have a girlfriend that I am madly in love with and feel any more txts would be inappropriate”. Take care”
For the record, I would never initiate a conversation with any of my ex’s, but at the same time I’ve always been polite, which is something I really like about myself.
My GF thinks that if I reply to her that I will end up back together with her. I am absolutely loyal to her and I tell her all the time that she is the only girl for me, and its the truth! She is willing to leave me over this issue. Am I wrong for thinking the way I do?

A: You can’t answer an irrational question with a rational answer. You made a sincere, rational, and romantic response to her question. Most women would be deeply moved by it. But your girlfriend ins’t satisfied. That suggests that her “what if” question is probably not about your relationship. It’s about your girlfriend’s insecurity. I suspect that somebody in the past hurt her badly by reconnecting with an ex. You know that expression “Once burned, twice shy”? She’s now assuming the worst of you based on that prior experience.

I suggest you talk frankly and directly about why she is so afraid and see how the two of you can address that. Reassure her that all men are not alike, regardless of her experience so far. You might tell her that from my point of view, she should be more worried if you were the kind of guy who had to cut someone off completely to avoid being pulled back into a relationship. If you were that vulnerable, she would have far more to worry about. As it is, you are so done with your ex that you are certain you can stand up for your present relationship even if your ex texts you. That speaks well for your principles and for your commitment to your girlfriend. At 38, I’m guessing that you are done with playing games and are ready to make a life with the one you love. Focus on helping your girlfriend hear that.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 Feb 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). Jealousy and Trust Issues. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/02/19/jealousy-and-trust-issues/