I have been with my boyfriend for a year and it has been rough. He has displayed jealousy issues from the get go which I ignored out of love. I feel we are too old for these issues. I have a few male friends which existed many years prior to me meeting him. The main problem being one I dated 19 years ago, we dated under 5 years, broke up in 1998, have been friends longer than we dated. He is family and nothing more. My current boyfriend says I do not know right from wrong. It is wrong for me to have any male friends and especially an ex as a friend, it’s wrong for me to ever visit him or have coffee or think of working together on creative projects. I find these views ridiculous. He also insists I’m to never go out with my girlfriend without out inviting him or taking him along. I feel bullied into submission. Am I the irrational one here?
A: The first thing that struck me about your question is that both of you have a point and a need that they want the other to honor, but that that isn’t happening. This goes beyond the content of the issue in my opinion, and seems more fundamental. In other words, this is important enough for the two of you to work through because it may be emblematic of a core needs issue between the two of you.
For this I would highly recommend couples therapy. Jealousy and the feeling of being oppressed is a big conflict and I would use the expertise of a professional to untangle the issue. But more important, I think it will help prevent or limit future issues in other areas if the process of each of you having your needs honored can be resolved now. The find help tab can direct you to a therapist in your area.
Tomasulo, D. (2012). Jealousy. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 18, 2017, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/11/28/jealousy-2/