Jealousy Issues

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

My boyfriend and I have been off and on for three and a half years. He has cheated on me, and I have cheated on him. We have both tried to pursue other people, but we often end up agreeing that we should be together. He has cheated on me more severely than I have on him. (He was “intimate” with another woman; I kissed an old boyfriend.) I once made a fake profile on Facebook of a good looking young woman. I was trying to test my boyfriend. I, as the fake profile, was trying to seduce him. He ended up inviting “me” back to his apartment and said that we could fool around. This validated my suspicions that he would talk to other girls the way that he talks to me, even though he has denied that this is true. I caught him, and now there is no way that he could deny it. So, obviously there are a lot of trust issues between us now. He recently had a “friend” that he kept secret from me. He swears up and down that he did not have a romantic/sexual relationship with her. Though, he told me that she grabbed his penis when she was drunk one night, but other friends were around. Something in my heart tells me that he is not being honest with me. I am constantly catching him in lies such as these. These occur very often, to the point where I can predict that it will. I try to tell him stuff like, “I know that you will tell me some details now and then the important ones (like she grabbed your penis) come up in an argument or something later down the road. Please just tell me everything now so we can acknowledge that it happened and move on.” I have to say this every time a single girl comes into his life. At least I feel that way. My boyfriend also has anger, depression, and anxiety issues. Sometimes he can be very abusive towards me (mostly mentally abusive, but sometimes physically abusive, e.g. throwing a chair at me). He is in therapy right now and is working on those problems. The reason I came to this website was that he mentioned to me today that his therapist said that the jealousy is all on me, that I am to either be with him or not. She said that if I choose to be with him, I should trust him. Point blank. This concerned me, because my boyfriend is always trying to find a way to blame me for his problems and such. I didn’t think this was a fair accusation. He is constantly lying to me and doing things to break my trust. I want to be with him, but it’s hard to trust him. I am always completely honest with him, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect the same in return. But am I all to blame for the jealousy and trust issues that I have within this relationship?

Thank you,

A: I wish I could offer something more hopeful here, but from everything you have said this is a relationship that has the essential ingredient missing: trust. At every turn it seems you have found reason or evidence for not trusting him, catching him in a lie, or feeling suspect. Give yourself the benefit of being with someone you can trust. Relationships are always difficult, but they are impossible without trust.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Jan 2013

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2012). Jealousy Issues. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/01/01/jealousy-issues-2/