He Feels Threatened
If your boyfriend feels threatened in your relationship, he may get extra jealous when other guys are in the picture. When you tell stories about your guy friends or talk about how funny his pals are, chances are he may get a little jealous. Richard from the University of Wisconsin-Madison gets jealous “when she lets other guys buy her drinks at the bar, because [he wants to] be the one to do that.” This is a perfectly normal response to your behavior. Be sure he understands your feelings for him. Lieberman believes that when your boyfriend interrogates you about a certain guy, it’s your job to prove that you are just friends. She believes that if he starts making this a habit, however, then you should start looking for other signs that he is too controlling… and to start thinking of making your exit before his jealousy escalates into abuse.
He Doesn’t Want Things To Change
Many guys get controlling when they feel the situation is slipping out of their hands. Olver believes he may be using jealousy as his best attempt to keep you connected to him out of guilt or obligation. If he feels you pulling away, trying to force you to act the way he wants you to act is his last attempt to keep things the way they once were. Mac from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign recalls a recent break-up that taught him a lesson in relationships. “My ex-girlfriend and I broke up last year because she wanted to start seeing other people. Looking back, my attempt to keep her from breaking up with me was pretty pathetic. I used to get really mad when she would bail on plans, but I should have seen that she just wasn’t interested anymore.” If he wants a forever relationship and you feel differently, Olver suggests the kindest thing to do is to end your relationship and allow him to find someone who will love him the way you used to or in the way that he desires.
If you can identify what it is that is making your guy so jealous, hopefully you two can work it out. If you think his jealousy is more than a little unhealthy, seriously consider getting out of the relationship before things escalate. If you’re unsure if his jealous behavior is considered abuse, the National Domestic Violence Hotline compiled a list of questions to ask yourself:
Does your partner:
- Embarrass you with put-downs?
- Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
- Control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?
- Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
- Take your money or Social Security check, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?
- Make all of the decisions?
- Prevent you from working or attending school?
- Act like the abuse is no big deal, it’s your fault, or even deny doing it?
- Shove you, slap you, choke you, or hit you?
- Threaten to commit suicide?
VIsit here for more information on abuse.
Jealousy ranges from pesky and annoying to life-threatening. If you think you’re in an abusive relationship don’t hesitate before calling 1.800.799.SAFE.
If you find yourself encountering garden-variety jealousy, use these tips to salvage the situation. Remember to keep open communication with your guy so you can recognize when your own behavior is inspiring jealousy. Decide to what degree you’re willing to alter your behavior to prevent or lessen his jealousy so there is no confusion on either side. Jealousy will always be a part of your life, but it doesn’t have to control your relationship (and it shouldn’t!). In the words of Dan Lier, co-author of 10 Secrets Every Woman Should Know from Two Guys That Do, “there are a lot of good guys out there who don't have jealousy issues... so if he doesn’t accept that he has a problem or isn’t willing to fix it, save yourself the drama and cut him loose.”