In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:
I’m 30 years old, and a painful divorce and an insecure personality has led me down an awful path of jealousy. My boyfriend is sweet, faithful, and an all-around a great guy….a great guy with a TON of girl friends. He knows so many women, and is very close to several of them. He describes his friendships with them as “little sister/big brother” type of relationships, and I’ve seen it with my own eyes-they definitely are. He is doting and protective, but not interested in these women beyond that. He was cheated on in his marriage, and I have NO doubt that he would never do that to me. Yet, I get insecure and jealous when he is around these other women. He is affectionate with them, and that’s hard for me — hugs, dancing, occasional hand-holding or back rubbing. The hugs I can get on board with, maybe even the dancing, but the other stuff makes me so jealous. He will drop what he is doing to help the few that are his very best friends, and that makes me jealous too. Rationally, I know that he has known some of these women for 10+ years, much longer than the year he and I have been together, but that doesn’t stop me from getting upset.
I know I have a problem, and want to stop. He’s given me no reason to doubt him, and is always very upfront with me about what he does and who he is with. I have met and hung out with most of his friends, and they’re all nice women. He is comfortable enough to act the same way with them when I’m around as when I’m not, showing me that he’s truly not hiding anything. I really want to stop this irrational way of thinking — that I’m not as good as these women, or he likes them better, or I’m not as important to him as they are, but I just don’t know how. Help! — Irrationally Jealous