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Retroactive Jealousy
#1
Hello,

I am seeking advice or perhaps a shared experience in this situation. I wanted to start by saying I feel as though this issue is something I need to really work on. So any form of conversation on the matter is welcome. 

I have dated two men very seriously and been intimate with a few more than that. I never really had an issue with jealousy until my present relationship. When we began to talk about our past I realized I was starting to feel off. Normally that conversation topic excites me. However this time I started to feel tightness in my stomach and chest. The more we discussed it the more I started to feel insecure about myself. My partner constantly reassures me about all my fears. Because of this I feel guilty having this reaction. I want the feelings to just go away but I know that will require work and a lot of it on my part. I just don’t fully know where to start or why I feel this way so suddenly. 

I know specifically that I have issue with the fact that some of these former men and my partner are still friends. But situations like that have never bothered me before. The only real connection I’ve made is that my first ever partner really chastised me for being a non virgin when we met. Pretty much any story I told I was made out to feel guilty for what I had done. And I also felt ashamed of my past. I now fear I’m repeating the same cycle. 

I’ve read two articles on it and it seems to be more common than I originally thought. However I just fear I’m not great at figuring out the source of the issue on my own which most articles suggest. At this point I am still working on it and pushing to grow out of it. Just curious if anyone else has dealt with this and or overcome it.
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#2
That's normal for the most part, I think. Is it something you can move past? Sure. In my case I haven't really stayed close to any of my exes. I occasionally still talk to mine and yeah, definitely wouldn't go back to them.

One thing I have never heard of was a guy being upset about their partner not being a virgin? To me that's a bit screwed up. Likewise, nothing you should feel ashamed of...period. Fuck that guy.

I guess the big question is what fears do you have about being gay, about being in a relationship? That is, if you're comfortable with discussing those specifics. I think many people here have probably in some way or another felt a lot of what you're feeling, been in a similar situation.

That being said, jealousy is normal, just don't let it consume you. Your partner is probably not going to go back to their ex most likely and probably doesn't have "those feelings" for them any longer.
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#3
Firstly , thank you for your reply.

My biggest fear is becoming angry like my ex. He was just very misguided. Then also to be left behind. Perhaps abandoned you could say.

My fears about being gay are related to perception.

I feel often gay men get a reputation for being promiscuous. Often that reputation is used with a negative connotation. So my fear comes from perhaps looking like a negative stereotype or perpetuating negative behavior. I explicitly asked my partner if their interactions and friendships diminish our relationship at all. To which they replied it does not. At this point I just need to believe it myself. I also openly admitted that throughout our discussions I always felt they didn’t get how I saw relationships. However this time around I realized I wasn’t giving thought to how they viewed relationships. Which is why this issue kept persisting just in my own head.

Sorry if that doesn’t make sense. First time I’m actually taking the time to write out how I feel.
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#4
You fear that jealousy will lead to anger? Has jealousy been a problem for you in the past? I find people who are mindful about such things typically will keep it under control.

As far as gay men being promiscuous, well that is somewhat true. Doesn't make it bad. Likewise, it is a matter of what others think which really don't matter. When it comes to relationships and sex, as long as both parties are happy and comfortable with sex then great. Other times you just have to work through things, but not be too pushy. Communication and honesty is important. In my case the lack of sex between me and my ex had a lot more beneath the surface that had nothing to do with sex. So problems in the bedroom can be for a lot of things, from just being nervous to other problems between a couple.

So you say "they" don't get how you see relationships, so I'll ask, how do you see relationships?
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#5
Thank you again. 

In the past jealousy was a big issue for my former partner. In my present relationship my partner doesn’t see sex as the defining factor or a relationship. So there is little to no jealousy. 

I see the difference between a friendship and a relationship as the physical intimacy we share. But that view almost seems like tunnel vision compared to my partners views. I fear perhaps becoming a friend from their past. The thought of that crosses my mind a lot when I hear stories about their past. But I know that’s natural to discuss. So I’m trying to better my reaction and my view on things. Perhaps not make it a competition and think that I am being compared to this past person but just that they are sharing these details with me because I am important to them. 


also I think I goof’d up this reply. Sorry if it posts out of order or just blank.


-/______________________________________


InbetweenDreamsYou fear that jealousy will lead to anger? Has jealousy been a problem for you in the past? I find people who are mindful about such things typically will keep it under control.

As far as gay men being promiscuous, well that is somewhat true. Doesn't make it bad. Likewise, it is a matter of what others think which really don't matter. When it comes to relationships and sex, as long as both parties are happy and comfortable with sex then great. Other times you just have to work through things, but not be too pushy. Communication and honesty is important. In my case the lack of sex between me and my ex had a lot more beneath the surface that had nothing to do with sex. So problems in the bedroom can be for a lot of things, from just being nervous to other problems between a couple.

So you say "they" don't get how you see relationships, so I'll ask, how do you see relationships?
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#6
I think I see what your partner means. So yes, I agree, physical intimacy...sex are things that separate friends and boyfriends. But there is more, a boyfriend, a partner, spouse, etc it goes deeper. My ex expected everything be 50/50 and yes, I think in a way it should be but never is. Maybe your partner is wealthy, makes $100k a year or whatever and perhaps you make $10 an hour, should you be expected to pay half the expenses? Probably not. Probably not the best example as income disparity is often a problem couples have a hard time getting over. I guess one way to look at it is partners should be more than friends, it should be beyond intimacy and just being friends.
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#7
(05-19-2021, 07:04 PM)InbetweenDreams Wrote: I think I see what your partner means. So yes, I agree, physical intimacy...sex are things that separate friends and boyfriends. But there is more, a boyfriend, a partner, spouse, etc it goes deeper. My ex expected everything be 50/50 and yes, I think in a way it should be but never is. Maybe your partner is wealthy, makes $100k a year or whatever and perhaps you make $10 an hour, should you be expected to pay half the expenses? Probably not. Probably not the best example as income disparity is often a problem couples have a hard time getting over. I guess one way to look at it is partners should be more than friends, it should be beyond intimacy and just being friends.

I like that analogy. So to ensure I understand what you mean I wanted to repeat it. So you believe that sex is a part of a relationship but that a relationship should go deeper than just that two persons are sexually active?
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#8
Correct, having sex with someone, even if friends, just makes it friends with benefits. You have to love the person you're in a relationship with.
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#9
(05-19-2021, 07:28 PM)InbetweenDreams Wrote: Correct, having sex with someone, even if friends, just makes it friends with benefits. You have to love the person you're in a relationship with.

Thank you for saying that. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in overthinking. So it’s hard to take it back to basics like that. But seeing it from your perspective really does change the lens I have in the situation.
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  • InbetweenDreams
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#10
Hi The Goof,

Firstly I think it's important to recognise that jealousy is a perfectly natural emotion that all humans feel in some form or another. However, like fear, jealousy can sometimes surface for irrational reasons. As long as you don't let these irrational thoughts and feelings consume you, and then act irrationally because of them, you have no reason to have guilt for feeling the way that you do.

Personally, I don't mind saying that I am susceptible to feelings of jealousy, and I think that mine stem from the fact that I have a very low opinion of myself. My self esteem is quite low, and in my darker moments I genuinely believe that I am not good enough for my partner, and that most other men could make him happier or are more suited to him than me. Communicating this with my partner has helped me overcome a lot of my jealousy, and it is brilliant that you have also confided in your partner as well.

With regards to your previous partner, what he did was pretty despicable. Trying to make you feel worthless and guilty about things that you did before you were with him is just toxic. As for your fears that you will end up repeating his actions in your current relationship: the fact that you are on this forum asking for advice and trying to improve tells me that you are nothing like your ex and that you have nothing to worry about in that regard.

Overall, I think you should to go a bit easier on yourself and realise that your partner broke up with those men that he is still friends with for a reason, and that he is with you for a reason too. He must see something awesome in you that he likes. You just need to try and see what he sees for yourself and then once you do, hopefully over time those feelings of jealousy will become less and less.

Hope this helps you in some small way at least Smile
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