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Retroactive Jealousy
#11
Well @Justaguy said it better than I...

(05-19-2021, 09:44 PM)Justaguy Wrote: 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.


^^^^ THIS!
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#12
(05-19-2021, 09:44 PM)Hello Justaguy,Thank you for this reply. I completely agree with all that you said and it helps immensely. I have been with my partner for almost two years now but a lot of the time when I hear about their past I immediately compare myself. Like you said it appears to always affect my self worth.I keep something saved on my phone and it is a bulleted list of healthy relationship boundaries. One of them is “my partner isn’t responsible for my happiness”. That’s the key one I have to repeat because they are one of the first people to not make mention of certain parts about me. Specifically I’m black and I would hear a lot about “ you are the first black guy I’ve dated” or so on. So I guess that really helped my self image to not hear that finally. And for none of the reasons they find me attractive to be related to my size or race. However I’m seeing I rely too much on their view of me rather than myself. Because whenever I hear about the past I think, “well ll am I as good as that guy”. I’ve talked about this of course with my partner. But hearing that you were in a similar boat helps. I plan to focus on really accepting how I look and being ok in what I have / bring to a relationship. My fear is to lose the first person that made feel good about myself to someone else. I also feel semi guilty that I didn’t work out this issue prior to dating someone but I know I’m not being held at fault for that.But again thank you for your reply! A big wake up call!Justaguy Wrote: 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 :)
Hello Justaguy,Thank you for this reply. I completely agree with all that you said and it helps immensely. I have been with my partner for almost two years now but a lot of the time when I hear about their past I immediately compare myself. Like you said it appears to always affect my self worth.I keep something saved on my phone and it is a bulleted list of healthy relationship boundaries. One of them is “my partner isn’t responsible for my happiness”. That’s the key one I have to repeat because they are one of the first people to not make mention of certain parts about me. Specifically I’m black and I would hear a lot about “ you are the first black guy I’ve dated” or so on. So I guess that really helped my self image to not hear that finally. And for none of the reasons they find me attractive to be related to my size or race. However I’m seeing I rely too much on their view of me rather than myself. Because whenever I hear about the past I think, “well ll am I as good as that guy”. I’ve talked about this of course with my partner. 

:(But hearing that you were in a similar boat helps. I plan to focus on really accepting how I look and being ok in what I have / bring to a relationship. My fear is to lose the first person that made feel good about myself to someone else. I also feel semi guilty that I didn’t work out this issue prior to dating someone but I know I’m not being held at fault for that.But again thank you for your reply! A big wake up call!
, 
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#13
@The Goof

I'm glad what I said managed to help! It sounds like your partner is attracted to you because of who you are rather than what race or skin colour you are, which is awesome and definitely how a relationship should be. Having a list of things to work on and remember is great too, but try not to get too despondent if you can't rigidly always keep to them, we are only human after all and will always make mistakes every now and again Smile 

I think people do have a really bad habit of comparing ourselves to other people we see in our daily life, and seeing the things that they have that we don't and feeling guilty and like failures because we don't have those things. Like seeing someone with a great body, or seeing someone that has a great job with a lot of money, seeing someone that has a bigger house than you, someone who you think looks naturally more good-looking than you. It's easy to get caught up in what we don't have that other people do, but then I think even though it's hard to believe, there are probably people who look at us and think "I wish I had what he does, what if I'm not as good as him?".

It's not going to be an overnight process where you learn to love yourself (I definitely can't say that I love myself to be honest!), but taking a small step every now and again where you can think to yourself "This thing about me is good enough" is a good start I reckon.

I definitely understand the fear of losing someone you care about so much, I think it's a normal fear most people have in a loving relationship at one time or another. But just remember that while it feels like he makes you feel really good about yourself, you probably make him feel the same way about himself, even if you don't realise it or believe it Smile 

And try not to feel guilty about not figuring out these issues before getting into a relationship, most people have no clue how they would feel being in a relationship with someone they really care about. For most of us it's a shock to the system when it does actually happen, but that is part of the excitement and joy of being with someone I guess!
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#14
Yes, jealousy often is a perfectly natural reaction but when you say "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’m left wondering what you mean by ‘will require work and a lot of it on my part” Reminds me of a saying  - - -  (author’s name forgotten) Endless orgies of self analysis can be counterproductive. That may sound trite but I think what I’m leading up to the suggestion if your problem persists in other romantic situations and you feel overpowered by them professional help is the way to go. Easier said than done for an Australian such as myself who has access to 10 free consultations a year under our national health scheme.
But there’s another way of looking at this, most of us have been rendered jealous and/or irrational when falling in love.
As others have said here , often jealousy is a perfectly normal reaction. It’s when such reactions start to destroy relationships alarm bells should start ringing.
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