Originally Posted by Feedhercandy
I am his longest (and from what I can tell most successful) relationship. . . . So, the bottom line is this - he is respectful of my husband and family (to a fault), but has a near melt down when it comes to me even going out on a date with someone else. He has been dealing, but not quite as well as I would hope and expect.
Originally Posted by Feedhercandy
My bf knew fully well going into our relationship that I am open to and interested in having relationships with others, aside from him and my husband. I think the depth of his feelings for me caught him off guard. He's actually processing well, for the most part, though I can see that it's a challenge for him.
I am curious about what his "near melt down" looks like. What are some of the things he says? How debilitating for him is this meltdown he has? Do his meltdowns actually prevent you from going out with other men, or do you have dates anyway?
It sounds like he has had very little relationship experience beyond short-term casual liaisons and he is overwhelmed by his feelings for you. Being overwhelmed just means having a hard time breaking down a problem or situation into manageable parts. We see all of it all at once and it looks like too much to handle. I think perhaps he has ideas about love and relationship that conflict with yours. Maybe he thinks it should go a certain way and it's not.
Imagine that your BF started going out with someone else. Would there be any jealousy on your part? If so, what would you want or expect from him? From yourself? See, I think the important thing to remember is that we are all responsible for our own feelings and reactions to things in life. We can only be supportive as someone processes what they're going through, but we can't do it for them (I know, grrr). Even if someone is mean to me, I can choose how to respond to that. I might have certain feelings arise, but it's up to me to deal with them, and no amount of apologizing or making it up to me will change anything until I choose to let it go or transform it.
So, ultimately, besides having compassion and patience for him, I don't really think there is anything you can do
for him other than two things: First, be true to yourself. If you bend and twist yourself into something you're not for him
, and make too many compromises that erode your happiness and make you "shrink to fit" his ideal, he might be superficially happy or feel that he's gained something, BUT -- and this is a big one -- in some way he can lose respect for you for giving in because that would not be the strong person he was initially attracted to and started having these intense emotions for. Not saying that's what you're doing, but just felt it worth mentioning. That's why I said that it is "on him" to deal with his own shit. It wasn't said glibly. It is hugely important, especially for women, to learn how not to acquiesce. Yes, the risk is losing him, but again, it's on him. He entered into this with his eyes open.
The other thing you can do, perhaps, is to prompt or engage him in asking himself very specific questions about his jealousy, such as what was written by AutumnalTone in the other thread I referenced earlier:
Originally Posted by AutumnalTone
This. Dig around and find out *specifically* what is causing the problem.
A couple of questions might help:
What will happen if [s]he dates somebody else?
What will not happen if [s]he dates somebody else?
Answer those with specifics and in relation to you.
What do you imagine/fear will happen to *you* if [s]he dates somebody else?
What do you imagine/fear will not happen to *you* if [s]he dates somebody else?
I think in matters of love, there are feelings that come up which are easy to attach certain intellectual ideas to, which can really fuck things up, like what a loving relationship is supposed to look like. Maybe, he just needs to open up his world a little bit more, if not with additional lovers then with friends, activities, and so forth. Might he simply just be a little too focused on you as a source of happiness in his life? Oh, and does he have a friendship or any kind of relationship with your husband? Maybe being around your hubs and seeing how he handles your having a BF would help your BF handle your having additional BFs and lovers. Just a thought!
I do have the sense that you are very compassionate and understanding toward him, and that he is making an effort to handle his jealousy but it still has him by the short hairs because he hasn't looked deeply enough at what is underneath it. It certainly doesn't seem like you need to fight him on anything, although I think it's important to stand strong about what's important to you.