Ask Amy: Boyfriend sees jealousy as a dare to cheat
Dear Amy: My girlfriend is very jealous, and doesn’t see it! She has gone through my phone and found photos that I forgot I even had because they were taken years ago. She doesn’t trust me to spend time by myself.
I even share my location with her through iPhone, but she says that when I go to the store (to get my alone time, as I can’t get it at home) that she doesn’t know if that’s where I’m really going.
Shouldn’t she have learned her lesson about going through my phone, snooping and trying to catch me doing things? Because of this, my phone is now only unlockable using Face ID because she knows my passcode.
If I’m getting accused of cheating without even doing it (as I spend every waking moment with her unless I’m at work or she’s at her office), why not just cheat and get it over with? I don’t have a shortage of offers, either.
She’s very insecure because I have been with a LOT of girls. I’m talking high three digits.
I’m a good-looking guy, as I constantly hear from women, but there’s a lot more to me than being aesthetically pleasing. I have a good heart, I’m genuine, I’m cuddly and affectionate, and I have a slew of other good qualities.
My girlfriend is also very highly dependent on me being in bed with her every night to be able to sleep.
Her soon-to-be ex-husband made her spend a lot of time alone because he’s a scumbag, and she’s taking what he did out on me. We live together.
How can we communicate better? — Upset Guy
Dear Upset: Given your healthy ego and your knowledge that you are God’s gift to all women, it’s a wonder that you are interested in staying in a relationship with a (still married) woman who doesn’t trust you.
Your girlfriend’s insecurities are amplified by your own sexual history. You believe that she is daring you to cheat — and you are obviously capable of fulfilling that dare — but maybe she is daring you NOT to cheat.
Jealousy is insidious. As a partner you deserve to be trusted without a tracking device.
Communication involves talking during calm moments, eye contact, positive reinforcement, and consistent actions backing up your statements.
If your girlfriend asked me, I’d say it’s probably too soon for her to bounce into a live-in relationship before she has ended and recovered from her marriage to Mr. Scumbag.
Making your current partner pay for your previous partner’s behavior is a rookie mistake — and people do this when they don’t really know who they are and what they want. A couples counselor could help.
Try reading, “The Jealousy Cure: Learn to Trust, Overcome Possessiveness, and Save Your Relationship,” by Robert Leahy and Paul Gilbert (2018, New Harbinger). The authors use tools of cognitive behavioral therapy to affect behavioral change.
Dear Amy: My niece, “Katherine,” is 25 years old. She is smart, and newly engaged to her fiancé. They’ve been together for four years.
Katherine is very materialistic. She recently took her engagement ring to be appraised because she didn't believe that her fiancé had paid $5,000 for it.
I see no trust in this marriage. What say you? — Worried Aunt
Dear Worried: You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Trust, but verify,” — first popularized by Ronald Reagan regarding Russian nuclear disarmament.
Ideally, marriage should not start out with this level of skepticism, but — fortunately, this matter is really none of your business, so — whew! What a relief; you needn’t worry about it.
Dear Amy: “Shylingual,” wondered if it was OK for her, a white woman, to practice her Spanish with Spanish-speaking people.
I am a housekeeping manager at a high-end retirement community and my entire staff has come to this country at some point in their lives.
English is not their native language, so whenever one of our elderly residents speaks to them in their native tongue, these ladies just light up.
I’ve seen them excitedly tell their fellow countrywomen about the experience.
These wealthy elderly residents and the immigrant housekeeping staff may not have much in common, but when they make a connection with something as common as language, it’s a beautiful thing.
Shylingual should keep trying to make that connection. We should all be brave enough to do something to help break down barriers, especially at this time. — Love My Job
Dear Love My Job: I’ve received hundreds of responses to this question — most agree that any attempts at connection are important.