How to deal with jealousy in a productive manner? My boyfriend seems to like spending time out drinking with his friends more than he likes spending time with me. Wondering whether it's all in my head.
posted by sock puppetron on wheels to Human Relations (57 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I am in a happy six-year relationship with a great guy, let's call him Tom. Tom is handsome, witty (very!), intelligent, fun to be around, and a great friend. I love him very, very much and I have never been in a relationship anywhere near this good. We have been living together for four years (he moved to be with me when he finished college). He is 32, I am 40. Things have been going great, though I tended to get absorbed in my things and not focus on doing stuff with him, but we had A Talk about that and I have been focusing on some fun things to do with him, and just generally making better choices that show him that I do very much value spending time with him.
At Tom's job there are some fun young people who do similar work to what he does, and he started going out to bars & such with them maybe about six months ago. At first it was every six weeks, then every four weeks, then every week, then they went on a big four-day trip together, and then after that it's even mid-week sometimes (including coming home at 3 on a work night and calling in sick the next day), in addition to every weekend. He went from having zero social life to having a very lively one.
He just got back into town today (we went on separate Christmas trips). We haven't seen each other for a full week, and he just... didn't seem that excited to see me, I guess. I may be reading too much into things, but he had his hands in his pockets and wouldn't even hug me until I was like "hey c'mon I want a hug" after hugging him first. This was at lunch, and he told me he was going out with the gang before I came home from work. Okay, I guess. I mean, I know I *shouldn't* be bothered, right? But since I came home I am a bit bothered. It feels like he's more excited to see them than me.
And there was another aspect to this. He told me that one of the girls of the group, Sally, wants to get pretty drunk tonight and she asked him to drive her. So that's what he's doing tonight. He's said other things about Sally before, like how one night she had an emotional outpouring about Stuff and he and she were there alone after everyone else had left, and... I guess I had a weird feeling about it then and I have a weird feeling about it tonight, too. I would not be surprised if he ends up spending the night at her place, frankly. I hope I'm wrong, but ... I dunno, I guess this is the jealousy rearing its ugly head.
I had a minor freakout a few weeks ago, and he was like "Well, I don't know what sort of reaction you want from me", and I was like "I'm sorry for being so irrational, I'll get over it, don't worry about it, sorry I bugged you". But it's bugging me again tonight.
This is really messing with my head. I'm starting to have doubts about whether he really wants to be with me, or is just kind of going along with things. I start to see things in a new (bad) light, reassessing everything about our relationship until it looks not so great, and him like not such a great guy. I have been really happy until this recent stuff, and am still quite happy overall, but, well... I'm a heavily-medicated bipolar person and I honestly wonder if that's what's been keeping me so content all this time.
But then things run through my mind like the fact that he doesn't want to get married (and I don't push this since things are good between us), he's so much younger than me, he likes to drink a LOT (it is a very important priority for him, and he drove home drunk about two weeks ago despite repeated OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE GET A CAB I MEAN IT texts), untreated (and unwilling to treat) depression, and on and on. (And for the record, I do drink too, but much less, and at home only, and never drive after).
And I view myself in a terrible light, too, as part of this. I'm fat & ugly & don't want to have sex much (we do it about once a week), I'm *old*, I don't take an interest in his videogames, I tend to do my own thing at home a lot, I have a clutter problem, etc. It's all a big spiral of suck.
I need some help figuring out how to have a productive conversation with him about this. How do I indicate that I feel I was passed over and really wanted to spend time with him TODAY, so I'm hurt that he didn't even consider doing so with me? I mean, how do I do this without coming across as clingy, needy, jealous, insecure, bitchy? I keep catastrophizing about this in my head, thinking that I will drive him away forever if I even say anything. Maybe I just need a sense of perspective - can you help me with that?