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TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 722
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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There, I have been in a relationship year now.

Customer Question

Hi there,
I have been in a relationship for a year now. Im with a person who is very attached to me. He is attentive and caring. One thing he isnt is understanding. I am so confused as he is extremely loving and caring sometimes and other times he find it hard to let go of a certain something...
Which happens to be my past. He is jealous of someone i was in a relationship with for 3.5 months. To the extreme. He asks me questions about it all the time and its gone on for 10 months. Even when he is at work he is sensitive and thinks about such things and calls me up and takes it out on me when im not cooperative. He is generally apologetic and says he wont ask for more 'details' but his promises are empty. The sort of details he asks are, how many times did i meet my ex at this that or the other location, how many times did i hug or kiss him. Hes completely obsessive. On the other hand he says its because of how much he loves me and he cant stand to think of me with someone else. This has really affected our relationship though. We had a wedding booked in february. As much as he says he will change and things will be right from now, im not sure whether to believe him. What do you advise should i cancel the wedding?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Eveningstargazer replied 2 years ago.
Hi, good evening. I will be doing my best to assist you with your concerns today. I would like to first start by saying you do not necessarily need to cancel the wedding just because there are some speed bumps in the way. Hopefully, you said yes to this man, it is because you truly care about him and would like to have a relationship with him long-term. The first thing would be to discuss with him the impact this negative behavior is having on your ability to feel comfortable with him and the relationship. He knows that what he is doing makes you uncomfortable because he has apologized and made statements he will change. His lack of effort to do so may point to an inner struggle or turmoil within him. Controlling and obsessive behaviors such as this could continue to fester and escalate if not dealt with appropriately. Because you have tried several options, it is important to remember not to become discouraged. This is not necessarily a relationship ending circumstance. My suggestions would be 1: Explain to your partner the severe negative impact his interrogations could have on your relationship. Utilizing "I" statements that are not acusitory, such as "I feel as though you are questioning my integrity when you ask me so many questions and I would like to think about our future together rather than my past." This will help him feel open to a conversation without shutting down from feeling blamed. 2: explore with him what his concerns are and why he struggles to move beyond the image of you with another person. As a couple, you can begin to create an image of the way in which your life will progress following you marriage and the happiness the two of you will achieve. Taking steps together to replace those images in his head with healthier, happier ones will help drown out the negative thoughts. 3: Finally, if he continues to struggle, seek marriage counseling. Try not to only place blame, but rather see yourself as part of the system and a support for him as he struggles through this obsession. Couples who seek counseling before they make a decision to end the relationship are significantly more successful than couples that wait. It is my intention to answer your question to your satisfaction. If you need any further assistance, please do not hesitate to respond.