Q - I’ve been keen on a boy-band for years and have lots of their stuff. My friend has found out that they’ll be doing a gig near us in a few months time, and she wants to buy me a ticket to go with her, for my birthday treat.
I told my fiance and he went ballistic, then sulky and ignored me for two days! We are now talking again, and he says he feels jealous and that I won’t still find him attractive if I go and see the band. I can see them on TV anyway so what’s the difference? I do still want to go but he’s trying to change my mind and it’s all put a dampener on things. Why is he behaving like this?
A - It sounds like his self-esteem and emotional attachment are weak and insecure - and this situation has reminded him of that.
Jealousy stems from the childhood fear that someone else will mean more to a loved one than we do... and they'll then prefer giving them their time, attention and love, and may leave us to be with that person.
It’s not your responsibility to make him feel better about himself - and you're not obligated to change your plans and ignore your own desires, wants, needs or preferences to make him feel happier.
That would be a form of control, and relationships don’t thrive if someone is being controlled… which includes emotional manipulation.
He must get to the bottom of why he fears you ‘running off with a the band’ – and look at this anew with his grown up ‘adult’ head on.
Surely he has female celebrities that he fancies or admires in some way. How would he feel if the shoe was on the other foot and you had a tantrum about him going to a concert etc.?
When you have both calmed down then make time to talk this through with him – but only on a deeper and more vulnerable level. No shame, no blame, no ridicule... just empathic listening and acknowledging the other's feelings.
Ask him what his feelings about this situation remind him of, and what it brings up for him, and what he fears might be repeated from his past experiences.
If he is reluctant to look inside himself for the solution, then you have two choices.
Either go to the gig and let him feel what he feels and get on with it…or give in to his wishes and let yourself and your friend down whilst keeping him ‘happier’.
If you choose the latter then expect to keep doing this throughout your relationship.
Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy) MIND HEALER & MENTOR
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