It is thrilling when someone is deeply into you, but how do we know when passion and love are being pushed out by corrosive jealousy? Here are some subtle signs of jealousy in a man to watch out for:
Mine, All Mine!
If your man wants you all to himself, this is blissful at first. Imagine being loved so very much that your dream man no longer needs his friends or family: you are his everything.
This is great for maybe the first month or two, after that it becomes a problem. Not only will you have to spend every moment with him, but you will begin to worry your family, lose your friends and begin to feel stifled and even claustrophobic.
No One Could Love You Like I Do
Back-handed compliments are a sneaky way for a jealous guy to undermine your confidence.
The above statement could be taken at face value: I love you more than anyone else because it is real love and I would die for you. It can also mean you are not worth anyone else’s time or attention and should therefore be grateful for his.
This might not be intentional: he may just be lacking in confidence in himself and therefore try, subconsciously to ‘bring you down’ to his level. If it is deliberate then it is nasty, manipulative and a very bad sign. Either way, you deserve better treatment from your man!
Where’ve You Been, Who’re You With, What’re You Doing?
Jealous men will often assume the worst: if you are running late, you must be cheating; if you turn down a date, you are planning to break up with them; if they see you talking to another man (from a random guy on the street, to a waiter, to a work colleague) you must be flirting with them.
This sort of micromanagement of you will spill over into separate events, when they will call or text you constantly, needing you to respond very quickly, and they may even try to lay down ‘rules’ for your time away from them.
These can include not sitting with other men, not dancing – even with your girlfriends, not drinking: in general, not enjoying yourself in any way! This level of neediness is tiring to deal with, and can be a sign of either extreme insecurity or extreme narcissism.
Photography? Anyone Can Take Good Photos!
If he is dismissive of things that you love, this can be upsetting. If you love horse riding, swimming, photography, or mountain climbing and he acts as though you are silly for doing so, it can be crushing to your interests and to your relationship.
However, you might be so in love that you start to ditch your interests in favour of what he wants to do: or even just for spending time with him.
This is a mistake as we all need things outside of the home to keep us engaged and content: love, sometimes, just isn’t enough! This is not to say that he must take up your interests, just as long as he understands that they are important to you and respects you making time for indulging in them without him.
Are You Going Out In That?
A jealous guy will try and police you, controlling what you wear, where you go, who you spend time with, even the way you speak and act.
Now, if you are happy to adopt your partner’s fantastic taste: that is one thing. If you are happy and comfortable with yourself and he is trying to change you, then it is another thing entirely and one that no one should have to put up with.
Is There a Solution?
All these signs of jealousy can have a couple of causes: some very dangerous and others more understandable.
However, you should never simply have to accept that his jealousy is part of your life now and make changes to try and make him happy.
The nature of jealousy is that it will worsen: no matter how modest and loving and accommodating you are, the jealousy will find a way to eat at him.
The first type of jealousy is that of a sociopath or narcissist. These guys are only ever interested in themselves and they will try and control you in order to prove they can.
Their feelings for you are bound up in their self-love and everything they put you through will be purely for their own gratification: no matter what they tell you.
You will know fairly quickly that this is your man – he will show no real remorse, he will make you feel guilty for things he has done and you will always feel wrong-footed by him – and if you do there is only one thing to do: get out of the relationship immediately.
The second type is when a guy has been messed around: a cheating girlfriend, a distant parent, abandonment issues from childhood trauma. This sort of jealous behaviour can be worked on, if you are both in love and determined to make the other happy.
- Communicate – he will acknowledge his issues and begin to work through them, either with you or with a therapist. If he cannot talk to you about his jealousy, that is not a very good sign.
- Earn his trust – yes, you should have it automatically, but if he’s been cheated on or has other trust issues, this is a good way for you to help him resolve them. Be where you say you’ll be, answer your phone to him promptly, and if plans change, let him know as they do. It shouldn’t be long before he knows he can trust you to go out and return without breaking his heart.
- Separate hobbies – maintain separate hobbies and interests, even if it is going to get your nails done with a friend once a month. Learning to live with someone but not in their pocket is a good way to build trust and a solid and lasting relationship.