Sunday, March 15, 2009

Advice: The Green Monster (and not at Fenway)

Note: This, as with most of the questions I've been answering, were sent to my friend Aspasia Fern. Aspasia has retired from the advice business, so I've offered to do my best for her correspondents.

I have been an avid reader of your advice column for a while now, and while it seems to have been a long time since you did a batch post on Literotica, I am hoping that this gets to you, and that you have the time (and the patience) to write, even if it doesn't end up in a column there.

I have a whole lot of questions kind of rolled up into one, and I don't know any local professionals out here that I would trust enough to ask about any of them. Having read the advice you have given others, however, I think that you might be exactly the person to ask these things.

I am a twenty-five year old male, and in a rather complicated relationship. My girlfriend of six months is beautiful, loving, amazingly passionate, experimental, and responsive sexually... in short, everything any reasonable man could want, and then some. She makes me very happy, and I am told (often, both in bed and out) that I make her happy too. There are a few tiny hang-ups, however, that I was hoping you could help me to sort out.

I was my girl's first sexual experience, and while she is very happy with our sex life and enjoys it as much as I do, we are still early enough in our relationship that I worry sometimes that she may not be seeing me through clear eyes. A woman's first man tends to have a strong impact on her, positive or negative, and I have a few confidence issues after my last relationship, and it has got me constantly worried that when the shine wears off, she is going to wander off.

It does not help that, given the way in which my last relationship ended, I have some HORRIBLE jealousy issues to work through. My girlfriend has a large bevy of male friends, always has, just as I have many female friends. I trust her absolutely, and never for a second have believed I had to worry about her cheating on me, but it still makes me bristle whenever she is spending time hanging out with another man. Making things worse, I know that my feelings are irrational, given my trust in her, so I feel like I am going insane, being childish, or both.

I have spoken to her about these things, and she has offered to cut back on socializing, but I do NOT want to change her that way. That said, I don't want to have to wrestle with the green monster anymore either, especially given that it's an unfamiliar, unpleasant feeling for me. Do you know of some healthy things I can do to try and get my worries about our relationship under control? I realize it's all in my head, but I am afraid that my inability to let it go may very well destroy the happiest time of my life with a woman I love very, very deeply.

Whether you are able to respond or not, it felt really good to type this, and if I do hear back, thank you in advance.

You are right to be concerned that when you spoke to her about your jealousy she agreed to cut back on socializing. That's not a healthy response for either of you. If the question was simply that you want to spend more time with her, that's a reasonable one to address and see if she agrees. But anything other than that smells of coercion, and that plants a bad seed in the relationship.

While both members of a couple can, and should, have their own friends, I think it's worth trying to mix it up and see if some of her friends can also be your friends and vice versa. Arrange some very casual get-togethers, either in small or large groups. At the very least, you should get to know each others' friends even if you don't become friends with them yourselves.

Please realize that if you truly trusted her, you would no more be jealous of time she spends with male friends than with female friends. The fact is that you do not have complete trust.

If you will not see a therapist (which I would recommend), you'll have to work this out by yourself, and perhaps you'll just need more time. You need to recognize that each person and each relationship is different. Live the one you are in day by day and don't focus on what might happen down the line. Yes, she may leave you. But you may leave her. Or you may grow old together. It's really never possible to know, so why sweat it?

Give yourself permission to be happy.

No comments: