He is possessive and does not trust me

-- Question for John --

I’ve been with this guy for almost a year, and I have found that he doesn’t like me talking to other guys. The only problem I have with this is that all my friends are guys. After all this time together, of having a faithful relationship, he still doesn’t trust me. Here recently he made a joke with me saying that he had one of his friends coming to my job to basically spy on me…

So I just got fed up with it and told him it was over. Now that we have been away from each other for 2 weeks I don’t know what to do… I don’t know how to act around other people… I don’t know how to talk to other people. All I want is to be with him… But I don’t know if its the right thing to do… Could you please give me some advice? It would be greatly appreciated…

-- Answer from John --

It seems like you are being pulled in two different directions. One side of it is that you do not like his possessive behavior — jealousy, insecurity, whatever you want to call it. And rightfully so. He needs to mature on that matter. And who wants to be imprisoned as a part of a love relationship? We want a soulmate, not a cellmate, right?

On the other hand, you obviously love him and in breaking up, you suddenly have this big loss, this empty spot inside. You are hurting and to get back together with him would seem to take away the pain. And it might.

But also, it would return you to Act I of the play, where you are back in relationship with a possessive guy.

Make your choice on that. If you go back to him now, chances are that he will have even less of a reason to change his behavior. He’ll figure you are all talk, and underneath all your complaints about his possessive behavior, you’re a cream puff anyway and you’ll just come running back. So that maybe will happen and that could lead to an even more frustrating situation in being with him.

On the other hand, if you tough it out and learn to take emotional care of yourself under this painful circumstance, you will strengthen your inner core, and you will be a much smaller target for possessive kinds of guys, because you won’t put up with it or unconsciously reinforce it in them. And, who knows, maybe he feels exactly the same pain as you do now, and it will wake him up to the need to make a change in himself. And, along those lines, maybe he will be the one to try to come back to you, as a changed man.

Anyway, it’s your choice.

You can use this emotional trial as a path to inner strengthening, and no matter what other outcome happens, that is probably THE most important one.

Interestingly, it’s about at the one year mark that relationships that are NOT meant to be break up. This is the usual amount of time it takes to really get to know the other person. Partners who are not well matched in emotional maturity tend to fall apart at this time point. I don’t know, but it kind of sounds like you are a lot more mature than he is. Maybe your telling him it was over was a clear and authentic statement based on this. Unless you suspect that you over-reacted (and this would have to be based on a long-running pattern of emotional over-reaction that you have as a rule) I’d stick with the action you took and not second-guess yourself just because you are now feeling the normal painful aftermath. The pain of missing him does NOT mean it is the perfect relationship for you, by the way. But I think you already know that.