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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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retroactive jealousy/family friend

Hello, I have a situation that I need some objective advice. My wife and I are both in our mid 20's. She's from another country, and has no real friends or family around. We never had the talk about past sexual experience before tying the knot (a year ago) , but we had the talk right after. Since then, we've had the problem of being jealous of each other's past lovers (she has a few more than mine, though mine was primarily a few years long relationship). It's been very difficult, we both have mental images of each other making love to our past lovers. She had two of hers on facebook and snapchat, and when we were dating I asked who they were and she said they were friends. She even showed me a picture of one of them , a family friend whom she slept with. She said he was a friend, but later I found out they had a romantic past. This family friend lives with one of her close family members in her home country, is best friends with one of her siblings.

I have gotten over the actual sexual history she had before we were together, and she said mine no longer bothers her, but it still bothers me that this family friend she slept with is still a part of her family. I told her it wouldn't be acceptable for him to be around her family's house when we visit back home, she basically said she can't control what her family does or if we will run into him. Now, it bothers me that I can't control this, and it feels like it is driving a wedge between our relationship, and she doesn't want to tell anybody about what happened between them (not sure if they know , or not). I may be overreacting and I just can't get over it, so any advice would be appreciated. As ridiculous as it sounds, I am really not fully happy with this situation, and sometimes wonder if I would be happier without her in my life (not to sound like a hypocrite, it's how I feel). Please advise, if anyone has any productive input, no criticism please, we can't help the way we feel.

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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 02:57 AM
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Re: retroactive jealousy/family friend

You're right. It is hypocritical. Not that I don't understand where you are coming from. Past lovers, since they have had a prior relationship, makes it easy for that relationship to be rekindled when they are in contact regularly. (Of course, I know there are many who have no interest whatsoever in their exes) However, it doesn't sound like your wife and this man will be in regular contact. He lives in another country. There is nothing you can do. If he is a family friend it would seem rude and in bad form for him to be excluded from family events because of a jealous family member. You have to decide whether you can let this go or not. And for the love of peace and sanity don't have children until you have decided if this is going to be a problem you constantly revisit or not. Children don't need to be punished for their parents stupidity.

Why do you not trust your wife? Has she given you a reason to not trust her? Does she have a bad reputation for being promiscuous? I am just wondering where this distrust is coming from if you are in a relationship with her already.

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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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Re: retroactive jealousy/family friend

Hi, thanks for your response. She doesn't have a reputation for being promiscuous at all. Also, i believe I do trust her. It's more shame and anger that I feel that my wife slept with a man, who's close to her family. I feel devalued, pushed aside, territorial and just irritated. I've basically told her I won't allow him to be around us. I can't help but get angry and show it. I feel like confronting the guy if he tries to show up at our family's house. She says she doesn't know if I'll ever be happy with her. And, I really don't know.
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 03:27 AM
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Re: retroactive jealousy/family friend

Do you still have anything to do with the women in your past? Do you, or both of you, ever run into them socially?

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Originally Posted by redsox1762 View Post
Hi, thanks for your response. She doesn't have a reputation for being promiscuous at all. Also, i believe I do trust her. It's more shame and anger that I feel that my wife slept with a man, who's close to her family. I feel devalued, pushed aside, territorial and just irritated. I've basically told her I won't allow him to be around us. I can't help but get angry and show it. I feel like confronting the guy if he tries to show up at our family's house. She says she doesn't know if I'll ever be happy with her. And, I really don't know.
You say that your wife has no family or friends where the two of you live.

And then when you visit her family, you would want to do something like confront this guy. As you know, this will most likely cause a lot of family drama and a huge riff in her family.

Sounds to me like you don’t want your wife to have friends and family at all. What a great way to isolate her.

If you “feel devalued, pushed aside and devalued, pushed aside, territorial and just irritated.” And this gets you so angry that you blow up about it, you have a problem. This guy is no threat to your marriage.

You should probably get into individual counseling to figure out why you are reacting this way and how to put this in proper perspective.

And if you cannot deal with your emotions and put things in perspective you may as well divorce your wife because this is going to destroy your marriage.

I guess you now know that you need to discuss previous partners before getting too far into a relationship since you have trouble handling your partner’s/wife’s pervious sex partners.
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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 04:12 AM
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Re: retroactive jealousy/family friend

It's true that she can't control her family's decision to maintain a connection to her ex,any more than you can.

She can, however, ask her family to let him go. Again, what they ultimately decide is beyond her power to control.

As @EleGirl said, imposed isolation on her is bad, not a loving gesture. How does she treat you NOW? With love, respect, and care? Part of this is going to come down to you either letting go of your jealousy or letting her go because you simply can't.

"If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life."

~ Abraham Maslow
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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: retroactive jealousy/family friend

Thanks everyone for responding. I have no contact with my ex although she does live in the same city as us. We don't run into my exes socially, and this whole problem is a hypothetical one - because a guy she slept with is so close to her family, I'm bound to run into him sooner or later. Not that I'm afraid to face that person, but I told her there's a good chance I'm going to make it known how I feel about him. She said she won't tell her friends and family not to talk to him. This angers me, as all I can think about is them having sex, and him having a relationship with all her family members, and me being stuck there having to have a meal with him. I told her I wouldn't allow that to happen, even if I have to make a scene.

Honestly, I think my heart truly says I idealized my wife and then was let down terribly when I found out the truth about her past. We just got married less than a year ago in front of family, and everything. Her parents even came from another country to attend. Honestly, I think in some ways I wish I never did this - it's hard for me to live with. I guess it's embarrassing for us both to want a divorce so soon, but maybe it's in our best interest. She wants to work it out, but doesn't want me to live unhappy. Then other times I feel like I'd be throwing away something good I won't find again.
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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 12:53 PM
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Re: retroactive jealousy/family friend

Dude, you've made the two most common mistakes. Pedestalized/idealized and believed the "just friends" line.

Never do that.
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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 01:32 PM
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Re: retroactive jealousy/family friend

I think that, maybe, you're focusing on the symptom rather than the issue. Yes, having to run into your spouse's ex is ridiculously uncomfortable, especially knowing how close he is with your wife's family.

But what I'm wondering about is where this jealousy is coming from. My guess is that you don't entirely feel like your wife is being fully open and honest with you.

Is it possible that knowing how close her ex is with her family is causing you some insecurities about your position in their family? Like maybe you're concerned that they would prefer him over you especially seeing how much more time he spends with her family than you do?

My advice to you is to truly figure out where this is coming from and then talk to your wife about it. Be truly honest about just how much this is bothering you and where this jealousy is coming from. It's one thing for your wife to see her husband seem petty by acting jealous and another entirely to understand where those emotions of yours are coming from.
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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 02:00 PM
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Re: retroactive jealousy/family friend

I believe you should seek counseling as she isn't really the problem and divorcing her will not separate you from your inability to cope with your emotions.

I understand territory.

I am not really jealous but very territorial. I would not be playing friends with any man that had been in my wife. I would not put pressure on her to separate her family from the friend but I would not visit when he is there.

It can be civil. The family might need to know what the problem is so as to avoid awkward situations.

I'm not going to eat dinner with any of my wife's exes ever.

I don't hate them and I'm certainly not jealous or threatened by them, she chose me after all, but I don't have any desire to get to know them either.

Get help my friend. You may or may not be throwing away something wonderful but you will still have a serious problem that will impact all future relationships.

I don't think you should divorce over this. It seems a little silly to consider when it is easily dealt with.
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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 02:27 PM
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Re: retroactive jealousy/family friend

Could the ex be remaining so close to your W's family as a way of maintaining ties with her? A way to get her back if you two break up? It has happened before.

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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: retroactive jealousy/family friend

Thanks all, this has shed some light. It does seem that I can't control my emotions related to this. A part of it may be related to wanting to be part of her family and the anger that somebody else she has had a sexual relationship with is considered 'part of the family.' It angers me greatly, and It's something I can't stop focusing on as a flaw in our happiness.

She knows why I feel the way I do, we've discussed it in depth. She doesn't want to put me through that, but knows one day her brother or cousin will probably bring him around. I know I'm the superior guy, but it drives me wild thinking he knows they had sex and I'm some sort of chump that has no idea. When I'm her country, I have nowhere else to go, as we would be staying with family. I'm afraid there will be some sort of conflict between us, which wouldn't be good, getting in trouble in another country where I don't understand the language or laws.

When we discuss this However, I just end up repeating nonstop that i won't allow him to be around us when we visit her family, and she just gets upset and starts to ignore me. Our inability to come to a solution to this has caused great tension, and sometimes I imagine how nice it would be to be single. I'd be able to enjoy other women, but not allow the relationship to get to this point where I actually care about their past. I'm not sure what I want, and I can't come to a conclusion which would be better. Pros and cons to everything I suppose.
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post #12 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: retroactive jealousy/family friend

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Could the ex be remaining so close to your W's family as a way of maintaining ties with her? A way to get her back if you two break up? It has happened before.

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I am not sure. He has been her brothers best friend for a long time and lives with another close family member. I even ate dinner at his house once, but he wasn't there. I just keep imagining how I would react if I came face to face with him. Probably angry, because it's what I feel very intensely.
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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 03:59 PM
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Re: retroactive jealousy/family friend

If she doesn't agree that he needs to be away from you both when you visit, then that is a big problem.
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post #14 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 04:41 PM
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Re: retroactive jealousy/family friend

My wife was a virgin when we married and never had a steady boyfriend so she has no sexual pass other than that she made with me and those we played with. I have had sex with about 30 women so I have a long sexual past. Thought a virgin was kinky and a change for me. However, I have had sex with all three of her best friends, most of her school chums and neighborhood girls. She was friends with my ex fiancee and still friends with her girlfriends who had sex with me. My wife just never gets jealous. As she says, any woman who wants me is welcome to me. Yet she does not like when I remind of my past sexual partners. Two of them visited us for two weeks a few years ago. We live far away now but when we did not, we saw some of my past sex partners often. My wife's attitude is that she has what they once had and they know what they lost and she now has. I was somewhat desired by the girls when I was a young. Few dated me. Most just wanted to have sex with me. Plus all three of my relationships were with bisexual women, including my wife. She says that is because after having sex with me, they all turn gay. Might be right about that because I have no other explanation why my lovers are all bi.

Many prefer to drown in a pool of their own morality rather than seek the safety of a different morality.

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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 05:39 PM
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Re: retroactive jealousy/family friend

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Originally Posted by redsox1762 View Post
Thanks all, this has shed some light. It does seem that I can't control my emotions related to this. A part of it may be related to wanting to be part of her family and the anger that somebody else she has had a sexual relationship with is considered 'part of the family.' It angers me greatly, and It's something I can't stop focusing on as a flaw in our happiness.

She knows why I feel the way I do, we've discussed it in depth. She doesn't want to put me through that, but knows one day her brother or cousin will probably bring him around. I know I'm the superior guy, but it drives me wild thinking he knows they had sex and I'm some sort of chump that has no idea. When I'm her country, I have nowhere else to go, as we would be staying with family. I'm afraid there will be some sort of conflict between us, which wouldn't be good, getting in trouble in another country where I don't understand the language or laws.

When we discuss this However, I just end up repeating nonstop that i won't allow him to be around us when we visit her family, and she just gets upset and starts to ignore me. Our inability to come to a solution to this has caused great tension, and sometimes I imagine how nice it would be to be single. I'd be able to enjoy other women, but not allow the relationship to get to this point where I actually care about their past. I'm not sure what I want, and I can't come to a conclusion which would be better. Pros and cons to everything I suppose.
I have already expressed my over all feeling about your situation. But, do have one idea that might help. Instead of your wife telling her family to not allow him around or you causing a scene, your wife could write him on Facebook (you did say that he's on Facebook right?) and ask him to please not come around where the two of you are when you are visiting. That she thinks it would be disrespectful to you. This would leave her family out of it and just deal with the source of the issue.

Have you told your wife that this is making your feel like you wish you were single, or never married her?
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