Jealousy inside marriage

I have posted under a different name for years on this site… I am so ashamed about this I wanted a different name. I am truly hoping to get some advice, please be brutally honest.

I am married to a wonderful man. we are in our late 20’s and have one child. before we met we both had premarital sex. I did it in a few long relationships that I thought would head me towards marriage. I was raised in the church and for some reason rebelled in college and that’s when I went down the wrong path. my husband was not raised in the church but converted before we got married, when I decided to return as well. He had sexual relationships much more casually, his longest relationship (prior to me) ending at 6 months, but had alot of partners. He also did the porn/strip club thing, and more that I don’t want to know about when he was over seas in the military. he (usually after a few drinks) TOLD me details about his past relationships that no girl needs to know. we dated (sexually actively) for over 4 years, cohabitated, before we decided to marry. when we started our marriage prep, we quit that and we (me especially) became much closer to God and very much involved with the church. we tried to use NFP but still concieved a child shortly after we were married, and have had a relitavely normal marriage aside from the ugly sexual history.

He is a good good guy and loves me and our child with all his heart. he would never cheat on me and takes great care of us. I love him the same way.

the problem I have wrestled with for YEARS is that I have an extream jealousy over his past relationships, especially now with my post-baby weight gain… I constantly compare myself to the other girls in his past, even though I don’t know them. We recently moved and now live in the house he grew up in, in his home town. so I can’t even see a girl in the walmart without wondering if they’ve been together… I can’t drive down a road without wondering who he was driving down that road with before… his family jokes about girls he’s been with in the past… I think I need to talk to a pschyatrist but don’t have the money! I need to get over this, because he is a good man and we have a good marriage but this is eating at me inside and I’m afraid it will rot our marriage. I know jealousy is a sin, I have gone to confession but it doesn’t seem to help. I am too chicken to talk to my priest at the moment, is there maybe a place I can go/call anonymously? (that’s why I love CAF!)

I soooooooooo know now why you are supposed to be chaste before marriage and wish with all my heart I could do it all over again. after talking with him about my feelings, so does he. but that doesn’t change anything that happened and I would love some ideas on making myself move past his past and be happy here. :o

THANK YOU and PEACE to everyone this season!

*Oh, I’m sorry you’re struggling. Jealousy is actually closely tied to fear. Fear of loss, mainly. You fear losing your husband to another woman, that is what is at the core. Probably THAT fear is wrapped up in the sexual relationships you both had prior to marriage. You might be thinking to yourself, well, he did it with other women, why would marriage stop him now? Your thoughts are very normal on that front. I think maybe counseling could help you get those feelings out to someone objective, and constant prayer about this. Ask God to make you feel like you are enough for your husband. That you are loved. Pray for your marriage. Pray that God removes the fears that you have, and replaces them with good thoughts. In time, if you keep praying over this, you’ll see, those pains of jealousy will disappear.

And communicate with your husband about this. He can be of great help to you, if he knows your fears. If you bottle them up, they might come out in other ways.

Good luck, and I’ll be praying for you both. *

And never forget-do whatever whatevergirl says. (hey-those two whatever’s sound kind of cool…) She is almost always right…shame she is not british, than she’d always be right! :slight_smile:

(I actually have no idea what nationality she is…apologies if she is a brit…)

Anyway, jealousy is a normal emotion-in particulary when you have just had a baby, but I think in the case you describe it might be a bit extreme. Make sure he knows how you feel about it-he needs to show you that your loved, but if your jealousy leads its way to rash insecurity, get a therapist.

When we enter into a releationship, we always have scars of the past ones-our goal is to remember that they are the past ones for a reason. You have something special his exes didn’t have.

I think the first step is to realize that your feelings aren’t because of his past sexual history, but because of your insecurity with yourself and possibly depression or anxiety. Did your feelings worsen after you had the baby, do you think you could be suffering from postpartum depression? If you don’t have money for a psychiatrist, do you have money to talk to a regular doctor? Worrying that a random woman at Walmart might have slept with your husband sounds like you’re struggling with mental health issues, not just regular jealousy. Also if you are depressed that would hit your self esteem and make you think all kinds of crazy thoughts.

I think talking to your priest would be a good idea. Or if you are ashamed, how about talking to a priest in another parish who doesn’t know you? Maybe he would be able to recommend affordable counseling?

Are there things you can do to improve your self esteem? Are you enjoying your job? Do you have hobbies you’re proud of?

Yes, you do need some counseling. See if Catholic Charities in your diocse does counseling on a sliding scale fee.

This is all about you. Something inside of you is deeply insecure and you are projecting all this onto your husband. (says me, from the peanut gallery… I am not a trained psycologist).

I’m not sure how helpful I will be except to sympathize. My husband was very sexually active before me and during a long break up while were dating. Get this we were married when I was 18 and he was 19 and I’m really not exactly sure how many sexual encounters he had but it was a lot, my memory has faded over the years but I know I couldn’t count them on my fingers and toes and there was some out there stuff too. His family bounced from different religions -nothing really stuck, he was exposed to sexual stuff at a** very **early age. We had pornography issues earlier in our marriage. It was part of his history, he had to “unlearn” the way he viewed what sex was and what it meant.

I didn’t have the extreme jealousy you seem to be battling but it did definitely bothered me. It made me sad, it made me wonder if he thought about his other experiences, if he compared. I had no other sexual experience. This isn’t going to be a big help right now but time has made all of that fade away. My husband coming into the church obviously helped. My husband is not that person anymore -and hasn’t been for a very long time. He loves me -we’ve been together twenty years, those fleeting experiences are long gone.

His family is being insensitive by bringing up past relationships. Aside from that he married you not those other woman. While its normal to be pained by your husband’s past experiences this early in your relationship its sounds like the issues seem to be more insecurity on your part. Thinking logically ok so if he slept the girl at Walmart - that’s not who he is now and that girl means nothing to him. You are his wife, the mother of his child and he regrets his past. He is with you, he loves you, he wants to be with you. And as your marriage grows, as time passes you’ll realize those girls mean nothing to him, or to you. Or you could just take my word for it.:wink:

Seriously I’m sure others can counsel you better than I. I just want you to know wonderful Godly men can have really bad pasts sometimes and you can get past it and move forward.

oh gosh yes I am very insecure, it started getting bad when I was pregnant and all fat in all the wrong places and I have alot of weight to lose yet. I don’t THINK it’s PPD but it could be. I think my weight gain combined with my being here now, where I have no real identity (I’m not working either for the first time in my life, which may be a big factor), and where all of his past is… I hear his buddies talk about each other’s ex’s… I’m just overwhelmed and very very insecure. I will pray on it, I haven’t really much because it seems kind of like a little thing to be praying for… but important to my sanity! :o

like I said we have talked about it alot and he regrets everything for what it’s done to me, and I do too (he doesn’t seem too overly bothered by my past…). It’s a good marriage, he’s a good man, I’m just a psycho. I need to look into counseling.

*Aw…:o You’re not a psycho! lol Seek out a good counselor. Pray. Talk to your priest. Exercise, and keep eating right, etc. The exercise will also destress you, too! :slight_smile: Just keep thinking positive. You married a good man, he loves you, he married you, and give your fears to God. Prayers going out to you. :hug1: *

You aren’t a psycho!

You are a young mother in a new city with a new baby and you are overwhelmed.

Do seek counseling, but don’t get down on yourself and call yourself names!

You have to remind yourself that in the end after all those women your husband chose you. As you said yourself, he is a faithful and caring husband.

Think of things you can do to work on yourself. Consider returning to work, consider taking some classes or studying. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do like learn an instrument?

Since the weight is bothering you, consider enrolling in something like a martial arts class or another social activity that also includes exercise. (It will improve your self esteem more than just working out and dieting on your own because you’ll have more fun and meet new people.)

Are you sleeping well? All those things are really important to mental health and self esteem.

Also, fight the temptation to remind your husband about how his past affects you.

aww. thank you everyone. I will start looking this week for some counceling options. should I try it through my dioces? I have never talked to a psychiatrist before. I feel kind of like I shouldn’t need to, like I have a better grip on things than that. but if it would help I’m willing to give it a whirl. I am not sleeping all that well. I once in a while have dreams about him that get me all worked up, but generally it’s the baby that keeps me awake. if she’s actually asleep I’m up, wondering whats wrong, lol, you know that drill. :o I need to get out and make friends somewhere, it’s just hard with the baby, even to go join a gym or something… getting too cold to take her out for long walks. (I live in the country, my options are pretty limited). I think you guys are right that it’s a mix of insecurity and fear of losing him (wondering if I “measure up” even though he tells me I’m way better in every way than the others…). then I sometimes wonder if since he was quite active in high school, and I was pretty much a nerdy church girl who never really had a real boyfriend until I graduated, maybe I’m just jealous that he had a better high school life than I did. not that I wish I had done those things, I got good grades and was involved in my own activities at the time, and I was happy too. then again I also got involved with a few guys in college and beyond, before I met DH that messed with my head a bit. they may have kind of given me a little bit of an insecurity complex before I even met my husband. I don’t really know what to think. it would feel good to lay on someone’s couch and let it all out and get some input though. thank you everyone for your kind words, It is good, if nothing else, to hear from strangers that I’m not a total nut and that others have the same struggles in their marriages. :o

I am sorry you are going through this, but I am grateful for you starting this thread. It is actually something I have considered quite a bit lately.

My situation is a little different in that my husband and I had no prior sexual experience before each other. (Unfortunately, we did not wait until marriage.) My difficulty is in addressing the feelings you described in the aftermath of my husband’s affair. It has been almost 18 months since it ended, and my husband (believe it or not) is an amazing man who is truly repentent and doing all he can - and then some - to repair and rebuild our marriage. At this point, one of the biggest pains is knowing what he did with someone else. While I don’t minimize the hurt that each person would go through in this situation, I know that that part of it would hurt less if we hadn’t been exclusive up until that point.

I have worked with a devout Catholic counselor (our marriage one) who wants me to work with a trusted priest for spiritual direction. My individual counselor is also Catholic - but much more of the pick what you believe type. Neither of them really seem to understand the hurt involved with this.

You are not crazy needing to speak with someone about it. I wish you healing and peace from this pain. (Oh yeah, I am also expecting in January, have gained a lot of weight and am worried about how he will see me after the pregnancy.)

First, do not be ashamed to seek counseling. Going to a counselor does not mean you don’t have a grip on things–it just means that you’re opening yourself up to a new perspective. When you find your thoughts going in circles and not getting anywhere (like the constant jealousy you express!) it’s time to get another perspective on the situation. I have been going to counseling the past year and it’s only made me feel like a stronger more resilient person. My counselor doesn’t give me advice–she asks questions that I don’t think of on my own, but I’m the one who comes up with the answers. It’s empowering. :slight_smile:

Second, it sounds like you have a wonderful husband. Have you tried talking to him about this? Of course, always approach it like: “Even though you’ve done nothing wrong, I am feeling these feelings.” It sounds like he is completely committed to you. He is probably noticing that you’re experiencing anxiety and would appreciate the opportunity to understand and “protect” you from your anxieties. Letting him know how he can be a part of your healing process might reinforce the “protector” in him, which I believe reinforces a man’s love for his wife. (The protector concept has held true in my marriage, at any rate.)

i think most of the responses are good: counseling, logical thinking (he chose you), possible PPD etc., but i think there are some important aspects that haven’t been addressed.

sexual sins are sins. in my case, i sinned against my God (my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit) and I sinned against my body-- my body which would someday belong to my husband. (The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. 1 cr 7:4)

if I was only or mostly sorry because my husband felt bad about my past, I would not have demonstrated real contrition. without that, healing isn’t really possible. his confidence in my faithfulness wouldn’t have been really deeply possible, either.

when your husband is sorry (only or mostly) because his past bothers you, he isn’t demonstrating true contrition. this is a huge hurdle to your healing. if he engages in joking about exes with friends and relatives, he is not only NOT demonstrating true contrition, he is demonstrating continued attachment to his former sins.

now sure, there are many aspects of earlier responses that are valid, but the heart of your perspective-- hurt and worry over (seemingly) fully unrepented sin-- is valid, too. if I’m reading you right, your jealousy has a valid core. left unchecked, though, it will eat you alive.

in addition to the previous good advice, pray for you good husband’s ***full ***conversion. pray for the healing of both your memories. talk to him about it if you think you can without arrousing resentment. if not, pray and seek counsel.

It is fear that is all.

What does anything matter if you are going to die?

marriage is her vocation it matters so much, it matters eternally. yours is the worst advice i’ve ever read.

you may ***feel ***like superman, but everything built on the foundation of this lie you’re telling will become your cryptonite.

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