Inside the Mind of a Jealous Man

Things with your boyfriend started off great. But then he realized you actually had a sexual history…with other men. Maybe he found an old naughty picture your ex once sent you long ago, or maybe he can’t handle you being friends with an ex, or maybe he invades your privacy and goes snooping through your email looking for dirt. Our MVP commenter Johnny reveals the inner workings of the mind of the jealous man:

I am embarrassed to say that many years ago, I was this guy. So I can offer a pretty educated guess into the thought processes of this specimen.

First of all, the bad news: your guy’s got some major growing up to do and there’s not much you can do or say to make that happen. It has to happen on its own, in his own head.

But just to say you did your due diligence, tell him the following:

Look, bf, it’s obvious that my past is eating you alive. If we’re going to stay together you need to come to terms with it, like right now. I shared that information with you because it’s part of who I am and I thought you wanted to know me, but I now regret opening up to you, and that’s no way to run a relationship. You’re making me feel horrible but I didn’t do anything wrong and I can’t take one single further comment about it.

But that’s not what he wants to hear. He wants you to apologize, to beg forgiveness, to admit you’re a whore, and above all to repentantly swear that the only sex you ever enjoyed is the sex you have with him. And even all that won’t be enough, because it’s HIS thoughts driving him crazy, not YOUR past.

I take it you’ve had more partners than him? Maybe significantly more? The fewer partners a man has had, the likelier that is to drive him nuts. Lots of guys see success with women as a measure of their worth. Here’s his thought process:

  • You have more partners – you’re winning the contest that HE’S supposed to be winning. AARGH!
  • Some of those partners were casual partners, meaning his special snowflake girlfriend is some guy’s half-forgotten drunken lay – THAT drives him nuts.
  • Those casual guy partners? He imagines that they bedded you through superior game, and he compares himself unfavorably to them too. Another level of jealousy and insecurity.
  • A little good old Madonna/whore, “my cow gave that other guy guy the milk for free!”
  • He found their pictures, so now he can visualize exactly who was banging you (which is what he’s primarily worried about – not how much YOU liked it. It could have been the lamest sex in the world and he’d still be jealous). The fact that he’s actually seeking out stuff to go crazy over should show you that this is a downward spiral.

At this point, you’ve probably internalized some of his negativity and begun to feel a little ashamed of your past. But that’s not because you have anything to be ashamed of; it’s because, oh I don’t know, the closest person to you devotes half his day to making you feel like shit about it…?

The bottom line is that you don’t have anything to feel bad about or apologize for. Your boyfriend feels bad, and misery loves company, so he’s wants you to feel bad too. That’s a real dick move. Maybe things between you are such that you want to give him another chance, but honestly, I wouldn’t blame you for ending it.

Want more insight into the male mind?
Read Johnny’s other columns!