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Jan 21, 2006
Hi, I think my relationship with my girlfriend is plagued by a serious jealousy problem. However, I don't know if I'm doing the right thing.

Our relationship started off perfect. I am 25 and she is now 21. We have been dating for a year and a half, but we know that no other will complete our lives as we do each other. We've received blessings from both sets of parents. I get along very well with her family. She has only met my family a few times since they live in a different state. Her father has half-jokingly asked when I plan on proposing and I half-jokingly respond that her older sister must get married first (We're Vietnamese and it is old old tradition that the oldest daughter gets married before her younger sisters).

However, she let me know of her jealousy about a year ago... pretty early in our relationship. Because I am states away from my family, I stay with friends of family. I've lived here for about 3 and a half years. The household consists of a 44 yr old husband and a 37 yr old wife, their two kids, their nephew, and me. The husband works odd hours and so it is usually the wife and kids that are at home when I am at home. Because our age difference isn't that huge and because we share similar interests, the wife and I get along very well. In Vietnamese, I call her "older sister."

My girlfriend is incredibly jealous of the wife. From the moment that they met, my girlfriend has always had a bad impression of her. She says that she tries to dress in a way to get guys' attention. She believes that the wife and I have chemistry between us since we get along so well and laugh during our conversations. She believes that I play the role of the husband/father since the real husband is at work mostly. She has accused me of desiring that role.

I'm not perfect. After returning from a 10 day visit to my family, the wife picked me up from the airport. The wife asked if I wanted to go home or to the mall and I said let's go to the mall so I can pick a gift up for my girlfriend. So instead of seeing my girlfriend first, I went to the mall with the wife and her kids. My girlfriend told me later that she didn't need anything, just to see me would have been enough. I acknowledged my foolishness. There were a few other minor, but similar instances where my girlfriend intrepeted the situations as my prioritizing the wife before her.

We've talked it out, but have come to no real resolution. The problem seems to escalate further and further. Moving out seems like the simple solution, but I am a law student and I do not have the financial resources to move out. My girlfriend has asked me to stay away from the wife. I have tried as hard as I can to avoid the wife. I use studying as an excuse, but it seems very disrespectful for me to avoid her so much. The family has given me a lot of support since I've been here and the least I can do is enjoy dinner with them. The parents have each asked me to be a role model for their kids, however that would cause me to interact more with the wife as well. I tell them I have too much school work. On occasion I do eat dinner or do something with the family. I am part of the family now, afterall. My girlfriend cannot see that or chooses not to accept it.

My girlfriend and I love each other dearly and we wish to get married after I graduate. This immediate problem will go away once I move out, but I'm afraid that it may return later in our marriage if I became friends with anyone of the opposite sex. I've already distanced myself from my friends. All I want to do is keep my girlfriend happy. I am willing to sacrifice anything, but it just seems unhealthy.

I know this a very long post, but if anyone has any advice... I would be grateful. I feel drained and exhausted after tonight's little discussion with her over the phone. I've tried so hard and I've done so little wrong. I feel imprisoned in my own little room, afraid to step out unless there is no one home or everyone is asleep. She tells me I don't have to restrict myself like that, but I'm too afraid of doing something to set her off. I was so frustrated tonight and in so much need of someone to talk to, I called my mother and told her everything. Apart from being patient, she doesn't know what to do either. My mom hinted that perhaps the relationship may not ultimately work out, but I don't want to even think about that.
Re: Jealousy
Jan 23, 2006
Did you see signs of this before you moved in with this family? Your girlfriend sounds very insecure. What's going to happen later in life when you become friends with other women? I personally would not get involved with someone like this. I think you need to confront her and make it clear to her that this is hurting you. If she truly trusted you, she wouldn't be jealous.
Re: Jealousy
Jan 23, 2006
This is definitely extreme... the woman is almost 40 years old! It's true that typically as a younger female jealousy is a little more common, I know I was quite a bit more jealous when I was her age and have since matured a bit - though still have my moments, just not often and not as seriously by any means.

I'm not really sure what to advise you, jealousy doesn't tread on logic. It's entirely emotional and controlling it could be near impossible for some. I would definitely suggest you put your foot down and explain to her that you respect these people, and if she doesn't trust your intentions to simply be a 'family member' then there are bigger problems in the relationship as a whole than her simple tantrums.

You sound extremely respectful of the relationship and your girlfriend, she can't rule what you do in the very place you live especially if it's with people who have treated you so kindly. She's being completely unreasonable in her complaints, a little jealousy is normal but this isn't a little. This is a huge red flag screaming insecurity on your SO's behalf. She needs to look into that rather than putting the responsibility of her issue on you.
Re: Jealousy
Jan 23, 2006
You went to the mall with the intention of getting a gift for your girlfriend, and so got MAD at you for that? And you feel as if you did something wrong? Wow. The fact that she is a jealous of a woman who is so much older, married, and has kids is a bit extreme. You just have to lay it out to your girlfriend - you love her and only her, but if she cannot believe that then that is her problem. And if she cannot handle it...then she needs to bow out. You seem like a great guy, and any girlfriend you have should be appreciative of you.

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