Reminder: The questions posed in this occasional column are written by actual people.
Dear Savvy Sister,
I have huge insecurities, normal ones, you know, about my body, looks….blah…blah…blah.
Anyways, I have a wonderful boyfriend. Our relationship didn’t start off on the best of circumstances but we are going on being together for 3 years. I love him, I know he loves me.
But my insecurities have made this jealousy fester in me and I can’t let it go. I know nothing is going on because let me tell you, a jealous woman does better research than the FBI, lol. I guess what I am getting at is how do I let go of these feelings because there are times when it causes issues in our relationship. Frankly, if I continue to accuse him of cheating on me is it going to reach the point of him thinking, well he is already being accused of it, might as well do it?
We have amazing sex, nothing is lacking there and he is my best friend. But I think the way our relationship started will always be in the back of my head and like I said it wasn’t under the best of circumstances but our relationship is completly different than that relationship. He has always said, men are like dogs, you keep their food and water bowl full and they won’t go anywhere else lol…and his are full. I don’t know if you will be able to use this on your blog, but any feedback you can give me would be great.
Dear Love Monkey,
Not use this on my blog? Are you kidding? I live for this stuff. And boy, do we have some stuff here. Infidelity, envy, using the hideous “lol” outside of a text – I will definitely need extra Omega-3 fish oil today.
First off, please instruct your boyfriend to never, ever use that awful dog analogy again. It’s appalling and wholly incorrect. My dog, for example, is fed regularly and always has fresh water, but she would disappear forever if an ogre offered her an endless supply of cat turds to eat. And poor Hot Firefighter Husband – between his schedule and our three omnipresent children, his water dish stays boner dry for months weeks way longer than it should — but I know with certainty that he would never cheat on me. Why? Because I TRUST him.
Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
It can also be used as a verb, although obviously not by you. Because if you trusted this man, I would not be writing this most excellent column right now.
There are three circumstances under which people accuse their partners of cheating: because they are thinking of straying themselves, they have reason to be suspicious, or they hate themselves. I’m diagnosing you with reasons two and three.
You are right to remain skeptical about the start of your relationship. As Dr. Phil says, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Caveat: Husband and I became a couple under suspicious circumstances, and have been together for 22 years now. But we were best friends before the….coupling….occurred. I knew what I was getting, so to speak.
The fact that you have actually done some amateur surveillance on this guy tells me a lot, as does your concern that he might cheat on you simply because he has been accused of it. What? That’s like Mitt Romney being so incessantly accused of being an ultraconservative boring white guy that he chooses an ultraconservative boring white guy as his running mate. Wait…okay, strike that.
We have two issues here: how you feel about yourself, and how you feel about your relationship. I’m sorry to report that I fear the answers are one and the same. If you have so little confidence in yourself that you think your beloved, awesome boyfriend will leave/cheat on you just because, then I don’t care how great this guy is, your relationship WILL NOT WORK. And, forgive me, dear Monkey, but I suspect he’s not George Clooney and David Beckham and Jon Stewart all rolled into one. It sounds to me like most of your waking hours are spent waiting for the anti-Cupid to land an ax on your heart, and I think your insecurities make him feel like you’re lucky to be with someone like him – which makes him feel a little superior, which gives him the upper hand in this deal. Be honest: suppose he does cheat on you. Are you more likely to forgive him and grab his ankles and beg him to stay, or throw his beloved Gators coozie down the disposal and be grateful you found out the truth before having his babies? I think you’d choose the former. Strong women who believe in themselves are throwing up in their mouths a little right now.
Let’s get down to your own insecurities: you have some hard work to do, young lady. “Huge” insecurities are not “normal.” What does the Love Monkey so despise about the Love Monkey? Your body? Your hair? Your very soul? All fixable! Join a gym! (Relevant aside: You know I’m a personal trainer, right?) Visit Marcy at Top Notch Salon! (Tell her I sent you.) Read any book by the Dalai Lama! But for the love of Gloria Steinem, please start liking yourself enough to think you deserve a decent man. And don’t let this go – low self-esteem doesn’t fade away like a bad cold or a sunburn. It festers like a staph infection and spreads to vital organs.
In the off-chance that this particular guy is THE ONE, or that you think he’s THE ONE, here are some specific actions you can take:
1. Sit him down and say something like: Dude. You know I love you. (I especially love when you ____ my ____ right before we ____ in the ______.) As you know, I’ve had some trust issues, and I’ve come to understand that those issues are more about me than they are about you. So I’m sincerely sorry for accusing you of not being faithful. I’m going to try very hard to put that lack of trust behind me, and enjoy what we have.
2. Start spending more time by yourself. Take two nights a week for reading, walking on the beach, working out, or knitting. Enjoy being you. If you can’t appreciate who you are, how can he?
3. Expand your horizons. Write a bucket list and start checking things off, even simple items like Read Moby Dick. Invest in yourself.
But if the main reason you dig this guy is the fabulous way in which you think he might dig you, then please, just do both of you a favor and break it off. Get a dog. And don’t date again until you can look at yourself in the mirror and say, “GODDAMN, I’M HOT!” Okay?
Peace to you, my little lamb.
the Savvy Sister