June 25th, 2010 by Nina Atwood
Dear Nina: I have been with my boyfriend for seven years. I am a divorced mum of one child; I have tried to prevent further trauma to my son by remaining in the marital home. My relationship was very up and down with this man for the first four years and after many split ups he appears to be more committed; i.e., not going out to night clubs. The problem is that he is very jealous and upsets me when I try to do things on my own like going on a conference for my business or doing things with my friends. In my previous marriage I could do whatever I wanted and now I feel that I am stunting myself. I do love this man but how do I keep me. – Vivienne
Dear Vivienne: I don’t know which came first: his jealousy (maybe he’s just wired that way) or your lack of commitment as displayed by remaining in the same home with your ex-husband (maybe you provoked him into it). Either way, you have a complicated situation that is not conducive to a healthy relationship.
I understand wanting to minimize trauma to your son – a worthy endeavor. But when you choose to live with your ex-husband, you also choose to be unavailable for new relationships; it is not healthy for you, a new man, or your son to try and do both. Maybe it’s time to move forward in your life and get your own place. This will accomplish several things: a.) your ex can move on with his life, b.) your son will be less confused, c.) you can move on with your life, and d.) your boyfriend will be less confused.
Once you establish your own home, you have the opportunity to find out if your boyfriend is wired to be jealous or if it was the circumstances provoking him. If you discover that he’s wired that way, I can’t say it strongly enough: you MUST move on.
When women marry jealous men (read: insecure), they find their lives gradually shutting down over time. This is a formula for reverse actualization: instead of expanding who you are as a woman (the natural order of life), you shrink who you are in order to appease him. You will lose your authentic voice and that is tragic.
Far too many women settle for this kind of limiting relationship out of pathological attachments that they misread as “love.” Real love provides room for each person in the relationship to grow and actualize. Real love, as the Bible says, is not jealous. Real love is acceptance for who you are and support for your growth.
One of the ten Temptations of the Single Girl is sacrificing your authentic voice – find out more; buy and read the book today if you want a life of real love, growth, and being all you can be as a woman!