My boyfriend gets intensely jealous at times over guys I've liked (not dated) previously. Before dating him, I had been a virgin, and now, about a year afterwards, he claims that I've lied to him. I've asked him to talk to my closest girl friends and told them to tell him EVERYTHING they know about my past, in addition to telling him myself. I even showed him my private journals. Despite the confirmation, he still goes back and forth between believing me. He gets really angry and keeps insisting that I tell him the truth, when he can't accept the truth. He wants me to tell him lies that he wants to hear, and it makes me feel so cheap. I am out of ways to try to convince him. What should I do?! -- Honest Alice
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Dear Honest Alice --
You asked for my advice, and there's just this one thing I'm going to ask of you, dear Alice: Go to loveisrespect and either sign up for the online chat or call one of counselors. There are both adult counselors and peer counselors available; they know a lot about jealousy in relationships, and they are really nice and not judgemental at all. Just tell them what you told me, and talk with someone there about healthy relationships, jealousy, control, and what we ladies like to call 'boundaries'. You're on the defensive in this relationship in ways that seriously concern me. I want you to be strong, proud, confident, independent and safe, Honest Alice. In fact, it is your right to be all those things, when you're in love or when you're not.
Jealousy might seem like a sign of love, but when someone uses anger or jealousy to try to control what you do, or acts like they 'own' you, it isn't love. You've got every right to talk to anyone you want to. It's normal and healthy to have liked other boys. Your body is your own to share with whomever you choose. Your journal is a private document, to be seen only by you. And you aren't on trial; your friends are not witnesses for your character. Click here for a related website that has good information, checklists, facts and quizzes about what to know when love hurts.
As much as you might love him, Alice, I know you sense that something isn't good or right about the way he treats you. And I know you must be exhausted and confused from trying so hard. You were very wise to have questions about this and to look around for some advice. When we first begin to love, it's difficult to know what it should and shouldn't feel like. Please talk with the adult or peer counselors at the first website I gave you, and write me back within 4 weeks to let me know how you're doing.
Ladies, a lot of us have been through our own version of this, so please offer some words of encouragement or wisdom to Honest Alice.