The Hook Up: Dealing with jealousy after an infidelity and gay paradise

I’m a lesbian in a long-term relationship. She’s amazing and the one I want to spend the rest of my life with, but I think we still have trust issues. I cheated twice in the past. We broke up. We got back together, so far for a year and six months, and I have changed a lot of things that made her wonder if I was still interested in other women. I’m making arrangements to buy us a house, yet I think she’s not seeing or fully aware of everything I’m doing for us. For instance, we fight every time I tell her I gave a co-worker a ride home (a really good friend of mine who happens to live near my partner’s house). She questions my reasons for staying at work longer than usual or gets mad at me because, according to her, I “omit” information when, in reality, she hasn’t even giving me a chance to explain whatever the reason I have for picking her up late (i.e.traffic jam, at work after hours).

Communication is not a problem. I communicate where I am, what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. I know this might sound just wrong, but sometimes I take pictures so she knows exactly where I am. We have talked about our fears and feelings. My big concern is what else can I do to make her understand that I’m truly in love with her and just want to be with her? I’m really frustrated and I have talked to friends about this, but all they say: it’s normal, you have to give her time to adjust after what you did. It’s been almost two years already since it happened.

Anna says Normal? Hardly. Feeling that you need to submit photographic evidence of your location to a partner who then proceeds to fight with you anyway is a far cry from hunky dory. You’re not on CSI: Sapphic Surveillance. I’m really sorry, though. I’ve been in your shoes in the past (more times than I’d care to admit), and I’m sad to say that there are some people who will never forgive your indiscretions, no matter how much you atone or change or apologize. And hey, that’s their right too.

That said, there is a temporary time period when trust is being rebuilt after an infidelity where your partner is allowed to be irrational and suspicious of your behavior. You can’t discount those heavy feelings that bubble to the surface after a betrayal. That s–t stings. But the key word here is “temporary.” If the insecurity and suspicions never recede, as seems to be the case with your girlfriend, then that’s troublesome.  You have been open and honest about your whereabouts, your relationships, and your work schedule. You are working to rebuild your life together and to re-establish the trust you broke when you cheated. At some point though, she has to acknowledge the things you’re doing and have done to make amends, or accept that she can’t get past the past, and end the relationship.

I doubt this will sound comforting, but you’re far from alone here. In this case though, your girlfriend is acting less like a partner and more like a parole officer. You screwed up, sure, but two years is a long time to hold a grudge, especially if you plan on spending the rest of your life with her (honestly, I would do some serious thinking about this plan). As I’ve said before, experiencing jealousy in a relationship is totally normal and healthy. We all feel a little icky when we think our partners might want someone who isn’t us. And talking out this ickiness is essential for successful and functional relationships. But what your girlfriend is doing is using her insecurities and your past infidelities to endlessly punish you. That’s not OK.

I’m not trying to cast blame on either of you. I’m sure your girlfriend is an amazing person, and I’m also sure she hates it when she gets crazy and accuses you of cheating when really you’ve just been stuck in traffic. No one likes to feel that way. But it’s also not fair for her to let her crazy make you crazy, you know? You’ve owned up to your mistakes. Now she needs to own up to her behaviors if she expects your relationship to ever thrive. You’ve already got a head start, since you’re not shy about communicating. But telling her your coordinates is different than hashing out the real problem, which revolves around trust. Tell her that giving your co-worker a ride home is not fight-worthy. Tell her that you love her, but that you can’t continue to live your life with constant, unfounded accusations and policing. If she balks or refuses or keeps fighting with you over your whereabouts, then you should walk away. Or this is what your life will continue to be like. Don’t choose it. Don’t let the crazy win.

I have had a lot of crushes and a few dates but never anything long term, and I finally thought I met an amazing woman a year ago who goes to my college. We saw each other almost every day for a few months, and then we made out at a party. After that everything seemed fine, but she started acting cold after a week or so. I had expected her to want to kiss me again after that, but she wanted to shut me out of her life. She started being rude when she ran into me on campus and finally it got awkward when she started completely ignoring me. There was no communication and I have no idea what happened because I don’t feel comfortable confronting her. I just want to get over her, but I can’t because I run into her all the time. I also can’t stand not knowing what happened or accept the fact that we’ll never even talk to each other again. It really took a blow to my confidence.

I’m in gay paradise and I’m about to go on a gay island vacation, away from her and this campus, but I’m so sad without her. It’s been months since we’ve spoken but I see her all the time! I don’t know what to do. I want to move on and I try to distract myself with my summer plans and major plans and future plans, but she’s always lurking in my mind, especially when our mutual friends mention her name. All the time. I can’t get away from her. It’s unlike me. She’s a Gemini and I’m a Leo and she’s being such a typical Gemini, but I’m not being myself! Help! — Naive Heartache

Anna says: Man, I’m so jealous. I want to go to gay paradise. Especially if gay paradise is also an island vacation. I imagine lots of cabana girls in flannel bikinis fanning me with organic palm fronds and all the Big Box stores playing Tegan and Sara endlessly on a loop. “Hardcore superstar by far! You’re the ultimate star.” And I’d be like, “Yes. Yes I am. Pass me the quinoa, pretty lady!”

My Leo authority tells me that you are acting very much like a Leo, in that they are intensely loyal, so it’s hard for them to fall out of love with someone they’ve devoted themselves to. She also says that “our egos won’t let us admit we chose badly, so we stay way too long, making up excuses for them along the way.” Admittedly, I know very little about astrology and I’m going off a paragraph of information about you, but that kinda sounds like you, doesn’t it?

Regardless of your fate as dictated by the cosmos, none of that really matters here, as you are already aware. What matters is that you get over this girl. You’ve said as much yourself. (It’s the seventh sentence, if you need a refresher). I am sorry that your awesome make out with The Typical Gemini didn’t lead to gay paradise of the U-Haul variety. But her childishness and decision to ignore you after it happened prove that this girl is utterly not worth your time or mental energy. Of course, it’s very easy for me to say that, and quite another for you to actually believe it, but I have total faith that you can rid this girl from your system.

Telling your friends to cut you some slack and stop mentioning her so much is one way to start. Meeting lots of new people is another way. Avoiding the places you keep running into her is yet another. Unless your college is actually a trailer park, it shouldn’t be THAT hard to switch up your route so you can avoid those awkward run-ins. Yet another way is to realize that even if you did cowgirl up and ask this girl why she decided not to pursue anything with you, nothing she could possibly say would be satisfying or what you wanted to hear, so you should drop it like a freshly microwaved Hot Pocket! Seriously. You’re too awesome to fret and worry over what is basically a “she’s not that into you” scenario.

Time is on your side here, in that it’s been several months already, meaning you’ve already made it through the thick of the Crush Storm of Uncertainty. Now you just have to focus on getting a life, as I’ve talked about here and here. Again, I think the gay island paradise thing is a great idea and will totally help. Let me know if you want me to hold a palm frond. I minored in fanning pretty ladies in college.

Hailing from the rough-and-tumble deserts of southern Arizona, where one doesn’t have to bother with such trivialities as “coats” or “daylight savings time,” Anna Pulley is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. Find her at annapulley.com and on Twitter @annapulley. Send her your Hook Up questions at askthehookup@gmail.com.

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