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My insecurity and jealousy are smothering her.
She needs more space...

My fiance and I have been together for a year and a half. We moved away to college this year.

We have been having problems lately. She says I have been "smothering her" -- and she needs more space. I agree, we are now together all the time. It's hard though, because the only friends that she has made are guys, and all I can think is what most college guys want from a beautiful girl.

I get jealous all the time, but I know she loves me and she only wants me. She just wants to establish herself at college. Also, when we get into small arguments, I don't know how to stop. I keep asking her if she is okay. I need to let it go, but I don't like that feeling of her being upset.

At this time we are taking a few days off to think about what we want. I need some help here.

At this point in time, you need to become proactive. You have to prove to her in no uncertain terms that you are willing to change, and that you are taking real steps to do so. You cannot afford to have her ask you to "give her space" one more time. You simply have to change what you are doing. Take control of your jealous feelings.

Show her that she is going to marry a man who is emotionally strong enough to respect her space. Demonstrate you truly want her to be a soulmate -- not a cell mate.

Start by committing to learn to soothe your own upset feelings. Until now, you have put too much of your focus outside of yourself, on her and these college guys. Since the feelings of insecurity and jealousy are coming up from within you, that is where you need to put more of your attention.

Usually people try to change how they feel by focusing on the outside things they believe to "cause" their upsets. They feel jealous and so then they put emotional pressure on their partner. Such pressures are not helpful, as you know. They do not improve anything. But they can ultimately get in the way of her feeling good about being with you.

If you want to get beyond this destructive pattern, you have to change your part of it. These are your feelings. You need to learn to soothe them. Healthy relationships work on the basis of each partner taking care of their own upset feelings -- not by putting pressure on the other person to change.

Once you commit to growing emotionally, you have a chance to discuss insecurities with her and not have the entire topic blow up in your face. When you do talk, start by telling her you realize how your fears and insecurities have been working overtime. Tell her you intend to take care of your own feelings -- that you realize how you have put subtle pressure on her, and that it was out of line for you to do so.

There is nothing worse than giving her the impression that a marriage with you would be like going to prison. Find your inner strength and courage. It is there. Admit that you are afraid. Stop seeing the cause of that fear as her. Release her from the sense she somehow needs to take care of you.

You can grow stronger inside. Learn the tools for emotional self-care. This will be the kind of strength that does not make forceful demands. Instead, it will reveal your true courage and ability to be open with her.

It is time for both of you to get some pre-marital education. See this as an opportunity to learn important skills. Read books. Take a class. If you need help learning to soothe your feelings, consider working with a good counselor. The work you do now will pay off in your marriage. This is a red flag. Take care of it now -- while it's still minor.


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