Dear Miss Emily:

I am 25 years old and my boyfriend is 27. We are hitting a rough patch right now and I wanted to see if it seemed to you if we are pretty much done. I have jealousy issues that keep arising and it has caused fights between us that he pretty much cant stand. With good reason I'm sure..i know how destructive it is but I really just have a hard time helping it. We fought about him going out on Saturday with some people from work and its still bugging him. On Sunday, I was still mad and he was trying to make up and me being a stubborn brat, I pushed him away by saying i didn't want to talk and what not. Monday, I came around and was ready to talk again and be over it and then it was his turn to be mad. He tells me that my doing this really makes him want to break up with me every time we fight about it. But every time it never happens..he will say he doesn't want to break up and we stay together. so i think by now I call his bluff and don't believe it. I contacted him today and he goes through the motions of talking with me. I know there is no interest or want to talk.. just mechanical responses. He did respond with a laundry list of everything he did today and I don't want him to do that. It will make him resent me and its not really necessary. He said we will talk about everything later but I'm not sure if that means work it out or decide if we are going to be together or not. Does it sound like he needs to cool off or is he done at this point? Should I give him space? I don't really know what to do. I think bringing up talking about before he is ready will make things worse.

------------------------------Miss Emily's advice------------------------------

Time to cool off, or space, will not solve your core problem. If you're getting jealous over the fact you can't control what he does and who he sees -- assuming he is basically trustworthy -- you won't be able to keep him in the long run. With 6 billion people on the planet, surely he can find a girl who doesn't get jealous, feels bad about it, but continues the pattern. Jealousy is, as you well know, a control issue based on insecurity. A certain amount of jealousy over some things, is human nature for some people. But the degree to which you engage in it is stifling and, sooner or later, he'll tire of it completely if he's a guy who isn't a wimp. Here's the paradox:  Despite the fact you want to control certain decisions he makes, more than likely you wouldn't respect him if you could. And if you can't respect him, you wouldn't want him (or shouldn't). Freeing yourself of jealousy is a liberating experience, and one that is rewarding. It gives you the freedom to be loved on your own merit. Trust is never achieved by coercion. When you open yourself up to the true meaning of love and commitment, you'll realize that fact. Good luck to you, because other than this major flaw of yours, you're perfect, right?