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When does jealousy become a MH issue?

(146 Posts)
opalescent Sat 27-Jul-13 10:28:12

So much has happened, but I don't have the energy to give a full overview, but here are the bare bones.
Dp suffers with extreme jealousy, and I have a feeling that it has been a feature of his previous relationships too. He particularly obsesses over the past (as in, my previous partners etc.), and gets into terrible vile moods on a regular basis, where he makes the house environment unbearable. Generally these moods will culminate in a huge row, where I tell him how untenable this is, threaten to leave, and he becomes remorseful, we make up, and things return to (an uneasy) normality.
His jealousy creeps into all aspects of our life, and when I think about it, I have modified my life in so many ways to fit around it. I'm frightened of the future, and feel stifled.
I don't know who I am anymore, I feel full of self doubt.
Aside for this issue, we are incredibly close and intimate. He is a committed and supportive partner, and a lovely dad to our baby.
He's had counselling. It helped at the time, then wore off.
He can be nasty and verbally abusive when he's in the grip of an 'episode'.
I've lost all my confidence.
We are so financially entwined sad
I don't know what to do, but would appreciate your thoughts...

Dahlen Mon 29-Jul-13 08:16:13

No, that's not a MH problem. His behaviour is very typical of an abuser. Mr Nice and Mr Nasty. All carefully balanced to hook you in and keep you there. Mr Nasty is the real him I'm afraid.

Don't beat yourself up over letting him in. He's been working on your defences since you've been together and it's not surprising they're low. But don't leave it too long until you make him go again or leave yourself, as every time this happens you'll find it a little harder to believe in yourself and to believe that you deserve better. Which you do.

Apileofballyhoo Mon 29-Jul-13 08:48:53

I'm sorry opal. I don't know if it is a mental health problem or not. Psychosis and paranoia are genuine conditions. But no mental health issue makes it ok for him to treat you like this. It's not normal.

You need to get away. In the meantime withdraw emotionally and remember you didn't cause this, you can't control it and you can't cure it.

opalescent Mon 29-Jul-13 09:01:28

I'm so angry with myself for not making him leave last night. I have given him carte Blanche to behave however he likes. And made myself look weak and pathetic. I didn't used to be this person.

Dahlen Mon 29-Jul-13 09:07:10

Don't be so hard on yourself. When you are a loving, kind person who likes to help others; someone who doesn't like confrontation and prefers to work out a reasonable, amicable solution, it's very very hard to deal with someone like this. They have an MO that's about as different to your own as it is possible to get and it wrongfoots you at every turn. It's very very easy to get blindsided by it and find yourself losing control. It doesn't make you weak and pathetic. It makes you a kind, reasonable person who's had their best attributes used against them.

But now you can see what's happening, you'll realise that the only solution is to not engage. As soon as you engage you're opening yourself up to that manipulation, and he's had a lot more practice at it than you've had at defending yourself against it. You have to remove and engage only over practicalities - preferably in writing so that you have chance to consider your responses.

AS for his MH. I'm not a Dr so I'm not qualified to say, but I think he's just an everyday abuser. He may feel bitter towards a large number of people, but it's quite telling that it's only you who has to put up with his behaviour expressing those feelings, and that it all seems to centre on you in relation to other men. Whatever the cause, he has given himself permission to treat you as less than others. That's not on.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 29-Jul-13 09:09:27

I think you should stop wasting your time thinking this is a damaged man that you can cure. This is a nasty man that you need to get away from.

opalescent Mon 29-Jul-13 09:14:49

It is extremely hard to deal with him, yes. As you say, his behaviour is so outrageously nasty and unreasonable, that I feel like I'm losing my mind. Cogito, yes, you're right, sad

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 29-Jul-13 09:19:16

I suspect I am right. By trying to designate it a MH issue you put his behaviour into the untouchable realms of - it's an illness, he needs therapy and he can't help himself. If you reject a man with MH you worry that you'll be seen as a heartless bitch by others, kicking a sick man when he's down and other such bollocks.

My point is that whether it's a MH issue or whether it's emotionally abusive behaviour you have no obligation to stick around waiting for him to find a cure, ruining your life in the process. Your safety and wellbeing takes priority.

shotofexpresso Mon 29-Jul-13 09:56:05

Has he has previous partners? How about speaking with him about how he would feel if the tables were turned??

It sounds as if this is very unhealthy, you sound so miserable OP.

Leverette Mon 29-Jul-13 09:56:50

My ex was EXACTLY like this...seriously, to the letter. What I discovered after leaving him was that he was a complete tart for want of a better word - online dating profiles, one night stands, he'd even managed a month-long relationship with an unsuspecting woman. Men like this have a bad case of madonna/whore issues...the fact that you like having sex with him makes you a floozy in his warped eyes.

I was contacted by a dr we both knew to tell me he had tried it on in an extremely pushy way with her, and that in her professional view he would be diagnosable with either severe bipolar or paranoid schizophrenia and that his blatant inability to even see the boundaries of others, let alone empathically respect them, made him dangerous.

I have no hesitation in saying the same to you. Keep him away and stay safe xx

Leverette Mon 29-Jul-13 09:58:52

And what pp have said. If he has a MH problem that is HIS responsibility to deal with and you must not use it as an excuse that allows him to keep harming you - you getting harmed is NOT OK regardless of the underlying cause.

Leverette Mon 29-Jul-13 10:02:17

Sorry I keep adding things!

The stony faced cruel person is the REAL him BTW. The 'normal' person that he must be a great deal of the time is a manipulative construction for engaging with the world on a day to day basis. But this cruel monster is there, beneath, all the time.

shotofexpresso Mon 29-Jul-13 10:03:03

So? are you just gonna continue to live with him? This can't continue can it?

Woodlicence Mon 29-Jul-13 10:39:08

I used to live with a man like this, he even accused me of having sex with my step father! took me years to get away but absolutely worth it in the end. He manipulated me so much that I didn't even know what I thought anymore.
I had low self esteem and was co dependent on him, I didn't believe that I could live without him.
It will be really difficult at first but stay strong, you are so lucky to have a supportive family let them know what is going on and get them to remind you of what he is like when you are waning.
I wish you good luck with everything, Here's to a new happier life x

cestlavielife Mon 29-Jul-13 11:25:23

look if it is mh he needs serious treatment and you cannot treat him - profressional help is needed. you cant live with him in the meantime. he needs to go away.

if it is personality and he cant change then you cant live with it either.

either way - have him leave and mean it - separate even if you tell yourself it's temprorary; make it long enough that he can seek help or he can decide not to. then you have your answer.

TwoStepsBeyond Mon 29-Jul-13 11:31:17

Wow Leverette, lucky for you that he tried it on with someone who could see him for what he was and wasn't afraid to intervene! Hope you thanked her.

Such a shame that you didn't feel strong enough to stick to your guns Opal, but I'm sure there will be plenty more opportunities sad

I agree that labelling it doesn't matter, emotional abuse/MH issues/OCD - who cares?!

I think he believes he deserves someone 'untouched' WTF?!

Unless you can invent the time machine, you will never be good enough for him in his eyes. The man is a loon.

opalescent Mon 29-Jul-13 12:44:47

Oh god leverette that is so chilling. I have said many times that I think he has 'madonna/whore' issues. I'm scared now. I think your ex does sound exactly the same.

opalescent Mon 29-Jul-13 12:49:37

How did your break up play out? Did he get nastier? I feel like that's where things are heading.

opalescent Mon 29-Jul-13 13:03:15

Shotofexpresso, I'm sorry I missed your questions! I have MANY times turned the tables, and tried to make him see how bizarre his double standards are. But he is totally unable to take this on board or see the hypocrisy of it. And you are right. It absolutely cannot go on. I feel like I'm suddenly seeing the whole situation for just how awful it is..

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 29-Jul-13 13:04:33

"But he is totally unable to take this on board or see the hypocrisy of it. "

He is able to see it but he doesn't care. His tactics get him the life he wants so why change?

opalescent Mon 29-Jul-13 13:05:51

Quite right cogito.

chipmonkey Mon 29-Jul-13 13:27:28

opalescent, if he had MH issues and pulled a knife on you as a result, would that mean you should stay with him because he's ill? Of course not, it would be dangerous.
The way he's treating you is not physically dangerous but it is dangerous for your own mental health. You can't live this this. You have committed no crime and you don't deserve to be scrutinised and imprisoned. Tell him yes, you DO want him to go, that it IS over.

And just wanted to say, if you don't manage it this time, that we will all still be here for you.

Leverette Mon 29-Jul-13 13:31:08

My ex also accused me of having had an affair with my step father sad

Opal my break up was shit, I endured about ten months of abusive texts, some of which referred to having seen me out and about in various places. It was only because my head was so wrecked and self esteem on the floor that I didn't get the bastard arrested for harrassment - that's my one regret really.

Oh and there was the digital voice recorder I found under the bed when doing a spring clean exorcism

The most important thing I did however was as soon as I surprised him by telling him it was over, I asked for my keys back immediately whilst he was still in shock.

Leverette Mon 29-Jul-13 13:35:59

I would add too I felt chilled reading your description.

I don't suppose his initials are J S ?

Listen to the fear. What you need to be concerned about is damage to your psyche, your confidence, self sufficiency, desire and ability to relate to others. Men like this want to be a doll who only exists when they are in the mood to take you out of your box and play with you.

Thinking of you. I remember the fear, sadness, anxiety and disappointment xx

chipmonkey Mon 29-Jul-13 13:39:12

Leverette, sadly, I doubt if you'll find the initials are the same. I don't have a huge circle of friends but even I can think of three friends who ended up with someone chillingly like this.sad One is still with the guy.

Apileofballyhoo Mon 29-Jul-13 13:41:28

opal, have you ever read this?

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