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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...

Secretswitch Sat 27-Jul-13 10:39:17

<hugs> you sound very unhappy. Anytime you must "modify" your behaviour to prevent a jealous outburst from a partner is a huge flag to me. He has given himself permission to act nasty as a means of controlling you. I think I would also feel afraid and stifled given the circumstances you have described.
Can you perhaps see a counselor yourself to support you? What about RL support and assistance?
I do not think you want your sweet baby growing up believing that jealousy, control and fear is normal in relationships. What would you advise your dc to do if they confided the details of a jealous relationship to you?
Please know I am thinking about you..

opalescent Sat 27-Jul-13 10:46:57

Thankyou for such a lovely replysad
I am tired of waking on eggshells, and lurching from one blip to the next. I truly love him, but he seems incapable of being in a normal, warm rship. He can only go a couple of weeks at a time before his jealousy flares up, and something starts.
You're absolutely right, I don't want my lovely baby to see this, feel the tension, or grow up with misogynistic attitudes like dps. Maybe I will see a counsellor, for a bit of support. Thankyou.

opalescent Sat 27-Jul-13 10:49:18

As for RL support, my family and friends are wonderful, and I think they see how much this relationship has destroyed my self esteem.

maypoledancer Sat 27-Jul-13 10:51:09

This is a very difficult situation. I was going to say well just leave him but then I saw you have a baby and there are good things in the relationship.

But you cannot live like this. You can only support him in his own wish to change. Have you got a good GP? Could you talk to them about it? What does your mum or best friend think?

maypoledancer Sat 27-Jul-13 10:52:52

x posted with you OP. I get the impression you have had enough and don't think things will change to be honest. Do you think you have started this thread because you want to be told that you should leave?

DragonsAreReal Sat 27-Jul-13 10:54:18

This sounds like very hard work op sad

I truly believe we only have one life and not to waste it being around people that make us unhappy. His jealously is his problem and for him to deal with.

Secretswitch Sat 27-Jul-13 10:57:35

It's hard,isn't it? Always trying to be one step ahead, thinking about the consequences of each move you make. I remember playing all scenarios in my head...did I smile too long at the postman? Will he get upset if I answer an email from an ( male) old friend at uni? ( old friend was announcing birth of first child) I spent a long time at the market. Will he believe I was just enjoying a bit of a shop? Or will he think I was shagging the vegetable man under the cabbages?
I so feel for you, opalescent..healthy relationships are never about fear and control..
You and your baby deserve a loving happy outcome..

opalescent Sat 27-Jul-13 11:01:31

Possibly, maypole. I think I naively hoped this would be an issue that would fade, but of anything it has worsened. He does have a good GP, but I think they think he suffers with anxiety, rather than recognising the awful morbid jealousy.
There are good things: we are intensely close & affectionate. But sometimes I wonder whether those qualities are part of his instinctive need to possess, rather than genuinely good iykwim?

opalescent Sat 27-Jul-13 11:03:12

Secret switch- that is my life.

YoniBottsBumgina Sat 27-Jul-13 11:03:45

It is a problem when it's making you modify your behaviour (and you weren't doing anything wrong to begin with)

The thing is - does he see it as a problem? Is he upset by his own extreme jealousy? Or does he think you are at fault, that everything would be okay if you "stopped flirting" or attracting any attention from any man ever? (I don't imagine that you ARE flirting BTW, and you can't really help whether somebody pays you attention or not)

If he doesn't see it as his problem, then you're stuck really, because he will never change. He has to really see it as his issue and want to change it, not "Well I'm quite jealous but only because she makes me" - no - he needs to recognise that his view is distorted and want to fix that.

I could not live like this forever.

opalescent Sat 27-Jul-13 11:07:10

He knows its wrong, and his issue. But at the same time there are deeply ingrained attitudes about women at play. I think he believes he deserves someone 'untouched'- likely!!

opalescent Sat 27-Jul-13 11:07:58

Note; I have not ever been promiscuous. V normal 'past'. Not that I need to explain myself to him.

Zazzles007 Sat 27-Jul-13 11:11:26

OP what stands out to me is that your H has had counseling for the jealousy and although he learned to manage it at the time, the changes were short-lived. This seems to suggest that the jealousy is actually entrenched in his personality. Unfortunately, as much as people have positive aspects to their personalities, they can also have negative ones too, and the negative ones can be really hard to unravel. I'm not sure if there is enough evidence to say that its a mental health issue though.

Does jealousy feature in any other family members? Either someone has modeled jealousy to him in relationships in the past, or perhaps someone in the family has cheated? Does H honestly know himself where the jealousy comes from? (And not in a 'you made me do it' sort of way)

maypoledancer Sat 27-Jul-13 11:29:19

Well when you said you were close and intimate I didn't see that as completely positive because I think that you are right and it is a symptom of his wish to possess you. It was the fact that you have a baby and you said that you truly love him that made me feel sad.

If you don't think he can change you have to get away, you cannot be yourself with this person, sadly.

Tiredemma Sat 27-Jul-13 11:33:11

Delusional Jealousy/Othello Syndrome are actually recognised psychiatric disorders.

Lots of stuff on the internet about it- including credible research.

YoniBottsBumgina Sat 27-Jul-13 11:34:29

Well, does he want to seek help and change this about himself? I must say what you say about the underlying attitudes is not really encouraging sad

My ex was like this also and it has caused problems in subsequent relationships for me. My DP that I am with now is lovely and very trusting (we live in different countries, we'd have to be!) but at times I've done something that with my ex would have aroused suspicion, like going out for a drink with a male friend, or going on a night out and some men had hit on me, or the time that DP's friend was going to walk home and I said don't be silly, stay on the sofa bed.

All of these times I have mentioned it and then felt so anxious in my own mind that he might be upset/paranoid that I was actually cheating on him that I've gone overboard with the "But don't worry nothing happened!" and then I get tied up in knots worrying that I've made it sound even more suspicious even though I've done nothing wrong sad I'm getting better and DP has always been fine but I can see that I could easily have made it into an issue in this relationship when it didn't need to be one at all.

I agree as well it isn't a good attitude for your DS to grow up with.

oracleselfservice Sat 27-Jul-13 11:38:22

My DH was like this at the beginning of our relationship. In his case it WAS a symptom of a mental illness - I at first thought he had borderline personality disorder but in fact it was a manifestation of his OCD. The jealousy was intrusive (compulsive) thoughts and images which he knew were irrational but couldn't stop. Like the sufferer who compusively handwashes even though he knows its ridiculous.

Once he was properly medicated (anti anxiety meds - zoloft) and has CBT it stopped and has never reappeared. He says he still gets the thoughts sometimes but they don't take over his mind and the techniques he learned in therapy help him rationalise.

Has your partner actually got a MH diagnosis? Does he evidence any other OCD type behaviours?

If not then maybe he is just an abusive controlling wanker.

But not necessarily.

opalescent Sat 27-Jul-13 11:43:08

He doesn't have a diagnosis. He takes anti anxiety meds, which help keep his mood more even, but don't seem to tackle the jealousy. I have thought about OCD, because he suffers with horrid intrusive thoughts and images about my past. But I do wonder whether I'm just hoping that its a 'condition'. Rather than accepting he is an abusive man.

Secretswitch Sat 27-Jul-13 11:44:27

Opalescent, you have to make decisions you can best live with. I ended up leaving my jealous partner when he began checking my knickers for..please forgive..wetness and sex odour. A counselor helped me take a look at myself and my life. She asked me if I wanted to spend the next fifty years of my life with a man that did not trust me to post a letter, lest I fall passionately in love with mail clerk. Living a life in this manner is so exhausting.
You will figur out what is best for you and your baby. You can keep posting here for support.

YoniBottsBumgina Sat 27-Jul-13 11:45:49

The thing is though, opal, if he isn't willing to seek help, off his own back, then it doesn't make much difference if he's mentally ill or abusive. If he won't take steps to remedy these thoughts and behaviours, you're still the one who has to live with it.

Apileofballyhoo Sat 27-Jul-13 12:08:56

I think you have hit the nail on the head with the OCD, OP. I would think that there is something in your DPs past that he has not/cannot deal with and he is focussing his anxiety/pain on you and your past rather than on himself and whatever is causing this. It is easier for him to focus his unhappiness/anger/hurt on you than on his inner pain. I would think that if he moves on from being jealous it will be because he has found something else to obsess about, unless he deals with his underlying issues.

When anxiety has a grip on the brain irrational thoughts are the result. In his case he is focussing those thoughts on you rather than on himself. I would think that he probably has very low self esteem and can't believe you are with him at all to a certain extent. He could be comparing himself to your past and finding himself 'lacking' (obviously in his head). None of this is rational. He will have to accept that none of this is rational, and that he is completely losing perspective.

Does he find it hard to trust people in general? How are his other relationships? Does he have any friends? How is his relationship with his parents?

I would have a good long talk with him when he is having a good day. He needs a lot of help as he certainly does have severe mental health issues.

For yourself - I think it is not fair to subject yourself or your baby to this. He needs to accept that. It is not normal to walk on eggshells all the time. He needs to seek help, and seek help now, to control his irrational thoughts, deal with them, and move on. I would suggest a time frame for this and if things do not improve fairly drastically you need to get out of the relationship. You are not responsible for another adult's mental health. You are responsible for yourself and your baby.

opalescent Sat 27-Jul-13 12:19:04

Some excellent points. Yoni, spot on. It doesn't really matter whether its an illness or not, I'm still the one dealing with it, while trying to raise a baby.
Abally, he is extremely insecure, constantly comparing himself to others, and hugely bitter towards those who he perceives as 'better'.
We are in the midst of an episode again today. He is at work, sending me cold texts. Which means he's thinking horrible things. I may crack today and follow through with asking him to leave. But probably not sad

opalescent Sat 27-Jul-13 12:19:24

Other people are just having a nice Saturday with their families. sad

Secretswitch Sat 27-Jul-13 12:27:47

Opalescent, take your baby and go for a walk. Maybe stop for a nice cup of tea. You are an adult woman. You can decide to ignore his blatantly controlling texts..( I also understand you might be interrogated for this decision later..) You do not have to justify yourself to anyone.
I am so sad you have to cope with patenting a baby and trying to conform to life with a jealous man..

Secretswitch Sat 27-Jul-13 12:29:20

Parenting a baby even...patenting a baby seems a bit ott unless you are a Kardashian..

ImperialBlether Sat 27-Jul-13 12:39:22

I wouldn't want to be around, waiting for him to come home when he's in a mood like that.

Can you possibly go to your mum's now?

OP as you said, it doesn't really matter if its a mental health issue or not. What does matter is that his behavior is already affecting your well being. He is not just jealous but possessive and controlling and doesnt think you have a right to a life before him or any independent life now. You will never be able to convince him you're not up to no good, you are dealing with an irrational man who makes up stuff to accuse you and keep you in your place. There will be nowhere that is off limits to his accusations, and you'll face bringing up your DC into that world of hiding things, avoiding places and people.

It will only get worse, this isn't a life for you or your baby and I would seriously consider getting some space away from him so you can think clearly about how you can build a healthy life for you and DC.

Apileofballyhoo Sat 27-Jul-13 16:34:35

It will only get worse, this isn't a life for you or your baby and I would seriously consider getting some space away from him so you can think clearly about how you can build a healthy life for you and DC.

Sound advice there.

Dahlen Sat 27-Jul-13 16:40:00

Your DP is an abuser. Putting his jealousy down to MH issues is a red herring. There are lots and lots of classic indicators of abuse in your relationship, not just the jealousy, and I think you are spot on in your understanding that the extreme closeness is simply a manifestation of his need to possess rather than any real emotional depth of feeling.

I'm very sorry. I know that's hard to hear when you have a small baby.

If you google abusive relationships I think you'll find a lot that resonates with you and hopefully some advice about where to go from here.

opalescent Sat 27-Jul-13 16:55:20

Well, he's gone. I've been out at a friends house this afternoon, snapped and text him to leave, because I couldn't put up with anymore of this crap. he's been home and taken some of his stuff. It's probably just another stunt to get my attention/cause drama. But I feel like this has to be it.
It's so painfulsad
Why? I have been nothing other than a loving and patient partner.

opalescent Sat 27-Jul-13 16:56:50

We own a house together. And our car. I can't get by without him financially, no way. What do I do?

Dahlen Sat 27-Jul-13 17:06:56

One step at a time. Right now you need emotional support. Forget about the practicalities and get a friend or family member around to give you some much-needed TLC.

Disentangling your lives will be painful and difficult but it is doable and well worth it. You may be able to stay in the home. As a single parent with a baby you will be entitled to financial support. Put your figures in this site and it will show you what help you could expect to get. Or you may choose to leave and get a smaller place that is more manageable on your income. Mortgages can be ended/made single name, cars can be bought and sold. There is always a way.

Part of his abuse has been to make you dependent on him. Part of your journey to a new, happier life is to reclaim some independence. You can do this without him. It's a damn site easier than living with someone who constantly questions you, undermines you and wears you down.

Good luck.

chipmonkey Sat 27-Jul-13 17:37:05

opalescent, stay strong. He does have to support his child. He will probably beg and plead to come back at some stage but don't let him. Houses and cars can be sorted. The rest of your life is far more important.

lemonstartree Sat 27-Jul-13 17:42:51

morbid jealousy is dangerous. And frightening. I am rather worried for you and would urge you to confide in friends and family as far as you feel able - their practical support and grounding may prove vital.

This is very much not normal. Unless he is willing to try hard to change I think you know that you deserve better

opalescent Sat 27-Jul-13 17:50:30

I feel strangely calm (although I hate the idea of sleeping alone later-big baby that I am). I'm not going to give in to his tantrums this time. Although I say that having not really heard from him,
I know I'll feel so alone tonightsad
Thankyou everyone.

Secretswitch Sat 27-Jul-13 18:27:32

Big hugs to you, opalescent. You have made such a huge leap today! Can someone come and stay with you tonight? Or perhaps you are not feeling like company..The night my partner left was somewhat surreal. I had asked him to leave also. I knew it was the best thing for me, but I sobbed for hours. Death of a dream hurts badly. I locked every door in the house, and slept on the sofa . (with all lights on, ofcourse)
My parents helped me figure out the financials. It was not easy, and he did not make it easy. His goal seemed to be to cause me as much crap as possible.
Just FYI, the jealousy did not end when he left. He barged in at all hours of day and night (apparently to catch me with another man) He called mutual friends to tell them of my infidelity ( there was none) He stole mail from my box. I just want you to know his behaviour may worsen. Please ate care of yourself and your lovely baby..
Keep us posted...

Apileofballyhoo Sat 27-Jul-13 18:29:29

Hi opalescent

I'm sorry you are feeling alone. It is better though that he is gone. You can't live your life on eggshells. Are you sure he won't come back? If I were you I'd be thinking of changing the locks. Can anybody come and stay with you tonight?

You do not have to engage with his unpleasantness and I would make that clear to him. You are under no obligation to engage with him when he is being irrational. Keep that in mind. Do not respond, do not defend, just ignore. Put yourself in a calm place and take yourself mentally out of the relationship.

The jealousy/nastiness/abuse is his problem, not yours. It actually has nothing to do with you. If he had an addiction it would be a case of remembering the three Cs - you didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it.

I wish I could be of more practical help. Keep posting here. I am sure you will find a lot of RL friends are more than willing to help with practicalities as they want you to be happy.

YoniBottsBumgina Sat 27-Jul-13 18:35:26

Opal I'm so sorry it has come to this. This is the hardest part but you are doing the right thing.

Can you get a really stupid film to watch or even stay up late watching come dine with me/8 out of 10 cats/whatever else is on, mess around on mumsnet until exhausted, play silly games on facebook, whatever requires little input and will be tiring. You'll definitely find company on here at all hours, I know it's not the same.

If it's appropriate put on some music that he always hated. Good way to feel the freedom of being alone rather than the loneliness.

Secretswitch Sat 27-Jul-13 19:08:07

YonibottsBumgiba, excellent advice! Maybe put on an item of clothing he did not want you to wear, lest you get any admiring glances. I know you are so sad and anxious right now...but perhaps take a small minute to revel in your freedom..

opalescent Sat 27-Jul-13 19:12:14

That is excellent advicesmile
The house feels surprisingly peaceful- a rarity. You are all so kind to take the time to post..

YoniBottsBumgina Sat 27-Jul-13 20:45:34

Are you having thunderstorms tonight? We've had some here and it feels so fresh and clean now.

opalescent Sat 27-Jul-13 21:13:33

Yes, I love thunderstorms. Love them!
I miss him. I keep panicking and wanting to ring him, and tell him to come homesad

Secretswitch Sat 27-Jul-13 21:43:34

Opalescent, it is normal to miss him. You have a shared history together. You have the ability to decide how you want to conduct your life. We will support you in whatever decision you make. Relationship section is here for that very reason.

Apileofballyhoo Sun 28-Jul-13 11:21:44

Hoping you got on ok last night and are feeling ok this morning Opal.

opalescent Sun 28-Jul-13 12:10:50

I did sleep ok thankyou. I'm off it for a while now. I'm feeling sad at the lack of obvious distress on dps part. No professions of love, apologies, or begging to come back. I think I'm supposed to be pleading with him to come back. but I'm determined to be stronger this time.

opalescent Sun 28-Jul-13 12:18:01

Off OUT for a while nowgrin

Apileofballyhoo Sun 28-Jul-13 12:47:21

but I'm determined to be stronger good for you!

Secretswitch Sun 28-Jul-13 14:44:49

Just checking in opalescent. Wishing you a calm and peaceful day. Xx

opalescent Mon 29-Jul-13 08:12:12

Well he's backsad
We had a huge, horrible row yesterday afternoon. I wish I could say that I had a change of heart because he was so lovely. But he wasn't at all. Utterly vile actually. continuing to make lewd and spiteful remarks about the past. Obviously still in the grip of an episode- where he says he feels totally emotionless, and cannot empathise at all. and constantly coming up to me saying 'if i leave now, I'm never coming back- is that what you want?'. Just made it so long and drawn out, that I didn't have the energy to stick to my guns.
Seriously- could this be a treatable mh problem? The way he is at his worst is so unlike his everyday personality- totally stony faced and cruel. And genuinely seeming to think that I should suffer for what I've done wrong (being with someone else before him).

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?

Leverette Mon 29-Jul-13 13:42:12

I am really sorry to hear that sad

Opal he was not having 'an episode'. This is how he is and what you see is him just not bothering to keep up the front. He cannot be fixed, he chooses to be like this because he really hates women and therefore resents you. There is no love here, just possession.

Miserwhy Mon 29-Jul-13 15:17:17

I just wanted to say that on some levels I think (ashamedly) that I am the female version of OP's P. With my last ex, and actually from my first proper boyfriend, I've had horrible feelings like this, about their past partners. It was worst with my last ex, but I'm not sure if that is because he spent a lot some time talking a lot about his past conquests, or because of how he treated some of them, but I would get intrusive images, get it in my head that he had liked them more(Which obviously was a self-fulfilling prophecy even though he'd dumped them at the time for various reasons) - I wrote a whole thread about how awful I still feel. I had therapy, medication... I don't know to this day what caused it.
Under normal circumstances I've been told I'm giving, loving, caring- I don't think that's just a front I put on to the world.

However OP I don't think you can 'fix' this/him, and it's no life for you worrying when his brain is next going to click and decide he hates you for what you can't change (your past).

Miserwhy Mon 29-Jul-13 15:18:48

That post was long blush.. Sorry for the hijack. I may start my own thread because I still really need help/ insight into this problem of my own.

Secretswitch Mon 29-Jul-13 16:26:15

Hi opalescent...sounds like things are not going well at the moment. Someone once wrote here " when a person shows you who they are, believe them". I think your DP has many issues including power and control. His behaviour, his issues, are his and his alone. You can choose your own response to him. You and your baby deserve to live in a safe, peaceful atmosphere.

CuChullain Mon 29-Jul-13 17:00:54

A bit late to this thread.

I know its anecdotal but between myself and my peer group (men and women) I have never seen a relationship that involves one jealous partner survive. Jealousy is a hugely destructive and toxic emotion when it consumes someone entirely. My ex was an insanely jealous women, it was not apparent at first, but slowly started to make its presence felt the more emotionally involved we became. At first I cut her a fair bit of slack as I discovered a previous partner had cheated on her so I allowed that it may take a bit longer for her to invest full trust in the relationship. Sadly that trust never materialised, not because my behavior was suspect, but she just could not accept the fact that I had female friends, worked with some women, had two sisters or on occasion would occupy the same room as random women (i.e. the pub). I eventually ended the relationship as it eventually dawned on me that despite her apologies and promises she would never change and I was at the end of my tether in terms of her irrational accusations, shite behaviour and general paranoia. During my time with her it was me having to modify aspects of my life to accommodate her jealousy. By this I mean slowly withdrawing contact from my female friends, not going to certain venues, turning down invites to parties/dinners etc Of course this was not a conscious decision, you unwittingly find yourself drifting away from certain social situations because they would be the triggers that would set her off. It got to the absurd point where I would lie to her with regards to people I had met up with down the pub, it was not that anything was going on, it was just that the moment she found out that another women was present at whatever social engagement I had been at I would get 50 questions about said women and a full interrogation as to my relationship with her, I simply could not be bothered in the end so I lied instead. Finally after she went nuclear because I had the audacity to meet up with some old uni mates, some of whom were women, I decided to leave for good. It was then that I realised that I had treated some of my female friends appallingly as a result of lengths I would go to not to upset my ex.

Jealous people will always apologise and promise to modify/seek help with their issues when they realise they may have pushed you away, but they always revert back to type at the drop of a hat. You deserve better, move on, his jealousy issues will end up consuming you as well as him.

opalescent Mon 29-Jul-13 17:05:22

No, not JS leverette. That would have been a crazy coincidence.
My best friends and family are fully aware of how critical things have become, and are urging me to take action. luckily i have been able to confide in them all the way through, so they know the full picture. that makes me feel quite safe in a strange way. I don't want to lose my home & security, but I know now that I need to protect my baby from the toxic situation I'm in.

opalescent Mon 29-Jul-13 17:06:34

I'm very grateful to everyone who is taking the time to post their thoughts and experiences. It's helping a lot.

opalescent Mon 29-Jul-13 17:07:55

And secretswitch, that's a very important point, and one that I have read on mumsnet many times. He has told me who he is. And I've chosen not to hear it until now.

Secretswitch Mon 29-Jul-13 17:40:33

Awww..opalescent..we are here to support you in whatever way you need. I know how easy it is for me as an anonymous poster to freely give my advice. You are dealing with a very difficult RL issue. I just want you and your darling baby to know your options, and live safely and happily..

Secretswitch Mon 29-Jul-13 17:43:16

I think CuChullain has given a candid snapshot of his life with a jealous, controlling person. A controlling person will resort to all sorts of promises and threats to keep their victims close.

themidwife Mon 29-Jul-13 18:23:04

My first husband was like that. I never gave him cause for jealousy but among other things, he put a dictaphone in my glove compartment when I went to the cinema with friends & recorded our conversation. When I got back he pretended to go to get something from the garage & sat listening to the recording. We had all joked about how lush Brad Pitt was & he got all the "evidence" he needed & came in, smashed the place up & held me up against the wall with his hands round my throat.
In the end I left with my small DSs to start a new life & divorced him.

He still hates me after 15 years for leaving him. Men like him never change. I think it will only get worse if & when you become more independent as your baby gets older as it was when I reentered the workplace/education that he couldn't tolerate it or trust me.

I don't want to lose my home & security, but I know now that I need to protect my baby from the toxic situation I'm in.

Opal that security you think you have, it's an illusion. He keeps you close, worries about your safety, doesn't want you to go there, talk to this person here as he has your best interests at heart. He loves you so much, and can't bear to think of you with anyone else right? Wrong. You are a sitting in a gilded cage. He has indeed shown you who he is, believe it. The security you seek is that which you will make for yourself and your baby away from this man.

blueballoon79 Mon 29-Jul-13 19:27:41

Op, I once had a partner who behaved the same way as you describe yours behaving.

I went from being a very sociable outgoing person to becoming a shadow of my formal self.

My relationships with my friends broke down and I lost a few friends due to being to afraid to meet up with them as I couldn't bear the interrogation I'd receive afterwards.

I couldn't even visit my sister as I'd be interrogated and verbally abused once I returned.

He didn't live with me (luckily) and I'd even be too afraid to go to bed early on a night as if he rung and I didn't answer I'd be accused of having another man round.

I had to ring him and tell him I'd be going to be because I was tired and even then he'd question me and not believe me.

He spat in my face once because a friend messaged me on Facebook and asked me to meet up with her to go for a drink!!

I was called a slag, a slut and a whore on a regular basis, when I'd done nothing wrong.

I got used to staring at the floor when I was out with him as if I even glanced at another person he'd accuse me of wanting to sleep with them.

The interrogations would go on for hours, with him asking me the same questions repeatedly as though he was trying to trip me up or something. However he couldn't trip me up because I'd never done anything. I was 100% faithful towards him and didn't have any interest in any other man.

When he'd finished questioning me he'd tell me I was lying and that I was a slag and a slut.

He'd watch through my window late on a night when I was on Mumsnet and tell me he'd seen me messaging/skyping other men.

It never ended and I know emotionally how hard it is to keep being interrogated and accused of being something you're not.

I ended the relationship and he was very abusive at first. He sent me a lot of texts calling me every name under the sun and saying that I must have met someone else. He simply couldn't comprehend that the reason I ended it was because of his extreme jealousy.

I am so happy I left. Since leaving him I've slowly rebuilt my social life and I can now invite people round for dinner or visit people without being afraid.

I can now go on nights out with my friends, I've even applied for and been accepted for a job I really wanted to do- something I couldn't have done when I was with him as he was too jealous.

He won't change op and like others say it doesn't matter one iota whether he's that way because he's mentally ill. What matters is your health and happiness.

themidwife Mon 29-Jul-13 19:50:58

I can recommend the Lundy Bancroft book "Why Does He Do That? Inside The Minds of Angry & Controlling Men". Lundy worked with perpetrators of Domestic Abuse (extreme jealousy & the subsequent backlash is emotional abuse) for many years. He said not one of them had a mental illness. They were ALL choosing to behave that way. After all, they don't treat everyone in their lives that way do they? They are able to control themselves in other situations such as at work or in front of certain people. Don't let him use mental illness as an excuse.

JaceyBee Mon 29-Jul-13 20:50:57

Wrt to the question of whether it's a mh issue, it could be related. A colleague of mine worked with a psychotically jealous client ( a woman iirc). She was completely 'normal' on all levels and held down a good job etc but had this all encompassing obsession that her dh was cheating on her and had bugged the house, had him followed, all sorts. Just totally, scarily irrational. Poor bloke was at his wits end with her.

There was some discussion about whether she had a paranoid personality disorder but as it only centred on this one area of her life she didn't meet criteria for that. As someone upthread mentioned, there is Othello Syndrome which is a very rare delusional disorder with a very high risk associated.

I really think this man could be dangerous and would strongly advise that you take steps to protect yourself when you do leave him. Speak to his GP, womens aid and maybe even call the police 101 and ask to nspeak to the DV unit. You will be so much happier when he's gone. Good luck xx

BenedictCumberbitch Mon 29-Jul-13 20:59:15

This is painful to read because it's going somewhere very horrible.

He's got 'issues' but not MH ones.

Of course he's nice 'normally'. You wouldn't stay with him anyway.

He's manipulated you/ground you down so you take him back....again.

I hope this thread has given you some more insight into what you're dealing with. Good luck thanks

DistanceCall Mon 29-Jul-13 21:18:10

Even if this is a mental health issue, he's got to want to change it (even psychotics have non-psychotic periods in which they can decide to do something about it).

He doesn't seem to think there is anything wrong with treating you like this.

Leave. First of all, for your own good and for that of your child. And secondly, if there is any possibility of pushing him towards seeing what he is doing clearly, that is the only way. He's got to face the consequences of his acts. Harshly.

MysteriousHamster Mon 29-Jul-13 23:06:12

OP I'm worried for you either staying with him, or even during the leaving process. You need to get out of the situation completely or have good people around you. This jealousy has overtaken him. It is him.

BenedictCumberbitch Tue 30-Jul-13 08:21:41

Oh and don't forget, modifying your behavior won't change how he behaves. He's the one in control here so there isn't anything you can do to change this pattern besides getting away from it.

opalescent Tue 30-Jul-13 11:24:47

I'm feeling a bit like I don't know what to do next. Things have calmed down, in the sense that he is being 'nice' and 'remorseful'. He is at home, but staying in the spare room. He's suggesting that things can be fixed between us, and that he will prove himself to be good again. I feel nothing towards him at the moment.

Apileofballyhoo Tue 30-Jul-13 12:11:20

When he is calm, do you think he can see that he is completely irrational when he is having an episode? I still think you should leave by the way. You are not responsible for another adult's mental health. You have to think of him as choosing to behave like this - as he is not making any attempt to get help for himself.

opalescent Tue 30-Jul-13 12:37:24

He seems to be in a strange sort of denial at the moment. Keeps reassuring me that everything will be fine, and that we can fix things 'together'. I think he knows its different this time, and sort of has his head in the sand.

Apileofballyhoo Tue 30-Jul-13 14:01:42

Why is it different this time?

opalescent Tue 30-Jul-13 14:17:21

Because I feel far less inclined to try and smooth everything over. It's different because I can't see a way forward for us now, whereas before I was always desperate for things to 'get back to normal'. I'm just not sure how to move from where we are, to us being properly over.

chipmonkey Tue 30-Jul-13 14:20:21

opal, you sound as if you've just had as much as you can take. If the same thing keeps happening over and over again, it just becomes wearing. I think you know that he's never going to change and he's realising that you know.

themidwife Tue 30-Jul-13 15:19:57

What I would suggest is for you to stop modifying your behaviour. Interact with other men & women in a completely normal way & do what you want. It won't take long for him to reveal his true self again & you will have the strength to end it for good.

Apileofballyhoo Tue 30-Jul-13 15:53:39

I'm sorry opal. It is a lot for you to take in. You sound like you have your mind made up but you are at a loss as to what to do next. I don't know what the practical issues are. Could you rent a place for yourself and the baby? You have said you have real life support - can you take your things and stay with someone while you find a place or he moves out?

Apileofballyhoo Tue 30-Jul-13 16:08:19

I realise you are grieving for what could of been, or what you thought was, and you had hopes that things would work out. You are trying to deal with a new reality now and that can be painful.

Secretswitch Tue 30-Jul-13 16:45:56

Opalescent , everything can be done in small steps. Make a plan about how you would like things to proceed. Break it down into chunks. Who will leave the home in event of a breakup? How are your bills paid?
I would also make some safety plans. The breaking up period can be a most dangerous time for someone leaving an abusive relationship. The abusive partner sometimes becomes unhinged about their perceived loss of control. Abuser's may react in a more extreme way.
Keep your mobile ( if you have one) well within reach. Perhaps put 999 on speed dial. Think of ways you would be able to exit your home if the need arose. Perhaps pack a small bag for your and your baby.
Sending hugs your way..

lookingfoxy Tue 30-Jul-13 18:11:50

Hi i've not read the thread but I could have been your dp a few years ago.
I am mostly 'cured' as such, but it took 6 months cognitive behavioral therapy through the nhs. I had chronically low self esteem which I suspect is the issue here.
My dp told me not so long ago that some woman had offered him a blow job when he was in the pub (not unsurprising here) and we had a good laugh about it. If that had been 'before' then I would have had a meltdown.

pictish Tue 30-Jul-13 18:18:24

* Keeps reassuring me that everything will be fine, and that we can fix things 'together'.*

Well you can't, becaue this is not a mutual is his alone, and no one can fix it but him.
He is chucking 'together' in there to make it sound all coupley and loving, but what it really means is that he will expect YOU to modify YOUR behaviour in order to indulge his delusions.


opalescent Tue 30-Jul-13 18:49:49

Lookingfoxy can you tell me a bit more about that? What triggered you off? How badly did you treat your dh? Did you have 'episodes' like dp? How did you reconcile your behaviour in your own mind? Would be curious to get an insight..

chipmonkey Tue 30-Jul-13 19:24:39

lookingfoxy, did you recognise that the problem was in your head and not with your partner and that it was you who needed "curing"? Because I think that is the crux of the matter. Opalescent's dh suggesting that they work on it together suggests to me that he thinks she's partially to blame. Which she isn't.

pictish Tue 30-Jul-13 19:28:57

Or even more disturbingly, he thinks she ought to take on the responsibility of helping to fix him. So when he aint fixed...guess whose fault it becomes?

Apileofballyhoo Tue 30-Jul-13 19:59:42

What made you decide to seek help, foxy?

opalescent Tue 30-Jul-13 20:07:08

He is keeping a respectful distance at the moment, things are awkward and polite. I spoke to his mum & sister today, they know some of the story, but I felt like now would be a good time to give them my pov in case things do get more difficult. They were very understanding. I told him last night that things have reached a point where I actually feel scared of him at times, and I think that has thrown him a bit.

pictish Tue 30-Jul-13 20:11:14

He knew you were scared of him already. It didn't 'throw him' - he pretended to be shocked so it would look like he never intended to intimidate you, when you both knew fine well he did.
This is just papering over cracks and is ultimaely futile and a waste of time.

pictish Tue 30-Jul-13 20:11:49

Tactics tactics tactics.

isshoes Tue 30-Jul-13 20:24:13

I am the OP's sister and don't want to hijack the thread, but I do want firstly reassure you all who are very kindly advising her and worrying about her that she does have RL support from people who love her. I do also want to say though that as I have told her, breaking up with someone is a process, not an action. I hope that makes sense.

chipmonkey Tue 30-Jul-13 20:27:59

Very true, isshoes.

opalescent Tue 30-Jul-13 20:52:14


pictish Tue 30-Jul-13 20:57:43

It really is. Part of the process is seeing the wood for the trees.

idlefolly Tue 30-Jul-13 22:15:54

I can second isshoes' comment (I'm OP's best friend). She most certainly does have a strong, close network of people around her who love her and want to see her happy again. I'm just thankful that she confides in us as this situation would be even more dangerous and suffocating if she didn't. Although the outcome seems inevitable, isshoes is right, it can take time to build up the courage and come to terms with making such a leap, but when she does, rest assured that she will not be dealing with it alone. x

chipmonkey Tue 30-Jul-13 22:21:04

opalescent, you are very lucky. A lot of controlling, jealous men isolate a woman from friends and family. I can see these ladies won't let that happen to you!

Apileofballyhoo Tue 30-Jul-13 23:52:40

Hi idle and issues

smile wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Opal, I am so glad you have these two. Very few people are all good or all bad and it's hard to see what is tolerable/temporary/mental health/abuse. Of course it is difficult to see the wood from the trees. Maybe your DP can get help if he seeks it and maybe he can change, and maybe you could learn to trust him again and have a normal loving relationship. But he would have to do an awful lot of work for that to happen and he might not be able to. You cannot allow yourself to be destroyed while he does nothing to help himself. He has to want to change. It sounds to me like you are emotionally withdrawing - it's self preservation and completely natural. It's healthy for you.

lookingfoxy Wed 31-Jul-13 00:39:36

Hi op, I did have rational times where I knew I had a serious problem and to be honest if my ex had chained himself to my side it still wouldn't have helped. It's like a little monster inside your mind that you can't contol even though you know it's ridiculous.
I could have made a living as a private detective I snooped so much. I done the accusations the name calling the tears the shouting, everything irrational, it's an exhausting and miserable way to live.
I posted on mumsnet under a different name to this about my dps suspect behavior, fully expecting to be justified and told I was right. Instead I was told unanimously that I was basically bonkers and to get a grip. That's what prompted me to get help, I finally seen how absolutely crazy I had become.

lookingfoxy Wed 31-Jul-13 00:44:30

He's surprisingly not my ex for this reason!
Would it help if you showed him this thread when he's being ok?
Oh and it really won't matter what you say or do, that little monster is all consuming.

opalescent Wed 31-Jul-13 07:14:45

Yes, chip monkey, I am very lucky with regards to my friends and family than goodnesssmile

HoopersGinger Wed 31-Jul-13 09:48:52

Hi Opal just another reader here to say I know the type. Everything you say describes my partner and you describe it so well when you say he has episodes where he has no empathy and seems to think you deserve to suffer for your past. I too thought my partner may suffer from BPD.

shotofexpresso Wed 31-Jul-13 11:19:05

I thinks its interesting that someone is on here with the same problem,

good on you for getting help.

has he had alot of rejection in the past?
I have done something similar to CBT recently, and the things that cropped up quite a few times was rejection. Which of course then leads to jealousy and can make relationships a struggle because of the rejection being so deep.
I just thought I would mention that I know men and women are different but rejection can cause so many things.
I wouldn't class it as mental health though, just a problem that can be solved if willing to go to something like CBT or counselling.

opalescent Wed 31-Jul-13 15:55:05

Hoopers I wondered about bpd. I also wondered about OCD, because he describes having repetitive intrusive images and thoughts of me being with another person. How is this affecting you and your relationship?

HoopersGinger Wed 31-Jul-13 18:29:19

It's pretty much made me disengage from him. I loved him very much but the nice times in between have just become me waiting for the next onslaught. I thought we'd made a breakthrough once when I asked him how he feels about everything in general during these bouts. He replied that he hated everything, not just me. He has said dreadful things, like I deserved what I got from my abusuve ex because I stayed with him and had 2 children and I must have been in it for the money. That makes me a whore. That I am "a skank" because my other children have a different father. That I might have invented the whole abuse thing because he only has my word for it.

There is a list I have in my head of things I can't mention. My ex, obviously, my CSA claim, the car I used to drive, the house I used to live in, my travels of years back because that was with another ex.
When he is on one he just comes out with horrible things. He is relentless and shows no compassion. He says the demons get in his head and at times is completely possessed by thoughts of me with my ex, that he is second choice and second best.

HoopersGinger Wed 31-Jul-13 18:36:35

Sorry, that was long but you did ask smile the breakthrough I thought we made was when I explained this cyclical thinking wasn't normal. Everyone has off days but his whole world view seemed to disintegrate, which I believe is a trait of BPD. He agreed, said he needed help. He went to a GP. A couple of weeks later he used it against me. I was the fuck up who had messed up my life. He didn't need help, and how dare I fucking force him to see a doctor and convince him he was mental! He does seem to hate himself after saying vile things, but to the extent I have to take it all on board, move on and not rub his face in it. Kind if gets him off scot free. I haven't caught up with the thread so I will check how things are your end.

opalescent Wed 31-Jul-13 21:00:31

That all sounds very familiarsad
I realise this will sound a little amusing coming from me but...why do you stay with him?!
For me I think it's a combination of
A) knowing how good things can be
B) not wanting to turn everything upside down
Things are settled here for now, I'm trying to figure out what to do next.
Does your dp focus on one particular person or event in your past? Mine does.

HoopersGinger Wed 31-Jul-13 21:59:18

Because when I have broke up he starts texting me, phoning me and twice just turns up and waits on my doorstep. I think I am waiting till he ends it again and I can walk away. Strange thing is, now he has succeeded in pushing me so far away, he seems to be on his best behaviour. On the face of it everything has looked good for months. I feel like it is me who is stringing him along. When I feel my old feelings if love for him I dampen them down quick. It's sad. Do you recognise that feeling?

opalescent Wed 31-Jul-13 22:10:40

I recognise it so well.
Do you, like me, always think 'ok, NEXT time that's DEFINITELY it.... He'll do something soon, and then I'll end it on the spot'.
I have thought that so many times and not followed through. He has a very manipulative way of painting events to look much less serious or abusive than they were. Each time I think 'stay firm!! Remember how horrible he has been. But when he goes back to normal that feeling seems to melt away so fastsad
He is also very clever at recalling events to sound like we were both at fault. And he'll refer to incidents as 'rows' when in fact they were simply him being vile, and me reacting to that.

joanofarchitrave Wed 31-Jul-13 22:22:10

'ok, NEXT time that's DEFINITELY it.... He'll do something soon, and then I'll end it on the spot'

This I recognise.

With regard to his 'recall' of events, I used to wish that there was an impartial 'marriage judge' who would watch film of us together and say 'that was reasonable....that was joan's fault... that bit was normal...that bit was just not normal for a marriage'. That's why I loved that reality show there was years ago where a counsellor and a divorce lawyer used to watch footage of couples at home...

IMO writing events down can help... before the argument happens. Watch yourself writing down every bit of an interaction, what happened and what was said, and what you felt, about a perfectly ordinary conversation that YOU KNOW ALREADY will cause him to go batshit. Then when he rewrites history you have something to compare it to.

My second husband is psychotic and depressed, by the way. We sure have some bad times but he is NOT abusive. Ever. Marriage is not a treatment for illness, anyway.

HoopersGinger Wed 31-Jul-13 22:51:42

Yes, I do think that's it next time, definitely. But I actually think it will be because recently I just feel detached from him. The thing is, when someone you love suddenly appears to hate you, I think it triggers all kinds of vulnerable feelings. You just want this person to love and approve of you again. Then when they do it's so easy just to carry on. It's easier for me opal, I don't live with my partner. It's a longish distance relationship so I often get 2 weeks air gap. I think that's making us keep going although he would say the opposite. He thinks the distance allows the demons to get to him and if we lived together the problems would end.

farthingwood Wed 31-Jul-13 23:08:12

He sound's like his self esteem is very low.
Codependants anonymous might help him, he probably needs help realising that he is worthy of love and a whole person on his own.
He will be experiencing a lot of pain and suffering if such small things trigger jealousy (one of the most toxic and challenging emotions to deal with IMHO)
CODA meetings are free and have played a major part in my happiness.
Good luck

Apileofballyhoo Wed 31-Jul-13 23:20:08

Marriage is not a treatment for illness, anyway. This.

HoopersGinger Wed 31-Jul-13 23:39:35

Do you think you will end things next time opal? It takes so much energy when you just want to keep your day to day routine for your little one.

onlysettleforbutterflies Thu 01-Aug-13 11:46:23

This is my first post, I was compelled to reply as I went through this exact thing with my DP last year. It’s a long story, but hopefully my experience may help. DP is a jealous person and always has been, but I knew early on what he was like and decided to work with it anyway, as everything else is so right, I could live with that flaw. 6 years down the line his jealousy over stepped the mark, it happened last summer, when our DS was 18 months old, all of a sudden he became obsessed with my past, would question me for hours, search the house for god knows what, call me names, cry uncontrollably, would follow me, turn up at my work, email or text 200 times a day.

I had no idea what was happening or why it had all started, it all came to a head when after a week of screaming/crying he admitted he wanted to kill himself, as he couldn’t get the intrusive thoughts and images out of his head. On the advice of NHS direct I took him to A&E, he came willingly as he had enough insight left to realise that he wasn’t being rational, he was diagnosed with Morbid Jealousy/Orthello Syndrome/delusional disorder, which they believe stemmed from depression, it took 6 months home visits, being off work, treatment and medication – anti-psychotics and anti-depressants, a short spell in the mental health unit and CBT therapy to get him back on track.

It was sheer hell, my life was hell, he doesn’t actually remember any of last summer, but I do, I remember every second and every word spoken, I would say he is now 90% better, I would say I am 60% better, one comment leaning towards jealousy from him and it sends me in to a panic that its all going to start again, I’m hoping in time I will be able to relax a bit more, it is getting better. We have been warned it may return, but at least we’ll know what we are dealing with next time and it won’t spiral like it did, so recovery time will be quicker. People asked me why I was staying with him when he was treating me so awfully, but I knew he was ill and I couldn’t abandon him for being ill. Perhaps this is the difference from your situation, he had never behaved like that before and he knew it was wrong and wanted to get help, if he hadn’t then I may have walked away. This disorder is very serious and very dangerous for the partner – you. I have never been able to work out when it can be classed as an illness or whether it is just that person’s personality, I imagine they are often mistakenly labelled both ways.

Could you print some information off about morbid jealousy for him to read, I did that and he recognised himself in it, which I think helped him accept it was a condition and needed treatment.

I kept a diary of last year, happy to share if it helps anyone, I felt so alone and desperately trawled the net for someone in a similar situation but found no one. I had never been close to anyone with MH problems before and didn’t know what the hell was going on or where to turn to for help. I learnt you have to fight for help though and that it isn’t available or offered easily. Our local MIND office provided the CBT as the NHS was at least a 6 month waiting list and RETHINK were a great support to me.

HoopersGinger Thu 01-Aug-13 12:16:58

Was it a cycle butterflies or did it just kick in and get worse until treatment? So glad he could see beyond it and get help. For yourself maybe you have post traumatic stress disorder if this still triggers anxiety.

onlysettleforbutterflies Thu 01-Aug-13 12:26:51

It just kicked in out of the blue and got worse and worse over a period of four months then started to slowly improve. Yes I think I am suffering the after effects of it all to some extent, it was all so shocking but on the whole we're ok, just trying not to let it over shadow us too much.

HoopersGinger Thu 01-Aug-13 12:33:03

I hope he takes full responsibility for it. I don't mean that harshly as I know he was ill so maybe he can blame the illness. So long as he doesn't blame you at all and you haven't modified your behaviour.

onlysettleforbutterflies Thu 01-Aug-13 12:41:12

He does and he is very apologetic about it all and gets really upset if I tell him something he did at the time, I do tell him things as I want him to know how awful it was, but I try not to do it too much, as then we'll never get past it. Truthfully - yes my behaviour is still slightly modified, but I am learning to let it go and have been pushing myself to do things like I used to, without being scared of potentially 'sending him back there'. It will all take time I guess, he is always encouraging me to do stuff and reassuring me etc.

Sorry I seem to be hi-jacking, hopefully just reading about someone else in a similar position will help OP in some way...

MadameLeBean Thu 01-Aug-13 12:48:45

I have been on both sides of this - for those that are dismissing the ops dh as a waste of energy.

With an ex who was delusionally jealous and paranoid... We went to counselling and I realised how out of touch with reality he was. It wasn't fixable without psychiatric help which he did not want, so I left.

I have also been the unreasonably jealous one in my relationship, feeling panicky after reading about all the cheating husbands on mumsnet, worrying that all men are horrible misogynists after some things in media and at work and unfairly projecting this onto my partner and feeling horrible about perfectly innocent interactions with his female colleagues / friends. The difference is when I get / had these thoughts I knew I was acting crazy. I have employed some CBT techniques to get out of the circular panicky though patterns and it has helped so much. My relationship is so much healthier and happier. I'm really pleased to find out its possible to get out of nasty destructive thinking habits. Cos they are habits and can be changed with the right support.

Good luck op.

HoopersGinger Thu 01-Aug-13 12:53:41

Sorry for hi jacking too. It all does sound so familiar though I don't think my partner wants any help.

onlysettleforbutterflies Thu 01-Aug-13 13:05:33

I guess that is the key and most important thing, you can't get better unless you have insight to realise what you are doing isn't right and that you need help and have to be prepared to do and try anything to get better. For the first month he didn't have that insight, but as he got worse he seemed to realise more that what he was doing was wrong, even though he had no control over it.

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