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please help, severe jealousy of dh's ex wife, i can't do this anymore

(67 Posts)
JustWanaBeHappy Wed 03-Jun-15 10:21:08

have nc as am seriously embarrassed and ashamed and I am sure you will all think I am nuts and awful. this is going to be a right ramble but I need to get it all out

I have been with DH 8 years, married 5. I am 33 and dh is 43. we have 2 DDs aged 2 and 6. and I have a DS, 10, from a prev relationship. he was married before and has a 19 yo dd and 2 adult stepchildren. I have always had jealousy issues over his ex right from the beginning as I was only his second gf after they split and she wanted him back and tried to get him back a few times in the first year or 2 we were together. I was really insecure. and still I am jealous of her now and of his past life.

he met her at 23, she was living with someone and had 2 DCs, but she left him for DH. her and her DC moved in immediately. only imagine how in love dh was to do that as a 23 year old lad really, he was (and is) very good looking and popular, he'd had several GFs until her, but never settled down so wasn't exactly short of offers. so god knows how crazy in love / lust he was to get her down the aisle that quick. he reckons it was her that pushed him into moving fast, he was not that bothered but I know what he is like, he isn't daft. In fact he is very sensible, measured and stubborn and if he didn't want to do something he wouldn't do it.

dh proposed to me after about 2 years and it bugs the hell out of me that it took him so long, knowing how quick he got a ring on XW.

I even get jealous that they owned a house together, dh and I only rent, how pathetic is that. we have never had that experience and prob never will! and I am jealous that he has already been a step dad before he was a step dad to my DS and that makes it less special to me.

I have low self esteem anyway. but my jealousy affects everything. worst of all it affects our sex life, as i wonder if she was better than me in bed, (she is skinny like about a size 6 and loads better looking than me even though she is older), she is typical blonde, skinny, tanned, immaculate....i am dark, pale and slim ish, quite unconventional looking really, I think had a brief period of "prettiness" in my 20's but thats going down hill quick and my 3 pregnancies have ruined my figure tbh. i will never look good in a bikini again. but at 40 odd and after her 3 kids she was posting holiday bikini pics on FB recently looking amazing. my feelings affect everything. our holidays, things we do as a family, when he does romantic things for me, Christmases, family parties etc etc, I just think, he has done this all before and I haven't. So I feel it isn't as special or meaningful. I am also jealous as I had sections for my births, dh ex had DSD naturally, and I often think how amazing it must have been for him. and also she will always be the mother of his PFB. and I have heard on here that women who have had natural births have better sex so there's another reason I worry that our sex life isn't as good. Not to mention my horrid scar. so embarrassed writing this.

basically I can not deal or cope with the fact he had a family before me....tbh the main reason I wanted to have our dds was to "even the score" and secretly I am happy that I have got more children with him than she has, (obvs he does not know that!) how awful is that? and mad.

I also secretly compare our kids with DSD. and although I would never say it our 2 girls are no where near as pretty and cute as DSD was (and is). in fact I even feel sick sometimes when I see DSD as she is crazy beautiful and I imagine her DM looked just like her at her age and I hate myself for it as I love DSD and she is lovely. so how awful of me.

I feel i cannot compete, I don't know what he sees in me when I look in the mirror. and its only going down hill as i get older! but he is always telling me how much he loves me, that he has never loved/fancied anyone as much as me or been so happy. that we have loads in common and i am his best friend, and he has never had that before. in fact he has told me before he was mostly quite unhappy when he was married before. so why can't I shake this jealousy? he knows about it a bit but I could never tell him all this.

ps I have had counselling several times and nothing has worked sad ....and I am sorry this is so long

something2say Wed 03-Jun-15 10:30:21

You cannot compete no you must not.

I understand where you are coming from. My greatest love is music, yet a shitty physically abusive childhood set me on a path where I did not become a professional musician. I had masses of shite to wade thro instead.

My partner now, my semi famous professional musician partner.....his 20 year younger girlfriend broke up with him.....he was gutted, everyone kept telling me.....we started going out after barely a year of them breaking up....and of course she is a professional musician too!!! Same instrument as him, different to me. I get to see her backstage at all the festivals, onstage, on the telly.

It hurt so deeply. She came from this wonderful family background, her dad set up this massive brand name and they are now minted.

Compare that to me.....shit upbringing, no chances, playing guitar in my bedroom. And would he have wanted her back??? If she'd have him???

So I get where you are coming from.

I think you must out things into place, said and private from your husband, to interrupt this poisonous process.

I'll start you off.

You are not allowed to internet stalk her.
You are not allowed to self harm using bad thoughts that compare the pair of you.
You are to make the absolute most of your own self. Your life, your days, your body, your look. No two women are identical and we all have something about us.

And a few self esteem books as well.

This will either eat you up or it won't, you decide xxx

QuiteLikely5 Wed 03-Jun-15 10:32:00

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Start looking at what you have got and not what you haven't.

The only person you are torturing is yourself. I think you are slightly obsessed and for obsessive thinking medication can help eliminate the continuous thoughts.

mrstweefromtweesville Wed 03-Jun-15 10:37:00

Find out about 'mindfulness'. It looks easy but its a faff to put into action. But it will help. It might solve this, with time.

Twinklestein Wed 03-Jun-15 10:37:29

You really need help because you're going to destroy your relationship.

This isn't about the ex it's about you and your self-esteem and your mental health.

I would try to find a good therapist to work through all of this.

JustWanaBeHappy Wed 03-Jun-15 10:41:27

oh god something that sounds hard

I too come from a music background, have been in bands for years. never got anywhere haha but had amazing fun. so you MUST carry on with it. get in a band, post on you tube, get some gigs in pubs, just do whatever but please use your talents and dont put yourself down x

I have reported this thread as I have re posted in aibu for traffic. and I know twinklestein re it will destroy us. and the stupid thing is that, if it did, and I then met someone, I would just be the same with them! as past 30 or so most people have some baggage and many have kids, past marriages etc so theres no escaping it

I just think no therapist can help, have tried so many times

I am also already on meds for depression

shirleybasseyslovechild Wed 03-Jun-15 10:42:31

what a lovely reply from s2s!

op does your husband know you feel this way?

JustWanaBeHappy Wed 03-Jun-15 10:46:36

yeah he knows to a certain extent

could never tell him everything I have put down in this thread though

I would die of embarrassment and if he said it about my ex I would be a bit freaked out tbh

Twinklestein Wed 03-Jun-15 10:47:45

A therapist could definitely help, but you need more than the standard 10 sessions of CBT available on the NHS, and you really need to look around and find the right one.

PeppermintCrayon Wed 03-Jun-15 10:49:23

You really, really need to try counselling again. Otherwise your fears are going to become a self-fulfilling prophecy - the only thing actually threatening your relationship is your own jealousy and low self-esteem.

something2say Wed 03-Jun-15 10:57:42

You are not alone op.

This will flourish in your head tho, if you think you are...

I do play out cheers, love it. Now matter what that other girl has or doesn't have, this is my lot in life, and that is your lot, and we must make the best of it. Who knows, maybe my partners ex was murdered in a past life or something and this life she gets an easy ride?! Who knows!

Maybe I too need therapy for thinking a thing like that....!

MorrisZapp Wed 03-Jun-15 11:58:46

When I was a kid, the local paper used to print wedding pictures every Saturday, of grinning loons in Eighties formal wear, cutting cake and looking over the moon.

In my immature mind I must admit I thought 'Blimey, somebody who looks like THAT can get married? And the person they're marrying looks chuffed to bits?'.

As an adult now if course I can see that outward, conventional beauty is pretty much irrelevant to most long term relationships. I have a lovely bloke on my FB feed who regularly posts pics of his 'gorgeous wife'. By any standard measure, his wife isn't gorgeous. But to him, she is the moon and the stars.

If being good looking was a passport to romantic success, then Jennifer Aniston would be in a blissful marriage with the first man who ever professed to love her, with four little blonde mop headed kids in tow. But she isn't, is she?

Of course you know all this already, and your problems run very deep. I'd recommend CBT therapy but I'm no expert. Good luck.

Bogeyface Wed 03-Jun-15 12:30:56

dh proposed to me after about 2 years and it bugs the hell out of me that it took him so long, knowing how quick he got a ring on XW.

This jumped out at me.

Yes the ring went on her finger straight away, but it didnt work out did it? He may be measured and sensible now but that is probably because he learned his lesson of how not to be from his first marriage. She wanted to move in and be married and made sure that happened, he could well have been swept along with it. I have a 24 year old son and its exactly the sort of thing I could imagine him doing and then regretting later.

It was 20 years ago, he is the man he is now because of those experiences, thats how he can say that he has never loved anymore like he does you, because he knows what its like to be with someone you dont truly love.

Anniegetyourgun Wed 03-Jun-15 13:01:12

What they all said. There is so much more to being a life partner than looking good in a bikini!

Over a decade ago he left her, she wanted him back but he didn't go back. He dated a couple of times, then met someone he wanted to spend his life with - to give up his freedom for. That someone looks completely different to the ex wife and maybe that was part of the attraction.

Have you ever read Rebecca? The first Mrs de Winter was beautiful, capable, intelligent - and also a total bitch. You are the second Mrs de Winter and you can make your man much happier because of all the things you are. DH had all the things she was and he didn't think much of it.

AyeAmarok Wed 03-Jun-15 13:48:18

OP do you realise that by doing what you are doing, you are making yourself become a bad partner, parent and person?

You are going to ruin your relationship with your husband and your children for life if you continue like this.

YOU are the biggest threat to your marriage and children , not his ex.

You need to understand that, and stop doing this.

AyeAmarok Wed 03-Jun-15 13:48:19

OP do you realise that by doing what you are doing, you are making yourself become a bad partner, parent and person?

You are going to ruin your relationship with your husband and your children for life if you continue like this.

YOU are the biggest threat to your marriage and children , not his ex.

You need to understand that, and stop doing this.

ImperialBlether Wed 03-Jun-15 14:00:35

And have you ever thought that maybe she's sticking those bikini shots up everywhere to give herself some self-esteem? She may well be posting them knowing he'll see them - she was trying to get him back, wasn't she? How infuriating it must be for her that she couldn't, even though she looked so good. She knows now that no matter how good she looks, it wasn't enough for him. She sees your marriage lasting - and don't worry, she knows you've had more children with him - and no matter how many bikini shots she sticks up everywhere, she can't get him back.

It doesn't say much for her, frankly, that she moved in with him straightaway. It's easier to explain why he did - he had no ties, no reason not to. It seems very unhealthy that she did that, but normal that he did.

mynewpassion Wed 03-Jun-15 14:57:33

No need to trash the ex to bolster the OP. Things didn't work out between her DH and ex. They each have moved on.

She admits that she would be the same with a new partner and his ex. More counseling and learning to love yourself more should be a start.

springydaffs Wed 03-Jun-15 18:54:28

Have you ever been jealous before?

JustWanaBeHappy Wed 03-Jun-15 19:08:37

thanks for the replies but I feel really bad, there are now two threads on this, I asked for this to be deleted and I went to aibu to re post just after I first posted it (as I KNOW Iabu and tbh think I need an arse kicking)

<Waves at mnhq> anyone there lol please delete x

but thanks again I really really appreciate the advice

AtWorkNotW0rking Wed 03-Jun-15 19:15:09

You're very self absorbed and i don't think anything that anyone says to you will stop that. Maybe focus more on the needs of your family and stop focussing so much on yourself all the time

CruCru Wed 03-Jun-15 19:22:31

Hmm. This kind of jumped out at me in AIBU and I wanted to make a few points. I think Relationships is the right place for this one.

At 23, lots of people would probably move quicker than they may at 33. By the time you get to your thirties, you are likely to be more measured and cautious - I was engaged at 18 to someone who split up with me when I was 22. That was stupid.

Why do you see photos of her on FB? Something to bear in mind is that no one puts unflattering photos of themselves on there - selfies should be flattering and I am irritated when people tag me in unflattering photos. However, are you FB friends with her? If so, why?

I think that you may be projecting your own self esteem issues onto your children. I had a period of anxiety and depression a while ago and my psychiatrist gave me some very good advice. Instead of looking at the ways in which you don't feel you measure up, consider the qualities that you bring to your family. Yes, your husband's ex wife may be super photogenic but perhaps you are kind, patient, clever, good at cooking, a fun person at parties.

I don't know you so I don't know what these qualities are. Your husband has stayed with you so I am sure that you have them.

Similarly, when looking at your daughters, do the same with them. They may not be as conventionally gorgeous as you say your DSD is. But are they interesting, kind, helpful? Are they thoughtful friends and considerate to their peers?

Finally, I wonder whether your mentioning the way in which you gave birth, your renting vs. buying and the looks of both the ex wife and her children actually mean that you are concerned that your family image doesn't come across as successfully as hers did. It sounds cheesy but what about having a family photo session with a professional photographer? You could include all your children plus DSD. It might be nice to have some photos with your family unit which flatter you.

Anniegetyourgun Wed 03-Jun-15 21:29:32

No need to trash the ex to bolster the OP

Oh, yes, sorry, I didn't mean the ex was necessarily as unpleasant as Rebecca de Winter - it's just that you can't tell by appearances, Rebecca being an extreme (and fictional, and dead!) example. The woman in this case may be perfectly nice. Just not suited to OP's DH, otherwise he'd still be there. It's really pointless saying you can't compete when you're not actually in a competition.

ShonaOCasey Wed 03-Jun-15 23:44:46

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line

SelfLoathing Wed 03-Jun-15 23:52:16

I would say that the chances of this feeling you have being totally a psychosis of your own making is very low. Of course it's possible that it's purely a problem of yours.

But it's far more likely that it's due to actions and behaviours of your DH.

Typically it's a control mechanism.

Eg. in some way he drip feeds into your mind that the ex was hotter/sexier/more intelligent/more knowledgeable about trains or Chelsea or whatever current crap matters to him.

50 years from now you will look back and think WTF.

my main advice is look out for any behaviour of you DH that promotes this feeling you have - eg. excessive complements to ex; unnecessary criticisim of you etc etc.

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