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Can't cope with DHs paranoia. Long but Im at my wits end

(299 Posts)
catgirl1976 Wed 15-Jun-16 18:08:01

DH and I have been together for 18 years and married for 8. We met at university when we were in our 20s. We have DS who is 4.

DH has always had issues with trust and jealousy and this has caused issues throughout our relationship.

I have been totally faithful to DH apart from, about 9 years ago snogging a bloke from work with whom there had been a a bit of a flirtation. I realised as soon as this happened that it was wrong, stopped it in its tracks and left and went home. I told DH what happened and although it was bad, we worked through it. DH had a bit of a revenge flirtation with a girl he worked with shortly afterwards but we worked through that.

His issues with jealousy preceed this mistake by me, but of course this didn't help.

We can be fine for months and then his issues rear their head. We get through them but it can be very rocky and we did even try Relate (they wouldn't see us as the felt he was controlling - he is but that's not helpful - I want to fix this and I think they could have been good for us)

In order to make him feel better and more secure I let him have "find my friends" on my iphone so he can always see where I am. I don't have a lock on my phone or hide it. He has all my email passwords and can access my facebook.

A few years ago he hated that I spoke to my ex on-line and was furious I met him for a coffee. He asked me recently to end all contact with him, and even though we were friends I did so. I rarely go out, I don't do any seperate hobbies. I work in a sales role but travel back and forth to London from the NW rather than stay overnight as I know he hates it.

Anyway, if you've got this far, the present issue......

At the weekend DH and I went to a festival. We took some MDMA and smoked some skunk. We used to do this at uni - we dont now as we have jobs, child etc so this was a one off the capture our lost youth if you will.

Sat in the tent feeling very safe and loved (drugs) we talked and talked. I ended up confiding in DH that when I was 14 I slept with quite a few people as I was really messed up. I was abused by my grandad as a child which DH is aware of but I ended up tellng him that I used to get validation from this and waas trying to explain to him how messed up I was and how difficult it was for me to comes to terms with what had happened and how it affected me as a teenager. I also told him I cheated on my ex several times.

DH thinks I was very filrty at the start of our relationship. Perhaps I was - it's hard to rememer as it is so long ago and he brings up things from years and years ago that I simply don't remember. Anyway I said to DH that if I had been flirty at the start it was down to the abuse and how it affected me and I was sorry for it.

DH then lost the plot. In fairness he was on a lot of drugs but he decided he had had a "revelation" that I had cheated on him througout our relationship. He accused me of sleeping with a never ending list of random people and even asked if our DS was his. He didn't make a lot of sense.

I tried to talk to him but got nowhere. I hoped this was just the drugs talking and he would be ok again in the morning with a clear head.

However, 3 days later and he's the same. He's convinced I have cheated on him. Which I havent

Examples of things he brings up as evidence include:

Apparantly after a work Christmas party years ago a man I worked with sent me a picture of me and him at the party laughing our heads of with the caption "how?". I don't remember this but assume it means "How did we get in this state?" or something but DH is sure it has a sinister meaning.

Apparantly my boss once said to me "We would never work togther". He's right we wouldn't. We rub each other up the wrong way and there's no hint of attraction on either side. But DH thinks it means something.

Apparntly about 15 years ago, one of his friends rang to say he was coming round and I dashed upstairs and put on a low cut top and did my make up. I woud have got changed and done my make up if anyone was coming round. I dont go to the corner shop without a full face. Not sure about the low cut top but I have never found this bloke attractive so if it was low cut if certainly wasn't for his benefit.

The list goes on and on. These are examples.

Today I was looking at somehting on my phone and he said "What are you doing" I said "I;m on facebook why??" He said "You were looking at your phone and smiling" in a nasty tone that implied I was talking to a man or something. Its constant.

I honestly think he has a paranoid personality disorder. I do not know what to do. Saturday, everything was great, today everything is a disaster. And it keeps happening out of the blue like this. I never know what will set him off or when it's coming, only that it always does.

I am sorry this is so long but I do not know what to do

I have managed to get him to speak to a counsellor and he is currently having the assesment call as I type this but god knows if they will help or make things worse. They will only hear his perception which is siply not grounded in reality.

What can I do?

Sorry again that this is so long

NapQueen Wed 15-Jun-16 18:15:01

The only thing I can and would advise is to separate.

He does not respect you. He does not trust you. He does not seem to have any sympathy for your historic abuse. Your relationship with him is more than likely an offshot of your upbringing and, more than likely, how little you value yourself as an individual.

It appears to me you bend over backwards to reassure him of something which (1) never happens and (2) he believes has and will and is regardless.

It must be truly awful for you, it isn't a marriage I would want to be in.

But more importantly it isn't the example of a father and husband I would want my DS to grow up thinking is normal.

adora1 Wed 15-Jun-16 18:15:48

You leave, that's what you do, Relate were right, he's a controlling and nasty piece of work OP, he has you running around not being yourself living your life to suit him, that's not normal, healthy or in the slightest way acceptable, I don't know what you call it but this is not a proper relationship, I mean why would you give him all that control over your life, what you wear, how much make up etc, I could go on, I don't know how you stand it and I would never let a man dictate how I lived my life, if he can't love you for who you are then tell him to fuck off, seriously, this will not get better, you deserve so much more.

thestamp Wed 15-Jun-16 18:17:05

Hi OP. It might be good for you to read my thread from a while ago. There are some significant similarities in our experiences.

I read your whole post and I know that you love him and that you just want to be happy, and for him to be happy. I really get that. Mistakes were made on both sides and I know you know he is really not trying to be spiteful, he genuinely believes in his own paranoia, etc.

The thing is though, you can't help this man. I think you need to look into counseling for yourself. And I think you might need to face up to the fact that you probably will have to deal with the negative consequences of his lack of trust for as long as you continue in the marriage.

This is who he is, and this is what your marriage is like. These things don't change. You either have to accept that this kind of thing is going to keep happening, or, you need to start making plans to leave.

I'm sorry.

something2say Wed 15-Jun-16 18:18:24

Hello xxx I don't think you can do anything to be honest. It's his is also taking attention away from the horrible things you've been through and I'd wager he is using those things and their aftermath to punish you. As evidence.

What I'd probably do is say it stops here. Right here.

No looking at my phone, no stalking software, no questions about my whereabouts. I'd stop telling him I saw this or that friend because he can't be trusted with it.

And insist that he sees the counselling through without telling the therapist that you've cheated loads of times and that's why he is as he is. In fact, ask him to agree to perhaps go to joint counselling, paid for, and tell that therapist and then, get counselling for yourself and what happened to you xxxx

blueemerald Wed 15-Jun-16 18:18:31

Relate were right.

catgirl1976 Wed 15-Jun-16 18:21:48

Thank you all

I really, really don't want to leave him. We can be happy and when it's good it's great.

Stampy - I could have written your thread - its spooky that it is so similar. How did you resolve it?

thestamp Wed 15-Jun-16 18:26:48

We split up.

If you search my username across that whole thread, you can see how I tried so hard not to leave him but slowly realized that I had no choice.

Am living with the DC in a nearby flat. Similar age to your DS. DC so much happier it's unbelievable. So am I. Once I was out, and the first few months of mourning were over, things got so much better I can't even tell you.

I was also sexually abused as a child... also disclosed to my dh... and he also used that against me in a similar way. It's extremely painful. But that's what abuse is. It's painful. Its the infliction of pain in order to keep someone crippled and therefore easy to control.

My H admitted to me while we were splitting up that he had "tried to break my legs to keep me from running away".

It's horrific but abuse is a reality. Abusive men abuse because they don't know how else to feel safe in a relationship. And the only chance they have to recover is for their victims to remove themselves from the abusive situation... as long as there is a victim around, an abusive man can't change his ways.

it is what it is. You are going to have to be very brave. Again... I'm sorry. I wish there were another way.

TheseLittleEarthquakes Wed 15-Jun-16 18:30:03

Oh sweetheart, you've been posting about this awful man for years. He's abusive. I wish I could reach through the screen and drag you and your son out of there.

DetestableHerytike Wed 15-Jun-16 18:30:43

The other posters are right, catgirl.

It's utterly unreasonable and risky to your well being to be driving up and down the country to assuage his controlling thoughts. More likely to have a crash, get tired etc.

thestamp Wed 15-Jun-16 18:32:51

catgirl also I just want to point out... as a fellow sexual abuse survivor... I was primed for someone who used sexual jealousy as a control technique. I felt guilty and dirty and that I needed to prove that I was a "good girl".

So instead of running away from a man who thought ill of me, I found that I would compulsively run towards him, constantly trying to prove that I loved him and was loyal to him.

So I got horribly stuck in the relationship, not able to see that I was hurting both of us by allowing it to continue.

Really this is what it comes down to... you are a good person with many lovely things inside you. You don't need to prove anything to anyone. You can walk away from this situation. There are people out there in the world who will not require you to prove yourself to them in any way. They'll just accept you as you are.

Think of the relief you will feel when you find that other people simply like you. Just as you are.

There is nothing wrong with you. You are allowed to be happy and to feel free. You don't need to suffer like this.

And remember that by making yourself available to your H, you are also enabling him to suffer. If nothing else, leave him so that he can perhaps start to get better, and start a new life where he is not compulsively abusing you to dull his pain...

PolaroidsFromTheBeyond Wed 15-Jun-16 18:35:35

The only way to end this is to leave, lovely.

This is not something you can work on or sort out together. He doesn't trust you. He accuses you of horrible things. He is controlling and abusive. These are his issues. You cannot fix them nor should you try.

I know this isn't what you want to hear and I'm sorry. But leaving is the only way out.

Jan45 Wed 15-Jun-16 18:40:46

I think you are so used to it that it has become the norm for you, it's really not, it's not even love, it's just control and as has been said, you will never be at peace with a person like this, no matter if you have some `good times`.

Chippednailvarnishing Wed 15-Jun-16 18:42:59

Think how much better life would be without this sort of crap...

RiceCrispieTreats Wed 15-Jun-16 18:46:23

There's a reason why Relate won't see a couple where there is control / coercion / abuse.

It would be kind of like trying to keep you and your grandfather in the dysfunctional relationship of abuser and victim that you had then (and I am so very sorry that you went through that). And possibly you did feel pressure to keep that relationship going, at the time. But you don't need to feel obliged to keep another kind of abusive relationship going now.

It's ok to walk away. It's even necessary: the only response to lack of respect in a relationship is to walk away.

purplefox Wed 15-Jun-16 18:52:54

He accused me of sleeping with a never ending list of random people and even asked if our DS was his. He didn't make a lot of sense.

My ex did this, despite the fact I wasn't allowed out of the house unaccompanied apparently I'd managed to get out, cheat on him and DS wasn't his, he had all my email/facebook/twitter passwords and knew where I was every second of the day. Any email I'd get from a male name - think work emails, industry newsletters from male senders (I worked in a male-orientated industry) would result in a complete psychopathic outburst about how I was sleeping with all of these people, then that wasn't enough he'd decided I was a lesbian and he started it with all the women I'd speak to. Life was miserable, I was completely on edge and he alienated me from everyone as I couldn't deal with the outbursts that would come from me seeing a friend.

I left. That mess now feels like another lifetime and I am so much happier. I regret staying for so long and constantly making excuses from him.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 15-Jun-16 18:54:22

"I really, really don't want to leave him. We can be happy and when it's good it's great"

When is this relationship really good and great however? It really does read like a car crash of a relationshiop.

Why are the two of you together at all?

What do you get out of this relationship now?. What is really keeping you with him now?.

Relate were wise not to see the two of you together; he is indeed controlling and has you exactly where he wants you. Your own childhood experiences made you easy prey for such a man to get his claws into, he really did target you.

Is this what you want to teach your son about relationships; that his dad's reactions towards you are at all normal?. You keep on enabling him as well by trying to get him a counsellor etc; that only gives you a false sense of control and does not help anyone. This is well and truly over and has been for some considerable time to boot.

This is a really dysfunctional relationship and I sincerely hope your son does not mirror this as an adult. You are both teaching him about relationships here, just what is he learning from the two of you?. You really want to show him this crap going forward?

TheNaze73 Wed 15-Jun-16 18:57:16

I can't believe you haven't left him already. Most paranoid people are simply that, as they're judging their partners by their own standards. I cannot see what you are getting out of this relationship except grief

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 15-Jun-16 18:58:46


Abuse is about power and control and this man wants absolute over you.
He will destroy you in the end if you do not leave.

Abusive men are not horrible all the time; if they were then no-one would ever want to be with them. These men also can appear quite plausible to those in the outside world, of course behind closed doors they do act very differently.

What you are in is the cycle of abuse; the nice and nasty cycle. Its a continuous one. Your son is absorbing what is happening in front of his eyes like a sponge. You cannot fully protect him from your H's abuse of you.

The only acceptable level of abuse within a relationship is NONE.

ModerateBecomingGoodLater Wed 15-Jun-16 19:06:08


I wish I had the first time DH accused me of something (a drunken night where i was probably raped/ assaulted). I felt so guilty I didn't go, and have spent the last 15 years atoning for it.

Roomba Wed 15-Jun-16 19:10:15

I could have written your OP, catgirl - and my circumstances were also very similar.

We split, in the end, as he was abusive in many other ways as well. He spent so many years obsessing over all my failings, berating me constantly and making me feel like the world's worst partner. He felt so sorry for himself and I didn't want to break his heart for far too long. He used my past abuse to gaslight and control me too.

Ironically, as soon as I asked him to move out, he went out on a date the very next day. He got married within months and had another baby within a year! So much for him loving me more than anything, he couldn't have given less of a shit when it came down to it. A relief for me though as he stopped harassing and controlling me. And as it turned out, he had slept with literally scores of other women whilst we were together.

Your life would be so, so much easier without your DH abusing you like this. You cannot change him yourself, and he is not likely to change by himself as his behaviour suits him perfectly - it gets him exactly what he wants.

pointythings Wed 15-Jun-16 19:12:16

Catgirl you have posted about this man so many times and you have always had the same advice. Please let this last incident be the straw that broke the camel's back, if only for the sake of your DS. He deserves better.

Clearly you should also never do drugs again if you do decide to stay together - skunk and paranoia go hand in hand with people who are vulnerable, and your DH clearly is.

OooLookShoes Wed 15-Jun-16 19:15:54

Come on catgirl you've been posting variants on how awful he is for YEARS. I say this from a position of someone who admires your strength and coping ability but To an outsider it's obvious

Time to shit or get off the pot

( hint: LTB)

ImperialBlether Wed 15-Jun-16 19:18:42

I felt really sorry for you that you have narrowed your life to such an extent to satisfy the whims of a paranoid man.

You can't even stay away from home for the night but instead have to put up with long, tiring journeys. You can't use FB in case you inadvertently smile. Your life is so restricted by this man.

I really think you need to get out. It sounds as though you want to stay - if you do you will be crushed further and further by him.

AnyFucker Wed 15-Jun-16 19:18:55

Cat, what new advice are you looking for ?

This is simply one more nail in the long slow death of your hopes for this man

Look over all your old threads. They all say the same thing. He is no good. Not just in this way, in many ways and to my mind he has blighted your life for far too long

The only good thing to come out of your time with him is your ds. The rest of it has consisted of putting your own self to one side to prop up the monumental ego of this inadequate man

Why don't you stop now. You don't owe him the rest of your life too.

He's never going to be the person you think he can be. If you sort this particular bump out, another will appear. It's been happening for years and you will carry his cross all your life if you don't call an end to it.

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