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Anyone had experience of CBT or similar for morbid jealousy?(23 Posts)
Fairly recently came to the conclusion that the relationship I thought we had isn't seen the same way by DH -I think he is much more relaxed about his interactions with the opposite sex, without thinking how I may view things (that's a whole previous thread)...He had previous form early in our relationship, but things have been pretty good since for the most part. However, I must be hitting a midlife crisis or something, because since the latest situation I have been full on wanting to know where he's been, with whom, etc. and its driving me insane.
Without wanting to go into details, I've read a lot of psychology based stuff on this and it seems like CBT is the way to go in order to get myself back on track. I don't have the time or money to go see someone regularly, so does anyone have experience of online/book resources which have proved useful? I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has used CBT in a similar situation, whether successfully or not. Thanks!
I have had CBT for something similar but not jealousy and there are lots of useful self help sheets knocking around. Have a look (Google) these ideas and have a read around them.
- "taking a step back" (rather than jump in feet first and get into a "where have you been/who with situation - just step back and ask yourself if these questions are actually rational based on what you actually know rather than what you perceive to be the case)
- "only dealing with problems in the here and now, not perceived problems that might never happen anyway" (a good example of this is he is going on a night out- is this a problem in itself, (NO) so park it, is he going to cheat (who knows but you have no evidence of this so again it's a NO....will he be late getting back in - at this stage it's a NO. These are not current problems they are problems that you are perceiving will happen and you are reacting to something that may not happen at all. - park those thoughts and only address them if they do actually become a problem.
-" put yourself in the position of a stranger in the room overseeing the current situation - how would they advise you (often this makes you realise how irrational your fears can be)
These are just three ideas but very useful.
I'm interested to know where your worries come from.
No CBT experience but am not sure from your OP that jealousy is your problem. If you've been fairly relaxed about his flirting or whatever up until now are you sure it's not just your gut instinct telling you something? Has he told you you're being unreasonably jealous?
If the 'latest situation' involving your DH and a third party 'friend' was recent AND he doesn't get how it impacts your relationship, I'd say couples therapy is more likely to help you than individual work.
You don't have morbid jealousy by the way. MJ is a diagnosable mental illness for which CBT wouldn't even touch the sides IMO, and it is very, very unpleasant and dangerous to be on the receiving end of
voice of experience. So my advice would be to step away from Dr Google and think about this as a symptom of what's troubling the marriage.
Have you ever had problems with unfounded jealousy in the past, or currently in other situations?
I feel for what you're going through, but I faint a big (at him, not you!) when you are jealous after he has cheated!!!
You really think this is a psychological issue for you to sort out? Or an understandable trust issue for him to sort out?
Agree with pp. Your jealousy isn't the issue here, the fact that you're with a flirty (previously cheating?) cock who fails to take your feelings into account is the actual problem.
Lovely previous response, just lovely.
You could try Feeling Good which is a pretty good CBT book that I have read in the past and found helpful.
Get yourself in a healthier place then have a fresh look if your DH behaviour is an issue. Best of luck and well done, you should be proud with the efforts you are making.
Thanks for all the responses, and the practical suggestions easystreet. I'll also be taking a look at the book you suggested, logically, thanks.
I'm pretty sure the problem is mainly mine nowadays, he's not a flirty person and I have just recently been suspicious of everything, without any real basis. Triggered by a (female) work colleague (who he has spent work social time with over the past few months) messaging him at home bitching about another colleague. We spoke about it and he told her it was inappropriate, and there has been none since. He's been trying hard to reassure me, we know each other s passwords for stuff anyway, that's why I get the feeling I may be irrational due to past events.
Duff - point taken re couples therapy. Do you mind sharing how cbt didn't work for you? Sounds like it did more harm than good?
Has he actually cheated on you before?
OP, I'm not saying CBT didn't work in my situation - it was not even suggested as my then P needed medicating to control the the obsessions and the compulsion to spy, follow, isolate and interrogate me, and that's what I mean about the morbid jealousy thing. He had ZERO insight into the cruelty of his actions whilst you are reflecting on the situation, wondering about what you can do to help improve things, which is why I wanted to (perhaps clumsily) reassure you that this may not just be about you, and even if it is, maybe couples work can help improve things for you both.
I had CBT a while back for mild depression (without anxiety) and it did actually help!
The reason i suggested couples work is because it focusses on your relational interactions and issues of closeness and distance etc, which might be more useful to you than focussing on what's 'wrong' with you.
I don't know runrabbit, your guess is as good as mine. I had evidence he was intending to cheat on a work conference a few years into our relationship. Confronted on his return, at first denied doing anything , then when when presented with evidence he denied going through with it. I'll never know for sure, never thought he was the type to even consider cheating. Shame I wasn't on MN at the time for advice
You'll never know for sure?
I think you do know.
Hence the fears now - please stop calling them irrational.
It is the opposite - it is perfectly rational to worry about your husband cheating when you have evidence (despite his denial) that he fully intended to cheat earlier in your relationship.
Agree with previous poster up thread. I'm sure morbid jealousy cannot be treated with CBT, it's a serious mental illness. Also agree that you do not have morbid jealousy.
It doesn't sound like a problem with you being irrational OP. I don't think CBT will help you stop feeling jealous. It sounds like you have a trust issue with your partner which is well-founded.
Thanks duff, I see what you were saying about the cbt now. Sounds like a v difficult situation you were in.
Seems the general consensus is that it's not morbid jealousy. The feeling good book does look worth a read. So I guess my best options are couples therapy (although I think I would feel rather pathetic explaining this all stems from an incident so long ago) and the strategies easystreet shared (thanks ).
Thank you for commenting, Ive not shared these doubts before and although uncomfortable, it really helps to know other people don't think I'm just being irrational!
What was the 'latest situation' that you referred to?
I can tell a story from the other side of the dynamic. My exh was very jealous. It was a nightmare. He was constantly tracking my movements. We had prank callers at the time and he would look at me as if to say "Aha, caught you!". I even worked out who he thought I was having my little trists with, which was a real shame as neither me nor this other man were flirts, we both respected each other's partners, I was wary of having a baby at the time and he and his wife had two and we spoke about family stuff, etc,. we did spend a lot of time together at work but that was it. I tried to bring my exh into the fold and instigated meals out for the 4 of us but he still just watched me like a hawk and in the end I was embarrassed and hoping my friend didn't work out what the deal was with my ex. And also in the end I decided that in this and many other ways my ex didn't trust me enough to warrant my having children with him so I left him. I've happily set up home with a lovely person who trusts me implicitly and wish I'd done it sooner.
First you say the first incident was "early in your relationship" then that it was a few years into it. Which is it ?
You have certainly rationalised the first time away but as these things are won't to do, it is bubbling to the surface again
Whatever happened, you do not have trust in your relationship. Without trust, what is the point ? And he killed that, not you.
Wow, haven't caught up with this thread for a while...
AF - seeing as our relationship has been going for a couple of decades, 7 years in feels like 'early on' when relating it after so long...and yes, it's still bubbling away and affecting things all over again....
dudsville - I can understand what you are saying in that situation, I guess the difference would be whether you had given him definite cause to doubt you, which my oh had, without a doubt...
CBT won't work in this situation, priority, because your reactions are being set off by another person's (almost certainly) inappropriate behaviour.
Also, if you can link it back to an event or a relationship in your childhood, then that's a 'double no' for CBT, which has only really been found to be effective for issues that don't have deep roots in the past, and which are no longer being actively triggered by an outside source (and your DH continues to be a trigger whether he is doing something or not).
Rather investigate psychotherapy - individual psychotherapy. You may find that what you go in to deal with may not actually be the core issue. That's my sense anyway.
When I refer to 'almost certainly' btw, I'm referring to your DH's past behaviour. So the fact that he has form means you will always have to deal with the possibility that he will do the same again.
Thx MsStricty, I didn't realise that about CBT. Guess it answers the Q! And no, nothing from my past, all created by him and his shit behaviour, as far as I am aware...
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