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How can I stop being jealous?

(16 Posts)
MummyMuppet2x2 Fri 11-Nov-16 14:56:46

I've name changed for this as I know I'm being ridiculous, and I feel thoroughly embarrassed. I hope someone out there can help or say the right words to force me to get a grip.

DH has been working with a much younger female colleague in an office based job for several months, and I'm finding it an horrendous struggle to deal with feelings of jealousy. DH is 47, the colleague is mid-20s. They share an office with about 9 or 10 other people. They do not sit next to each other in their office, but they work as a 2-person team daily.

This woman has a long term bf, who I believe she intends to marry. She's nuts about him. I feel certain DH wouldn't cheat on me (as certain as anyone can be I suppose). I've never met her, but she's one of DH's FB friends (as is everyone in the office).

I get sick with rage when I see she has 'liked' one of his posts, or makes a comment. Other female workers comment on his posts and it doesn't bother me. Just her. I feel generally resentful of her.

I think the problem is DH has had some serious anger issues over recent years, stress induced most likely. He has been very unfair at times, and said vicious, nasty things to me and our kids when, for example, we've tried to give him a lovely birthday treat. In fact, I went all out for his birthday a few months ago. He through it all back in my face, saying how I organised it all the way I wanted it, and that he'd had no choice as to what he would get to do (not true, I'd checked all the details with him beforehand and he was fine about it all). He went as far as saying he wished he wasn't a part of our family. Extremely hurtful. He's not like this ALL the time, and also, he has apologised for this over and over since the incident. On the other hand, it wasn't a one off incident. Some more serious incidents have occurred during our marriage - on two occasions the incidents involved near violent confrontations with men. He thinks nothing of lashing out at me verbally if he perceives me to be too bossy, controlling, etc. He is always sorry afterwards as he realises he has been unreasonable, but it still hurts.

Anyway, back to the case in hand, the colleague. This colleague is inexperienced in the field they work in, so he has had to train her up, etc, and she's relied upon him heavily for guidance. He has such a high regard for her, I can tell, even by how he says her name, and refers to the two of them as 'XxXxXx and I have discussed xy&z'. I wish he routinely spoke of me with such respect! He seems protective of her too. When I've pointed out that she relies on him too much after months of training, and that he shouldn't feel so responsible for her, he is quick to point out that she's just trying her best. Yet, so many times in our marriage, I feel he's left me hung out to dry in terms of how his dad and sister have treated me (and he's NEVER even gotten along with his sister). Things with DH and I are great at the moment, in terms of our relationship - except for me telling him how irritating I find his co-worker to be. And we both know I'm being unfair to her.

To people outside the family he generally appears to be charming, humourous and gentle. Sometimes, in our marriage, a few women have interpreted his gentle humour as flirtation and responsed too enthusiastically to his humour. He's not recognised that they think he's flirting so he'll keep going with his jokes... until we have a problem. In one case, one woman (a family health care professional btw) thought it appropriate to tell me repeatedly how handsome and fit she found DH. She got more and more obvious with this until I couldn't stand it any longer. I asked DH to put her in her put her right, and he refused, so I had to do it myself.

I guess there's quite a lot of info I'm asking for help with - thank you if you've managed to get through that lot.

I'd be so so so grateful for any comments you can offer, because I feel like I'm going out of my mind with unreasonable jealousy.

Racerback Fri 11-Nov-16 15:02:18

He sounds awful. Jealous? You should be jumping at the chance of another woman taking him off your hands, frankly.

Not helpful, sorry!

EnoughAlready43 Fri 11-Nov-16 15:02:28

this relationship is dead in the water.
it will never improve.
and he has mentionitis which is a very bad sign to me.
I'd cut my losses with this loser. for the sake of your sanity, if nothing else.

Racerback Fri 11-Nov-16 15:03:03

He's making you jealous deliberately, btw.

He enjoys seeing you suffer. But you already know that, don't you?

Simonneilsbeard Fri 11-Nov-16 15:07:42

i totally understands your jealousy. You're watching your husband treat another woman with the respect he doesn't afford to you, his wife! As for the flirting, and that's what it is..he knows what he's doing. He would have learned the first time you 'had a problem' as you put it.

MummyMuppet2x2 Sat 12-Nov-16 07:29:55

Thanks for your replies.
I found them hard to read, but that's always the nature of facing a harsh reality.
I have tried separating from him in the past, but he's so good at twisting things and at making me appear responsible. I've come to realise recently just how good he is at having a number of people just where he wants them.
Regarding the birthday incident I mentioned in my first post, he had me fully convinced I was this horrible control freak for taking him off for the weekend. He was so verbally vicious... it took days for me to realise it was him at fault and that he was being totally ungrateful.
And yet, when things are good, they are amazing.
It's hard for me to be objective about all this because he'll convince me black is white when it suits him. In other words, if I mention I have a problem with him in any way he'll strongly convince me I'm in the wrong and that I'm being a drama queen.

SandyY2K Sat 12-Nov-16 07:49:48

If I was abused after the birthday incident, I wouldn't ever plan a treat for him like that again. How ungrateful and nasty.

He doesn't sound that nice to be honest. Apologies and repeating the behaviour are pointless. I'd simply walk away when he starts talking about the colleague.

His behaviour won't change because you've accepted it over the years. He likes flirting and it doesn't matter how you feel about it.

PinkiePiesCupcakes Sat 12-Nov-16 08:01:36

Jealousy is an ugly monster but its there for a reason.
You know he's doing things you dislike, mentioning her, making you uncomfortable, flirting openly and doing nothing about it upsetting you, not backing you up with his family, etc etc.

He's manipulated you I to a placed where you think its your fault, where you feel guilty, feel bad for being jealous. IT ISNT YOUR FAULT.
No matter his much he says things to minimize his actions, its his fault, his actions are the upsetting factor, his behaviour is the issue, you're reaction to his action can be easily eased by him choosing not to carry out that action. Iyswim.

If a dog bites your leg, its nor your fault because your leg was there, its the dogs fault for choosing to bite.

Eolian Sat 12-Nov-16 08:06:07

Tbh the 'verbally vicious' thing and 'perceiving you to be bossy and controlling' would be quite sufficient for me to LTB, even without the blatant flirting.

MT931 Sat 12-Nov-16 08:29:18

The one thing to be clear on is that the girl has done nothing wrong here so your jealousy is irrational in that respect.

Sometimes in relationships you can't see what's right in front of you unfortunately.

Your husband is not a nice man. He knows exactly what he is doing.

If you could solve the real problem then the jealousy wouldn't be there but he won't want that will he because he wants you to feel like that.

I feel for you because you obviously love him with the defensive comments about him in your post but I bet there are many examples of him not treating you well during your marriage.

EstellaHavisham Sat 12-Nov-16 09:00:17

You sound like a lovely, articulate woman OP.

Please get out of this shitty marriage and away from this horrible man for yours and the DCs sakes.

I have had relationships where I was horrendously jealous and relationships where I had nothing but trust and jealousy was nowhere near. When I look back I can see that where I was jealous, it was being fed by an abusive twat who enjoyed making me feel that way. Maybe to keep me where they wanted me/feel in control? Either way it wasn't the action of love.
Get out! X

HuskyLover1 Sat 12-Nov-16 09:25:20

What did you arrange for his birthday? I am struggling to see how he could be annoyed at you planning a nice day.

He went as far as saying he wished he wasn't a part of our family

That's a very odd comment. Sounds like he may be getting itchy feet.

a few women have interpreted his gentle humour as flirtation and responsed too enthusiastically to his humour. He's not recognised that they think he's flirting so he'll keep going with his jokes... until we have a problem

What? How on earth would him telling jokes get misinterpreted by women (reading it as flirting)? I genuinely don't understand this?

MummyMuppet2x2 Sat 12-Nov-16 15:28:30

Thanks everyone that has commented so far. You've all been crystal clear with your explanations and so helpful.

I understand it's not the girl's fault at all. I'm sure she's lovely. DH is always at pains to point out how she's smitten with her long-term boyfriend and how she's constantly texting him, etc (this is what he says to put my mind at ease). BUT it's galling to hear him say praiseworthy things about her for doing a lot less to make his life easier than i do for him (I get heavily criticised, not for doing things 'wrong' but for being too bossy/controlling in how I've done it). Occasionally, I've had the presence of mind to dump a load of extra responsibility his way with an inarguable justification as to why he should shoulder it - this tends to keep him quiet for a few weeks.

Huskylover1, regarding the jokes, I don't understand it either to be honest. His jokes do not appear to be of a flirtatious nature to me. They're more 'daft' word play, or silly observations which make people giggle a bit than anything I would consider flirtatious in any way. His jokes are definitely funny, but more silly fun. Sometimes the daft jokes turn into daft banter. Certainly no suggestive comments. Most women simply laugh at his daftness. But others, for whatever reason, see this as a green light. I can literally see with my own eyes the moment his jokes flip a switch with these women. From what I understand DH doesn't notice when women decide his jokes/banter are more than that. He thinks they are just having a joke together, but I can see they think it's more. The fact I'm present doesn't appear to matter to them.

Before I met DH he'd had very little experience with women. I believe that's the reason he cannot read these situations too well.

I do worry about if he carries on like this at work or other places I'm not around - obviously he must do. I've told him that I feel uncomfortable and that it must be him who takes full responsibility by not cracking jokes, and if he does crack a joke, to follow up with a more serious comment so things don't spiral.

DH understands my worries and has promised to be more mindful. However, silly jokes are part of his DNA, I'm not sure he can stop.

If he can't stop I guess I either have to suck it up, or leave. I do feel unreasonable asking him to stop joking, after all, humour makes life worth living. But I cannot cope with the unwanted responses he has.

Lolaandstan Sat 12-Nov-16 18:50:31

I can understand this irrational jealousy. I have been with my husband 11 years & have never really felt jealousy until recently. A girl we both know though a club is friends with us on fb but he likes and comments her posts and she replies and adds kisses which drives me insane. I have had a similar Birthday experience except it was christmas. My husband was really unkind after i bought him a present he didn't want. Even though he had given no ideas. He sold some of the gifts he had got from my family because he was equally annoyed. I was really hurt. He had also bought himself something expensive but had not suggested i cld buy it for him.

Anyway back to the girl. She pm'd him about a few things and then to do with her birthday. It made me insane, I was going through hell with anxiety but this tipped me over the edge. I dont feel like this about anyone else I feel secure with all my friends but this eats me up. She is so pouty and loves herself. So I get your feelings.

MummyMuppet2x2 Sat 12-Nov-16 19:21:31

Have you tried speaking to your DH about this girl? Has he ever acted this way before?

Lolaandstan Sat 12-Nov-16 20:21:21

We did talk he didn't understand my problem with it. It did highlight to me that perhaps we both needed to make some effort with each other. Things have improved between us a lot so I feel less anxious but I still feel the same about the girl. I don't like her and I don't think I will ever. Everything she posts I feel she's looking for attention and if he ever responds it makes me crazy!

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