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Insane jealousy

(144 Posts)
outherealone Wed 09-Oct-19 08:59:31

I have issues around jealousy and I know it comes from my traumatic childhood. I try very hard not to show it in my relationship but every now and then something crops up and it preoccupies me and I don’t know how to address it if at all. I’m having therapy and the focus is on healing my past and trying to build up my self esteem .
I’m not sure if I should even be in a relationship because if this and I’m not sure what is worth getting in a state over and what’s just my overactive imagination.
I know that my bf is still in contact with all his exes and flings. When he’s on his phone I try not to look but I can’t help myself and I don’t like doing it but it’s like a compulsion. when he’s scrolling through messages I see various women’s names crop up in his recent messages. Often it’s a particular ex (just good friends) but other exes too as well as other women friends. Every time I look there are some of these women in the list.
He doesn’t show me I just do very indiscreet panic straining my eyes and neck whilst trying to appear nonchalant hmm
Obviously I can’t see the content of the messages but it always makes me feel weird. This weekend we went away and had an awesome time and we got back and he was was messaging a friend and then clicked back to the main message page and I saw the name of the girl before me (ten years younger and very attractive) before we’d got together he’d said how gorgeous and funny and clever she is and how she’d ticked all his boxes but she’d kept blowing hot and cold so they ended it.
The message was clearly very recent. I had no idea they were still in contact.
I have done some paranoid checking of her social media and she posts very sexy videos and photos of herself, has an amazing figure, always showing off her body and is very ‘hot’ , clever and funny, just like he said.
she gets a lot of ‘likes’ and attention and sometimes my bf has ‘liked’ her stuff.
My imagination is going into overdrive about what their messages might entail and I don’t feel I can ask him without it sounding like me being controlling.
I have asked about exes in the past when he’s not been forthcoming about their presence at events where he is and I don’t want to become an interrogator.
Later on he was flicking through his social media and I saw posts from her personal and business pages pop up. I asked him who she is as she often crops up as people I might know and he said he’d been seeing her briefly before me and then changed the subject immediately. It felt a bit awkward but I’m not sure if the awkwardness was because he didn’t like me questioning him rather than anything suspect...
We get on well and he’s lovely in lots of ways. We don’t live near each other but plan to later on. I have been undergoing some physical problems lately with my disability and have put on weight and unable to exercise. Recently I have noticed him checking out other women, which in itself is not a problem but he’s being much less discreet than usual , literally turning his head to look and look back as he’s walking rather than a quick glance (like the oft-used meme of the guy looking behind at another woman while his partner is next to him looking pissed off if you know the one I mean!)
I am probably waffling and sounding a bit mad but it’s really playing on my mind. I don’t like feeling this way at all, it’s tiring and time consuming and I’m too old for it!
I don’t want to end the relationship because of my anxiety and paranoia but at the same time it’s clearly doing me no good being like this.
I’m scared I’m going to be like this forever and unable to sustain any normal relationship. Through therapy it transpires that I’m exactly mirroring my mums jealous and paranoid behaviour and I’ve seen the pathological jealousy in my sister too, it’s very destructive and soul destroying being in this constant state of panic.

user1481840227 Wed 09-Oct-19 09:03:18

Men shouldn't be texting their exes and flings. Even most of the non jealous/paranoid or insecure women out there would have a problem with what your boyfriend is doing.

Ditch him.

outherealone Wed 09-Oct-19 09:12:14

@user1481840227, really?
I just can’t work out whether it’s just me. My experiences have taught me to be always expecting the worst and naturally not trust men. I have discussed this with a few friends and have very mixed responses hence coming here.
It’s awful, it makes me feel horrible physically too, my chest and head pound when I think about seeing her name crop up. Honestly there’s not many women what would be comfortable with their blokes looking at her stuff and chatting to her privately, especially knowing they’ve had sex previously. I struggle to trust my own judgment too!
He’s very boundaried/compartmentalised and he was cheated on numerous times by his last wife and he ‘says’ he’s very opposed to cheating.

outherealone Wed 09-Oct-19 09:13:36

I have no issues with his relationships with his ex wives/mothers of his children and have met some of them. It’s clear though where those relationships start and end plus none of those exes are hot and beautiful and are all my age so it seems much more normal and comfortable for me.

Aethelthryth Wed 09-Oct-19 09:20:34

Men can have platonic relationships with friends and colleagues and I think the levels of suspicion about such friendships on here are generally insane. However, have you stopped to think that a man who has "ex wives" (plural) and (worse) "mothers of his children" (plural) might not be looking at hanging around with you for long? Do you really want to become one of a string of "mothers of his children"? How many of them does he support financially?

Happyspud Wed 09-Oct-19 09:22:47

Sorry he has multiple ex wives and multiple mothers of his children? This doesn’t sound like a man who commits terribly well. Has he ever cheated on anyone?

BrightonRox Wed 09-Oct-19 09:23:00

This isn't your issue, this is your OH being an insensitive arsehole.

MorrisZapp Wed 09-Oct-19 09:25:56

If he turns his head to check out women when you're with him he's just a dick, sorry.

Musti Wed 09-Oct-19 09:33:15

I'd be jealous too. And why did he tell you that she was so gorgeous etc? It was time deliberately make you jealous

AmIThough Wed 09-Oct-19 09:36:38

He has multiple ex wives and multiple children with multiple women, and constantly messages his ex's?

This isn't a product of your childhood - this is him. He's the problem, not you, honestly.

How long have you been together?

You don't trust him and he's not open with you.

PlasticPatty Wed 09-Oct-19 09:38:38

It's not you, it's him. Seriously reconsider this relationship.

outherealone Wed 09-Oct-19 09:40:48

Thank you guys. He’s very good at talking the talk but I guess actions speak louder...
I’ve no idea whether he’s cheated or not but I know that his ex wife’s behaviour really hurt him, they even moved towns for a fresh start but she carries on and he was devastated apparently.
and an earlier marriage when he was young ended when he found out she was having an affair with his best friend and they’re now married to each other, so the children are from two different relationships and is stepdad to another one who he treats like his own child. He financially supports the mother of his school age child. He’s had three very long term relationships (those above) and then after the last marriage ended he went into two longish term relationships and several flings. So it’s all the relationships after his marriage that I find threatening.
He got a whole new social life which is filled with much younger women (he does have good male friends too) and whilst single has formed all these bonds with all these women who are his ‘food friends’ And I have no reason be jealous. Or worried because he loves me and wants to be with me etc.
We were both very non committal at the beginning and therefore these friendships/ relationships were of no interest to me and I was quite happy. I have had some difficulties in my own life recently which has made me much more sensitive and vulnerable than usual which is why this is affecting me now more than it would have before.
He makes no secret of our relationship, is very open About us publicly. I know he’s not out every night seeing women when we’re not together because I can tell by the communications we have and what he’s done, where he’s been etc and I actually go out more than he does!
but he does go away for these big parties and festivals which is where the bulk of his social interaction happens and where he invariably runs into these exes/ ex flings. Honestly I have no idea what happens there and just have to trust but it does chip away at me. I can’t question too much as I have been like this before and it drives people to hide and lie plus I’ve been on the other side of it where partners have been jealous and suspicious and it feels horrible to be on the receiving end of cross examination. He’s very loving and compliments me a lot, never puts me down etc

outherealone Wed 09-Oct-19 09:41:38

@Musti he told me that when we were friends, before we had got together.
We’ve been together a year

absopugginglutely Wed 09-Oct-19 09:41:42

You’re not crazy! Your intuition is just very sharp and shouldnt be ignored.
I tried to suppress “jealousy” in the first year of my relationship until it made me ill.
I told my partner that if we were to continue in a relationship, he would have to tell these women that they weren’t to say I love you xxxxx in messages because it was disrespectful to our relationship. I was fully prepared to leave because it was driving me mad.
He did and said women stopped talking to him. 🤷‍♀️
I said if there’s nothing there then they will come round for dinner with us so I can befriend them too. He said it would be weird.
These women have zero respect for you and the bloke stringing them along for the joy of attention will find himself alone to pick and choose from them if it continues.

Love your self enough to have boundaries around this kind of bullshit.

Trust me it works.

outherealone Wed 09-Oct-19 09:42:35

I’m not in a position to be one of the mothers! I’m too old!

outherealone Wed 09-Oct-19 09:44:06

@absopugginglutely thank you. It does make me ill but I’m so not sure of myself. The turning to look at women seems to be quite a recent thing unless I’ve just not noticed it before.

hellsbellsmelons Wed 09-Oct-19 09:44:46

This man is not going to do your MH any favours at all.
He will NOT help you on your road to recovery.
He will just make it a longer and harder road.
End this and concentrate on yourself for a while.
You owe it to yourself to be the best version of you that you can be.
This man will not aid that process.
It's your time now. Time for YOU!!!!

Ozziewozzie Wed 09-Oct-19 09:45:00

I’m a big believer that an ex should stay in the past unless kids are involved obviously, but then contact should be reasonable. Ie not constantly in their fb page and messaging cutsie stuff.
Any man I’ve ever known who is frequently in touch in a ‘friendly’ way with an ex has had unresolved feelings.
I know you feel like the insecure one but has it occurred to you that your bf could be really insecure? In my experience, people who feel the need to have lots of contact with numerous exes, other women/men or gauging at attractive people walking by are actually really insecure. Always keeping their options open. Always on the look out for ‘the one’ or attached to ‘the one that got away’ hmm
People like this generally have had lots of partners, wives, husbands. They find it difficult to actually commit.
It can be really damaging to be in a relationship like this. I’m speaking from experience. You are left feeling inadequate, paranoid, insecure, jealous, not very attractive. Going out together becomes stressful as you’re constantly in the look out for attractive people who are likely to avert your dp gaze.
Your therapy will help you, but you need to realise that you are worth far more than to feel this way. You are perfectly worthy of a guy who only sees you as valuable in his life. Please don’t put all this blame on your shoulders. I really don’t get the impression this chap is good for you. You deserve better. X

Highandlow Wed 09-Oct-19 09:50:52

This is him, not you . I couldn’t deal with that.

outherealone Wed 09-Oct-19 09:50:59

Thank you guys for all your lovely comments. I’m crying here reading these. Normally I see responses to stuff like this telling the woman that men and women can be friends and to grow up etc. I don’t want to ‘play’ the cool girlfriend but at the same time I don’t want to be spending my whole time worrying about who he’s talking to, looking at etc. We all look at people and I also have platonic friendships with men so I find the whole thing confusing like it’s ok for me to do it but not him.
I have a very jealous and beautiful sister who is very retaliatory and if she even suspects that someone will possibly cheat she will go and do even worse behind their back. I don’t want to be one of those people either who tries to make it better by just becoming a flirt and cheat myself to build my self esteem xx

absopugginglutely Wed 09-Oct-19 09:52:06

@outherealone some men thrive on making women feel jealous (my dads always done this to his partners)
If you remove yourself from the dynamic, they’ve got no pawns to cruelly play with.
Fuck them, good men don’t play these games.

Ozziewozzie Wed 09-Oct-19 09:56:33

Exactly op. You’re pretty much describing your dp as you see your sister. I’m not saying he’s cheated but it still amounts to a similar type of behaviour. They tend to be scared of being single. Usually they love bomb at the beginning and feel ‘this is the one’ then shortly after, they start looking for other options. They tend not to leave a relationship until someone else is lined up.
Make today your first day of caring for yourself. You’re not being jealous as such. Your instincts are screaming at you to protect yourself.

Sagradafamiliar Wed 09-Oct-19 10:00:36

Maybe you are insanely jealous, but insanely jealous people can have boyfriends who cross boundaries or cheat too. It doesn't mean it's necessarily in your head.
I don't think you're as pathologically jealous as you think you are. You're definitely not paranoid as you know for a fact that your bf is both in contact with these other women and is checking out others in your presence.
You've been incredibly frank here and I think you deserve so much better.

outherealone Wed 09-Oct-19 10:09:13

@Sagradafamiliar thank you. I really appreciate it.
It’s weird he’s really kind I could not imagine him purposely doing something to hurt anybody but maybe I’ve completely misinterpreted him!
Normally my gut instincts are right but I ignore them (normally at my peril!

FizzyGreenWater Wed 09-Oct-19 10:14:29

Nasty little game player.

No wonder you're in the state you're in!

Dump him and find someone who is a grown up, would be my advice.

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