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Is DP overly controlling/ jealous?

(78 Posts)
Mljet Fri 28-Aug-20 14:11:36

This is my first post on Mumsnet, but I've read a lot of posts along these themes before and found the advice given to others really helpful, so I would be very grateful for any input!

To provide some context, I was a bit of a 'late bloomer' when it came to relationships and started my 1st serious (current) relationship in my mid-20s. Now late 20s and have been together for just over 2 years. As a result, I don't have much personal experience for comparison; just what I see of others' relationships.

The 1 regular theme which seems to repeatedly cause arguments in my relationship is DP's perception of my interactions with other men. From my perspective, I don't believe I am flirty with other men (something I've become very conscious about due to these arguments). All of my closest friends are female; I do have some male friends in my broader friendship circle, who I typically see in group situations (where DP would often also be present).

DP has told me that he doesn't feel comfortable with me having conversations about personal stuff with men (usually in the context of work; he's fine about my old male friends in the extended friendship group). As my immediate team are predominantly female, I wouldn't usually have in-depth personal conversations with men at work anyway, but do sometimes exchange small talk about plans for the weekend etc. In my mind this is entirely innocent and normal workplace behaviour, and not inappropriate. As far as I'm aware, nobody has gained the wrong impression from this.

A related factor is that, if I'm out without him (e.g. with girl friends or family), he expects me to reply to any texts within an hour and gets in a mood if I don't. In my mind this is excessive, and I should be able to go for dinner/ drinks with friends for a couple of hours without having to message him. (I would be more than happy for him to focus on spending time with his friends for a few hours without needing to text me). It ends up distracting from the quality time with friends, as I feel like I'm constantly having to keep an eye on my phone/ the time so that I reply 'in time'. It also feels very rude to text when friends are speaking, particularly in a 1:1 context! (I am admittedly rubbish with texts generally, so please tell me if IABU).

Today we had another argument related to the men issue, as I had a video meeting with a male colleague, who asked if I was still based in the city where our offices are located during lockdown. I replied that I was and asked him if he was still at home during lockdown. He answered and we went on to talk about work stuff. DP is now in a mood because I 'talked about my personal life' with this colleague. When I asked him how he thinks I should have responded, he said I should have just answered but not asked him the same question. In my mind, I was just being polite.

Other instances which have lead to this argument include:
- A waiter on holiday asked where we were from. He had lived in our city, so asked specifically which area we lived in (we don't live together) and I responded. I was apparently being overly friendly in this exchange.
- A few friends and I went to another friend's for dinner. Someone she had been seeing was there having a drink when we arrived, and he ended up staying the whole evening (unplanned). DP got very funny about this person being there and asked why we didn't leave early.
- At a girls' night, a friend's male friend from work was in the area, so stopped by for a quick drink. Again, DP got funny about this.
- We had an all-Company team building event/ social. DP gave me the silent treatment all day because it would involve me speaking to men.
- Before COVID, my company was going to have an offsite abroad. DP asked me not to go as it would mean me socialising with men from work. He had attended a very similar work event last year. I told him I would definitely go and thought he was being unreasonable asking me not to; the argument became moot due to COVID.
- He regularly makes a comment like 'hope it's not with a guy' if he knows I'm going into a meeting.

As with most relationships, he does have many wonderful qualities, and we've built up some lovely memories together. However, I just don't feel like I can deal with this for the long-term, and I feel like this doesn't happen in the healthy relationships I see in friends and family members.

FWIW, I have never come close to cheating on him and he says that he's never been cheated on in the past in other relationships. However, he acknowledges he has low self-esteem which is linked to jealousy issues.

Thank you to anyone who has made it to the end of that and I'd be very grateful to hear your thoughts!

OP’s posts: |
mbosnz Fri 28-Aug-20 14:15:17

I'm afraid I could not put up with this level of mistrust, paranoia, and controlling behaviour.

wildcherries Fri 28-Aug-20 14:16:33

However, I just don't feel like I can deal with this for the long-term, and I feel like this doesn't happen in the healthy relationships

This is the most important bit. You shouldn't have to deal with this. He sounds annoying, jealous and insecure. Don't accept this as your life.

Perching Fri 28-Aug-20 14:17:08

Yes he is!

Chamomileteaplease Fri 28-Aug-20 14:18:44

How sad that as a late bloomer, you have ended up with this control freak sad.

No it's not normal, you are right. He sounds unhinged.

It must seriously affect your life and your respect for him. I would end it and get out there, looking for someone else. Sorry.

BTW do your friends and family know how bad it is?

Bunnymumy Fri 28-Aug-20 14:19:25

Yeah...this isn't ok.
Especially that having to reply within an hour when you are out without him nonsense.

It isnt insecurity, it's control.

pointythings Fri 28-Aug-20 14:19:32

He clearly has jealousy and control issues. Have you discussed this with him? Because it has to stop. Time for the big 'stop this shit or it's over ' talk. And mean it.

Bananalanacake Fri 28-Aug-20 14:21:15

Don't live with him, I'm surprised he hasn't already suggested it.

Anordinarymum Fri 28-Aug-20 14:21:56

Oh dear. You must be walking around on eggshells all the time. My bloke is never like that and I do flirt from time to time because that is what women do. It does not mean you are going to leave your partner. It does not mean you are looking to be unfaithful - it's banter and nothing more

mbosnz Fri 28-Aug-20 14:22:32

You are not his personal property, he has zero right to attempt to dictate who you talk to, and what you talk about.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Fri 28-Aug-20 14:24:54

wildcherries

*However, I just don't feel like I can deal with this for the long-term, and I feel like this doesn't happen in the healthy relationships*

This is the most important bit. You shouldn't have to deal with this. He sounds annoying, jealous and insecure. Don't accept this as your life.

This. You have worked it out yourself so all I am going to say is that your instincts are good - Trust Them!

GilbertMarkham Fri 28-Aug-20 14:25:19

The restrictions he expects to place on your (normal, not inappropriate) general conversation with male colleagues is wrong.

The rules around checking in/responding to his messages within a prescribed tjme limit he's set, are wrong.

All the other things you listed are wrong and unreasonable.

In fact I'm sure in far from the only person who's felt stifled, hassled and stressed just imagining being on the receiving end of some of those.

Insecurity .. he may be insecure (no doubt) but the important thing is that he's extremely jealous and controlling.

That's his issue, for him to solve - not to project onto you; with unrealistic, unfair expectations and rules and responses.

And I'll say this - sadly, these guys (occasionally girls too but it seems to be more common in guys) never change.

It's in them, it's part of their fabric. Even if they manage to appear to change temporarily, they'll always default back to it.

He's not offering you a decent, fair relationship. He's not offering anyone that.

The less investment and commitment and ties you have with him and the sooner you get out, the better. You are pretty young.

AlternativePerspective Fri 28-Aug-20 14:25:37

God. I felt exhausted just reading that.

What exactly are his redeeming features, because IMO they would have to be pretty spectacular for me to not bin him.

Fortunately as you don’t live together binning him off will be easy. Just be prepared that if you do he will probably accuse you of being with a man...

YouJustDoYou Fri 28-Aug-20 14:26:17

20s inexperienced me would've put up with it. Almost 40s me would dump that controlling arsehole so fast. You're life is worth more than being shackled to some man's insecurities op. Move on now, before you waste anymore of your life.

GilbertMarkham Fri 28-Aug-20 14:27:53

I do flirt from time to time because that is what women do. It does not mean you are going to leave your partner. It does not mean you are looking to be unfaithful - it's banter and nothing more

I haven't even seen any examples of op flirting in her post (??!!)

She had responded to neutral conversation made by eg work colleagues and asked minimal polite/reciprocal questions back.

porcelinaofthevastoceanss Fri 28-Aug-20 14:29:37

Run for the hills, OP. Everything you’ve said here made me go cold - your DP’s controlling, jealous behaviour is so similar to that of an ex partner of mine - my first serious boyfriend. Ditching him remains one of my best life decisions to date and I am now married to a wonderful and caring man and our relationship is built on respect, not control. I’m wishing you well and hoping you can free yourself from this man and go on to meet someone much more suitable.

GilbertMarkham Fri 28-Aug-20 14:30:12

I'm actually surprised he's admitted he's never been cheated on before; they usually say they have (who knows whether they actually have been or not) and try to use that to manipulate and control their current girlfriend (who gives him leeway due to it and tries to prove she's not like that).

Weetabixandcrumpets Fri 28-Aug-20 14:32:29

Imho run for the hills.

My STBX was like this, kept telling me if I loved him I would be prepared to reassure him. Told me men could not be friends with women without thinking of them in a sexual sense blah blah blah. It was exhausting and impossible to meet his standards.

Interestingly, turned out he was not an angel himself. There is a prudent saying about accusing others of what you yourself are guilty of...

Tlollj Fri 28-Aug-20 14:33:29

Tell him to fuck right off. You can talk to whoever you want about whatever you want. And as for texting back within an hour! Who does he think he is. Honestly op this will only get worse.

user1493413286 Fri 28-Aug-20 14:35:43

What you describe is not normal and not ok; I had a boyfriend like this and it only became worse over time until it was unbearable. I honestly would run before it gets any worse.

User856334967 Fri 28-Aug-20 14:36:10

I agree with the PP who felt exhausted reading that. How do you feel OP, seeing it all written out like that? It sounds like a joyless and distrustful relationship which you don't deserve. You need to move on.

User04727680092 Fri 28-Aug-20 14:36:36

You sound very sensible and well adjusted OP. He doesn't!

Lol at your "flirty" manner - it's not very effective if this is your first serious relationship is it?!!

Sorry you're in this situation but as PP have said, it's easy for you to get out.

GilbertMarkham Fri 28-Aug-20 14:37:19

We had an all-Company team building event/ social. DP gave me the silent treatment all day because it would involve me speaking to men.

All of it is actually abusive behaviour but this particularly stands out.

You're being treated poorly by him because you have to attend mixed gender events for your job. Something completely outside your control (not that you should be changing everything within your control to make sure you never speak to anyone of the opposite sex anyway).

It's all beyond unhealthy.

Sorry if this sounds like hyperbole but he's sick in the head. He can't stand you interacting with people of the opposite sex, even when it's not your choice as it were. He treats his partner like a possession. And he's clearly pathologically worried & paranoid about his partner's interactions with the opposite sex .. even with no reason to be ie previous cheating with a work colleague or something.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 28-Aug-20 14:37:57

You should not be with him at all. What you are describing here is his controlling behaviour and such is abusive in nature. His actions towards you are certainly not loving ones. Abusers too can be nice sometimes but this is all a part of their nice/nasty cycle which is a continuous one.

Read this article too:-
www.drjoecarver.com/clients/49355/File/IdentifyingLosers.html

He targeted you OP and I have no doubts about that at all. He will further erode your perhaps already all too low boundaries here. You may also want to read "Why does he do that?" by Lundy Bancroft and Women's Aid's Freedom Programme as these could also help you further.

Shoxfordian Fri 28-Aug-20 14:38:51

Dump him
Seriously I don't know why you would put up with this shit for 5 minutes

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