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I know I'm being irrational, but that doesn't make it go away

(15 Posts)
bcsnowpea Thu 16-Jul-09 08:37:11

Hello Mumsnetters, I'm really hoping someone can identify with this experience and give me a bit of advice, because I'm really doing a number on DP and myself.

We've been together since Oct last year, and I have a 2.8 yo DS from a previous marriage. DP is wonderful, and our relationship has been great in terms of communication. Whenever we run into problems, we always manage to sit down and talk them out, I love it and I love him.

So here's the problem. I used to work with DP, and there is a woman who is both colleague and friend who fancied DP before we got together. I always thought this was the case, and think she still fancies him. So, I had private issues about their friendship. When I finally brought it up with him one night, he told me that he and the colleague had spoken about her attraction to him before we got together, and that he had told her he wasn't interested. He also told me that he still isn't, and I believe him.

Here's my problem... I currently have sole custody of DS, until August when he goes to live with his dad for 6 months. At the moment, this is obviously restrictive to social activities (and happily so as I'm treasuring my last few weeks with ds). DP is free to come and go, we don't live together. We have had issues before over his changing plans at the last minute, which I don't deal with very well, and he's been very understanding since we noticed that problem and very good to keep me updated and try to plan things a few days in advance. He has several things planned for this weekend, and since I'll be trying to toilet train DS, I've bowed out of them so that I can be at home with DS.

Here's where it gets tricky. I still feel this extreme visceral jealousy when DP makes plans with the colleague, knots in my stomach. I don't want the emotional reaction, I wish it wasn't there, but I've also learned to stop hiding it. Today, when DP told me that he knew I wasn't available this Sat night, but that he's going to dinner with colleague, her brother and his wife, when he asked me if that was okay with me, I was honest and told him about my emotional and physical reaction. We ended up fighting (ridiculously by email), both of us getting both a bit aggressive and a bit defensive. I know I was right to not hide this part of myself, but how do I deal with this insecurity and stop it become a fight between us. Is this something we should deal with together, or is it just my insecurities and thus my problem.

I just need some support please, or some story of similar feelings.

I'm ranting. I'm reaching out. Please help.

RealiteEstMaSeuleIllusion Thu 16-Jul-09 08:47:34

Message withdrawn

MamaLazarou Thu 16-Jul-09 08:56:25

I had a similar situation with my DH when we first got together: lots of my female friends fancied him before I did, and a couple of them tried it on with him (only one of these was after we got together, and I am no longer friends with this lady).

I trust my DH 100% and know he has no interest in this girl, but that didn't stop me quietly seething every time they socialised together without me.

We had a few rows about it, but in the end, I just asked him to be aware of the fact that this woman still fancied him, and to act accordingly and keep her at a suitable distance, which he was happy to do.

We don't see her any more, but I would certainly be pissed off if he started planning cosy meals out with her and another couple.

I think your DP is being a little insensitive. Could you maybe sit him down for a quiet chat about it, and explain your feelings? Tell him that while you don't mind them hanging out in a wider group, you feel that the double-date thing is a bit too intimate and couply?

bcsnowpea Thu 16-Jul-09 09:07:42

Thank you ladies, you've made me feel a little bit less irrational.

A friend of mine was once in the situation where she was the friend that the girlfriend was uncomfortable with, and eventually the boyfriend stopped socialising with her, so I guess I've also been ready to see it from the side of this colleague.

I have wondered whether I should point out to him that regardless of why I feel this way, these feelings are strong and true and I do have the prerogative to ask him to prioritise me over her.

Thank you Mama for the words "keep her at a suitable distance". This woman is my friend as well, and I don't want to stop all contact with her, nor ask him to do that, but you've given me some very measured and appropriate words to use. Unfortunately, being aware of her feelings for him makes me hyperaware of their contact, even when we are in group situations.

This is just a normal emotion, right? I'm allowed to have it?

MamaLazarou Thu 16-Jul-09 09:10:30

yes, of course it is normal, and you are not being irrational in the slightest. You are not asking him to stop being friends with her, just for him to remain aware that she has feelings for him and act accordingly. That's a perfectly reasonable request.

BintOfBohemia Thu 16-Jul-09 09:14:27

I'd say you're allowed! I wouldn't like that. He's effectively going on a double date with another couple, without you - I'd be very hmm if it was my DH. But then I've never socialised to that extent with colleagues, I don't think, so to me that sounds a bit odd...

Try to have a calm talk with him when you're both a bit less wound up and see if you can get him to be a bit more considerate.

MamaLazarou Thu 16-Jul-09 09:15:13

Ask him to consider the girl's feelings, too. If he goes on a dinner 'date' with her and another couple, he might be unintentionally giving her the wrong message about the basis of their friendship. She might misinterpret his friendliness as flirting, and think her feelings are reciprocated, IYSWIM.

bcsnowpea Thu 16-Jul-09 09:15:40

Still, there's a part of me that wonders if I should feel this way at all. Does it say something about my trust for him that I don't realise? Should I be more secure?

MamaLazarou Thu 16-Jul-09 09:18:25

Only you can answer that question, snow pea. Do you trust him?

BintOfBohemia Thu 16-Jul-09 13:06:03

I'm a big believer in gut feelings. I'm not saying he would cheat on you, but is he on some level enjoying the flattery of going out socialising with someone he knows is carrying a torch for him? Bit of an ego massage? Could be that you're picking up on, but if it bothers you he should take it into account. It's all about compromise, he has to give a little too.

SolidGoldBrass Thu 16-Jul-09 14:46:54

Admittedly I don't engage in monogamy anyway, but if you were a partner of mine I would be telling you nicely but firmly that I will socialise with who I like and that your insecurites are your problem, no one else's.
THis woman is his friend, she may have fancied him, she may still fancy him, but he doesn't fancy her. SHe may be smart enough to understand that her fancying him is her problem, it's not reciprocated, and she can stay friends with him as long as she remembers that.
FWIW, no one can control another person's behaviour anyway - if they were going to start fucking like bunnies they would do so no matter what you said or did to try and stop them - and it's unethical to try: people are not possessions.

Mamazon Thu 16-Jul-09 14:55:56

I really am the least jealous person i know. i simply cannot do or understand jealousy. that said i don't think i would be very happy about him being part of a second couple at a dinner party/meal out.

He knows that you have issues surrounding this woman and he really shouldn't be forcing your feelings by arranging quite intimate - although i am sure innocent- social events with her.

your jealousy is not good and you have recognised that. you do need to realise that it is not wrong to socialise with the opposite sex but at the same time he certainly shouldn't be so involved with a woman he knows had feelings for him. at the very least it is unfair on her as she is bound to hold some form of hope that something may come of the friendship.

mrsjammi Thu 16-Jul-09 15:00:23

Message withdrawn

bcsnowpea Fri 17-Jul-09 04:00:39

Thanks everyone. I left work last night and didn't get to see the last few posts, just catching up on them now.

We went out to dinner and a play last night, where we started to talk about it all, then were up very late both very tense until we finally broke down our own walls and got on with the business of being mature and talking about it.

SolidGold, I've just about half an hour ago come to the same realisation that I do treat him like a bit of a possession, and I'm very ashamed of that. I don't care about the material possessions I have, but I do find a lot of self worth in the relationships I have and the ideas that I play with. Yet, when I act possessively towards him, I stop enjoying the person I am around him, and I stop enjoying him, so I'll be working on reducing that possessiveness. When I came on here and saw your post, I felt a lot of support.

Let's face it, I'm only 23 and I'm still trying to get comfortable in this skin. I want this relationship, I enjoy it, but to have someone this close to me it seems inevitable that he'll get pulled into some of my identity crises This relationship is highly charged emotionally, and I suppose that has to go both ways, both positive and negative.

As for the dinner, it's not on. This whole thing was a bit pear-shaped from the beginning. When he first told me about it, he assumed an invitation to me was implied. To me it read like he was just telling me what he was going to be doing, while I stayed at home cleaning urine out of the carpet. And that, my friends, is why you should speak out loud and not via email!

Anyway, thank you all for being a release for me. I thought about your support last night as I sat in awkward silence until I finally convinced myself that I deserve to be heard, that he wants to hear me, and we're now sorting it out quite nicely.

MamaLazarou Fri 17-Jul-09 09:33:27

That's brilliant news, snowpea. I'm so glad to hear you got it sorted. smile

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