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Do I have anything to be jealous about, or am I over reacting? If so, should I keep my emotions to myself?

38 replies

Liviava · 18/04/2021 22:16

My partner and I have been together for almost 11 years, and we have a wonderful eight year old son together. Our relationship has always been quite tempermental, but generally we get on, and I think we parent well together. However, the past two years have been quite turbulent.
Two years ago we relocated to a new town, primarily to be closer to my family. Sadly, about six months after we moved, my mother passed away unexpectedly. This obviously took me by surprise, and was really upsetting. I had always had a rocky, but ultimately loving relationship with my mother, however we weren't on the best of terms when she died. I feel like I had a lot to process with her death, both emotionally, and practically, and I spent a lot of the next few months in a state of shock and sadness. I cried myself to sleep a lot at this time.
When we relocated two years ago, we removed my son from his old school, and started home educating him. This was going well, and everyone was on board with the whole process. However, when my mother died I struggled to be able to cope with everything, and my partner took on the lion's share of home educating. I spent a lot of time either at work, or with my father and sister organising the practicalities of settling her estate, etc. I admit I had less time for my partner, and less head space to be able to home educate. At this time, I think I would have happily sent my son back to school, but my partner was keen to continue. (This is pre-corona, and the nationwide lockdown schooling we have all just been through). As part of homeschooling activities, my partner would spend one or two days a week with another mother and her two children. They would go for walks together, and clubs together and generally enjoy each others company, as he and I seemed to spend less and less time communicating. He ended up sleeping on the sofa every night, and I would dread coming home, to be ignored. I became jealous of the time they would spend together and the friendship they had. I don't think that anything happened between them (she is married), but I do think there is a sort of chemistry between them. In fact, my partner has admitted as much, although perhaps not - this is when I think maybe I'm just crazy, or am I being overly sensitive, or am I being intuitive? Jealousy really sucks!!
At this time, I think he became depressed - a thing he has suffered with on-and-off over the years. It manifests as him going into what I call his "cave". When he does this, he becomes completely unresponsive. He locks himself away, blanking me, being silent, rejecting me physically in every way. He started to go into this state again, and I just didn't have the strength to deal with his mood, and my sadness, and home schooling. I put on a brave face with my son, but retreated emotionally from my partner. Then Febuary came, and we went on holiday with friends to Greece. It was the first time in months we seemed to enjoy each other's company. Shortly after this, lockdown happened, and we moved again from our small flat, to my mother's larger home. Since then everything has been better for us. My son now goes to the local school, my partner and I have been getting on better . For several months, he continued to reject me physically, but eventually we decided that without a physical relationship, we might need to reassess what our relationship is about, and where it is going. He moved back into our bedroom, and all was going quite well for a while. That is until he arranged another play date with the homeschool mum. I just couldn't help myself, and I told him that I was jealous of their friendship. He criticised me, saying that I always notice the faults in people, that I am always negative. He also said that he feels trapped. He says that my reaction to their meeting is nothing to do with them - it's to do with my father having an affair and leaving my family when I was a teenager, and my ex-partner leaving me for another woman. I suppose I do have issues with this that I carry with me, and I probably do continue to process these emotions.
That night, I ended up sobbing in bed. Really sobbing. It was like the early days of grieving again. I suddenly became overwhelmed with past sadness - my mother, my father, my past realtionship, my jealousy. So he left the room, moved back out of my bedroom, and has retreated into his cave again. He has literally locked himself in his bedroom for the past 48 hours. I needed him to look after our son for a couple of hours while I worked, but he didn't get up, so luckily my sister took our son for this time.
I am really angry with him for retreating in this way, and my son is also really upset with him (my partner, from his bed, told my son and I to "go away" yesterday, and hasn't spoken to us since then). I tell my son that he is ill, and needs to rest, and that he does love him, but my son is clearly upset and angry.
Basically, am I being unreasonable to want to express my emotions (ie. jealousy - not an attractive or desirable or nice emotion, but a real one nevertheless), or should I hold it all in? He doesn't have many other friends, and I don't want to stop him from seeing anyone, but I can't help how I feel. He says he feels trapped.
Sorry for the rant, I just feel like I need a new perspective on it. I'm so tired of going around in circles.

OP posts:
ForTheLoveOfWine · 18/04/2021 22:24

Honestly? I don’t think your relationship sounded like it was that great and it doesn’t sound like one worth continuing with... sorry

sadpapercourtesan · 18/04/2021 22:24

Honestly, there's a lot to unpick there. I think the two of you need to stop dancing around with the retreating/crying/playing games, and sit down and make a decision about your future together once and for all. Either you are both committed to a full relationship and family life together, or you split up and make it a clean break.

Your son's life over the past couple of years sounds very unstable in a number of ways. He's 8 and desperately needs stability. This has to be the priority for both of you now, whether that's as a couple or separated.

I don't know what to think about your partner and this other woman. If your intuition says there's more to it than a convenient companionship, then there probably is. Honesty about that will need to be part of the negotiations for going forward, I think.

TaraR2020 · 18/04/2021 22:27

Oh, op Flowers

I'm so sorry for the loss of your mum and your grief, as well as the strain you have been under since.

Of course yanbu to express your feelings.

There's a lot of unpick about your marriage, if you both want it to work then I think you'd benefit from marriage counselling and quite possibly individual therapy as well.

Did your DH support you emotionally at all when you lost your mum?

I think most women would feel jealous of his friendship btw, even if they didn't have other issues within their relationship.

Cut yourself a little slack, you've been through hell and it will take time to recover. Somehow you and your dh need to find a way to move forward, no doubt with compromises on both sides. I think for your marriage to survive he will need to rethink his friendship with this woman but it sounds as if before you get there, you need to jointly decide whether you wish to remain together.


KellyJonesLeatherTrousers · 18/04/2021 22:33

Sorry for the loss of your mum. Sounds like you’ve both been coping with mental health issues but still managing to communicate and work on the relationship, agreeing to move back into the same room, you should both take credit for this.

Your insecurities about homeschool mum seem to have triggered him into wanting to retreat. It’s hard to know just from your post whether there is anything for you to be worried about but I think you did the right thing in telling him how you feel. To be fair, I think most women would feel at least a bit weird about their DH meeting another woman regularly - but if he doesn’t have any other friends he could just feel like you’re trying to stop him having an outlet, which everyone needs.

Have you thought about couples therapy, might be worth finding a counsellor to help you both with the various issues at play here?

GreenSlide · 18/04/2021 22:34

Does he really think he can just check out of family life without any repercussions?! Tell him if that's how he wants to be he can fuck off out of the house and be a sullen mardy prick elsewhere. You'll find your load lightens immediately and you might just be happier without him.

Summersun2020 · 18/04/2021 23:22

Op I’m sorry for all you’ve gone through Flowers I honestly think blanking you like this is emotionally abusive to both you and your son. This doesn’t sound like a good situation for either of you. Would he consider counselling?

Henrysmycat · 19/04/2021 00:06

What @GreenSlide said with bells on.

user1473878824 · 19/04/2021 00:24

@GreenSlide OP said he has depression. It’s not as easy as just snapping out of it.

@Liviava I think the two of you need to sit down and discuss what you want going forward, and if you both think it’s worth the work.

You both sound exhausted by it all.

EmeraldShamrock · 19/04/2021 00:27

I'm really sorry about your DM.
There has been lots of changes in your life and his.
Without sounding mean are you a negative person who picks on things?
I ask as it can be very draining and is easily changed. I find myself happier if I try see the best of things or people.
The situation with the other woman is more than likely platonic. He doesn't really know her but could be enjoying the company, we're all kinder to strangers put bills and worries in it's different.
I think counselling will help for one last crack.

Aquamarine1029 · 19/04/2021 00:39

Some relationships are not capable of going the distance and they need to end. Yours is one of them.

LigPatin · 19/04/2021 00:41


Honestly? I don’t think your relationship sounded like it was that great and it doesn’t sound like one worth continuing with... sorry

I'm afraid to say this probably sums it up.
EmeraldShamrock · 19/04/2021 00:55

Try counselling for yourself first it will give you a clearer picture of the situation.

Shrivelled · 19/04/2021 01:14

With so much going on in your life and having been through such a difficult time, I don’t think either of you should do anything apart from get counselling. It’s easy for someone to come on here and say your relationship is shit, but your family has been through a lot of stressful change plus grieving plus a pandemic. I’m not surprised you’ve both been struggling.

caringcarer · 19/04/2021 02:20

It sounds like your relationship has run its course. He sounds so needy he will drown you. I would call it a day and divorce but try to keep reasonable co parenting for DC.

DeeCeeCherry · 19/04/2021 02:51

Has his depression been diagnosed, or has he just diagnosed himself?

Has he seen his GP? Is he on medication?

Otherwise he's just being emotionally abusive. Numerous stories on MN about self-diagnosed depressed men who deal with it by being a shit to their partner, always another woman on the fringes.

That isn't to say he's having an affair. But checking out of family life as if you and the child you share are a trap and a burden to him, is not on.

You need to have a firm talk with him whilst bearing in mind that you may not like the outcome of that talk. But he needs to sort himself out and you both need to focus on where your marriage is going.

It never seems to be women opting out of a relationship, checking out of a marriage just like that due to 'depression'.

You could try counselling but it's really best to have solo counselling first to explore your feelings. You've had a lot to cope with and your current situation with your H isn't helping matters.

1forAll74 · 19/04/2021 04:15

I don't suppose for one minute, that your Husband has designs on this women who he takes walks with,, he probably finds that it is a bit of a relief,to go out, and get away from all your constant emotional issues, and your sadness and crying etc,and retreating into his man cave also.
He feels trapped. as you both have different personalities, and how you both deal with things in life.

If your Husband is receptive enough, and can talk through all the problems you both have, then you can both try and sort through any issues,and then try and make some arrangements, for a more pleasant family life.

You can relieve yourself of always feeling upset and sad, just knowing that you can't do much about all the sadness that has happened in you life, it is your life right now that is more important.

BlueDahlia69 · 19/04/2021 05:38

I wouldn't want to pursue this relationship either OP.

Will he take half of your Mothers house?

RachelRavenRoth · 19/04/2021 05:44

Your poor child. This relationship was over a long time ago. Dont make this his example of a relationship.

Charley50 · 19/04/2021 06:21

I think your partner sounds selfish and self-absorbed. His depression was triggered by you sharing some feelings with him? Sounds controlling. Can't imagine he'll be receptive to joint counselling as it's your fault in his head, whatever it is.

I feel sorry for your DS. And you. Maybe the relationship has come to its natural end?

Mumkins42 · 19/04/2021 06:24

I agree that you should listen to your intuition ref the woman. He sounds a nightmare. I don't give a stuff if he's depressed. Sulking, tantrums, silent treatment, emotional bullying, angry lashout when challenged. He is behaving terribly. Look at what you have been through. Look at what your son is enduring because of him. Time to get savvy. You need to find strength from somewhere to get yourself in a better space - probably away from him to then co parent. Can you find money for private counseling. On the phone is still an option during covid. It has been my saving grace doing this for myself for years. It will help you immensely to see more clearly. Maybe go look into it, ideally a female.

Mumkins42 · 19/04/2021 06:26

Private counseling for you alonebtw. I wouldn't even tell him.

Bluntness100 · 19/04/2021 06:35

This is a really unhealthy relationship, made worse as you both have significant mental health issues. I don’t think it’s fair on your son cor you both to continue to live like this and him to have to deal with it.

You should both seek help, you counselling, for your many difficult issues, and him for his depression, laying in bed for two days and refusing to come out the room is deeply concerning,

It’s time for both of you to put your son first, he’s living through a difficult marriage breakdown with parents who both habe significant issues, you both need to get healthy, stop focusing on yout own needs and focus on him, and you need to get the help to do so.

BlueDahlia69 · 19/04/2021 06:44

Sorry for the loss of your Mother OP

TheBurmundseyIndustrialEstate · 19/04/2021 06:57

I have some sympathy for your husband, he moved somewhere to be closer to your family away from his friends, he did the homeschooling for your son and now has lost that role (which I think is a good thing for your son to make friends and settle in the area) but now that has taken away your husbands sense of direction.
Does he work, can he get out of the house and start meeting new people through work?

startrek90 · 19/04/2021 07:18

Honestly op, I rarely comment on these sorts of posts but whenever I hear 'temperamental' or 'turbulent' to describe a relationship, I just hear toxic drama instead. I can't say what your partner is or isn't doing with this woman, but at this point I don't think it matters. This is not a healthy relationship for either of you, or for your son.

I think a come to jesus moment is called for here. A big sit down, lay cards on the table discussion. You both have got to be able to talk about difficult emotions/feelings without the other retreating. If you can't do that then you don't have a partnership at all.

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