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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:
dontdisturbmenow · 19/04/2021 08:13

OP, I don't think your jealousy is unfounded. I think it might indeed be good intuition.

It is very possible that his cave moments, depression, retreats are because he is turn apart with his feelings for her.

It might be that nothing happened because she rejected him and at that time, he made the decision to work on your relationship, but the feelings and fantasies are back, he longs for her presence.

His head might tell him that he would not cheat, but his heart says differently.

billy1966 · 19/04/2021 08:34


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.


He sounds awful and emotionally abusive.

Your poor son.

I'm sure that is not the worst of it.

Your child is being reared in a deeply toxic environment.

I am so sorry for your loss but this man sounds like a selfish, toxic arse.

Protect your poor son who sounds like he is being damaged by your toxic relationship.

You have inherited your mothers house?

This is good he can move out and do his man cave bullshit elsewhere.

I know you are processing huge loss but you need to draw the strength from somewhere and look honestly at your poor child in the middle of years of drama.

Your relationship is over.
Stop flogging a dead toxic horse and focus on your child's needs.

YellowTwinklyStar · 19/04/2021 08:42

Couples counselling could really help you both decide what you want.

An0n0n0n · 19/04/2021 09:13

I think your husband has been dealing with a lot and the relationship has been hard for him. Throw in some jealousy when he's just trying to do why a right for your son isn't helping.

There's a lot going on and the focus needs to be your son .

But no, IMO he isn't cheating and showing jealous I is an added pressure.

Francescaisstressed · 19/04/2021 09:42

You both sound exhausted, fed up and unloved. You both also sound like you make no time for each other and there is a lack of communication.

Something needs to change in order to save your relationship, that is eif you want yo? Do you? You haven't mentioned any positives?

In terms of yourself, you sound like you've been up against it and very unhappy. Have you considered going to the gp?

VegCheeseandCrackers · 19/04/2021 09:53

OP I'm sorry to hear about your mum Flowers
I would say you both sound like you've been suffering mentally. I really think you both need to stop this toxic cycle and sit down as adults and make a decision about whether this is actually working because it really doesn't sound like it is at all.
If you keep this up you risk your son growing up with issues from growing up in a toxic environment.
It sounds to me like you're not getting on well but put on a brave face for holidays etc and then it all goes back to the way it was before. This is no way to live for any of you.

KarmaStar · 19/04/2021 10:17

I feel for your son in all this,you are supposed to be the two adults guiding him yet it sounds like is life is one upheaval after the other whilst you two argue and sulk.
I'm so sorry for the loss of your mum.
It's time to sit down and decide if you both want this to work or not and to ensure,either way,your sons welfare is the priority as it doesn't seem to have been for a while now due to everything you've had going on.
Wish you all,all the best moving forward.

ItsNotLoveActually · 19/04/2021 10:28

Your poor son. Two house moves, loss of GP, home schooling, you being unable to cope with that, DH home schooling, starts school, pandemic, DF shutting himself away from him. That's an awful lot for a child to handle, let alone an adult.
Maybe you'd both be better apart? Your DH feels trapped so he may welcome a separation. If he won't talk, what choice do you have.

ForThePurposeOfTheTape · 19/04/2021 11:01

I feel really sorry for your ds.
It sounds like you and your h don't love each other. Life can be exhausting and draining but you are both dragging your son down in the toxic atmosphere that you're living in

ForThePurposeOfTheTape · 19/04/2021 11:12

It's not unreasonable to think it's unfair that this friend isn't get the cave treatment. And it's not unreasonable to want to be close to him as she is. You're both tired of the grind of life.

Based on your post there's no way to know if this is an affair or a distraction for him. It's probably liberating pretending to be happy for the duration or the outings because things are so crap for both of you and there's seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks

EmeraldShamrock · 19/04/2021 11:21

Echoing pp's you need to sort this or break up. I highly doubt he is having an affair, he won't be as friendly with her if you're jealous and that's not fair if they're working together to benefit home education.
Separate while living together get some breathing space.

Thatisnotwhatisaid · 19/04/2021 11:29

It all sounds unhealthy. I have sympathy for both sides really. It can’t have been easy for him taking on the lions share of parenting including home education while you essentially disappeared from the house all together. I don’t think you can blame him for feeling lonely and pushed out or for finding a friendship with the other home educator. He also struggles with depression, I’m imagining you shutting him out exacerbated this.

You have clearly also been through a lot so I don’t think you’re completely to blame. It sounds like you’ve both been struggling for some time with your own issues and with each other. You both really need to stop shutting doors on each other and actually start talking. Nothing will ever be resolved if you continue ignoring each other and playing weird mind games. You need to sort something out for your DS’s sake if not your own, it isn’t healthy for him to witness this.

Liviava · 01/05/2021 21:37

Thank you to everyone for taking the time to respond to my message. I have listened to the overall concensus that I should speak with a counsellor, and have booked myself an appointment with one. Hopefully this will help me to see through the muddle that has become our relationship, and we will be able to navigate our way as a family to a place where my son feels more secure, and my partner and I are able to co-parent in a healthy and cooperative way. Thank you - it has been a genuine help to have so many opinions and pieces of advice about my situation.

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