Home Anxiety I Have Obsessive Jealousy

I Have Obsessive Jealousy

by Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From the U.S.: I have been married for 5 months but we have been together for 6 years. I am an extremely jealous person and my husband is aware of it. So much that it got to a point that he needed to have a female coworkers phone number but instead of telling me he hid from me so that I wouldn’t get upset. He finally told me 3 weeks after. Once I found out it has made things worse. It has made me completely obsessed in checking up on him. I check every single number on his call log, I even dial the numbers to make sure that the other person on the line is a male. I continuously ask for his phone and go through all the messages. Even before this incident I was already snooping around. I have never found anything. No signs of cheating whatsoever, yet I am convinced he is hiding something. He doesn’t socialize with anyone outside work, he is never home late and his phone is accessible to me.

I started to see a therapist who says I have OCD. I have seen her once but I will continue the treatment. My question is, how can I stop myself from snooping? how do I stop the thoughts? It’s killing our marriage and I’m desperate to save it. I continuously question his every move, every text, every call.

I’m so glad you wrote. You’re absolutely correct. Your jealousy is likely to cause the very thing you fear — the dissolution of your marriage. Neither you nor your husband can live with this level of distrust in your relationship for very much longer.

I’m very glad you started seeing a therapist. Do stick with it. The therapist who is getting to know you will be much more help to you than I can be. Ask her if some medication might be helpful. There are medications that can help settle the symptoms of OCD. She may recommend a combination of talk therapy as well as a medication trial. Do consider it.

I do suggest that you talk to your therapist about bringing your husband in with you now and then to reassure him that you are working on the problem. He may also be able to give the therapist some important information about your behavior that you may not see or understand. That will help move your treatment forward more quickly.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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