Mike 2007-06-20 11:25:06
I can relate. I used to be *extremely* jealous of my wife, back when we
were dating (and for a while after marriage.) I used to ask for every
detail of everyone she had ever been with; and then I would obsess over it,
playing it over in my mind constantly. I would get upset if she even
watched a television show that had attractive guys in it. My jealousy put a
great burden on our relationship, but we worked through it, as I slowly got
OCD is related to anxiety, and the questions you ask above are all
anxiety-based. I’ve managed to work through my jealousy issues, to the
point where I’m not jealous at all now. But you need to have a very patient
partner. I managed to do this by the following:
1. As you grow closer, you become more confident in your relationship.
Eventually, you come to the understanding that you and your partner are part
of a “family” – you could no more leave your partner than you could your own
parents or siblings. Your partner may do things that bother you, but
nothing can change the fact that you are a family. You work through
problems. For me, this illumination came after the birth of our son.
2. This next bit of advice is more controversial. As I mentioned, and
before my “illumination” noted above, I used to obsess over everyone my wife
had ever been with. Eventually, I started to become aroused by these
thoughts. I didn’t exactly stop obsessing – I just sort of turned it
around, so that instead of making me jealous, the thoughts made me aroused
instead! Later, after marriage and the additional confidence gained from #1
above, I shared all this with my wife. The whole thing has been a turn-on
for both of us, and actually strengthened our s** lives.
Anyway, that second bit of advice might only work in certain relationships.
From your message, I gather your partner is male, and I assume that you are
female (I appologize if I’m wrong on that.) You probably have anxieties
about how he *felt* about his previous partners, in addition to any issues
about how you compare sexually. Jealous men, on the other hand, are
probably much more concerned about sexual comparisons. I don’t know which
is worse – worring about how your partner may have loved an ex, or about how
well the ex performed in bed.
If your primary concern is how much he may have “loved” a previous partner,
try to remind yourself that he is with you now. Every relationship is
unique – its possible to love one person in a different way than another.
Think about what relationships are all about – first, there is usually a
strong interest in s**. But in the end, it is about companionship. It is
initially self-serving – fulfilling your own desires and needs. But it
becomes more altruistic over time. Again, you become a family (even if you
don’t have kids).
Regarding any sexual concerns, you are probably in a very good position here
to make things better for yourself. Its really not that hard to please a
man sexually: 1) Men like to know that they are really, really pleasing
their partner, 2) Related to the first item, men like it when their partner
*wants* (and initiates) s**, and 3) Men generally like “dirty” s** (dirty
here means anything that stimulates arousal, from lingerie to p**** movies,
or whatever.) It boosts a man’s ego and brings great satisfaction.
One problem, though, are any OCD issues that may impede s** – for example, I
have to take a long shower, brush and floss my teeth, etc. before having
s**. It kinda gets in the way of spontaniety. Try to recognize these
things in yourself, if you have these sort of issues.
Also, try to understand what role your anxiety might play in any arguments
you may have. Its important to try and separate valid concerns from more
frivolous worries. Talk about them with your partner, and explain your
Anyway, sorry for the long post, but jealousy is something I’m very familiar
with. I know it can be very damaging to any relationship. But you’ve
already taken an important first step simply by posting here – you’ve
recongized your problem, and are looking for help.
In the end, if the two of you are meant to be, you will work it out. I just
takes time and patience.
Alienmac@earth 2007-06-20 11:25:15
I don’t have any answers, but your story really struck home. The issue
that finally brought me to seek help was marital & family problems. In
my case my wife actually met with her ex & talked briefly about the
possibility of their getting back together. I found out, told her I was
sick of 3 years of him always being in the background & she needed to
choose once & for all & get on with it. She said she didn’t want him &
doesn’t know why she had to talk with him to finally realize that. I
went for counseling to see if I even wanted to try to save this
marriage, or if I just needed courage to get out.
It came out in counseling that this one event happened some months
prior, yet I am still fixated on it. I can be at work on an average day
& start thinking she was acting strange when I left that morning, or
I’ll call home and no one answers. Out of a kernel like that things
snowball until I have an entire storyline built up worthy of a tv
meladrama. I feel I must leave work now & get home to see what is going
on. I have actually come to the point of panic attacks a couple times
with this. Later I’ll call to find she went to the store or something,
but in the meantime my mind has raced far ahead and it will take me
hours to fully calm down again.
This is exactly what I decided after thinking it all through. It is
still very hard for me to decipher what in my situation is a marital
issue between the 2 of us, & what parts are just my own mental problems.
It is h*** that I cannot fully trust my spouse, but much moreso that I
cannot fully trust even my own mind.
My first counselor agreed that I have GAD and OCD, but after several
sessions I felt she was not helping. Mostly I went for an hour every
week to whine, and she offered little in the way of relief. I started
seeing a second counselor recently. This one makes lots of suggestions
as to therapy, but refuses to believe I have OCD. She says my GAD is
causing some ocd-like rituals, but not “full-blown ocd.” I have had
elaborate rituals for years, which may get better or worse but never
disappear. I learned a long time ago to hide much of this, so I am able
to work, etc. She also says it’s rare to have both conditions. I posted
about this in another thread and after reading those replies I realize
what I knew all along. I have both conditions & both need to be treated.
For me they are interconnected and feed upon each other, but can
manifest themselves independently.
Currently I’m taking the med route as I feel I need to simply calm down
in my life enough to even seriously start any other treatment. I’m on
Prozac 40mg daily & Xanax .5mg as needed. After a couple weeks it seems
the Prozac is starting to help with the anxiety a bit, whereas at first
it only made matters worse. It’s about my only choice as it’s apparently
the only SSRI with a generic and money is a big issue.
Good luck to you.
Alienmac@earth 2007-06-20 11:25:24
I was exactly like this in my first marriage many years ago, and
somewhat less so with my current wife. After my first marriage broke up
I spent years believing I was some horrible control freak who had made
his partner’s life hellish. Only recently am I starting to see it is
from the anxiety and ocd, and that my life was hellish as well. I am
hoping that finally identifying the problem will lead to some real help.
Very glad you posted this.
Alien 2007-06-20 11:25:34
Gosh i can relate to that. Thanks for the post
If your worried about med prices, all (or most i think) of the Tricyclics
are very cheap to buy. Doxepin costs me $12 for 50 tablets, so i guess thats
around $7 or so American (as im in Australia).
Alien 2007-06-20 11:25:37
Thanks for the reply.
Glad to know that im not the only one on tricyclics =)