have found unbelievable comfort in My Story: A
Woman's Realization: I Abused The Man I Love. This is
exactly like me but only worse.
am currently in a relationship that is 1 year and 7 months long. My
boyfriend and I are deeply in-love. He is an extremely sensitive,
understanding, and such a patient boyfriend, and I love him dearly.
But, this obsession that I have with “other women” is driving us
both insane. We fight constantly (5 out of the 6 times a week that
we see each other) and our personalities have altered due to this
fighting. I have become such an angry, resentful, condescending, and
cold person to him. This fighting has made him so defensive that he
overreacts to things that I tell him. This
obsession that I have is destroying our relationship and we both
want to identify the problem that I am having with a clinical
professional name and how can I cure this obsession. Accurate
online diagnosis is very risky, if at all possible. There are too
many factors that get in the way. You need to be seen by a licensed
or certified professional in your area. At best I can suggest a
direction for you and some diagnostic possibilities.
Breaking up is not an option for either of us. We have discussed
this and he is willing to stick by me through thick and thin; I feel
that I don’t deserve him but am thankful that he is by my side.
have this obsession over him looking at other women on the sidewalk,
on TV, in a movie, in a magazine, anywhere. I will go to extreme
lengths to prevent him from noticing another girl.
We can be getting along great and be watching a movie if a
naked women appears in a scene then everything goes cold and
awkward. I feel that he enjoyed that part of the movie more than the
rest. We don’t go to clubs or parties anymore. I have pushed all
my friends away in fear that he will be attracted to them. I fear
that if he looks at a girl and thinks to himself that girl is
attractive or has a great body, I get raged and start this
ridiculous fight. I just can’t help this jealous feeling that
overcomes me. I have tried to reason with myself saying that he
loves me and only me but, my insecurities always get the best of me.
I have tried to forget about it and not let things with this matter
bother me, but I can’t. He tells me that I am the only girl for
him and that he doesn’t want anybody else, and I can’t believe
him. When we are in a similar situation my paranoia overpowers my
rational thoughts and I get angry and can’t believe that he
isn’t doing what I say.
we are out in public he says that he feels so much tension and
pressure that he doesn’t even want to look up, that he will stare
at the ground when walking with me. I always find myself looking at
his eyes to see what he is looking at and if it is a girl, this
feeling overcomes me and I am convinced that he is being unfaithful
question things that he does. If he tells me I am beautiful, he
thought about me all day, or he couldn’t wait to talk to me, I
think he doesn’t mean it. I think that he just says that, or that
he is lying to me and I just say ok sure. If he tells me that he was
busy all day and that he didn’t have a chance to call me to later
that night, this makes me feel so unimportant to him, that
everything else in his life is so much more of importance. He says
that I don’t like it if he goes out without me (which is hardly
ever). Whenever he does, it is when I go home to see my family.
obsession makes me want him to tell me everything that happened
whenever we aren’t together. If weeks or months go by and we are
out with his friends and they happen to mention something that he
“forgot” to tell me about one of those nights that we weren’t
together, I get enraged and feel betrayed. He lies to me about
things that he knows that I will get upset at to prevent a fight. He
says he tries his hardest to remember everything and that he tells
me every little detail he can think of. Then he says he feels like I
am interrogating him. He tells me such stupid meaningless things
that I’ll think he is being sarcastic. Then I get mad at him for
doing that. All this combined makes him say that I don’t trust
act in deceitful ways that were once unimaginable to me. I am
ashamed at some of things that I do to prevent him from looking at
other women. But just the simple thought of him looking at an
attractive women’s body makes me mad at him and starts a fight
have tried to take Jeanine's advice (from Woman's
Realization) and just give in to love but my feelings on
this matter grow everyday and become more intense. I don’t know
how to stop these feeling and get our relationship back on a healthy
is more than skin deep. Good thing too since no matter how pretty
you are, there will always be someone prettier, younger, richer and
more whatever you are afraid of than you. Always! And to make
matters worse, the older you get, the prettier, younger, more
shapely, etc. "the competition" gets!
attraction is important, but only goes so far. Social psychology
research has shown that physical attraction facilitates the initial
connection. What’s inside develops more slowly and is far more
meaningful, more lasting.
in mind that no matter how wonderful Gabriel is, he is human. Any
healthy, normal male will be attracted to an attractive woman (or
guy, if that’s how it goes). That’s normal! Healthy! He will no
longer be attracted - not when he is married - but when he is dead!
It’s what he does with his attraction that matters.
Does he simply enjoy the moment, flirt, throw it in your face?
In a healthy relationship, a man (or woman) is likely to
unobtrusively look at a good looking person, without being obvious
or disrespectful to his (or her) partner. You make things worse for
both of you if you insist he look away because he is likely to rebel
and possibly go into passive-aggressive mode. Yuk!
You are describing an obsession (the thought) and a compulsion (the
act). This is basically an anxiety disorder. The more you give into
your obsession/compulsion, the more it will take over your life.
While it will likely be uncomfortable to STOP engaging, you have no
other sane choice. You will benefit from professional help, which is
likely to include psychotropic medication. Try to find a
behaviorally-oriented clinician. A competent clinician will also be
able to determine whether or not this condition is isolated or
co-exists with other stuff, which may also require treatment.
know you love this lady, but why are you allowing yourself to become
subservient to her? You can’t calm her anxieties. Only Gail can do
that! But you are setting yourself up for lots of anger and
resentment down the line. All you can do is care for your own Self
and insist that Gail take care of Gail. Take a look at some of the
codependency books out there. You don't have to come from a
disturbed home to become co-dependent.
felt I was missing something and emailed Gail with a couple
questions. She wrote back:
an attractive women with a great body walks by in front of Gabriel,
I do think that he will notice the way she looks and her body. I know that if I question him on that matter, he will deny it
to me because of my obsession and not want to hurt my feelings.
tonight the truth was admitted in the process of writing this email,
Gabriel did reveal to me that he does as I say in the first
sentence, find other women good looking.
for him, having the courage to be more honest with you!
I immediately became overwhelmed with feelings of betrayal
and jealously. Of course, I said that was wrong and we fought, and he walked
out of my apartment with all of his belonging saying that this
relationship is over and it is my entire fault.
must learn to deal with your anxiety and your insecurity.
I'd also give Gabriel space to get angry; he's allowed.
a case like this, I think to myself, “If he loved me he would not
find other women attractive because he would be satisfied with me.
He would not need or want to look at other women.
I don’t know if that is wrong and not realistic to the
human race and my standards are set to high.
But, truthfully I don’t look at other men and think they
are attractive. So, I
claim that if I don’t then it is possible.
Just because you think a particular way doesn’t mean other people
When this obsession comes up, I feel so terrible about myself
and assume that he wants someone better than me, and it tears me up
drives me mad thinking that he might find other women attractive, or
have seen a women nude in a movie or whatnot.
I do realize that this is kind of ridiculous and irrational
and I try to reason with myself but I am very unsuccessful at it.
need professional help! If you could have fixed this one, you
already would have.
strongly believe that a part of my obsession is right and these
things like that shouldn’t happen in a strong loving relationship.
Other times, I feel the outline of it is important in a serious
relationship and I take the examples too far. In other word, I feel
that my obsession is essential in a faithful relationship but what I
think encompasses this obsession is irrational.
For example, If Gabriel see a nude women is a movie I
shouldn’t be upset, but if he thinks to himself that she had a
great body, then I feel that is wrong.
OK for him to think to himself she has a great body. It is not OK
that you try to control not only his behavior, but his thoughts! You
simply can't! (Plus his thoughts are his thoughts, and they're OK
I have a terrible case of laziness and I think that I have a
learning disability so it takes extreme effort for me to do my work.
When I do, I always concentrate on my handwriting and the neatness.
I worry about how it looks rather than the core of my work,
sometimes I will go though 10 pages just writing the first sentence
making sure that my handwriting is neat.
By the time I finish concentrating on my handwriting and
worry about what I’m doing, I get confused and doing my project
and it becomes blurry to me. So, I make a list of things that on my agenda, and I will
spend hours thinking of what needs to be done and what dates they
all are due. This give
me some feeling of accomplishment, but hardly any.
Then I will go and spend hours cleaning my apartment and
cleaning out the drawers, putting off what is important to me. I never seem to be able to focus. I do feel that I am depressed occasionally.
It comes and goes. I think about things that I can’t change and things that I
can and do nothing about, I think of my work situation and this
obsession, my family problems, and the weigh that I have gained,
etc… as a result I will sleep all day until 4 or 5, wake up for an
hour or so then sleep the rest of the night, putting off all that is
important to me. Sometimes, I just will lie in bed thinking of things of the
fore mentioned and not sleep at all.
this last paragraph is very important.
You may be suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and/or
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder in addition to a clinical
depression that certainly needs attention. The weight gain / sleep
problems / early awakenings are classic signs of a significant
“atypical” depression, probably a Major Depression. Again, I
cannot make an online diagnosis, but I’ve heard enough to urge you
to immediately seek medical help. There are medications that can
right much of this, and psychological treatment that will help you
lead a more productive life. You
can’t fix this one alone.
very best wishes to both of you, Dr. Irene
Readers: Any comments for Gail or