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Time to worry, or stop being paranoid?


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Hi all,

 

Looking for some advice with recent things that have happened between myself and my wife over the last few months. 

*I 32M and wife 34F.*

 

So over the last few months I've felt myself becoming more and more disconnected with my wife. We got married in September 2021 but have been together for 10+ years. Recently I have felt down about myself quite a lot, due to the way I perceive my appearance. This has affected my sexual desires with her. I'm quite a paranoid person, but from experience, usually, my paranoia has been justified. Over the last couple of months my wife has been quite frequently talking/texting a male work colleague of hers. Often to the point where she doesn't text me back, but she texts him back. She's adamant that there's nothing going on, but my gut says different. Recently after we had a small argument I found out that she had been searching for 'dating websites' through a shared tablet. 

Coupled with this I have had several nightmares about her being unfaithful to me, which I'd never had before. Then tonight, as innocuous as it may seem to some, it greatly plays on my mind. A random TikTok video came up stating that 'this person is hiding something from you' lo and behold, the 'initial' that it stopped on was the letter "L" which happens to be the name of my wife's first name. 

 

Am I just a paranoid mess, or is this nature's way of showing me that I do infact have something to be concerned about?

 

 

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5 minutes ago, DisposableAcc said:

Over the last couple of months my wife has been quite frequently talking/texting a male work colleague of hers. Often to the point where she doesn't text me back, but she texts him back.

5 minutes ago, DisposableAcc said:

Recently after we had a small argument I found out that she had been searching for 'dating websites'

You are not just paranoid. 

Something is very wrong in your marriage, OP. The nightmares are a reaction the emotional distress and fear over her very real, very troubling behaviour. 

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11 minutes ago, DisposableAcc said:

Am I just a paranoid mess, or is this nature's way of showing me that I do infact have something to be concerned about?

 

TikTok crap, no. That is just a coincidence. Colleague and dating sites? Oh yeah, if she doesnt already cheats on you, she is definitely trying.

Also dreams are in lot of cases just a representation of our subconciousness. If you think she cheats on you its no surprise you have dreams about that. 

Have you talked to her about her behavior? I wouldnt put past it that she does "gaslight" you into being paranoid about it when you do. So be careful when you do that.

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You are not being paranoid.  I do want to know why you two chose not to marry till 2021? I ask because it might be for no real reason and getting married isn't meaningful to everyone but if it was because of relationship issues that might shed light on the situation now.

So - here's the thing - my husband and I -married since 2008 - trust each other.  I have never checked any of his devices and vice versa. Never felt the need to.  Vice versa.  I think there are boundaries and I think couples have to talk about what's ok and what's not . We're fine with each other keeping in touch with exes (first marriage for both -I mean ex SOs, etc).  We each dated people we're also professionally connected to and there are certain exes we're comfortable with the other being in touch with.  He doesn't keep in personal touch with his most recent ex and since she wanted him back way back when I would probably feel uncomfortable if he chose to. 

Again it's about the sort of communication with a balance of (1) you are each other's top priority so either one's discomfort is taken very very seriously; and (2) there's a foundation of trust so that the likelihood of one person putting ridiculous boundaries on the other because he/she is "paranoid" is not gonna happen.

It's not an exact science -but the foundation of trust and communication have to be there. I clicked on a dating site last week -my friend texted me about a new one she was thinking of encouraging her daughter to join.  I went to the site to read the basic details of it.  So if my husband had checked on me he would have seen it in my search history. I didn't tell him because he doesn't check up on me, thank goodness.  

Your wife is doing a bit of playing with fire at the very least and is acting inconsistently with being in a committed relationship.  But you have to tell her with "I" statements how you feel.  "I feel uncomfortable when you focus this much on your male colleague"  etc.  

Good luck.

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2 hours ago, Kwothe28 said:

TikTok crap, no. That is just a coincidence. Colleague and dating sites? Oh yeah, if she doesnt already cheats on you, she is definitely trying.

Also dreams are in lot of cases just a representation of our subconciousness. If you think she cheats on you its no surprise you have dreams about that. 

Have you talked to her about her behavior? I wouldnt put past it that she does "gaslight" you into being paranoid about it when you do. So be careful when you do that.

I haven't seen that she's on them, just that she's searched for them. I stopped looking once I found the searches as it made me feel sick. 

I agree with the dreams, they are a reflection of 'day thoughts' turned in to 'night imaginations'. 

I have spoken to her about her colleague and she showed me the messages, none of which seemed particularly flirty or anything, it's the simple fact that she had replied to his meaningless text about something irrelevant, yet ignored my question about our children. 

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2 hours ago, Batya33 said:

You are not being paranoid.  I do want to know why you two chose not to marry till 2021? I ask because it might be for no real reason and getting married isn't meaningful to everyone but if it was because of relationship issues that might shed light on the situation now.

So - here's the thing - my husband and I -married since 2008 - trust each other.  I have never checked any of his devices and vice versa. Never felt the need to.  Vice versa.  I think there are boundaries and I think couples have to talk about what's ok and what's not . We're fine with each other keeping in touch with exes (first marriage for both -I mean ex SOs, etc).  We each dated people we're also professionally connected to and there are certain exes we're comfortable with the other being in touch with.  He doesn't keep in personal touch with his most recent ex and since she wanted him back way back when I would probably feel uncomfortable if he chose to. 

Again it's about the sort of communication with a balance of (1) you are each other's top priority so either one's discomfort is taken very very seriously; and (2) there's a foundation of trust so that the likelihood of one person putting ridiculous boundaries on the other because he/she is "paranoid" is not gonna happen.

It's not an exact science -but the foundation of trust and communication have to be there. I clicked on a dating site last week -my friend texted me about a new one she was thinking of encouraging her daughter to join.  I went to the site to read the basic details of it.  So if my husband had checked on me he would have seen it in my search history. I didn't tell him because he doesn't check up on me, thank goodness.  

Your wife is doing a bit of playing with fire at the very least and is acting inconsistently with being in a committed relationship.  But you have to tell her with "I" statements how you feel.  "I feel uncomfortable when you focus this much on your male colleague"  etc.  

Good luck.

The timing due to buying a house and going on big family holidays (2 young children) took priority. I'm not the kind of person who will get loans or go in to debt for something and both of us decided the aforementioned things were more important at the time. 

 

I agree with the boundaries and up until recently I have fully respected that. I know within myself I'm a jealous person due to my own insecurities so I know that events lesser than this can make my mind go in to overdrive. With this in mind I have kept my distance from enquiring about things until recently. 

Thank you for your advice for the 'talk' that will inevitably ensue. 

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8 hours ago, DisposableAcc said:

 I have felt down about myself quite a lot, due to the way I perceive my appearance. This has affected my sexual desires with her. 

Sorry this is happening. It sounds like you feel guilty for shutting your wife out from intimacy and affection.

There seems to be a disconnect in your marriage and you're trying to blame that in internet activity.

What are your arguments about?

You already confronted her and she showed you the texts.  Why are you going through her devices?

See a physician for an evaluation of your physical and mental health. Discuss feeling down and stressed.

Ask for an referral to a qualified therapist for ongoing support.

What are the real issue in your marriage? Finances? Kids? Household duties? Do you ever go out and do something fun? 

Are there any mental health problems or drinking or issues with ED? Why have you cut her off sexually?

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8 hours ago, DisposableAcc said:

The timing due to buying a house and going on big family holidays (2 young children) took priority. I'm not the kind of person who will get loans or go in to debt for something and both of us decided the aforementioned things were more important at the time. 

I'm sorry -what? Do you mean the $ to have a big party to celebrate a marriage? So I think there you have a clue. People especially with kids -- who want to get married -get married.  If there can't be a big party to celebrate they get married, have a party later on if they really want one. That's not the marriage -that's the reception.  Including my clothing and shoes I believe our wedding -10 guests -cost $1,500. My sister who is in her 60s said to me the other day it was still the best wedding she'd ever been do (we were each other's maids of honor).  It was amazing.  

I don't sneeze at that sort of money - at all -that includes paying the religious officiant, lunch (I believe the license cost $30?).  So we could have done this for even less but surely if you could afford holidays you could afford to get married?  So I'd look deeper into this now -now that you're newlyweds, now she's searching dating sites-maybe -now you're looking over her shoulder and checking -is this a new thing? I think you two waited for far deeper reasons than $ to get married. 

Just my humble opinion -I don't know all people just of course the many people I've known who got married over the last 35 years I've been an adult and all the people I know of, etc.  one or both of you didn't really want this marriage badly and now that you have it she might be feeling trapped and you all of a sudden are checking up on her.

Again, I searched one particular dating site last week - and had nothing to do with my being interested in dating sites or dating.  So I don't think you're being paranoid AND I think you two have poor communication and likely are sweeping bigger issues under the rug.

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ya instead of stewing in your own paranoia, just sit down with your wife, and admit you are having issues and admit you haven't been a good husband. Then go though with her why you have disconnected from her, the reason why you have no desire for sex, etc. Then go into a conversation to what would she expect from you and negotiate a plan to start repairing your marriage. If it goes right, she will no longer need to talk to other men for comfort. Yes that's why she has started to step out emotionally, because you stepped out emotionally on her. People will do this when they are at a loss feeling neglected, and undesired. So work at pulling things back together with compassion, patience, honesty and compromise.  Lots and lots of communication. 

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What's affecting you regarding your appearance? I agree both of you will have to agree to communicate better and stop the third party interactions. If you're paranoid or anxious you might want to discuss that with your doctor. It's unfair to bring that into a relationship.

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