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Ask Dr. SchwartzAsk Dr. Schwartz:
Psychotherapy and Mental Health questions

Should I Put up With Abuse And Morbid Jealousy?

Mon, Jun 24th 2013

I dated a man for several months who after about 4 months accused me of several things that simply weren't true. He was sure that I was staring (not just looking) at men (and/or their butts). One time, he tried to force me to sit in a particular end seat while dining so I wouldn't be seated or talk to other men in our party. He got mad because I didn't realize that's what he was even doing and I was "smiling and laughing with them" which was true, but I asked them ONE question about their food! Afterward his jealous episode ended he would apologize and see my point but I became fed up and I just wanted him free of those hurtful emotions so we could enjoy one another!

He was always very concerned about my sexual history and if I still had contact with them. I said, I didn't think it was a good idea to share number/names (based on bad past experience). During the entire time we dated, I never once engaged in anything seedy or was interested in another man. He, however, started off the relationship with lies about his age and criminal history. I brought these things up months into it, only then did he come clean (kind of). Initially I felt like people deserve chances and he WAS a very attentive boyfriend when he wasn't in a jealous episode.

He never struck me, but he did "mark" my body by biting me and gripping me too tightly. I told him that must stop and he corrected it immediately.

He admitted to having mistrust of women (because they cheated in his past, he said) and jealousy issues. He said he "trusted me for the most part", but I felt that he didn't trust me and I felt controlled and I was losing my identity (I told him these things). I felt he was stalking me online and even doing secret drivebys (I didn't share this with him). We'd discussed couple's counseling and he finally was on board.

One day, he acccused me again, and I'd had it with the verbal/emotional abuse, manipulation, and jealousy and I refused to communicate with him at all. In the middle of the night, he came uninvited and started to cause drama. I was scared not knowing what his state of mind was and called the police. After, I found out that he had several restraining orders previously from different women. One of them said he'd stalked her for a long time and used a device to track her, caused damage to her personal property, etc.

I've done extensive reading and have seen that many of these behaviors are caused from morbid jealousy, including the stalking.

My questions are: Should I excuse his lies or is there more going on? -Should I have been more "open" or would it have never been enough? - Should I excuse his criminal history, and abuse because it's "morbid jealousy"? -Should I have tried couple's counseling? (He seems to think the issue is me being "ambigious or secretive".) I need clarity and peace of mind.

Thank you.

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