Wife is paranoid
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Wife is paranoid

Hey all, this is my first post, Ive been lurking about for a while now and thought I would attempt to get some abvice with my problem

Basically my wife and I have been married just over a year now. There is a bit of an age gap between us, I am 25 and she is just about to turn 40. I mention this because I believe it to be the main contributor to our marriage problems.

My wife is completely paranoid that I will cheat on her and leave her, she has to check my phone, email, facebook, etc several times a day. I have given her every password I have and tried to be understanding, even though this can be a real pain. If we are watching tv and a younger women is on screen she accuses me of checking her out.

I love her and want this marriage to work, but her hangups are killing it. We have a 2 year old little boy who we both adore, the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Any advice on how I can make her better, feel safe in our marriage? I would really appreciate it, thank you for reading guys
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I can't relate personally because although I married an older woman, our age gap is 11 months. I think there are a few issues here that could have caused your wife to suddenly become insecure - which I'm sure you already thought of anyways. The age gap itself is a concern because she'll wonder why you aren't with someone your age - especially since you will still be in your prime basically while her looks start to fade. Is she hung up on appearance or is she naturally vain? Another factor is the magical age of 40, where a number of people go nuts because of attaining this milestone in their lives. She may feel that she doesn't feel young anymore and will need you to give positive feedback on her appearance all the time. Just some ideas that came from the top of my head.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I can't relate personally because although I married an older woman, our age gap is 11 months. I think there are a few issues here that could have caused your wife to suddenly become insecure - which I'm sure you already thought of anyways. The age gap itself is a concern because she'll wonder why you aren't with someone your age - especially since you will still be in your prime basically while her looks start to fade. Is she hung up on appearance or is she naturally vain? Another factor is the magical age of 40, where a number of people go nuts because of attaining this milestone in their lives. She may feel that she doesn't feel young anymore and will need you to give positive feedback on her appearance all the time. Just some ideas that came from the top of my head.
Thanks so much for replying, she has lacked a bit of confidence since I have known her, she has never Been vain at all.

The age gap is causing her more problems than me, it's a major contributor to her paranoid beliefs. She literally can't stand me interacting with younger women in any way, I'm talking about every day situations, we go for a meal and a young server takes are order, things like that can set her off.

We have a young child and and I think she feels she hasn't quite lost her pregnancy weight, she's hung up about that. I complement her on her appearance every day, I hope we can get over this, it's spoiling the fact she is a fantastic mom and wife
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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"I thought that when we agreed to get married, you were mature enough to handle our age difference and that it wouldn't matter to you. We love each other and want to spend our lives together raising a family. Your paranoia about us is pushing me away. Is that what you want? I want us, I want our family... but I cannot continue to constantly reassure you that this is what I want. You have to believe it in order for us to work. What do you want to do?"

I think I would approach her along these lines. Not to put words in your mouth, but I think you need to make a declaration and then move forward from that. Let her know that this is not how you want to spend your life with her in the most direct but loving way.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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"I thought that when we agreed to get married, you were mature enough to handle our age difference and that it wouldn't matter to you. We love each other and want to spend our lives together raising a family. Your paranoia about us is pushing me away. Is that what you want? I want us, I want our family... but I cannot continue to constantly reassure you that this is what I want. You have to believe it in order for us to work. What do you want to do?"

I think I would approach her along these lines. Not to put words in your mouth, but I think you need to make a declaration and then move forward from that. Let her know that this is not how you want to spend your life with her in the most direct but loving way.

It's more or less a conversation I have had with her, I have tried to convince her that the age gap dosnt matter to me, that I wouldn't have married her and starting a family if I wasn't sure about the relationship, she comes round, but then gets set off my the silliest things.

She also apologises all the time, she knows deep down I love her, but can't stop herself from almost constant checking up on me. She will phone my work multiple times just to check I'm there, don't get me wrong, I love hearing from her and would never want to discourage her from contacting me at time, but deep down iknow she's checking up on me.

She will say things like " how can you find me attractive", which really hurt me as I also tell her how much I fancy her, how sexy she is, she won't just accept it.

I'm dreading next week when I have to go away for the weekend due to work commitments, I will have to stay at a hotel for three nights. And apart from the fact I will miss my family, I know she will accuse me of something. I just want her to get over these negative feelings.
How can I be a better husband for her? What can I do to make her feel better?

Last edited by Wrongdoer; 08-02-2012 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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She will say things like " how can you find me attractive", which really hurt me as I also tell her how much I fancy her, how sexy she is, she won't just accept it
As much as you would like to, you can't fix this. The questions. The insecurities... she has to fix it. She probably needs to be in therapy for it to be honest.

It could be attention seeking behavior too. She doesn't understand that her neediness is unattractive, and driving you away rather than keeping you close to her.

I have an idea, but I'm not sure if it would make her worse or not. When she asks questions like that, don't answer them the way you normally would. Either say nothing or something along the lines of 'you know how I feel about you' and then change the subject. If she persists, don't respond. See if this modifies her behavior at all.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Unless she seeks counseling to stop this needy/suspicious behavior I don't see this ending well for either of you. She will yes eventually drive you away which is the very thing she fears.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Not to disagree with what's been said, but something that MIGHT help... Do you show her significant affection in front of these other women? To her that would be showing them that you love her and are happy with her. That's what I want from my husband.

just a thought.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Not to disagree with what's been said, but something that MIGHT help... Do you show her significant affection in front of these other women? To her that would be showing them that you love her and are happy with her. That's what I want from my husband.

just a thought.
I try to, it's not any effort on my part because I love holding her hand and hugging etc, she's an amazing wife and mother when she allows herself to enjoy our marriage instead of indulging in negative thoughts. I just want desperately to make her happier
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I just want desperately to make her happier
You can't do this and the sooner you realize this the better.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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You can't do this and the sooner you realize this the better.
I can try and suggest we go to mc together, but I'm scared she will see this as me wanting to
Eave her or something
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I can try and suggest we go to mc together, but I'm scared she will see this as me wanting to
Eave her or something
Well you are thinking along those lines aren't you? I mean you can't do this dance with her for life. It's dysfunctional. I would suggest the counseling, say you both need it... she needs it for her insecurities and you to help her with those insecurities.
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Well I intend to try and convince her to come to mc with me. I hope she dosnt take it the wrong way, she just sent me a lovely text MSG, why can't she always be like this and just trust me
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I am 25 and she is just about to turn 40. I mention this because I believe it to be the main contributor to our marriage problems.
WD, I doubt very much that the age gap is the main problem. What you are describing is likely a strong fear of abandonment that is based partly on low self-esteem and a lack of "object contancy," i.e., an inability to recognize that the loved one's personality and feelings are fairly constant from week to week. If that is the case, your W has an impaired ability to trust you -- which would have surfaced repeatedly even if you two were the same age.

My exW, for example, has such an impairment and thus was paranoid and jealous over inconsequential events. My foster son also has a lack of object constancy, resulting in him calling me long distance every day to say hello. We talk for two minutes. That is enough for him to realize that he is still an important part of my life even though we live a 1,000 miles apart.

To find out if that is what you are dealing with, it is important to see a clinical psychologist -- NOT a MC -- for a visit or two on your own. If you can get your W to go to another psychologist, that is fine too -- but it should be a psych who is separate from the one you are consulting.

I say this because relying on your W's psych for advice during the marriage would be as foolish as relying on her attorney's advice during a divorce. Like attorneys, psychologists and other therapists are ethically bound to protect their patients -- not the spouses. This distinction is important because, if a personality disorder is involved, it often is in the patient's best interests to NOT be told the name of the disorder. Your own psych, however, would feel free to tell you because he is bound to protect your best interests. Take care, WD.
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Your wife is paranoid because she's older and wiser. At 25 you are still a very young man regardless of how responsible and mature you appear outwardly. While I'm sure she enjoys your youngness quite a bit now she knows that when you're around 28 you will begin to reevaluate your life as most people do. She may recognize the various stages of life that you have yet to identify because she's seen it first hand. Do you really understand the physical and mental differences between a 50 year old women and a 35 year old man? Are you prepared to see her go through menopause 10 years before you enjoy your mid life crisis? That's what she's got in the back of her mind and knows it's only a matter of time before you begin to desire someone your own age or younger. You already knew this?
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