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What is Morbid Jealousy?

Morbid jealousy, also known as pathological jealousy, is an obsessive, overwhelming concern that a partner is unfaithful, without any valid reason. This condition can lead to emotional turmoil and destructive behavior. It's a psychological issue that requires attention and often professional help. Ever wondered how such intense suspicion can affect relationships and mental health? Let's delve deeper into the shadows of morbid jealousy.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Morbid jealousy may be known by a number of synonyms, which include pathological jealousy, delusional jealousy, obsessive jealousy, and Othello syndrome. This condition occurs when a person feels an unreasonable fear that a partner has been unfaithful, is presently unfaithful, or plans to be unfaithful. Though not strictly listed as a mental illness in manuals for psychiatry/psychology like the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, this is a certainly a state of mind or mental condition that is recognized by mental health professionals. It is especially worrisome because it may fuel domestic violence in some instances, and expressions of it by a person are cause to be concerned.

William Shakespeare gave an almost pitch perfect description in his play Othello, according to some interpretations. Othello is easily convinced by the villainous Iago that Desdemona is in love with someone else and has been unfaithful. In a tragic ending, Othello strangles Desdemona, though she has been perfectly faithful, and this ending leads many to wonder why Othello was so gullible. Some interpret this by saying Othello didn’t need to be convinced; he was already suffering from delusional jealousy and Iago’s additional actions were the push Othello needed to take these feelings to the next level.

Morbid jealousy occurs more often in men.
Morbid jealousy occurs more often in men.

Not all real cases of delusional or morbid jealousy end in murder, though that risk may need to be considered because the jealousy expressed is not rational or sane, and it may escalate. More often, though, a partner who suffers from this might do things like stalk a spouse or girlfriend/boyfriend. He or she could constantly accuse the partner of infidelity, and these accusations might arise out of innocent exchanges with other people. Moreover, a look or conversation between the partner and anyone else might always be interpreted as a somehow traitorous act, which may fuel anger, create greater jealousy, and possibly risk abuse of the innocent partner.

Medication may be helpful to someone suffering from morbid jealousy.
Medication may be helpful to someone suffering from morbid jealousy.

There are mental health professionals who have called for greater legitimate inquiry into the causes of morbid jealousy, and many studies in scholarly journals suggest that this condition does have a mental illness component. It may arise in certain mental illnesses where extreme paranoia can occur, such as in schizophrenia or in the manic phase of bipolar I. Mental illness may not be that severe, however, and there are many people with this problem who either don’t have a mental disorder or have one that is considered less drastic like obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, or anxiety disorder.

Morbid jealousy was perfectly demonstrated by William Shakespeare's character of Othello.
Morbid jealousy was perfectly demonstrated by William Shakespeare's character of Othello.

One interesting fact, though, is that treating this form of jealousy with medications like selected serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or other antidepressants may have a positive effect. The person doesn’t necessarily have to have other mental conditions. Many people appear to respond well to low levels of medication and, when this is combined with things like cognitive behavioral therapy, it may be a way to combat this condition effectively. Clearly, when other mental disorders, like bipolar or paranoid schizophrenia, are present, different types of medications are indicated.

Othello is driven mad with morbid jealousy in Shakespeare's play of Othello, and murders his wife as a result.
Othello is driven mad with morbid jealousy in Shakespeare's play of Othello, and murders his wife as a result.

While morbid jealousy is often viewed from the perspective of the spouse/partner who is victim to it, it also needs to be considered in light of the person suffering from the paranoia. Constantly believing that betrayal is imminent can be an incredibly painful experience, and may render a person unreasonable in many aspects of life. Even if the beliefs aren’t true, holding them can be emotionally torturous. Those suffering this condition, though they may be less pitied for inflicting their fear on others, are in serious need of legitimate treatment options. Early intervention stands as an excellent preventative to domestic violence.

Extreme paranoia is often a facet of morbid jealousy.
Extreme paranoia is often a facet of morbid jealousy.

A review of people diagnosed with this condition suggest that it is much more common among males than females, but it still can occur in the female population. For both genders, it remains important to know that there is little that can be done by the partner who is a victim of the morbidly jealous person, and signs of this type of jealousy early in a relationship should not be ignored. Assurances of fidelity or love tend to be completely ineffective, and being the partner/spouse of such a person hazards real risk. The best potential remedy for a person who suffers this obsessive or paranoid thinking is to get therapeutic help immediately; for most people, this is the path to recovery.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent TheHealthBoard contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Learn more...
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent TheHealthBoard contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Learn more...

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Discussion Comments


Reading these stories ensures me I am not alone. I am also a victim of my loved one's morbid jealousy. I read this was somewhat rare but it certainly doesn't seem to be the case.

After 7 years without incident of infidelity within the relationship, suddenly the accusations began. Primarily the "noises"I am accused of gaslighting since he is convinced he is not imagining things. There are literally too many accusations for me to describe. But they are all of a sexual nature. Men in the room. Men around town. Sometimes it's the neighbor I sneak thru the window because once he noticed that we both arrived home around the same time. Secret phones. Phone sex. And undoubtedly I have now become an extreme masturbator due to the "noises" he hears when he is in a different room using the recording app he downloaded just for me, to prove he isn't crazy.

I moan in pleasure in the shower, while I'm sleeping, while I'm cleaning the kitchen, and when lying on the couch watching TV. He says these are sex sounds. Every time he leaves me alone in a room, there are sex sounds. He likes to burst in saying "Knock it off, you know what you are doing!" Even when we are in bed together and I move an inch or roll over, he searches me. He literally reaches all around me demanding to know what the noise was. I ask him search the bed, and I throw back the covers. Lift the mattress, I say. Search the bedside table. Look! Nothing on my (exposed) body! He says why? Why does it matter? But yet he makes me listen to his recordings and tries to isolate the white noise and house noises apart from the supposed whispering and moaning (which just sound like random noise) and he claims these are solid undeniable proof. I say let someone listen to them other than you and I and get an objective opinion so you realize there is nothing there. No, he says. This is our business.

So. Here is my question. Because I have read that other folks have dealt with this too. Like, if you think your wife is having an affair in the next room, why won't you go in and catch her red handed? If you think she is an evil slut using that sex toy right beside you as you feign sleep, why won't you look to find it? If you think you heard knocking (soft, come hither knocking by your wife's secret lover) on the door late at night three nights in a row, why didn't you open the damn door? Why, when these people could actually prove or discredit these delusions, they choose not to?

I have begged him to burst on in and look! Why is his flimsy delusional "proof" so solid, but when given the opportunity to really gain some insight, he absolutely refuses? There has to be a psychological explanation and I am dying to understand that. I am sick of living like this. Every couple of days it's something new.


@anon995630 Clearly, you want help, and I'm glad. The girl I replied to (some 10 years ago, by the way), was 18 years old. My cousin was in the exact same situation and her abuser nearly killed her. There's no way in hell I'd advise anyone to "stick with" someone who was physically abusing them for any reason, unless that person got counseling and a full psych workup. The DSM says Othello Syndrome is very rare (incidence of 1% or less). So you're in the minority, and apparently, you really want help. Most abusers don't have Othello Syndrome, and they have no real interest in getting help because they don't think they have a problem.

No one belongs in that kind of relationship, and particularly not someone who's 18 years old. I'd advise you not to comment unless you understand the toll that abuse can take on the entire family. My cousin's 16-year-old son committed suicide after seeing the hell his sperm donor put his mom through, and his obvious lack of care for his own son. My cousin had to see her son's body in that coffin at the funeral home, after they'd done what they could to put his face back together. He shot himself with his dad's .45. My mother went with her to the funeral home since her own mother (my sister) died of suicide rather than facing more spousal abuse. She said my cousin just screamed when she saw her son.

If someone is willing to get help and follows through with it, then yes, there may be a reason to stay. But not for an 18-year-old, and not in most cases. I'm glad you have someone who's willing to support you in your journey to getting better, and I sincerely wish you all the best. But the harsh truth is that most abusers have no interest in getting help, and will escalate until the victim dies or leaves. Good luck.



My mother is suffering through nearly the exact same situation that you are and if nothing else I think it would be incredibly good for you and her to be able to communicate. I see how isolating it is and it’s an unbearably heavy burden to deal with.

You can also text my cell phone and I will put the two of you in contact.


@amypollick: That whole piece about you can get out, get out now, you will die, you wont make it to 35, shame on you. If othello syndrome is not a piece in your life then don't comment. I can't tell you why my wife has stuck with me through all the crap I've put on her, just pile after pile of accusations and interrogation and telling her I know the truth, and she is cheating on me.

I would not be in the place I am now without my wife sticking by me. If you are getting physically abused, there is no way you should stay in that relationship, and you should seek help from police and leave.

I've been dealing with Othello syndrome for six years, and now finally have come to the realization this week of the disease I've been dealing with. I can't tell you how encouraging it is to read all these stories and see that I'm not alone. I have apologized to my wife multiple times for how foolish I feel, and ashamed at the way I've treated her for years. She is strong, and I can't believe she has stuck with me. I owe her my life and I will make up for the 6 years of crap I've put her through.

I am getting professional help at the end of this week and hope to be rid of this disease quickly. Encourage your spouse by showing them stories of people dealing with the same problems. Encourage them to seek professional help. Good luck.


To anyone who has or thinks they have morbid jealousy, get help. It took me years to even admit to myself that there was something wrong, I thought I was right. When I realized the pain and destruction I was causing I felt so ashamed. The feelings are true in your head that no matter what is said, you don't believe anything or anyone else. The pain inside you never goes away and it comes out in destroying someone else.

I eventually went to the doctor after I felt like ripping my brain out to stop the thoughts. It took me years and years to do this. She put me on antidepressants and I had therapy. After the first month, I started to feel better. I still have the odd thought but can rationalise it and not have the outbursts. My life is so much happier and peaceful, needless to say, so is my husband's. I will never come off the antidepressants. I could not go back to that life.

Do not wait until you are fifty like I did. It won't just stop. It goes on and on, getting worse. Don't ruin your life and someone else's.

I remember my first episode and I was 14!


Wow! I'm also sorry to hear what everyone is going through and/or been through, but relieved that there are others going through the same thing as I am, because I was starting to think that I'm crazy.

I've been with my husband for 21 years, we have four beautiful children and he is the only man I know. I've trusted him, supported him in his career and now he is being so disrespectful. I am constantly accused of cheating on him, mostly with married men -- our married friends, to be exact. He now says I have always done this and he has never trusted me. The things he says and accuses me of are so hurtful that as of now we haven't spoken for 10 days.

He has removed his ring and treats me as though I am being punished for "betraying" him. He recently asked me for our cell phone bills because he feels I am hiding something. The funny thing is, I just found out that he had been hiding a cell phone for months; he admitted this to our therapist. After admitting this and admitting to talking to female co-workers on it, I was mad and felt betrayed, but I still continued to work on our marriage. After all that, and he continues to accuse me. Go figure!

I love my husband and he can be the most loving man sometimes, but I'm starting to notice a pattern and our kids are too, where for half the month he is normal and the other half he basically hates me and thinks I'm a whore. I don't know what to do. I thank God he isn't physically abusive and he does attend therapy, but he has recently stopped going to church. Taking his ring off doesn't sit well with me either. It's like he enjoys doing things that will bother me or make me unhappy. It makes him happy!

My husband has even said that he saw a friend of his come in our house and have sex with me on our couch. He said he has it on tape, yet when he sees this friend, he doesn't confront him, nor will he share the so called tape. He has always been a very spiteful person so now I think he is cheating on me just to get "revenge" on something that I haven't done.

He's been going to gym, coloring his grays, seeking cosmetic dental work, etc. It's like he's not happy with himself and takes it out on me. My husband is a smoker and I've heard that marijuana use can bring on paranoia, etc. He does it off and on. Years ago he was doing it very heavily and he accused me of cheating with his friends. We were even traveling and he accused me of setting him up to get robbed in our hotel room, and he went so far as to jump out of our hotel room because he thought someone was at our hotel room door about to come in and rob him.

It’s been crazy and I haven't left his side because I know he needs help. I have faith in God that he can be helped, but he first needs to admit to it. When I tell him he needs help, he thinks I'm being sarcastic. I don't know what else to do, but I don't want to be disrespected or cheated on in the meantime. I am a wholesome Christian wife and I deserve better. Please pray for me, my husband and our family.


Gosh, this sounds exactly like my ex who was a maniac. Some of the stuff he used to say was just ridiculous. I lost all my friends, family and finally moved to another city. He used to send me emails, and once sent emails to my colleagues about how "slutty" I was as a teen. My fault was me being honest and telling my past dating scene with him.

He abused my folks, my friends -- the works! Finally, he moved to another country and still had the nerve to send hate emails which were abusive and harassing. I then got rid of him permanently by engaging with a lawyer and sending him emails that if he did not stop this he will be sued and that's that. After which he stopped it.


This is to anyone who is early in their relationship with someone displaying this disorder; it is a mental illness and if the person won't recognize that they have a problem, you are in for a long, miserable relationship. Your only hope is tough love. Walk away. If they truly love you, they'll seek the help they need.


For 43 years, I have experienced this delusional paranoid jealousy from my husband. And it has escalated in his old age - he is now 68. My whole life has been ruined. I am now 62. Currently, he is accusing me of having an affair with some 20-something young man who is old enough to be my son. He says this man is driving in front of our house several times on a daily basis to get a glimpse of me, and that he has even moved into our neighborhood.

He gets furious when I use the phone, even when I place it on speaker phone for him to hear who I am talking to. We get a lot of telephone solicitors from different area codes and he says it is this man calling. I asked him how he could be using phones with different area codes and he said it is because he borrows them from friends. I can't even look out our back windows or go out back without him accusing me of trying to show myself to him. This is just an inkling of what I go through.

I may have one day of peace where I don't get accused or called names such as "whore". I can only say that I don't know why the stress has not caused me to drop dead of a stroke or heart attack.


Oh how thankful I am to know I am not crazy, nor am I alone. I am so sorry anyone has to go through this, but happy to know I am not alone.

My husband is so jealous. He accuses me of having an affair with an old neighbor. He has such hatred for this man that he has confronted him. He has told my family and the ministers at my congregation that I have been unfaithful, that I am leading a double life. He has all of the classic symptoms of bipolar, morbid jealously. He can be happy and loving one minute, and mean, ranting and raving the next. Then he gets extremely depressed and doesn't care about anyone or anything.

He is an alcoholic and he claims he is no longer using drugs, but he is also a habitual liar, so who really knows? We have been married for over 25 years, and while the symptoms were present then, they have seemed to escalate as he has gotten older. His first wife cheated on him, (so he says), but now I wonder if that is true or if he, in his delusional state, imagined that as well. I mean, he has gone so far as to tell me he saw me engaged in a sexual act with this man in our living room, then it changed to our bedroom, where he claims he was hiding in the closet. Yeah, right.

My husband is an ex-Marine. If he had actually seen anything remotely close to me involved with someone else, everybody including the police would have known about it, because he would have snapped. He has snapped for things far less important than that. He has a lot of time he can’t account for. He is missing for days at a time, and there is money missing, yet I am the one having an affair. I don't know if it is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, and he has a guilty conscience because of his own actions, if he is using again, or all of the above. Either way, I am getting fed up.

I have never been unfaithful in any relationship. I took my marriage vows seriously and that is why I have stuck it out. I said for better/worse, in sickness/health. He is obviously sick, but if he doesn't get some help for himself, I think I will have to leave him. He denies that he has any problems, yet in a moment of sanity, he himself is the one who told me about Othello Syndrome. He heard a discussion on the topic on the radio.

He called me and said, "Have you ever heard of Othello Symdrome? I think this might be what I have.” That was about five years ago and now he claims he never said that to me. I could go on and on, but I will stop here.

Again, I am so sorry for anyone who is a victim of this madness. I am even more sorry that some people have to deal with this mental illness. I can't imagine what they are feeling. I just really want to thank God for allowing me to find this site as well as other forums that discuss this topic. It has been very therapeutic for me.


This is my life right now. My husband started accusing me one year ago, and I thought it had to do with a midlife crisis. He was turning 50 in a few months and I had noticed different behaviors, but shrugged them off. Then little by little, the daily interrogations started.

I was confronted with recordings where he would drop by my office and leave his iPhone, (just by chance) and ask me questions later on. I knew this was not right, but we had been together for 29 years and since I had nothing to hide, I really didn't even care. To me, it was more showing him that I wasn't doing anything with anyone else. Today, we are broke. He has spent a few thousand dollars on polygraph tests, DNA tests, audio forensic specialist, spyware for the computers. This was consuming his life. He would sit and listen to his recordings for hours on end, each with a new story. Anytime I would even put some logic to a story, the story would then change and take on a whole new life.

He has told his tales to all of his family and some friends. He is extremely charismatic and a great story teller. What I am having the most difficulty with is the fact that his family finds it easier to believe that I have been leading a double life all of these seven years than to come to terms with the fact that he may just have some kind of mental illness, which by the way, does run in his family.

Any comments or suggestions on how to handle this would be appreciated.


This is very intense and scary stuff. I was a victim of such abuse. My ex-boyfriend came off as someone who took interest in me -- sweet and polite -- but he had a secret hidden agenda. He was very morbidly jealous. He was a closet drug user and snorted cocaine behind my back many times. I figured out that the only time he would get crazy was when he was using drugs and/or drinking.

He was convinced one time when I went out for my friend's birthday, that I went to the back of the bar to have sex with some guy. He quit every job he has had because "people told him" that I was messing around on him and making porn videos. He made up people's names that I never heard of and said I was sleeping with them. I've been called a whore, a slut, a "waste with a wet hole for everyone to play with" (no joke).

One time when I was trying to sleep, he thought I had someone in the room trying to kill him and I was going to have sex with that man too, so he reached around beside me on the bed constantly to check and make sure no one was there. Yep, about 2" of space between me and the edge of the bed and he thought someone was there.

Every time I tried to leave, he would call me nonstop, email, do anything to get my attention again. Eventually, I gave in because I was lonely and had no self-respect left for myself. Finally I had enough and walked away for good, although my ex still insisted we keep in contact because "nobody will help him" and because sometimes being compassionate with these types of people is not a good thing.

That "friendship" didn't work, so when I told him to back off and saying I didn't want to be his friend, he got nasty with me again and hurled accusations that I was whoring myself to people that I never heard of (How do you accuse someone of cheating when you aren't together? Oh wait, your psycho ex still tells everyone that you are together.)

Here's the best bit: about two weeks ago I received a nasty message on my work phone about how he was going to "come to the office" and tell everyone that I aborted his baby. I have never been pregnant, so I have never had an abortion. I finally had to make a complaint against him to the police. So far, he has not called me except once. I've had to cut ties with his family too because they blamed me for his irrational behavior.

No one should ever tolerate it. Do not make the same mistake I did. I went "back to that person" because I was lonely. They do not change. Irrational and crazy behavior like that will kill you either from an early stroke, or the person will kill you (because they are insane!) He has caused nothing but pain and misery in my life and I always went back for more because each time I thought it would be different. I'm very emotionally scarred right now to the point where I myself don't think I could get into another relationship ever again.

Get out now. Make a plan to safely get out. No one deserves to be treated like a sub-human or be humiliated by someone who claims they love us.


I am a woman of 20 in a relationship that has lasted three or four years. I'm pretty sure I have this problem and I am worried about the future of my relationship. I'm in love with my boyfriend. We always have a great time together.

However, usually one or two days after we go out, I have this extreme "sense" that he's being unfaithful to me with an ex-girlfriend of his. When I mean extreme, I'm talking tears (I experience physical pain) and thoughts of harming him. I never act on my feelings though, but I am very afraid I will do so. When I do feel this intense paranoia (or should I say 'jealousy'?), I question him about a lot of things. I really put him on the spot about who he has been with, where he's going, what was he doing so-and-so days ago -- oh! And I feel really ticked off if he answers vaguely ("I don't know" or "nothing") -- why he doesn't want to go somewhere with me. It goes on.

I have no idea why it just triggers in me right after we had a romantic time together. Always, right after my sickening episode, I realize, you know, just what the heck was I thinking? I think about all he has done for me and realize there's no way he could be that loving or caring if there were someone else. Basically right after jealousy, right after I wake up from crying myself to sleep because I think he is or has cheated on me, I realize how ridiculous I was being.

He's exposed to so many sexy, attractive women from television, movies, video games, internet sites and I get this horrible feeling knowing he's seen that and liked it. I don't want him to look at anyone else at all. I feel like he just won't look at me the same way after he's seem so many sexy women. I feel belittled (besides very jealous) and I can't stand it. He's a gentleman and I absolutely hate when he's nice to any other girl whom I consider pretty.

The thought of the possibility of there being a lady friend he texts or even talks to tears me up from the inside. (I make him show me his text messages from time to time. Although there is never anyone else besides me, family members, or our friends, I still feel the need to see them.) I haven't told him about me and how bad my jealousy gets, so he tends to lightly make fun of stuff I say or do and it makes me feel like he really is being unfaithful. I really can't stand this.

I'm posting this because I'm pretty sure I'm in the early stages of this period. I feel it, it's very intense, but I also realize, right after, that it's not right -- at all.

Some history about us: Our first time didn't work out because he was emotionally cheating on me with his ex-girlfriend. (Emotionally cheating as in he liked/loved her, but there wasn't any physical interaction.) He dumped me to be with her. They lasted a very short time. Half a year later, we began talking and eventually ended up dating again. And now here we are. We're a strong couple -- that is, when I'm not suffering from an extreme jealousy episode.

Anyone know where I can get help? Maybe even a free hotline?


I also have jealousy issues. I have mental health problems, but keep my boyfriend close. If he suggests going anywhere without me, I automatically think if he sees another girl, he will leave, but the thought kills me.

I know it shouldn't be like this. I am so frightened if I let him go out he will leave me and frightened if he doesn't go out, is he going to say he's had enough. Please help me.


I was wondering how many of you feel in danger by the jealous spouse, etc.? I wonder if people fear the paranoid person may commit murder, suicide, or worse and take a whole family of kids if the normal thinking person chooses to try and leave/divorce them? Thank you.

P.S. From what I have read, a lot of murder-suicides, or just murder or just suicide are related to this disorder. Scary


People who go to psychologists or therapists and try to find a way to live with their jealous partners, please respond to this and share with me what you've learned and what helped you. Please.


I have this huge problem. I have a partner (I am female) and I suffer from extreme jealousy and paranoia. I don't know what is wrong with me. It's so bad that I get upset and feel suicidal even when I see pretty girls on TV, on the internet, in magazines and the newspaper. Especially when my boyfriend sees it. I get this huge lump in my throat like I'm about to cry and I get really frustrated inside because I'm thinking that in my boyfriend's head, he's saying, “Whoa! She's hot!” and he would think that, but I don't understand why I care so much it's killing me.

You see other girls out there buying their boyfriends lap dances and don't even think twice. Why can't I just not care? It's literally driving me insane. I think I have to be perfect or I'm not good enough, and I can't tell anyone about it except him because it's embarrassing.


I am so happy that I have found this website. I am in the same boat. My husband is so suspicious of me, even when I assure him that I am being faithful. He quizzed me about a relationship I had before we even dated when we were friends, but it was personal so I did not disclose it.

We got together later and he found out that I had not been open and decided to bring it up early in the marriage. The rest is history. I suffer for it until today. We have three beautiful kids and he sometimes queries whether they are his! They are the splitting image of him and also have the same genetic disorders prevalent in his family, and he still wonders if they are truly his?

I am fed up with this. Why did I get stuck with this? I am a faithful wife but he just does not see it. The worst thing is, in our marriage he has cheated and had a child from an adulterous affair and still I resolved to work it out. Why did he cheat? Because he wanted me to know what it feels like since I am practically a prostitute!

He makes allegations saying that people are telling him stuff, but he won't say who they are, says that they are laughing at him because they are sleeping with his wife all the time. Not true! I don't know what to do. At least I am not the only one. I hope my kids never become like this. I have to work hard with them so they grow up knowing that they are valued and loved people and that if they feel that something is not right, there are better ways of dealing with things.


@anon272002: It honestly sounds like your husband has some sort of psychiatric issue, for this to come up so suddenly. I'm not a doctor, so I don't know what it might be, but honestly, it sounds like paranoid schizophrenia or something like that. Paranoia, for sure.

Can you get him to the doctor? If not, please call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233). It's a free call and they can help you get out safely.

Good luck.


I too am in a relationship like this. I have been married for four years and have a three year old son with my husband. Three months ago, out of the blue, he came home and said we had to talk. He said that he knew that our son was not his.

Daily since then he has not let me sleep, but has waking me up with outrageous accusations. He says he knows I had this guy in our closet (while my husband was in the room) and snuck him out in the middle of the night. This supposedly happened three years ago, but he is just now bringing it up! (it never happened.) He claims that I paid this guy's cell bill so we can talk. Oh, and he says he was standing there watching me write the check! (again, this never happened.)

He claims my family has told him that they have been trying to get me to tell him the truth. (They have no idea what he is talking about.) He says that no one is going to tell me the truth, that they only say it to him. He checks my phone, wants to know who I am talking to, where I am going, who is going to be there. Every day, he has a new bizarre scenario of how I have been unfaithful. I have never been unfaithful. I have no friends, talk to no one, go nowhere!

I used to be so independent, but now, ugh! I am biding my time to escape. I want to do it right because I want sole custody. He can visit but I fear for my son because he denies him all the time. The accusations get crazier every day. I try not to respond to him. I just tell him that I have never done anything and I love him and wish he would stop this nonsense. Like previous posts, one moment he is sweet next he is psycho. I am walking on eggshells and never know what his mood is. It's nice to vent.


Oh my gosh. This is my husband all the way. No matter what I do, I am being accused of cheating. He has been in and out of jail for dui's and I have taken the blame for one of the dui's and I have bailed him out and done everything for him throughout the whole thing.

I would pick up extra hours at work where I work with five married woman and all the staff are woman just to pay bills, but I am being accused of cheating on him with someone from work. I even tried to pick up an extra job at a restaurant but two weeks later, I had to quit because I was told by my husband that he doesn't even want to touch me when I get off work from there. I was just trying to make extra money to pay bills and attorney's fees.

I can't even talk to my best friend now because he accuses me of cheating on him when I go to her house. I miss her. She was always there for me and my kids (15 years). I guess my husband has always been this way since he was in high school and he is now 36 years old.

I love him to death and I want him to get help. He tells me he loves me and he would be nothing without me, but he does this. I know he has been cheated on in the past but so have I. But I don't use that against him so why does he do it to me?

I don't know what else to do and I want to save our marriage and I have tried to talk to him but it's hard to talk to someone who never stays sober.


This is so interesting because apparently, there are a lot more people dealing with this than I would have thought. I have dealt with this problem with my wife of 19 years, but only for the past four or five years. She always had a jealous streak, but it was more normal, not psychotic like it is now. Now I get accused of cheating in the most outlandish, crazy scenarios. At one point, I was wondering if maybe she had done something and was just projecting the blame onto me, but I've never had any reason to even be slightest bit suspicious of her cheating on me. Close friends say that she would be the last one they would ever suspect of that as well.

She accuses me of not going to work, being with prostitutes, cheating with neighbors – the list goes on and on. She says she has proof, people tell her stuff, she has pictures, everything under the sun, but it's all a bunch of nonsense. She also puts events and information together in absurdly illogical ways to come to these conclusions about my infidelity.

The worst thing is the way it comes and goes. For example, she may be fine for a couple of days and then out of the blue, with nothing to trigger suspicion, she will pull out phone bills from a year ago and start calling numbers she doesn't recognize to find out who I was talking to.

None of it makes sense and it has driven me just about totally nuts. I hate that she has this problem, and I promised to stick with her in sickness and in health, but I don't intend to put up with it any longer.


@anon187327: If this is a "mild" case of morbid jealousy, I'd hate to see a bad one.

Look: you know you're in a bad relationship. You know you're in a bad situation. Yes, you *can* leave. You just do it. Look up the domestic violence hotlines in the country where you are (if you're not in the US) and get help from there. And yes, this is domestic violence. He's calling you awful names, controlling what you do, etc. No, you do not have to be with him the remainder of your life. If you are, I guarantee your life expectancy will be short and miserable. Abusers start by controlling. Then they move on to the pushing, shoving, and eventually to full out physical violence. You will, in all likelihood, be dead or seriously injured by the time you're 35. And your children will grow up the same way. Do you see this guy as a father to children? They will eventually be abused too, and if not, will see your abuse.

The time to leave is *now.* Get help from your family. Don't be ashamed to ask. You don't deserve to be treated like this. This is not your fault, and you need to get some support around you. You also need to get counseling to help you understand why you would accept this kind of treatment from a boyfriend.

If necessary, change your cell phone number, delete all your social network profiles and change your e-mail addresses. Do not allow this guy to completely ruin your life, because he is going to. You can't change him, and he obviously doesn't want to change, so the time to get out is now, before you make that first trip to the emergency room because he's beat the crap out of you.

Am I trying to scare you? You're darn right I am. Domestic violence is scary. But you have the power to stop it right now by leaving. You can leave. You're an adult and you can make your own choices. Choose a happy, abuse-free life. Good luck.


I'm sure my boyfriend has got some sort of mild case of this, I'm only 18 and so is he. He is constantly paranoid of where I am and what I'm doing. If I'm at my friends house he flips out because he is convinced there are boys there when there aren’t, he makes situations up in his head then believes them. For instance, I will get a random text out of nowhere saying I'm cheating on him and that I've 'changed' towards him, none of which is true. He won't go to town or out in clubs with me because he can't bear the idea of me being looked at by others.

He is very verbally aggressive towards me constantly calling me a slut or a lying bleep. He doesn’t like me having friends. He is jealous of them. I'm not allowed to have any male friends of text any one male. he checks my phone, even bruises on my legs or arms he thinks I get from cheating on him! he checks my body for any 'marks' that might be there.

I know he is mentally not there. he is completely losing the plot. I can't leave him because he won't let me leave. I feel so trapped. All my friends and family hates him. he won't get help because he refuses to believe there is anything wrong with him. He says I have to be with him for the remainder of my life or he will die. It's so heavy and scary I don’t know what to do.


to Amy Post no. 8 - Thank you so much for the information. I wrote the # down and I will call them tomorrow when I get to work. It meant so much to receive your caring note. Keep praying, I need it! Melanie - Post no. 7


@anon156304, post no. 7: You do have someone to help you. Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233). It is toll-free and they will help you get out. They also have a website.

Please call. These people want to help and know how to help people just like you. You posted under "morbid jealousy," but it is domestic violence. Please, please, call these folks. They really can help. Good luck. You are in my prayers.


Shortly after I got married in May 2008, my husband became possessive. I have always worked in a construction company around other men and he knew that. After marrying, he became jealous of my male coworkers. I tried to tell him that I view males the same as women but he wouldn't listen. He views all other males like they're going to take me away from him.

My husband convinced himself that I was cheating with a co-worker, and he would park outside my work and stalk me every day. Things got so bad that he rushed the guy in my workplace. This was the most embarrassing thing I have ever dealt with. Nobody was doing anything wrong. I was forced to leave my good paying job just so the abuse might stop. I was forced to stay home for several months and video tape myself while he was at work. Finally, when I threatened to leave, he "allowed" me to go to work at a lower paying job.

The same thing happened again. He accused the guys of being in love with me. He started stalking again. My husband is a complete manipulator. It has spiraled so out of control that I can't go anywhere without him. I have no friends, I'm not allowed to leave his side. He is jealous of postmen, UPS guys, strangers in a grocery store, etc.

I have exhausted all efforts to try to prove my innocence. I have taken a lie detector test and passed it 98 percent. I never leave his side, but to no avail, he still "imagines" ways that I have cheated on him. We had gone to counseling and the counselor told me he is is suffering from delusional paranoia. Once my husband caught wind of that. he would never go back and he refuses to say he has a problem.

He obviously has a sickness and needs meds, but instead, I sit here the victim while he slanders my name to all his friends and I'm labeled a cheat. I had an excellent reputation prior to him. I lived a good clean life - for real - now because of him, I have ruined my professional reputation as well as being viewed as a cheater.

Very much like the same post above, this is a vicious cycle. My husband may go several days being kind, loving, doting, then wake up the next day in complete paranoia. He'll out of the blue say "you know - I noticed the way you looked at that guy the other day at the grocery store" my response will be "what the hell are you talking about?" Then he will state all the screwed up reasons as to why he comes up with the conclusion that I am unfaithful, why he is convinced that I am a slut and out to get him etc., etc.

This is the most hurtful, controlling situation I have ever dealt with and my instincts tell me to run, run before somebody gets hurt and God help me, I am going to leave. I have to. I just have to figure out how to get a car (because he has taken mine away) - and how to come up with the money to get a place) I have managed to save $200.00 so far. The only reason I'm on the computer now is because I snuck it into a back room. Due to his control I have nobody to turn to for help.


I'm pretty sure my wife is suffering from some sort of Morbid Jealousy (or delusional jealousy). We've been married for 13 years and have a four year old son. My wife checks my undies for moisture, scours phone records, credit card statements, emails, facebook, journal, etc. She thinks I'm seeing prostitutes, seeing women in the office, having sex with my male friends, engaging in a sex ring, sleeping with her friends, and pleasing myself in public places. None of which are true.

She has compiled a massive amount of "evidence" that feels very solid to her. What is sad in today's society is that when a wife accuses a husband of infidelity, people initially believe them. I feel so stuck. She has not been cheated on in the past. I'm seeing a counselor who is coaching me on how to live with someone who has this. This has helped a lot.

In the past, I've made the wrong decisions in how to approach this behavior. Nowadays, I don't try to battle the accusations. Instead, I just tell her that we have different views of reality (and I move on). She was out of control earlier, telling anyone who would listen. Some of my neighbors don't make eye contact with me anymore.

Honestly, I don't know how much more I can take. She won't leave me (seems to be a function of the disorder). We are rarely intimate. I am having a hard time loving someone who thinks of me this way.


I can appreciate what anon75062 is going through, since one of my fiancees, one former husband and now my current lover is that way, only he carries to the most extreme. I will need to twist his arm to go get professional help with his disorder, since it will eventually destroy all of the good feelings between us.

I suggest that all those with mates like this keep a personal log of all of the places they go to and who they see and talk to, and the dates and times they talk to others.

When the accusations of infidelity start, show their mate the log, and demand they show where, when and who the other man or woman is. Since the accusations are fiction, the real facts will be in the log, and hopefully the accuser will back down.

I would also insist that the paranoid mate be given an ultimatum for getting psychiatric evaluations, since it is destroying the quality of their life. Simply throwing up your hands and walking away is not the answer to this type of problem, since the ex will simply torment others who get with them later!

Those who are convinced or who suspect infidelity would be wise to hire someone to tail their mate, to see if their suspicions are true or not.


i have been married for 22 years and never ever suspected my wife to be unfaithful.


I totally have this and it has totally taken a toll on my second marriage because my first husband cheated on my so I am paranoid about it happening again. How do I get help for this?


My wife was cheated on by several of the men in her past relationships, so I agree with the previous poster that past infidelity damages future relationships.

She is diagnosed as Bipolar I and cycles about every week, about the same time every week for two or three days. I suffer a barrage of irrational accusations of infidelity.

I have tried everything to assure her that I am not cheating, but nothing works. She even suspects that I am seeing a mistress when I go to work.

I have showed her my workplace but she believes my co-workers, my paycheck, and the building I work in are just an elaborate deception. I spend most of my free time at home to try and put her fears to rest.

The few times I may go somewhere with a friend, relative, or our children without her, I get constant text messages and cell phone calls accusing me of being with another woman.

After the few days are past, she stops the accusations and returns to normal. Often she apologizes for her behavior but just as often she acts like nothing happened and brushes aside attempts to discuss it.

It's been going on for years but in the past few months, its become more intense. She has added accusations that I am plotting to murder her so I can marry somebody else.

She believes I am poisoning her food or drink or that assassins are coming to get her. Again, as irrational and bizarre as these things sound, they always fade in a few days.

In between episodes, we have a wonderful relationship, but they are starting to affect our young children. Our toddler is confused why his mother is getting so angry at me.

I don't know what to tell him.


Being a woman who was in a relationship for 5 years only to find he'd been cheating for over 2 years..I can totally relate to this article.

I bet the biggest cause of this is because they've had a partner that cheated, and are left with such a sense of disbelief, humiliation and pain so of course they never want to go through it again. So they (I did at least) are trying to make sure it isn't happening, that by being "extra vigilant" they will see the warning signs and can either fix it or bail out.

Unfortunately it's the subsequent relationships that suffer, the partner that is being scrutinized is dealing with "damage" left by the cheater.

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