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delusional jealousy as projection of one's own desires

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delusional jealousy as projection of one's own desires

Postby wifeofDDJ » Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:59 pm

To anyone living with a spouse suffering from delusional jealousy:

As is clear from this forum, delusional disorder takes many forms, all devastating for the sufferer and the ones who love them. Among them is delusional disorder jealousy sub-type, or DDJ for short, where the sufferer becomes convinced that their spouse or significant other is cheating on them.

For many of us who have lived with a DDJ sufferer, the realization that they might be suffering from a mental illness is paralyzing - you feel that your first duty is to help them realize their delusion and seek treatment. At times, this sense of duty takes precedence over your own welfare and that of your children. You suffer the insults and mental violence in silence, because you know that the DDJ is not well and you feel obligated to hang in there to "help".

I would like to propose an alternative view - in some cases of DDJ (and I emphasize SOME, I realize that this may not apply to all), the "delusion" is really a projection of the DDJ's own desires for affairs outside of the marriage. Case in point: after accusing me of the worse lying and cheating, my husband is now having affairs with three different (unsuspecting) women at the same time.

From day one, my therapist suggested this as a possibility. At the time, I refused to believe that my wonderful husband would do such things. I just thought he was having some kind of mental breakdown, and that I just had to grin and bear it, and avoid any behavior that would cause him distress. In retrospect, I wished I had not been so naive, I would have avoided my kids and myself a lot of hardship.

A simple word of advice to all DDJ spouses out there: no-one has a right to disrespect you, whether or not they suffer from a mental illness. Do not tolerate the name calling, yelling and insults just because you suspect DDJ - there may be a lot more going on than you think.
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Re: delusional jealousy as projection of one's own desires

Postby Chucky » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:13 pm

I think that what you're saying has a lot of truth in it, wifeofDDJ, and one can easily get side-tracked into thinking that the partner has a mental illness when such a situation arises. You are very much correct though, and I can see how a person would resort to such accusations of cheating when it is they themselves who are cheating (or have desires to).

Thanks for the message,
Kevin
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Re: delusional jealousy as projection of one's own desires

Postby virginia star » Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:45 am

To make excuses by having DD for some of the things people do is not uncommon. It is a world more complicated than we think it is.
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Re: delusional jealousy as projection of one's own desires

Postby virginia star » Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:51 am

wifeofDDJ wrote: you feel that your first duty is to help them realize their delusion and seek treatment. At times, this sense of duty takes precedence over your own welfare and that of your children. You suffer the insults and mental violence in silence, because you know that the DDJ is not well and you feel obligated to hang in there to "help".

Perhaps your sense of obligation over the years did hurt his feelings and push him away more than you liked.
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Re: delusional jealousy as projection of one's own desires

Postby GINSANTX » Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:23 pm

Dear DDJ wife--your suggestion that your husband's DDJ is a projection of HIS desires is interesting... my husband was diagnosed DDJ after 6 yrs of marriage (2nd marriage for both)... when his DDJ symptoms first surfaced, I think he knew he had a problem and he willingly attended counseling; we were able to maintain somewhat of a "status quo" in our relationship. Our LPC said his DDJ would likely worsen with age (he is now 64) and to expect more "transferral of guilt" issues as he continued to believe & insist that I was acting inappropriately or not to be trusted. His accusations related to ME having affairs subsided somewhat although I later did learn that he had had "transgressions"--as our family's med.insurance provider thru my employer, when I received a bill from a pathology lab for his being tested for AIDS, Chlamydia, Hepatitis, etc. (STDs), he admitted his infidelity (ies?) but refused to continue to address it in counseling or with me, even after I engaged services of a sex therapist. He refused to go together. I should have realied it was over at that point.
I later found several large tabs for a bar in Mexico on his AmEx (when I thought he was out of town "working"!) His paranoid tendencies increased often involving family members he worked with in his business and his accusations toward me changed to issues related to finances. He insisted, without any proof, that I had transferred large sums of money to MY children (in fact, I later discovered HE had done this). Needless to say, although our marriage was not healthy, I remained committed to him and my marriage vow but, without his ever even saying the word "divorce" to me, his "surprise attack" divorce petition forced me to incur almost $70,000 in legal fees and took over a year and a half of untold stress on me and my family.
Bottom line-- TAKE WHATEVER ACTIONS NECESSARY TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR CHILDREN!! Your DDJ spouse IS sick, but, regardless of whether they are related to his delusions or just selfish gratifications, he may also initiate harmful actions against you if you are not careful. Document as much as you can (phone & financial records, etc) and, if you haven't already, retain the best attorney you can afford (an unfortunate necessity) and open your own accounts- banking and credit card. Protect your children, first, by informing other family members of his illness & actions, then safeguard any savings or valuables you have. AFTER you've done all this, inform him.
The road ahead will be extremely difficult, especially when you have truly loved your spouse and given so much of yourself to try to help him. Remember--the ONLY person you can control or change is YOURSELF.
Good luck.
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Re: delusional jealousy as projection of one's own desires

Postby wifeofDDJ » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:15 am

I agree with your advice GINSANTX.

One mistake that is easy to make when dealing with a DDJ spouse is thinking that his/her delusion is caused by your own behavior. You walk on egg shells to avoid another confrontation. But, if in fact the delusion is caused by the DDJ's own repressed desires, there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop the delusional thoughts from coming back.....

The only thing you can do is protect yourself and your children.
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Re: delusional jealousy as projection of one's own desires

Postby MovingOn » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:16 am

I never gave this subject too much thought til these days. This has been on my mind as I am going through a ugly divorce from a DDJ. I heard from a friend that had seen him out with a woman in a mall with my baby in tow. I'm sure she's been around for a while now. If these are repressions of desires he had some really sick desires that he accused me of. It has been hell.
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Re: delusional jealousy as projection of one's own desires

Postby adkinsclvry » Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:00 am

My wife is the same way but I do not think she is pursuing relationships out side of us, she is just sick!! she has been diagnosed as schizophrenic, but her delusions are always me cheating she actually thinks she has seen me cheat and will tell me what happened and how it happened, even though it is really impossible one was I had sex with all are brides maids on our wedding day ok even her 12 year old sister that is ridiculous, but as long as she takes her meds she is fine a wonderful and faithful wife great to be around but when she goes through a episode she is mean and cruel and says very hurtful things tells me she does not love me and when sick she will pursue other relationships because she thinks we are divorced and am sleeping with all these girls. I guess the point is she needs help and she gets it when she is stable she is fine I love her she is very opposed to cheating but when they are out of their mind they will do crazy things. I am here for better or worse and all and all you lady’s might be the only one that really knows your husbands or wives, they must get help and you never know inside there skin suit he might awaken from that bad dream he has been in that is what my wife describes it as a bad dream she cant wake up from and does not know what the truth is its just like a dream you wake up and say what in the world ---that was the craziest dream but when you are dreaming it makes perfect since I hope this helps a little. The truth is he is sick--- you are not--- you have to get him help I take my wife in and tell her she needs to see a doctor no acceptations and yes it is hell some times but when she is well it is wonderful that I have her back
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Re: delusional jealousy as projection of one's own desires

Postby leavingthedarkness » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:54 am

Dear adkinsclvry,

I think you have it right on the money. As many of us had said before, the way our DDJ spouse or love one behaved since he/she became ill, was as if they had dual personalities. My ex switched between loving me almost obssesively, to cruel, mean and punishing.

I now know that it was not healthy at all, for me to "endure" through his Mr. Hyde stage, for the love of his Dr. Jekyll stage. I believe this is exactly how mental abusement is like -- One lives through the harshness for the glimpse of kindness. Though it might not be my ex's "full" intention (at least not the Dr. Jekyll part of him) to abuse me, I know that it was entirely intentional when he was in his Mr. Hyde personality, to punish me. When he was Mr. Hyde, he was manic and at great rage, there was no amount of punishment (to me) in the world that would justify his suffering (from his delusions)

I did try to take care of him, to love him unconditionally. However, I now admit that I was not psychologically strong enough to be able to keep my head clear, and not to get confused and caught up by actions from his Mr. Hyde personality. In fact, in the process of taking care of him, I had lost myself. I had given in too much, that both his Mr. Hyde and Dr Jekyll personalities, and I eventually lost respects for me.

As my ex husband's DDJ progressed, he became more and more consumed by Mr. Hyde. After he filed for divorce, which was his "ultimate" punishment to me, there was nothing I could do to help him anymore -- Mr. Hyde took that legal position away from me. DDJ is not only cruel to us spouses and love ones, but it is probably one of the cruelest illness that could happen to a person. It is so self-destructive and so forcefully robs all possibilities of happiness from the sufferer. I so feel like being in a nightmare and it is very very sad if he ever feels like being in a nightmare too. We were once best friends and soul mates.

I had suspected what WifeofDDJ speculated that maybe my ex-husbnad's own desires was the underlying trigger for his DDJ. However, I have come so far, it does not seem to matter anymore.

What matters are, we once had a beautiful life and family together, that was real; and now we are divorced and apart. this is real, too.
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Re: delusional jealousy as projection of one's own desires

Postby wifeofDDJ » Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:54 pm

I agree that after your family has been destroyed by DDJ, what is at the root of the disease may seem no longer relevant.

But for me, realizing that my husband is battling his OWN demons, brought on by his own psyche, and not triggered by any behavior of mine, was a huge realization, which in the end allowed me to get out of what became an abusive relationship.

When the DDJ first started, I believed that I caused the jealousy - that's what he said over and over again, and I wanted to do anything I could to regain his trust and keep our family together. As a result, I excused a lot of abuse and tried to please him. In retrospect, I think that was wrong and, if anything, encouraged him to continue - I was feeling guilty and that is exactly what he wanted - me to feel guilty so that he did not have to.

Whatever the cause of DDJ, it is important to realize that as a spouse, you are not the cause of this illness. Apart from repeating over and over that they need to get help, there is nothing you can do to stop the disease. And that means that you should never tolerate abuse.
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