How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TherapistMarryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
TherapistMarryAnn is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have been seeing my girlfriend for 18 months, over that

This answer was rated:

Hello Doctor, I have been seeing my girlfriend for 18 months, over that time we had a wonderful relationship with the exception of blips where my girlfriend would falsely accuse me of things, such as staring at women on tv, newspapers,supermarkets, on the street while driving, she would accuse me of walking slowly so that women could catch up with us, etc, etc. I wasn't and have never given her reason to think this, my previous relationship was 18 years and ended well. My girlfriend has banned newspapers (I read the Mail and internet and tv are with her supervision. She has also obsessed with my soon to be ex wife and whether i will get back with her, even though she has worked overseas since we split, I bought her out of the house and started divorce proceedings. My girlfriend however was in an abusive relationship some years ago, then she had a bad experiance on a plane that has affected her so that she has panic attacks on transport and crowds. She is currently on anti depressents and has had CBT for the panic attacks. I kept believing that she could change but she is getting worse. Is there anything that can be done to help her?

Are you asking about help with the panic attacks or with the jealousy/insecurity/controlling behavior?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The jealousy/insecurity/controlling behavior please.

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.
It sounds like your girlfriend is not only insecure but that she has become so afraid of how she feels she is now trying to control your every move. Banning newspapers and accusing you of staring at women when you are not has gone beyond a fact based fear to imagination and severe insecurity.
At this point, your girlfriend seems to have no insight into the fact that she is creating this situation and that it is not based on anything you have done or intend to do. Her own fears have taken over her logic and she is unable to see what she is doing. Therefore, it may be a good start to talk to her about how difficult life has become over her fears. Try to use "I" statements when you talk with her and do your best to keep your comments neutral. For example, you can say "I feel under a lot of pressure to prove I am not cheating on you" or "Life has become hard for me because of all the restrictions". That allows her to explain herself and gives you a chance to introduce the fact that her behavior has began to affect your relationship in a bad way.
You can also encourage her to seek her with her problem. She needs to address her low self esteem and fears of infidelity, especially if they are caused by a past relationship. To address her situation, she may want to start learning more about her feelings of insecurity and how she can address them so she can see this situation more clearly. Therapy is a great way to address how she feels and get to the root of it. To find a therapist, she can talk to her doctor about a referral. Or search on line at
She can also address her issues through self help. Here are some resources to help:
Relationship Saboteurs: Overcoming the Ten Behaviors that Undermine Love by Randi Gunther
The Courage to Trust: A Guide to Building Deep and Lasting Relationships by Cynthia Lynn Wall LCSW and Sue Patton Thoele
I hope this has helped you,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you,

My concern is that as she has already undergone CBT for the panic attacks, where she had gone from gone beyond a fact based fear to imagination i.e. she took shoes out of her luggage to stop our ferry to France from sinking. That has only partly worked as she still can't get on a train or a plane, so is a self help book going to work. Sould it be straight to a therapist?


Hi Dave,
If she has had CBT for panic attacks that is great because it may mean she is willing to look at this issue needing therapy as well. But getting treatment for panic attacks is different from getting treatment for insecurity and jealousy. It's like saying if the doctor treats your arm for a sprain it would help a break. It's a different issue. The key is that if she is willing to seek help, that is a good sign. She has to be self motivated in order to get better. Self help will help her in that case. But if she is not willing to seek help or won't consider this as an issue, then no one can help her.
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you