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Run away from that jealous husband, it could save your life

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Pathological jealousy is more common in men, making women the most caged.

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The moment Juliana got married, her husband persuaded her to stop working. He jokingly said that she was too beautiful and men in the office would “disturb” her. Because of his insistence, Juliana resigned from her job.

She was expectant and tired at that time anyway and was barely coping with work.

Her husband thereafter developed a habit of shopping for her. He said she needed to rest at home and that there was no need for her to go to shop.

Progressively the man started checking her messages on the phone. He would sometimes call back anyone who had talked to Juliana during the day and if it was a man, there would be war in the house.

She was not allowed to call any man because her husband believed she had a “secret affair!”

Juliana used to take the child to the clinic on her own but this is no longer the case. Her husband insisted on accompanying her just in case the “secret lover” met her on the way.

What worried Juliana was that her husband had hired a security firm not just to keep security around the house but to also monitor her movements and arrest “her lover” whom the man believed came to the house when he was at work.

Further, her husband had stopped her from making her hair and nails and had confiscated some of her clothes because “they made her look too sexy and seductive.”

Now, the man is threatening Juliana with death. He has severally said that his sixth sense tells him that Juliana is sleeping around with a neighbor. He is threatening to kill her if he confirms the suspicion.

“I can’t figure out any reason why he is making this wild allegation,” Juliana said on phone. “What is scaring me most is that he is referring to some recent femicide cases that have been in the media and telling me that I will soon end up like those women.”

Juliana opted for a phone consultation because she would never be allowed to leave the house. She had also learned to delete phone records to keep her safe in case her husband checked her phone later.

Now in her early 30s, Juliana and her husband Andrew have been married for seven years. What started as a happy marriage marked by a grand wedding was turning out to be one hell of a life. Juliana had toyed with various options of getting off Andrew’s hook, including suicide.

“I decided to consult with you because I am about to make a decision,” she said. “I have to get out of this bondage.”

Following a thorough assessment, my conclusion was that Juliana had no secret lover and had no intention of being unfaithful.

I would have wanted to talk to Andrew and possibly do couple therapy but, of course, that would land Juliana in very serious trouble.

“Most likely he will say that you are my boyfriend,” Juliana said.

Whatever the case, I had to make a diagnosis, even if provisional, and find a way of rescuing Juliana.

I diagnosed that Andrew was suffering from pathological jealousy, also known as obsessional jealousy, or sexual jealousy.

This is a situation where a person has an intense but false feeling of being cheated on.

They have a deep feeling of being tricked and deceived. They see every move as aimed at tricking them and accumulate false evidence to prove their point.

They go all out to respond to this perceived threat accordingly, spending money and time to prove their case as well as “guard against further cheating”.

Pathological jealousy is more common in men, making women the most caged.

Women should be alert for this disease if the man in your life is always asking for your whereabouts, finding reason to believe that you were with another man, restricting you from talking to any man, confining you so that you do not meet any men, checking for uncalled for evidence of non-existent extramarital affairs, drawing false conclusions that you are being unfaithful, and fiercely developing strategies to control and monitor your movements.

In severe cases, the obsession may stop the man from doing his work and he may stop working to spend time monitoring the woman.

There have been many instances of femicide of late. No research has been done to find out what makes men kill the women they say they love. Pathological jealousy is one possible reason for the killings.

Resolving pathological jealousy on your own can be difficult. It is important to seek the intervention of a professional early. Should the man become violent or threaten to kill at any point, it is safer to disengage and stay away to keep safe.

This is unfortunate but necessary because the sick man will threaten and mete small acts of violence before finally terminating your life. If they are amenable to therapy then follow that route as a matter of urgency.