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The King's Lynn woman who thinks her husband is cheating when he goes to the supermarket

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A woman diagnosed with Othello Syndrome has spoken about how the condition is "ruining her life".

According to the DSM pathological jealousy, also known as morbid jealousy, Othello syndrome or delusional jealousy, is a psychological disorder in which a person is preoccupied with the thought that their spouse or sexual partner is being unfaithful without having any real proof, along with socially unacceptable or abnormal behaviour.

Sarah James*,36, from Lynn, has been married for a decade to her husband Paul* and works for an IT firm in Cambridge.

Young blonde woman meditating in the park. (32778671)
Young blonde woman meditating in the park. (32778671)

She is attractive, blonde and athletic but that doesn't stop her feeling like her husband is cheating on her.

She said: "I've always been jealous and it's ruined most of my relationships.

"I'm surprised Paul hasn't left me yet after what I've put him through."

She was diagnosed with Othello syndrome last year after locking her husband in the house when he wanted to go to the gym.

He "begged" her to get help following the incident and was formally diagnosed and put on a combination of medication.

The IT specialist said: "No matter the woman- young, old, fat, thin - I feel he fancies them more than me. If he leaves the house I think he's meeting other women, I have asked to look at his phone and computer on a regular basis to check for evidence of affairs.

"I've even considered getting a lie detector test after he's been to Tesco."

Mrs James has been reading several books for those suffering from morbid jealousy and is taking steps to make herself better.

Her husband has vowed to stand by her, he said: "It's been hard, but Sarah is such a wonderful person I think it's worth it. I begged her to get help. I just want her but she won't believe me."

She said: "It's been ruining my life, I've been like this since my teenage years.

"I've always felt ugly and bullying at school made it worse.

"When I finally got a boyfriend I would dread him talking to another girl, I would avoid social events with women and scan the shops for pretty females when we went in.

"I've even stopped my now husband meeting some of my friends because they are too attractive, I'm sure he will fall for them if he meets them.

"I know it's not normal and I feel controlling when I ask to see his phone. Logically, he hasn't given me any reason to think he's cheating."

The hotter weather is a particular trigger for Mrs James, who see's "threats" everywhere.

She said: "Women are dressed in crop tops and booty shorts, it's a nightmare out there for me. I see them as threats."

Christian,27, an actor who grew up near Stoke Ferry hasn't been diagnosed with a jealousy disorder but he knows what it's like to be plagued by invasive images and thoughts.

Christian, 27 an actor from near Stoke Ferry has had jealousy issues.
Christian, 27 an actor from near Stoke Ferry has had jealousy issues.

Fresh out of a relationship, he is now trying to work on himself and eliminate his jealousy issues.

Similar to Sarah, he has also struggled with his looks.

Christian, 27 an actor from near Stoke Ferry has had jealousy issues.
Christian, 27 an actor from near Stoke Ferry has had jealousy issues.

He said: "I often don't like the way I look and that has stemmed from being cheated on in the past.

"Since my first girlfriend cheated on me I can't help but apply irrational thought to normal situations. A girlfriend going to the club can make me think that she's seeing other men, I can see the images very clearly in my mind of both of them in the club and intimate things happening. It will make me act in a way that I'm not proud of and I can't help it sometimes.

"I wish I didn’t feel like this, I’m aware that if I mention this to prospective partners it will taint the relationship in a certain way and my partner will avoid certain topics.

"I don’t want anyone walking on eggshells."

Christian credits acting training with helping him overcome his issues, saying: "My training has put me more in touch with my emotions, it's been a rough road but I want to be the best version of myself. Its taken a lot of self acceptance.

"The chase for perfection has always played a part in how I feel, but I want to put out there our flaws are what makes us beautiful."

This story came to use through our Women's Voices page.

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