Is my husband trying to kill me?
January 17, 2009 7:31 PM   Subscribe

Is my husband trying to kill me?

I know I'm being totally paranoid and insecure and yet here I sit writing this. Please help bring me back to reality. I apologize for the length.

A quick history (since I think it's relevant to why I feel like I do): My husband and I have been married less than a year. We had a whirlwind romance and he proposed to me after 3 months of dating and we were married shortly after that. My husband is quite frankly just an awesome guy. He is brilliant, nice, incredibly good looking, has tons of friends, and is the poster child of his family. Quite frankly everybody loves him and he is just one of those guys that has it all. Now me, I am just very very average - especially in the looks and body department. I have never had many close friends (but it never bothered me). I am an only child and lost both parents in auto accident (drunk driver) and so do not have much of a family. From the beginning I have never quite understood what my husband saw in me (I've seen some of his previous girlfriends and they all looked like super models) but was always so happy that he did.

Shortly after we got married my husband discussed getting large life insurance policies on both of us. He said that they'd be cheapest to get now while we are young and that way we'd both know that our children would always be well cared for. I agreed and we obtained the policies. We are holding off on children so far because my husband wants to wait a little longer and enjoy our time just with each other.

About two months after we were married we went sailing for a week in a tropical climate(I'm trying to leave some details out because I worry someone who knows us may read this). I've never sailed before but my husband has quite a bit. Anyway, on the fourth day it was quite windy and I was helping my husband rig everything. I was bringing in a line of the side of the boat facing the water when the sail boom (and it was quite a large one) came violently across the boat and smacked me just below my neck throwing me overboard. I was a little dazed, it was quite wavy and for a few moments as I struggled in the water to get my head up I actually thought I was going to die. It seemed like it took for ever for my husband to get turned around and come back to get me. But he did and saved me. At the time was so grateful to my husband for saving me and he felt so bad and kept apologizing profuselfy. He said there had been a sudden gust of wind that caused the accidental jibe. I had some bruises but was overall in good shape and did my best to enjoy the rest of our Island hopping.

About two months after that trip we went on a camping/hiking trip to another country. It was quite beautiful but the trails we hiked were very rugged, narrow and often right next to sheer cliffs. The terrain was absolutely gorgeous. Consistently throughout the hike my husband cajoled and teasted me to come to the edge of this cliff or that cliff and look how beautiful it was. But I'm terrifed of heights and was never able to. We had a great time and it was one of the most memorable trips I've ever had.

About a month ago I could have potentially died from carbon monoxide poising. My husband usually leaves for work before I do. We live in a small single level home and the master bedroom is very close to the attached garage. This particular morning he pulled his car out of the garage to warm it up. As he was getting ready to leave he grabbed some cash from my purse as he went out the front door and must have hit the autostart on my keychain which started my car. The door to the garage from the house was open (which was not uncommon since if it didn't latch all the way it opens). About a half hour after he left I had just gotten out of the shower and thought I smelled exhaust. I went to the garage door and to my horror saw the car running. I immediately called my husband and he told me to open all the windows, go sit right at one of the
windows and he'd be right home (he was very comforting and always seems to handle problems so well). He came home and we figured out what must have happened. I felt ok so we didn't go to the hospital.

Lately I just cannot quit wondering whether my husband is trying to kill me. He shows me so much love in everyway but I keep wondering nonetheless and feel quite guilty about it. I've been replaying (and amplifying) these three events in my head and my thoughts have become a little paranoid concerning them. Concerning the sailing accident, I keep questioning why I didn't hear a warning that the mast was coming and why he didn't have us wearing life jackets is such bad weather, and why he didn't throw a life preserver to me immediately (I've been reading online that there is a specific procedure to be followed for man overboard). I also now remember that as I sat there screaming it seemed like my husband never looked back. And finally I remember that after I was back on board I could see another boat in the distance that I hadn't seen before I fell off. I keep wondering if perhaps he was going to leave me but then saw the other boat and turned around. I'm certain I'm amplyfing all of this in my head but I cannot seem to quit thinking about it.

Concerning the hiking I've been wondering why he kept trying over and over again to get me to the edge of the cliff. In fact I keep wondering if he was planning to push me off. Never once was someone around when he asked me to the edge and each time it seemed like it was in the very most dangerous place. I told him over and over that I would never go to the edge but he persisted.

Concerning the car incident, I keep wondering how he didn't hear the car start as he left. I also keep wondering why throughout the last month he was always forgetting to shut the door all the way. I never have troube shutting it. Was he just doing it so it wouldn't look suspicious when it was open if he tried to gas me? And why did he need cash from my purse? He always kept a large amount of cash on him and replenished if it got at all low. Why did he let his cash get so low? And how did he inadvertently hit the button? It's actually recessed a little and I have to firmly press it. And why did we get the autostart? I never use it and neither does he. We did get it on both cars but was this just more for show?

Finally, I keep wondering why he fell in love with me. He could have anyone. Was it because I have no family and no one to miss me?

After I started thinking more and more about this I decided to suggest we drop the life insurance policies to save money until we had kids. But he felt it was a bad idea since we'd be having kids soon and would have to go through everything again and probably pay more. I suggested that maybe we should just reduce the amount since I'd never need that much money but he said he wants to make sure I'm taken care of. Finally I said let's have kids now. But he still wants to wait and just enjoy our time together. In these talks he was always very nice and loving and just explained his thoughts. After each one I felt better but then the thoughts creep back.

I thought a little about creating a document and giving it to the lawyer with my will outlinging my fears so if I had an accidental death it would be investigated. But then I thought about the pain it would bring my husband if I was wrong (which I'm certain I probably am) to know that I had been thinking this. I decided that even if there was a 1% chance I was wrong it wouldn't be worth the pain I'd cause. I also thought about seeing a therapist, but quite frankly other than this I really don't have any major problems and so I wondered what I'd tell my husband I was seeing the therapist about (and quite frankly I don't want to lie to him).

And so, that is where I'm at. My husband is loving, thoughtful, and wonderful to be around and yet I keep wondering if he is trying to kill me. Please help me stop.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (149 answers total) 128 users marked this as a favorite
 
Of the three situations you mentioned... he could have easily not turned around to get you after you went overboard, the cliff thing is not him trying to kill you, and the car thing wouldn't have killed you anyway.

If he is, he sucks at it. A lot. I think your real question is your very last sentence.
posted by odinsdream at 7:44 PM on January 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Oh my god. Please see a therapist. Monday morning, if possible.
posted by chiababe at 7:46 PM on January 17, 2009 [24 favorites]


No.

I could be wrong of course, but I don't see anything here that is very definitive along the lines of "he's trying to kill me". There are easier ways to do so, and in any case he could have simply overpowered you in these scenarios, for example just tossing you over.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 7:48 PM on January 17, 2009


I'm sorry you're feeling this way. No, your husband is not trying to kill you. Based on the background of your question, I believe you should seek professional help as soon as you can.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 7:48 PM on January 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Therapist. Right now.

No-one that conniving (as you imply he may be) could be that incompetent at killing you. You have issues. Get a professional to deal with them.
posted by Brockles at 7:49 PM on January 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Finally, I keep wondering why he fell in love with me. He could have anyone. Was it because I have no family and no one to miss me?

Bolded and italicized. Honey, no one but no one deserves to feel this way. I suspect this is the crux of your issue.
posted by mynameisluka at 7:49 PM on January 17, 2009 [20 favorites]


I also thought about seeing a therapist, but quite frankly other than this I really don't have any major problems and so I wondered what I'd tell my husband I was seeing the therapist about (and quite frankly I don't want to lie to him).

Please, see a therapist. During your first appointment you can discuss with him or her what you should tell your husband. Or if you should tell him at all. This really, really needs to be worked on with a professional disinterested third party.
posted by mlis at 7:49 PM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


If he truly was trying to kill you, he wouldn't have saved you when you fell overboard - it would have been a good time because presumably no one else was around, and, since you have never sailed before, it would be easy to say that you made a mistake and that he couldn't get to you in time.

But he did save you, so, I really don't think he's trying to kill you.

I sometimes have troublesome thoughts, too, and I would recommend that you talk to a close friend about it. They will probably help you realize that you are overthinking this and will probably help you move past it better than any of us random internet people.

Good luck.
posted by firei at 7:51 PM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, i find it hard to believe I've just read that question. Reads like a Hitchcock script made real. I hope it isn't. Your fears seem palpable, at any rate. I would as a first step, asap, just cancel the life insurance on yourself. Tell your husband you've done it. Tell him you are young, fit etc and it seems like bad juju, a bad omen, none of your friends have it, you'd rather use the contribution money somehow else - whatever reason you like. If he indeed loves you, as he would appear to do, and if he's not trying to kill you, he'll suck it up. If you really persist in your fears, you should talk to someone about them.
posted by londongeezer at 7:52 PM on January 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


Do go see a therapist. Just tell your husband it is about anxiety - people suffer from general anxiety all the time. You just have a very specific kind of anxiety. And you'll be able to work out with your therapist how you should talk to him about it, if you decide it is healthy to do so.
posted by bristolcat at 7:54 PM on January 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


If your husband was trying to kill you, couldn't he have just not rescued you when you went overboard?

Also, is it possible to kill someone via carbon monoxide poisoning by just running a car in a garage with a door open to the inside of the house? I suspect it wouldn't generate enough carbon monoxide to fill the entire home and kill you, I think it might just make you ill or dizzy.

My guess is he's not trying to kill you.
posted by Modus Pwnens at 7:57 PM on January 17, 2009


Anonymous, you are not irrational, and I am not telling you that you are being silly, but I am telling you to talk to a therapist. You can't judge this situation objectively anymore.

Do you hear Bill Kurtis telling this story in your head? Because I heard that when you told it. You've fixed this into a particular narrative, and you can't view it from another perspective. This happens to everyone about some situation or another. You need the judgment of another person. Have people done this kind of thing to their spouses? Yes, a few have. Is your husband doing it? Very, very unlikely. But you can't judge it objectively anymore. And you're in danger now -- either of being killed, or of driving yourself into a breakdown with this fixation. The latter danger is very bad indeed and should be taken just as seriously, even though I think it is the more likely one by a great measure.

Best of luck to you.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:00 PM on January 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


I really hate to say this, because I agree with everyone else mostly: Go see a therapist.

However, I can almost as easily see it as him trying to kill her. Maybe he saved her from the water because he didn't want her to *ever* know that he was killing her? Maybe he wanted her to die from what she thought was an accident, so she'd never feel any distrust toward him at all--even in her last three seconds on earth.

Then again, this seems really irrational from someone who would be having such thoughts.

So, again, I'd just say, see a therapist.
posted by Precision at 8:05 PM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


If your husband agreed to lower or cancel your life insurance policy, would you feel more at ease? Or would you still have a suspicion that you are in danger?

Something is triggering your worries. It may be insecurity or intuition, but only an objective third party -- preferably a trained therapist -- can help you determine what is real.

Sometimes we project our own unacceptable feelings onto others; other times we may sense underlying mild hostilities within them, but exaggerate their ferocity. And of course, in certain cases we intuit something very badly amiss, but can't give hard evidence to prove its existence.

You are not betraying your husband by seeking counseling. You are reaching out for help, to be listened to and guided. If anything, with a therapist's assistance, your relationship will improve. And you'll have a new person in your life who cares about your well-being.
posted by terranova at 8:05 PM on January 17, 2009


I keep wondering if perhaps he was going to leave me but then saw the other boat and turned around. I'm certain I'm amplyfing all of this in my head but I cannot seem to quit thinking about it.

Concerning the hiking I've been wondering why he kept trying over and over again to get me to the edge of the cliff. In fact I keep wondering if he was planning to push me off. Never once was someone around when he asked me to the edge and each time it seemed like it was in the very most dangerous place. I told him over and over that I would never go to the edge but he persisted.


It kind of seems like you feel like you don't deserve a wonderful husband, so you have constructed some sort of ulterior motive on his part, in this case, that he's trying to kill you. Obviously I do not have perfect information, but my feeling is that the reasons you give for him aborting his alleged attempts are not very good: Other boat or not, if you go out sailing with your husband and then you disappear and have a large life insurance policy, well ... the cops are going to look at him anyway. Ditto for someone 'falling off a cliff'.
posted by Comrade_robot at 8:08 PM on January 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yow. I don't think random internet folks can help you much. I'd say: see a therapist. You don't need to tell your husband everything you're talking about with a therapist. Tell him you're seeing the therapist about feelings of insecurity, say. Because as I see it there are two obvious possibilities: (A) your husband's trying to kill you for the insurance, or (B) you feel insecure, you don't feel like you're good enough for him, and this theory is a way to reconcile that with the fact he apparently loves you. I think (B) is more likely, because, well, insecure people are much more common in the world than murderers.

(Also, he'd have to be being really cold-blooded about it all. Does he seem like a sociopath? How does he treat his friends and siblings? His coworkers?)

Maybe you could find someone else to assign the life insurance benefit to until you do have kids.
posted by hattifattener at 8:13 PM on January 17, 2009


Guys, it's easy to read this question and dismiss it as paranoia, but the poster is clearly thinking rationally. It's difficult to know whether she's being unjustly paranoid or not. She needs someone very smart to help her think this through, and advocate for her.

I'd suggest finding a very good, very smart therapist -- yourself -- and present the evidence dispassionately. Include the part about the other boat being visible along with the first chunk of that particular story (otherwise it's likely to be overlooked). I think you left that for last because it's the most troubling to you, and I can see why.

It's very unlikely that your husband is trying to kill you. But whether he is or not, you need to deal with your worries, and not in a casual way.
posted by amtho at 8:20 PM on January 17, 2009 [13 favorites]


Oh, wow. I have to jump into the pile-on and say see a therapist immediately. Regardless of whether he's actively sociopathic, you need to get some better self-esteem and regard for yourself. OF COURSE you deserve a husband that awesome on the surface, and hopefully one who's not trying to kill you too.

That said, the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up when I read this. I agree with everyone who encouraged you to do what you can to reassure yourself. Cancel the life insurance policy on yourself and if he has a problem with this, bring it up to the therapist. He or she can help a lot.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 8:20 PM on January 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I doubt he's trying to kill you, although I guess it does happen, so who knows. I'm not going to say 100% for sure he's not, because none of us on the internet can KNOW that. But from you story, a couple of things pop out at me that you might want to think about.

The hiking thing seems more like your thoughts than his actions. But the other two events were real near-death accidents for you. When someone almost kills you, you want them to be really freaked out and sorry. Maybe he didn't communicate that well? I don't think it's wrong to bring those situations up again, ask him how he felt about them, and ask him to reassure you how seriously he took those situations and how he would do whatever he need to do to protect and save you.

It seems like you feel like there's a hidden part of his personality that you don't understand. I'm sure low-self-esteem (the whole "I'm not pretty" thing) is real, but I do think there could be something lacking in what he's bringing to the table as well, something real that is making you nervous and upset.

Like I said, I don't think he's trying to kill you. But obv you have relationship issues. I think a COUPLES counseling session is in order, not individual therapy for you.

Call the insurance agent ASAP and cancel your part of the policy. Don't discuss it with your spouse, just DO IT. I feel certain you'll breathe a sigh of relief. Then, tell your husband you'll get a policy when you have kids, and you'll name the kids as your beneficiaries. Tell him it just creeps you out, as it does, to have a price on your head.

Good luck. I don't think it's all in your mind, I think you have a serious problem to deal with. I really think you should tell a friend IRL about this. It's too much to hold in on your own, especially since you're having trust issues with him.
posted by tk at 8:21 PM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I decided that even if there was a 1% chance I was wrong it wouldn't be worth the pain I'd cause.

There is far more than a 1% chance you're wrong.

Please see a therapist. And get the door to your garage fixed.
posted by Remy at 8:22 PM on January 17, 2009


Echoing everyone else. None of the scenarious you outlined sound like murder plots in the least. (By your measure, my family has apparently been trying to kill each other for 40 years now).

The real problem here seems to be your lack of self-esteem (doubled by your putting your husband (socially) on some kind of pedastal.)

He doesnt need to be on a pedestal, he needs you to be yourself with him. Quite honestly you should work on those self-image/idealization issues for the sake of your marraige (and the future happiness of the kids). For the sake of your present and future family. Clearly you have issues with having lost your past family and etc. Like everyone else here I too would say: therapist and hard work now, for the sake of yourself and your family.
posted by jak68 at 8:22 PM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have read your question 4 times now and for what it is worth I think it is possible that he is trying to kill you. How probably I dont know. You mention a number of small details like his wanting to save money by getting the life insurance early (which sounds bogus as you end up paying them for more years than if you start later) and to provide for your kids which he does not yet want. Not throwing you a life preserver immediatley, being slow to turn around, persisting in calling you to the edge of the clifff when alone and the conincidences of the autostart/recessed button/open door/and empty wallet. These add up, to what I dont know.

The loving caring behaviour could be discounted as his covering his tracks and not arousing suspicion. He may want you dead but may be paranoid about being seen - as in the second boat being near, bruising you in a struggle to throw you over the cliff which may show up in an autopsy.

What is complicating the matter is that that you may have self-esteem issues. It makes your question appear as a simple equation which is solved as follows:
Low self-esteem and personal issues = paranoia about husband.

However you may not have these issues and may have not need of a therapist. You could be correct.

Perhaps though the situation is not 100% black and white. Maybe he is tring to kill you but half-heartedly. That may sound like a joke but there are degrees of everything. I know I am probably going to get called out for this response but things like this happens. And when it does people are shocked and amazed.

All I am saying is it is possible. From my vantage point I dont know how possible/probable. What use/damage my opinion may have I dont know I am just giving an honest considered opinion. In any case I feel for you going through this it must be terrifying. Perhaps you should confide in someone you trust, who will not judge and with whom you can properly thrash things out. Maybe that person is a therapist. I dont know.
posted by therubettes at 8:25 PM on January 17, 2009 [25 favorites]


I have met people just like your husband, as you have described him of course (not how he really might or might not be). They have no ulterior motives per se, but they are not always so good at estimating the danger of their actions with regard to others. Your husband may be a great sailor, but anyone who lets someone on their boat, not to mention a total novice, without a life jacket, is not that responsible. Can you trust him not to kill you? Yes. Can you trust him not to accidentally put you in harm'ss way with a certain recklessness that he is perfectly competent to deal with but may be harmful to an average person like you? That's another story. So, while I wholeheartedly agree with everyone saying you need to speak to a therapist about this for lots of very good reasons, I also want to inject into the conversation the possibility that your husband may love you very, very much and want to include you in his life, but not always be the best judge of what you're capable of or comfortable with. This is not him wanting you dead as much as you wanting to live like him when you are clearly not capable or willing to do so. Remember that if he wants to take you cliff diving in Mexico.
posted by mrmojoflying at 8:25 PM on January 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


see a therapist...and call the police...... one of the two will help...
posted by HuronBob at 8:26 PM on January 17, 2009


I believe this is called paranoid schizophrenia but might just be passive aggression. I'm not sure whether the poster is a troll or not. If the poster is not a troll, it seems like a light case of it though (so far); apparently the poster wants out of the relationship and doesn't want to own up to this and is therefore projecting onto the husband. Paranoid schizophrenia sometimes feeds on itself and people with the condition can lose all ability to tell fiction from reality. poster has a problem with sharing whats on her mind, has been scared ever since the beginning and did Not want the life insurance policy on one level (but was attracted to the drama of it, some familiarity to something in her past), now the pent-up dissatisfaction has made her pathological. poster should probably start a martial arts class to learn that aggression can be expressed directly and doesn't need to become drama. eventually poster may be able to transcend the situation, but will require at least a brown belt if not a black belt in a martial art (not a pussy martial art, but preferred is jujistsu or karate, something with serious blows). I'm not kidding.
posted by peter_meta_kbd at 8:26 PM on January 17, 2009


Regarding sailing, the boom suddenly swinging across and knocking someone off without warning is actually a pretty common scenario.

Nthing that your mental detective work sounds quite fantastical. Please, please talk to a therapist.
posted by desuetude at 8:27 PM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


nthing "see a therapist", but also just wanted to throw in a recommendation on how to do that. The psychology today website has an extensive directory of therapists by zip code and specialty, with a form that allows you to write a bit about what is going on and then they call you. Here is a link.
posted by sweetkid at 8:32 PM on January 17, 2009


Your life is not a movie, book, or TV plot. This is highly unlikely to be happening. Nor have you mentioned the enormous amount of inheritance that he'll come into if he kills you, so I'm assuming that doesn't exist.

Yeah, therapy. And canceling your policy since it is wigging you out. And stick to nonadventurous activities for awhile.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:32 PM on January 17, 2009


Therapist, as so many have said, and then, some day, watch Suspicion.
posted by kimota at 8:32 PM on January 17, 2009


I think you have watched too many Hitchcock movies. However, if you are hiring help, why not go the Fox News route and give both sides equal weight? Hire a therapist and a private detective. I am 99% sure that the money you spend on your therapist will be well spent, but the therapist is unlikely to be able to find out whether your husband is actually planning your demise. I am 1% sure that the money you spend on the PI will be well spent, but perhaps it will buy you peace of mind. I would seek one who seems like a good therapist. Nevertheless, we can never forget that old Catskills saying, just because you are paranoid, it does not mean they are not out to get you.
posted by caddis at 8:36 PM on January 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I would suggest both seeing a therapist and canceling the life insurance. He should be able to respect you saying that the idea of having a life insurance policy over your head has made you uncomfortable. By canceling the insurance, you will be eliminating your imminent worries, while working out your underlying fears with a therapist. Canceling the insurance will likely first make you feel as though you were being silly and everything is fine, but it's an opportunity to find where your anxieties turn from there. The therapist can help you work out just what is bothering you.
posted by LaszloKv at 8:37 PM on January 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


DON'T GET PREGNANT. Not yet, anyway.

I think the therapist idea is good because s/he will help you sort out whether your concerns are valid. There's no way for us in the green to figure it out for you based on your story, but a trained professional who can ask follow-up questions would be the best way to get this sorted out.

As for having kids, here's what I think:
If he IS trying to kill you, you're setting up a kid to maybe not have a mom.
If he IS NOT trying to kill you, then you could maybe benefit from some anti-anxiety medication, which might be counter-indicated for pregnancy.

So just WAIT on the kids thing until you've seen a therapist for a while.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 8:46 PM on January 17, 2009


Okay, I'm going to filter out what I think were the good points made above, and add my own two cents. Please do read what I say, as it may very well save your life:

1) Cancel your life insurance policy. You can easily explain this without having to explain your suspicions to your husband. If he gets pissed, tough. If he gets really really pissed, get the hell away from him until this gets sorted out.

2) It's entirely plausible that he isn't trying to kill you. Then again, it's entirely plausible that he is, and has responded to these situations so as to spare you from knowing he wanted you dead. We can't tell you this, and I'm not sure anyone can. In the end, his reaction (in the long term) over your cancellation of your life insurance policy will probably tell you more than anything else ever can/will.

3) It is odd that one of your first acts as a married couple was taking out "large" life insurance policies, unless you already had children at that point (based on your abstract timeline, this seems unlikely.) This isn't the type of thing a husband typically does until he has children. It might be typical for the husband to take out such a policy on himself very early on, particularly if he earns significantly more money than you do, but this doesn't seem to be what's happened.

4) Most people don't have this many seemingly close brushes with death over a year, and his walking right past your car, with the engine running, while you are asleep and leaving for work just doesn't add up. People don't typically just inadvertently leave their home doors open every day like that, and they sure as hell don't walk past cars in their garages with engines running and not notice the situation (I don't care how absent-minded they are.)

In sum, you may have some self-esteem issues, but this does NOT mean you should ignore these seeming obvious danger signs. In fact, his knowledge of your situation (and your low self esteem) may be exactly why he chose you to do this with. Think about it. If he fucked up, you either convince yourself, or let others convince you, that it's all in your head because you have low self-esteem.

In the end, you'll probably never have a definitive answer to the question. However, you don't need a life insurance policy on your own head, and, given the situation, canceling it is the best way to save your peace of mind (and potentially your life.)

So, cancel the policy. Then see a therapist. If the therapist recommends a visit to the police or the FBI, follow the therapist's advice.
posted by yurodivy at 8:49 PM on January 17, 2009 [30 favorites]


It's actually not unheard of for sailors to turn around before throwing the line- if you think about it, it makes sense to head back toward the person (which is certainly not anything like just turning a car around), because if you throw a line and they miss, you've wasted valuable time when you really should have been trying to get closer right away. In fact, this rescue procedure says to do exactly that. It's weird that as the helmsman he didn't shout, but the rescue he did was by the (a) book. I know it must have seemed like forever when you were in the water, but I don't know that he did wrong. Maybe he's just not as clever and careful and talented as you think he is? I'm really not being snarky, but if you think he can do no wrong, these events seem possibly out of character or preconceived, instead of just accidents. I don't feel like I'm in any sort of position to judge whether this is real or imagined, but I do think your post demonstrates some self esteem issues that aren't helping you sort this out one way or another. I also don't think I'm in any sort of position to say it's all in your head, so please do talk to someone like a therapist. Good luck. This has to be a terrible situation for you.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:51 PM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


it's easy to read this question and dismiss it as paranoia, but the poster is clearly thinking rationally

Paranoia and rationality are not mutually exclusive. There is usually absolutely nothing irrational about a paranoid world view. The consequences proceed is a perfectly rational way from the premises, and it's the premises that are wonky.

Anonymous, you should go rent Oliver Parker's film of Othello, and then find a good therapist to help you work through your trust issue.
posted by flabdablet at 8:52 PM on January 17, 2009


Keep the policy, assign the benefits to some large charity.
posted by orthogonality at 9:05 PM on January 17, 2009


Then again, it's entirely plausible that he is

Oh, please. Anybody who actually intends to kill another person in a "boating accident" is going to belt them over the head from behind with an oar and then claim the boom hit them and they fell overboard, not wait for the boom to do it accidentally. Getting whacked by the boom is an absolutely standard part of learning to sail. It's like falling on your arse when you're learning to ice skate. Happens all the time.

If you don't have a fear of X, it's easy not to take somebody else's fear of X seriously. For example, I quite enjoy being un-freaked-out enough by big hairy spiders that I can just pick up the one giving everybody else in the room the gibbering horrors and take it outside. I might even go so far as to suggest that somebody else come and have a look at how beautiful it is. Spiders, heights - makes no difference. Once again, if hubby had wanted to kill Anonymous in a "hiking accident" there are endless ways to get that job done while retaining plausible deniability. Didn't happen.

The car thing: this sounds like the kind of scenario that a murderer would set up after the fact to explain how the victim came to be gassed. As an actual murder method, it would have to rate amongst the most hare-brained and useless schemes possible to devise.

Murder attempts? Not happening. Get a grip. Get a therapist.
posted by flabdablet at 9:06 PM on January 17, 2009 [9 favorites]


Look at it this way, maybe he is trying to kill you. What are you going to do about it?

I mean, if he is trying to kill you, it's going to look like an accident. By the time you *know* it's not an accident, you're well on your way to death. (Theoretically speaking.) So I'm kind of with people who say you've got to live by your instincts. Much of what you write can be explained away - the sailing thing could easily have been an accident. The hiking / cliffs event - well, I might tease someone the same way without murderous intent. The carbon monoxide event is little more intense. I doubt it would have killed you, but it sure doesn't fit into the same category as the other two. The "necessity" of life insurance doesn't make any sense. What would have been helpful would have been some sense of *why* he'd try to kill you. For the money, obviously, but are you in debt? Does he need money that badly?

You need to see a therapist. You also need to try to talk to a close friend or two about this. On any of those 20/20-type shows where someone murders his or her partner, it always seems like many people close to the victim had terrible feeling about the relationship even before there were any "incidents." It'd be interesting to know how a close friend might feel about it, if you opened up about your fears and let it be known you wouldn't judge negative opinions - especially since your husband seems to be so outwardly "perfect."

Good luck. Follow your gut feeling, not your heart's wishes.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 9:09 PM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]



Oh, please. Anybody who actually intends to kill another person in a "boating accident" is going to belt them over the head from behind with an oar and then claim the boom hit them and they fell overboard, not wait for the boom to do it accidentally. Getting whacked by the boom is an absolutely standard part of learning to sail. It's like falling on your arse when you're learning to ice skate. Happens all the time.


Also this.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:10 PM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm an experienced sailor and have been whacked twice in the head with the boom. In one instance, I was racing and wearing a jacket. In the other, my sister threw me a ring as the captain turned the boat around. I'm not sure what would have happened if it was just me and the captain-- a lot was happening at once.

That being said, the three of your incidents together would make me wonder, too. The edge of the cliff thing is both dangerous and cruel. Plus the large life insurance policy? But no kids yet and no plan? Slightly odd. Maybe just mortgage insurance would suffice for now.

I do think therapy is a good idea for your confidence issues, and you shouldn't be running out the door straightway, just... watch your back.
posted by Maisie Jay at 9:11 PM on January 17, 2009


And the fact that there are people here taking the murder thing seriously: that speaks volumes about the surface plausibility of a paranoid line of reasoning. Anonymous has half-convinced herself, by exactly the same process that she's half-convinced the rest of you.

Personally, I'm not buying it. I've been mad. I know how compelling the whole reasoning-from-untestable-premises thing can be.

Anonymous, if it's truly the case that you're convinced at some level that the only thing your wonderful man can see in you is an insurance-funded meal ticket, then that's really really sad. You deserve a life that isn't founded on that kind of bogus insecurity. Please get help.
posted by flabdablet at 9:13 PM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


And, if you are not simply taking the piss, then yes please go see a psychiatrist- a doctor who can prescribe medicine- not a therapist. You need an objective person who can help you with what you are going through.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:15 PM on January 17, 2009


Also, as a formerly mad person: if I had followed my gut feelings, I would still be a mad person.

The way out of madness is via aggressive reality checking, not gut feeling. Gut feelings only work properly for sane people.
posted by flabdablet at 9:16 PM on January 17, 2009 [14 favorites]


While I'll pile on and say he's not trying to kill you, removing the life insurance removes the imagined motive and thus precludes any murdering going on, giving you peace of mind which YOU MUST USE to get to the bottom of your insecurity (before you have kids and get a policy again.)

He doesn't want the insurance stopped, but you should be able to say that life insurance is something that you've always found a bit eerie unless there are kids, and that until there is a reason to have it (ie kids, not early-bird cheapness), you're going to remove yourself from the policy because it bugs you more than is worth the money supposedly being saved.
You tell him that you recognise that this seems silly and annoying, but it's something you are going to do anyway, and he doesn't have to worry about the hassle - you will take care of it, and you will take care of re-adding yourself when any kids are born.
Make the policy change yourself so you it's not a hassle for him. If you're not able/authorised to do it yourself, make or get whatever changes are necessary to have joint access to the policy.

And if he has kids, he's not going to murder you, even with a policy. It's not free money any more if you have to raise a dead woman's children to get it.

That said, I'm 99.995% sure the problem is in your head. And that you'll be happier if you address it.

Someone getting knocked off a boat by the boom may not be a panic situation for him. Sailing with his mates, if it happened to one of them, they might even thinks it's funny, and the fact that the person is yelling from the water is a pretty good indication that they're ok and in no danger. So they get the boat back under control and bring it around so as not to hit the person overboard.
It might not have occurred to him that it was a very scary and traumatic experience for you until he found out from you afterwards, or that there was any rush.

The car incident - if he planned it as murder, he wouldn't have done it, because if he planned it, he would have realised that it did not endanger you. If your house is small, then the length of your shower is the absolute maximum time you can be unaware of the car running, and the bathroom door will be closed, so you will be safe. If you house is large enough that you could be unaware of the car running when not in the shower, then it's way too large for CO to build up and kill you before you discover the car.

Put simply, if he was trying to kill you, he would know, ahead of time, that the car plot could never work. And if he knew ahead of time that it would fail, he wouldn't have done it if his intention was murder.
posted by -harlequin- at 9:22 PM on January 17, 2009


Youve been watching too many hollywood movies and watching too much TV. This is how spouses kill each other: a gunshot to the face or a stab in the neck. You dont see it coming. You dont suspect. It happens and you die. Thats it. Theres no screw-ups or wacky hijinks. No trip to the tropics or mountain climbing.

What you are experiencing is our old friend mental illness. Please see a professional and please talk to your husband. You have a long road ahead of you to normalicy.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:27 PM on January 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Regardless of whether or not your fears are warranted, if something about your life situation is making you uncomfortable, change it. Get rid of the insurance tomorrow, talk things over with a counselor as soon as possible.

Also, can we all spare the snap clinical diagnoses? "paranoia" is a hell of a term to throw around lightly. If the OP were a DSM-certifiable paranoid schizophrenic, she'd know he was trying to kill her, and no amount of evidence to the contrary could convince her otherwise. "Paranoia" is not "paranoid personality disorder", and "ideas of reference" aren't the same as "delusions of reference".

It's definitely unlikely, but it's far from bizarre. How can any of us be 100% certain it's all in her head without ever having laid eyes on this guy? Surely you don't think the only people who get killed for life insurance money are all perfectly well-adjusted and have excellent self esteem. Google "life insurance" + "murder" and realize that if any of the very real victims came to you with their fears, you would have blown them off with a "paranoid! OMG see a therapist" too.

Of course, like everyone here, I'm biased by my own experiences: someone I was deeply intimate with once confessed to having thoughts of killing me in my sleep and committing suicide. Until they brought it up, I never would have thought it possible-- or seen it coming--in a million years. In retrospect, I wasn't "paranoid" enough. So before you break out your "PSYCHIATRIC HELP 5c THE DOCTOR IS IN" signs, you might want to reconsider.
posted by aquafortis at 9:28 PM on January 17, 2009 [9 favorites]


My dad actually did that jib boom sailing thing to my mom by accident when they had been married less than a year. Happens all of the time to first-timers on a sailboat.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:28 PM on January 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


You don't sound paranoid to me. I suggest canceling the policy and contacting a therapist; either way this turns out you will need support.

I would also suggest that you think about whether you really want to be with this man? You describe him as having all of these objectively great qualities, but it seems that there is obviously something missing from your relationship.

Is he very bad with money? You describe very lavish vacations, a sailing habit, large amounts of cash, and yet you live in a modest home.

I would definitely advise against becoming pregnant, and should you become pregnant and still have these suspicions, I would advise against telling him about the pregnancy until you feel more secure.
posted by sondrialiac at 9:36 PM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Another vote for "cancel the life insurance." If it comes down to it, tell him that you're just not comfortable with it, and you want him to respect your wishes.

That being said... if he's really that charming, and he wanted to cash in on his wife's death, he would probably have married someone who was already rich.

Right?
posted by bingo at 9:38 PM on January 17, 2009


I think you should have a talk with your husband about safety. Explain to him that he needs to be more careful around you, that you didn't like being thrown off the boat, you don't appreciate the cliff thing, and you don't appreciate the car thing. Those events are reason enough to be upset with him without him wanting to kill you.

Just tell him your upset about those things and you want him to be more careful and not prod you into doing dangerous things.
posted by delmoi at 9:42 PM on January 17, 2009


As others have written, cancel your life insurance policy; as you're young, having one is difficult to justify on pragmatic grounds anyway.

His response to this should be highly instructive.

Don't tell your friends about your fears, lest ongoing conversations with your friends on this topic reinforce or amplify any delusional elements to your thinking about this.

Do tell a therapist.

And yeah-- who knows, he might be a Claus von Bulow. It's unlikely, but not impossible. So, again, cancel the policy and therefore the motive; note his response; and talk with a therapist.
posted by darth_tedious at 9:46 PM on January 17, 2009


It's impossible to tell from here if he is trying to kill you. I would recommend taking some steps in case he is.

1) Make a will. Indicate therein that you suspect your husband of trying to kill you, and detail as much as possible his actions. If he does kill you, this will help bring him to justice.
2) Stay on guard. You should watch for any signs of him buying implements, especially firearms. He will be able to tell that you are on guard and if he is trying to kill you then he will escalate to less subtle plans.

If this doesn't allay your fears, you can hire a private investigator to determine if he is trying to kill you. In the meantime, try to convince yourself that he is not trying to kill you, because it's very unlikely that he is. In today's world, it's just easier to get a divorce.
posted by Electrius at 9:52 PM on January 17, 2009


Oh for crying out loud, see a therapist immediately.

As others have pointed out, everyone gets hit by booms while sailing. When you're sailing in rough weathers winds can change quickly and take you surprise. Also *you* were responsible for wearing a life preserver or not.

As for the cliff thing, some people are just like that. He has no fear of heights apparently and wanted you to see the views. Besides, even if you didn't go to the edge of the cliff, if you husband is larger and heavier than you he probably could have grabbed you and shoved you over anyways.

And finally, the carbon monoxide poisoing - I really don't think using a car exhaust to kill someone is feasible. Especially when he would have needed to fill the entire house with exhaust. It might make a good suicide method but murder? (And wikipedia claims that it isn't very effective for suicide anyway due to reduced carbon monoxide emissions in modern cars).

Please see a therapist immediately, you don't need to tell your husband why you're going or even that you're going. If you want to, just tell him that you're working some things out - or even better discuss how to tell him with your therapist.

These thoughts are going to destroy your marriage if you don't get real professional help as soon as possible.
posted by schwa at 9:55 PM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


"paranoia" is a hell of a term to throw around lightly. If the OP were a DSM-certifiable paranoid schizophrenic, she'd know he was trying to kill her, and no amount of evidence to the contrary could convince her otherwise.

Paranoia is a perfectly appropriate word for the pattern of creeping anxiety described by the OP. It is not a clinical diagnosis. It is also not the same thing as paranoid schizophrenia. Nobody here has diagnosed the OP with paranoid schizophrenia, which is as it should be.

Until they brought it up, I never would have thought it possible-- or seen it coming--in a million years.

Sounds healthy. Constant suspicion is no way to live, and mind reading is illusory.

In retrospect, I wasn't "paranoid" enough.

Enough for what? Enough to match your lover's internal distress? Be glad of that.
posted by flabdablet at 10:00 PM on January 17, 2009


I've had a boom send me overboard. I've teased brothers and sisters and friends towards the edge of a cliff when its clear they don't want to be anywhere near it (this is practically an annual tradition with my brothers in Yosemite). And of course there have been a number of family feathers ruffled over someone leaving a car idling in the garage at times.i

But 3 such instances in the space of one year? I don't think your suspicions are completely unfounded. I'd hedge your bets - cancel the life insurance and see a therapist.

Eventually you're going to have to either a) come to the firm conclusion (with external support for your suspicions) that he is in fact trying to off you, or b) admit to yourself that these were ill-timed coincidences and you're married to a good man albeit a bit aloof. Its probably the latter and you're going to have to figure out how to talk to him about it. Therapy will help with that too.

I know you said you've never had many close friends, but do you have anyone at all that you can trust this information with? Someone that you can sit down and talk it all over with, who you know will keep your admission in confidence? Therapy is of course designed for this in a sense, but if I were in your shoes I'd also want someone in my life who's not paid to be there to be aware of the situation, regardless of how it pans out. Sounds like you've been mainly bouncing this around in your head, and getting it processed out in words can help. I think you'd feel a lot better right away just knowing that someone else knows what you've been worried about.
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:00 PM on January 17, 2009


I think everyone advising her to cancel the insurance policy is giving really bad advice. There is no point canceling it without telling your husband that you doing so. And then you'll have to explain why. At that point, assuming he is a wannabe murderer he'll now you're onto him. If he's not he'll know how paranoid and distrustful you're being.

The only right thing to do now is to find a therapist and discuss these fears with him/her.
posted by schwa at 10:03 PM on January 17, 2009


Oh for f*ck's sake.

2) Stay on guard. You should watch for any signs of him buying implements, especially firearms. He will be able to tell that you are on guard and if he is trying to kill you then he will escalate to less subtle plans. will have no clue why, thereby putting a serious crimp in your otherwise wonderful relationship.

50% of the advice you're getting here is from people who spend far too much time in front of the TV.
posted by flabdablet at 10:04 PM on January 17, 2009 [9 favorites]


"He is brilliant, nice, incredibly good looking, has tons of friends, and is the poster child of his family. Quite frankly everybody loves him and he is just one of those guys that has it all."

Doesn't sound like the kind of guy who really needs to risk everything to get a life insurance pay out.

50% of the advice you're getting here is from people who spend far too much time in front of the TV.

Yeah. I agree. Some of the advice in this thread has quite literally stunned me with its stupidity. ask.metafilter.com is not the right place to resolve this. Please see a therapist.

(and I am quite literally the last person recommending anyone see a therapist in a ask.mefi thread)
posted by schwa at 10:14 PM on January 17, 2009



And finally, the carbon monoxide poisoing - I really don't think using a car exhaust to kill someone is feasible.


It has happened at least once - a few years ago there was an Oprah segment interviewing a man who (accidentally) killed his wife and pets in this manner - although in that case the wife was sleeping and not (I believe) planning on getting up any time soon. If your husband knew you were up (or were planning to get up shortly), then it would be a rather foolish method of trying to kill you.
posted by frobozz at 10:22 PM on January 17, 2009


I have never quite understood what my husband saw in me

The thing about insecurity is that it's often linked with low self esteem, and people with low self esteem will often be extremely nice people. Caring, giving, selfless, altruistic, empathetic, supportive, ethical - traits like these are going to be enhanced by someone valuing their own needs as not the be-all and end-all of the world.

The annoying thing of course (from the perspective of the partner), is that someone with low self esteem won't see themselves as a nice person, awesome to be around. Their view of themselves - in addition to being low - will become tinged with various shades of failure or fraud precisely because other people think they're worthwhile individuals.

So in answer to what your husband might see in you, you may well be a very nice person. And if he wants kids, that counts waaay more than having had a modelling career.
posted by -harlequin- at 10:24 PM on January 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


That being said... if he's really that charming, and he wanted to cash in on his wife's death, he would probably have married someone who was already rich.

I was thinking about this... if his former girlfriends were "supermodel pretty," they might have been well-off too (not that those things go hand in hand, but I know I get more attractive when I have money for clothes, skin care, highlights, etc.). And those girls might have more confidence, backbone, enough to keep him from trying anything off. Not even murder-- just typical bullshit. I wonder why none of those relationships ended in marriage.

On the other hand, anonymous might be that pretty and not realize it, looking at the dearth of confidence described in the original post.
posted by Maisie Jay at 10:37 PM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is my husband trying to kill me?

No.
posted by flabdablet at 10:44 PM on January 17, 2009


i just wanted to put in that if the OP does end up dead, which is very, very unlikely, everyone is going to say, "ALL THE SIGNS POINTED TO IT. SHE CRIED OUT FOR HELP AND NOBODY DID ANYTHING!"

hindsight is 20/20, isn't it?

i like the advice to see a therapist and cancel your life insurance (if you die, you're sure as hell not going to need it and your man sounds like he's doing fine). also, you need to make some good friends. people you can talk to who are supportive and can give you some perspective on your relationship.
posted by klanawa at 10:48 PM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I dont think you are being paranoid. I would cancel the life insurance. IMMEDIATELY. Tell your husband you'll get it again once you have kids.

It sounds like he doesnt want to kill you, but wouldnt mind if you had a convenient accident that he could tell himself was a "mistake". I've been hit with a boom but never knocked overboard. You could have easily been knocked unconscious; perhaps he was waiting to see if you had been? Likewise, the exhaust from the car could have resulted in you just never waking up. Not so sure about the cliff but in IMO, the best thing you can do is to remove the motive - giving you peace of mind and making him have no motive.

I would also tell a close friend about your fears and your insecurities. Use them as a sense check about whether your fears are unfounded. As posted above, either they'll think you are ridiculous or they'll tell you they had a really bad feeling about the relationship or about him. Scott Peterson was "a really great guy", can be charming and handsome, but murdered his wife. I would not get pregnant right now as the largest cause of non-natural death of pregnant women is murder by their husbands or partners.

Everyone keeps telling you to get a therapist and I agree you sound insecure, but a therapist is not a detective and may have considerable incentive to tell you you are being paranoid and that you need lots of therapy.

Frankly, just remove the motive, then get therapy so you can enjoy your marriage. Also tell a close friend and maybe consult a lawyer and leave (in their hands) a notarized statement of your concerns. Again, I don't think you are being paranoid.
posted by zia at 10:50 PM on January 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


These are most likely all coincidences. I concur with the chorus suggesting that you seek therapy, and also that you cancel your life insurance policy. Canceling it will set your mind partially at ease, and you don't really need it now anyway while you are childless (unless you have substantial assets or income that you haven't mentioned).

I disagree with the judgment that all of the people saying the OP might be onto something are all people who watch way too much TV. I dated a man who told me that his former fiancee was rich and that he had planned to marry her and then kill her in a sailing "accident". He told me this while we were talking about getting married. Obviously, I dumped him, but some people have had real life experiences that may inform their opinions here, so don't judge just because they disagree with yours.
posted by bedhead at 11:01 PM on January 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


If you want to go the paranoid route, check the family computer or his computer to see if he's done any google searches on "car suicide carbon monoxide" or something of that nature. If it's not there, then most likely everyone else is correct and you're just being paranoid.

But if it is there then run like hell.
posted by lockle at 11:16 PM on January 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think that you may be badly in need of professional mental health care. Please see a psychiatrist, or any doctor; not just a therapist. Your problems are beyond the scope of most masters-level therapists.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:19 PM on January 17, 2009 [12 favorites]


flabdablet: "Paranoia is a perfectly appropriate word for the pattern of creeping anxiety described by the OP. It is not a clinical diagnosis."

Fair enough. I'm well aware of the lay meaning of the term, but according to the ICD-9, it most certainly is a clinical diagnosis:

297.1 Paranoia
A rare chronic psychosis in which logically constructed systematized delusions
have developed gradually without concomitant hallucinations or the
schizophrenic type of disordered thinking. The delusions are mostly of
grandeur [the paranoiac prophet or inventor], persecution or somatic
abnormality. Excludes: paranoid personality disorder (301.0)

I just find it more than a little problematic that so many people here (not you) are slinging around terms based on radically incomplete knowledge. To declare someone is "mentally ill" or "is paranoid" is neither fair nor helpful. By the way, you made an excellent point about the dangerous insidiousness of rational thinking based on flawed premises. I'm not disagreeing with you in the slightest-- if more people here would be as thoughtful as you are instead of popping in for a quick, ignorant judgmental smirk, the thread would be a lot better.

"Nobody here has diagnosed the OP with paranoid schizophrenia, which is as it should be."


Er, peter_meta_kbd did.

schwa: I think everyone advising her to cancel the insurance policy is giving really bad advice. There is no point canceling it without telling your husband that you doing so. And then you'll have to explain why.

Of course she should explain why. But I don't see any earthly reason she should be expected to keep a policy she's profoundly-almost catastrophically-uncomfortable with.

At that point, assuming he is a wannabe murderer he'll now you're onto him. If he's not he'll know how paranoid and distrustful you're being.

Where's the downside? Doesn't he have the right to know? My God, if somebody I loved unjustly suspected me of murderous intent, I'd be the first one to want to get them into therapy. Honesty and trust are only way to go, and if one or both of the parties lack it, the whole relationship needs to be re-evaluated from both sides.
posted by aquafortis at 11:22 PM on January 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


A little counterthink.

See a therapist, but do so keeping in mind that in addition to psychological benefits, you now have someone who knows what you're afraid of. A therapist is not bound by confidentiality in matters where a violent crime has been / is about to be committed. You'll have someone "on your side" in two different ways, here.

That might help you make some progress.

Also, stop going on dangerous vacations already. You're not cut out for that right now.
posted by rokusan at 11:36 PM on January 17, 2009


You lost both parents in a car accident? Jesus, I can't begin to imagine how that feel, it's so awful.

It reminds me of Nassim Nicholas Taleb's book. You are a black swan: you were victim of an event so rare, most people spend their life simply assuming that it never happens. It is bound to bend your brain. It will make you defensive against extremely unlikely events.
posted by gmarceau at 11:38 PM on January 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think men are often hyper paranoid about how well their spouses and children would be cared for if they died - that's why they take out life insurance, even early in life. As for taking out insurance on both of you: if both of your parents died in an auto accident, he may think you're worried about both dying at the same time (or he may be worried himself).

That being said, it sounds like your husband is really into outdoorsy activities (sailing, hiking) and he's teasing you a little because you're not as experienced with them. If he has a lot of experience sailing, it's far more likely he just wants to expose you to his hobbies than he spent all that time learning how to sail so he could try to kill you. If he's the adventurous spirit, that also explains why he doesn't follow official lifejacket proceedure - he's a lot more comfortable with the activity than you are.

I really don't see actively planning to need cash out of your purse so he could bump the autostarter he got in anticipation of running a car so maybe enough CO would waft into your bedroom.

Nobody on AskMe who isn't exposed to how you feel and how he feels and acts can make a judgment. A mental health professional can help you control these emotions and still have a wonderful, fruitful marriage.

Best of luck.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 11:40 PM on January 17, 2009


Hm. That's sticky. When reading this and trying to talk myself through the line of reasoning you end up with, it is very compelling. I reason with myself that many situations could seem like strange intentions if taken as a whole, and these are likely innocent. But, then...I think of all of the weird accidents, murders, and escapes by well-off people, lately. I think of all of the people with lifestyles to protect and possibly less than perfect judgment. And it seems more plausible again. But I don't want it to be plausible, because it's like a soap opera. Then back to the news...and I can really see how you're in this position.

With that, I'd definitely endorse the recommendations to see a counselor. I'd also nth filing your own paperwork with your own lawyer regarding will, testament, and even living will and endorsement for the attorney to handle execution of your care and expectations should any accident render you incapable.

Further, and this is where my sympathies for the seemingly impossible are revealed, you may consider hiring a personal investigator to do a thorough background check on your husband and ensure that everything is as he says it is. More than one person in the real world has been shocked to find out that their beloved is someone else, and only thought to check because something kept setting off their trust alarms.

Also, you may want to document the events described above - complete with any proof you may need - and put them in a safety deposit box that your attorney should have access to and permission to open if anything should happen to you. If further mysterious almost-accidents occur, document and store them the same way.

Finally, if something else occurs...I'd seriously consider contacting law enforcement. Maybe talk it through with your counselor and lawyer first, to get that much-needed reality check. I think three times is a possible coincidence, but four times is kind of pushing credibility. Some people really are that sloppy and ultimately chicken when trying to carry out complicated tasks with emotional and conscience-impacting components. That you feel he may have only turned around after noticing another boat in the area kind of weirded me out a little, especially.

That's all assuming this is legit and not a test run for a new adventure drama with a mystery twist. If so, you have my every sympathy for being in such a difficult mental space, regardless of the veracity of your fears. I hope that you are able to get help and that nothing happens to you.
posted by batmonkey at 12:00 AM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Does my wife think I'm trying to kill her?

I know I'm being totally paranoid and insecure and yet here I sit writing this. Please help bring me back to reality. I apologize for the length.

A quick history (since I think it's relevant to why I feel like I do): My wife and I have been married less than a year. We had a whirlwind romance and I proposed to her after 3 months of dating and we were married shortly after that. My wife is quite frankly just an awesome woman. She is brilliant, kind, game, and is loyal as hell to her small circle of friends. She is an only child and lost both parents in auto accident (drunk driver) so she grew up pretty self-sufficient but understandably fearful of sudden loss. And she looks amazing. She's about as far from your standard all front and no substance superficial girly type as you could ever find, and quite frankly I'm blown away that she let me get close to her, let alone marry her.

Now me, I am a pretty average guy. I have a heap of buddies, but nobody I could really call close. I also have what you might call conventional good looks, so it's always been easy for me to attract girlfriends, but until I met my wife I always felt like somebody's accessory rather than any kind of real partner. I've been out with women who looked like they belong on the front covers of magazines, but it seems that keeping up the photoshopped look takes the kind of narcissism I just can't live with. My wife doesn't try to look like that, which is one of the things I absolutely adore about her. She just looks really comfortable in her own beautiful skin, and seeing her smile just lights up my mind.

Shortly after we got married I brought up the idea of getting large life insurance policies on both of us. My Dad told me that getting these while we're young would help us build a relationship with the insurer and lower our premiums later. I figure by the time we get around to having kids that will come in really handy. She agreed and we obtained the policies. We are holding off on children so far. My thinking is that we're both young, we've got plenty of time to do the kid thing and it makes sense to spend the next few years enjoying our time just with each other.

About two months after we were married we went sailing for a week in the tropics (I'm trying to leave some details out because I worry someone who knows us may read this). I've done heaps of sailing but it's new to her, and I thought she'd really enjoy it. Anyway, on the fourth day it was quite windy and she was helping me rig everything, when there was a sudden gust of wind and the boom swung over and smacked her straight overboard with an absolutely sickening thud. For a few moments before she got her head above water I actually thought I'd lost her, and I was panicking because we'd been slack and neither of us was wearing a life jacket. It seemed like it took forever to get the boat turned around and close enough for a rope to reach her. I felt so bad about the life jackets and apologized profusely, but she just kept thanking me for pulling her out (as if I'd had any choice but to try!). She had some bruises but was overall in good shape and I think she ended up enjoying the rest of our island hopping as much as I'd hoped she would.

About two months after that trip we went on a camping/hiking trip to another country. It was beautiful. The trails we hiked were very rugged and narrow and sometimes dropped away really steeply to one side, which was a bit of an adrenalin rush. The landscape was absolutely gorgeous. She was always totally game, but I think she was scared by the heights, because she kept trying really hard not to look over the edge of the trail even when the view was just spectacular. Even so, we had a great time and it was one of the most memorable trips I've ever had.

About a month ago we had a nasty scare with one of the cars. I usually leave for work before she does. We live in a small single level home and the master bedroom is very close to the attached garage. This particular morning I pulled my car out of the garage to warm it up. As I was getting ready to leave I grabbed some cash from her purse as I went out the front door. Half an hour later, she called me saying that the house was full of exhaust fumes. I immediately told her to open all the windows and go sit right at one of them, and came right home. By the time I got there the fumes had mostly gone, and she felt OK so we didn't go to the hospital. We figured out that as I was grabbing the cash from her purse I must have rammed something into the autostart on her key chain and started her car. The door to the garage from the house must have swung open after I left (I don't seem to have the knack of making it latch properly) or I'm sure I would have heard the car turning over.

She's been kind of quiet and moody since then, and she's been talking about canceling her life insurance. She won't really give me a solid reason why that's a good idea. She's also been talking about having kids earlier than we'd decided to, but that plan seems linked to the life insurance issue in a way that I don't really understand. And I'm not seeing that fantastic smile much any more, and we're not talking like we did just a month ago.

It just clicked for me the other day: is it even remotely possible that she thinks I'm trying to kill her? We have had a couple of nasty accidents, and she did get scared on the hiking trail, and we haven't even had our first anniversary yet, and there was a bunch of stuff on Oprah once about that guy who killed his girlfriend for the insurance. I thought for sure that this woman was my soul mate and the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, but how does that jibe with having her cast me as a possible murderer? How the hell do I go about asking the woman I love if she thinks I'm trying to kill her, without her think that I think she's completely lost it?

Hope me, AskMe!
posted by flabdablet at 12:21 AM on January 18, 2009 [47 favorites]


Electricus:
1) Make a will. Indicate therein that you suspect your husband of trying to kill you, and detail as much as possible his actions. If he does kill you, this will help bring him to justice.


What the hell?!

As many others have stated, what we've heard doesn't indicate any harmful intent other than perhaps clumsiness coupled with the wife's overactive analysis. If she goes ahead and does this as you suggest, and then God forbid, dies from something like a car accident in a few years, or dies in a carjacking, or some freak accident and the husband had nothing to do with it, and loved her deeply, he will suddenly be in the position of grieving for his dearly departed wife who is now suddenly accusing him of being involved in her "murder" from beyond the grave.

Do NOT do this.
posted by barc0001 at 12:27 AM on January 18, 2009


I have never seen a thread with so much terrible advice except possibly for that one where some idiot made a go-ahead-and-mix-bleach-with-ammonia joke without making it clear they were joking.

The OP is clearly not thinking rationally. I'm not going to single you out, the people playing into this fiasco know who they are. Rationally doesn't mean she can string sentences together and make pseudo-logical chains. The most paranoid and deluded person I ever met, who was convinced hackers were taking over his computer systems and spying on him (despite the computers being disconnected from the internet or phone lines) could string together very rational sounding justifications.

The OP is not thinking straight. She should see a shrink ASAP. If her husband was trying to kill her, she would be dead. He simply would not have rescued her when she went overboard. The notion that leaving a car running in a house is an attempt to kill someone, Oprah none-withstanding, is ridiculous. This isn't 1970. Cars with catalytic converters produce such a small amount of carbon monoxide that you can stick a hose in the tailpipe, run it in to the interior of the car, and spectacularly fail to kill yourself. In a small enclosed space.

People should be ashamed of themselves for playing into what could quite possibly be delusions. The only, only appropriate advice here is that she should be evaluated by a trained professional who will then be in a position to decide whether she is simply suffering from terrible self esteem or something more serious like the beginnings of paranoid schizophrenia.

Everything else should be kept to yourself.
posted by Justinian at 12:35 AM on January 18, 2009 [7 favorites]


I can see where you are coming from. It makes some rational sense, the way you have laid it out. If you have underlying questions about why he married you in the first place, I can even understand where it's coming from. Just know that from an outsider perspective, your theory seems incredibly far fetched.

First, let's look at your three instances:

The sailboat incident
Getting whacked by the boom is an absolutely standard part of learning to sail. It's like falling on your arse when you're learning to ice skate. Happens all the time.

QFT. It's happened both to me and to my mom, when my dad was teaching us to sail. And on a boat it's really hard to hear, even if you thought you were screaming at the top of your voice from the water. In addition, people don't act rationally in instances like that. Perhaps he didn't think to throw you a life preserver, all he wanted to do was to turn around and get back to you? As for the time it took, turning a sailboat around can take a long time. It's a big lumbering hulk of a boat that does not turn on a dime by any means, even in the best of situations.

The hiking incident
I personally love living life on the edge like that. If I go hiking, I will stand on the steepest cliff and look at the amazing view from there. If I'm with someone else, I will tell them to come stand with me to see how nice it looks, because it can't possibly be as pretty way back in the woods where they are standing! My husband hates heights, and he will vehemently refuse to even stand close to me when I do that - the whole time I will tease him mercilessly about not daring to join me. I do the same to try to persuade him to ride the roller coaster with me, or to go bungee jumping with me. I know that he is afraid of heights, but I persist. Yea, it's a kind of jerk thing to do, but it's also pretty funny. It's a thing we do, a spousal in-joke if you will. This is pretty much the same behavior you describe. I really don't think that consistently asking you to come stand with him on the cliff edge has any meaning other than that he wanted you to experience the amazing view and the exhilaration of standing there. That you continued to refuse might have even made him more insistent, if he thought you were missing out.

The car incident
Dying from monoxide poisoning caused by car exhaust happens when someone is in an enclosed space for a pretty long time with a running car. Even if the door was open to the garage, it would have taken AGES for the house to fill enough to affect you - if it ever would have happened at all, given all the crevices and vents in most houses. If you were up and about, you would have noticed the smell way before it would have affected you. Given how brilliant you say your husband is, could he really have botched it so badly? Also, this is actually the easiest to test of all the instances. Is it possible to autostart your car by rummaging in your purse? If you accidentally push the button from where your purse was sitting, does it still cause your car to start? If so, it's a very plausible accident.

Finally, on the life insurance thing. Some people I know have a large life insurance policy because that's the way their family does it. Their parents had it, so it's "just what you do" - there is no real other motive for it. Also, if he (and you, by extension) lives an active lifestyle - going hiking in steep terrain, sailing in unknown waters, doing other types of "adventurous" sports, it actually makes a lot of sense for you guys to have a policy just in case. There is no reason at all that you can't start addressing this issue by talking to him about why he feels he needs to have one, so that you can understand it better.

Bottom line is, this is much more likely to be a symptom of your own self esteem issues than it is about your husband's intentions. He does seem a bit clumsy, but that's a very, very long way from intentionally trying to kill you. You really should take the advice to see a therapist, who will help you work through this much better than we can. Doing so is not letting anyone down, and you don't even have to tell your husband why. Just do it, for your own sake, for his sake, and for your potential childrens sake.
posted by gemmy at 12:38 AM on January 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Cancel the life insurance policy for both of you. Tell him you don't want that hanging over either of your heads. Put your foot down about this - he's not the only one who gets to make decisions in this marriage. I'm not sure what's going on from what you've said, but I have worked in a mental hospital that housed plenty of paranoid schizophrenics, and hearing their stories it was easy to tell they weren't based in reality. Your story sounds different from theirs - at least plausible if farfetched. Yes, everything can be explained away but taken as a whole, and including the very short courtship, big insurance policy, no family, no lifejackets, etc - it does seem strange. Get a therapist, and if the first one totally dismisses your fears, go and see a different one until you find one who's really listening to you. I hope this turns out to be nothing, but you definitely need to get this figured out before you have children.
posted by hazyjane at 12:53 AM on January 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


What the hell is wrong with all you people? Where's the compassion!?! The big "go see a therapist" pile-on approach is completely insensitive and inappropriate here. And especially the internet diagnoses of paranoia, schitzophrenia, and everything else that has been bandied about in this thread (troll, etc.). What if the OP is discovering that she does indeed have a mental health issue? "You're fucked up; go see a therapist stat!" is probably not the best way to handle this. What if she's right about her suspicions and you're wrong about your diagnosis? What if you're BOTH right? Again, not the best way to handle this situation.

Try this: Imagine that you are confused, upset, possibly paranoid (at least temporarily), and you recently experienced some traumatic events at the hands of the one person you should know and trust. Imagine the risk and betrayal you take on as you decide to divulge some very personal information in an attempt to find some, any, objective opinion or perspective, all the while feeling vulnerable and scared. Now go reread the responses in this thread, through that filter. Do you think we might sound like a bunch of gaslighting a-holes?

For the OP: as I read this post, and the responses from others (and some people have already answered with really good advice, despite others who served theirs straight up), a few things occurred to me.

1. You don't feel safe. Period. Whatever the source of this is, it exists and it is very real for you. Your feelings of danger matter. They are worthy of your attention and especially your husband's attention.

2. I wish you had elaborated on how your husband reacted to these traumatic events that happened to you (and that he was also a part of). Especially the boating accident...you must of suffered some physical injury, right? Did he take care of you? Was he concerned about your well-being? What did he say? Was he defensive? Indifferent? Compassionate? Was his reaction in line with other experiences of equal, greater, or lesser measure that you've shared? What about things you tell him that he wasn't involved in (ex. you telling him a story of how you almost got hit by a car earlier that day at work, etc.)? Did events after the rescue leave you feeling loved and cared for, or did they arise suspicion in you about him? You know him best, and the context matters. Thinking about these questions may help you pinpoint examples beyond the actual event(s) that led you to where you are now.

3. Pure speculation (to counter some of the stuff said upthread): I imagine that if your husband has been entertaining a fantasy world where he could "accidentally" kill you, then there may be a part of him that is invested in the "accident" part of the equation. What if he killed you, then regretted it? The closer he can get to pure 'accident', the easier it'll be for him to believe that it was such a thing, if need be. If your suspicions are right, and he's never done this before, then he may be testing boundaries...both yours and his. But honestly, unless any of us are trained in gaslighting techniques, or the minds of killers, we really can't talk about any behavior as not-fitting-the-profile. Even if we could, there are exceptions. And we don't know you or the situation with any certainty.

4. Also just want to add some perspective from somebody who's not had a normal concept of "family," like the OP has expressed. I don't know how old you were when your parents died OP, but having been independent from a very young age, I know that I've missed out on a lot of conceptual understanding of what a normal family looks like, acts like. This can often cause misunderstandings, especially when expressing ideas with others. I read the phrase you wrote, "Was it because I have no family and no one to miss me?" and realized that I may have had a different take on it than many others with strong familial support networks. For me, this sounds like a completely sincere and honest question. In fact, not having strong family ties, it could seem perfectly plausible that others might be thinking of, or capable of doing harm to people close to them. I just really wouldn't know. In your shoes, I'd be asking a question like that, not to express any evaluative stance on my not having a family, but to honestly put forth the following proposition, "Could a person not having family, and therefore nobody looking after them, be good "prey" for somebody seeking somebody to take advantage of?"

There were quite a few statements in your post that I interpreted in this way (as honest questions about experience that you don't have access to), but upon reread, I could see how they could also be interpreted as expressions of low-self esteem, etc. Anyways, just throwing this other possibility out there.

5. You say you don't know why your husband loves you. This is sad and troubling to me. Either he's failing to communicate this to you, or you're failing to hear it. I imagine that this doesn't exist in a vacuum. If there's a communication breakdown in your relationship, he probably senses it too. It's something I hope that you both are open to addressing and working on. Also, I'm guessing by what you've said in your post, that you've been in a relationship with this man for about a year and a half. This is a short amount of time, and there's still lots to learn about each other. He may be a reckless person. He may need to learn about what scares you, and about how to make you feel safe and cherished. You may need to learn about what his behaviors mean, how to express your feelings more to him, how to get what you need, etc. Who knows, but there's lots to discover. And I really hope this exploration takes you somewhere safe, loving and deeply intimate.

I wish you the best of luck.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:04 AM on January 18, 2009 [22 favorites]


Some good advice here, some not so good. It's now going to be your turn to sift through these answers and decide how you are are going to handle this. I'm late to the party, so the only thing I have to add is:


I believe this is called paranoid schizophrenia but might just be passive aggression...apparently the poster wants out of the relationship and doesn't want to own up to this and is therefore projecting onto the husband.


Please don't listen to this profoundly ignorant armchair pseudo-psychiatrist. Their response is inappropriate, bizarre and unfounded. I've flagged it, but unfortunately there's a good chance it's going to stay in there.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 1:19 AM on January 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


What the hell is wrong with all you people?

I feel the same way about your post. You seem determined to feed into what are, from the information provided, paranoid fantasies. This is not a kind thing to do. The poster needs professional help, not amateur thespians working out melodrama-by-proxy.
posted by rodgerd at 1:36 AM on January 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Perhaps we could argue amongst ourselves over there without crapping things up in here any worse than they are already.
posted by flabdablet at 1:41 AM on January 18, 2009


You have very low self-esteem, and this is almost certainly feeding and/or causing your suspicions. No one should think they don't deserve their partner/spouse. It's not good for you, and it's not good for your relationship. I've known plenty of men who settled down with women who were less good-looking than their exes. Contrary to what a lot of women think, looks aren't everything, even to a guy. Your husband is almost certainly with you because he sees things in you that you apparently can't see yourself.

As for these suspicious incidents - by your reasoning, my fiance and I have probably tried to kill each other a couple of times. Accidents happen to everyone through pure recklessness or forgetfulness.

Finally, I insisted on life insurance for both myself and my fiance. In 99.99% of cases, it's not a motive for murder - it's just smart.

See a therapist first and ASAP. If s/he can't allay your worries, see a P.I. But it sounds like you're letting your inability to see the good in yourself get in the way of your relationship with a wonderful man.
posted by walla at 3:21 AM on January 18, 2009


I wondered what I'd tell my husband I was seeing the therapist about (and quite frankly I don't want to lie to him).

You tried to talk to him about dropping or lowering the life insurance, and he's talked you out of it each time. He knows about how your parents died. He does not know your true fears about the insurance policy.

This is what I would tell him, about seeing a therapist: "You know my parents died suddenly in an accident. We got the insurance policy because you think it's the best course of action, but since our boating accident I've been overwhelmed with the idea that my life is less safe because I've made a contingency plan (the insurance) for my death. Maybe this is connected to the way my parents died. I'm going to talk with a therapist about this."
posted by Houstonian at 3:32 AM on January 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Wow. Like everyone else, I really really think you should go and talk to a professional about this. I also don't think he's trying to kill you - it seems significantly more likely that you're blowing a couple of accidents out of proportion, than that an otherwise lovely man would be attempting and failing to murder his wife. However I am on the internet and I don't know. IANAT, but my first reaction to this was that for someone with serious low self-esteem or similar, it might be easier to believe that their husband was trying to kill them for the insurance money than to accept that they're actually a wonderful and loved person. If that's it (or part of it), I'm really sorry because it must be a horrible way to live. In any case, go and speak to a professional. Tell your husband you've been thinking about your parents a lot lately if you're worried about what to say.

But, in the meantime and to follow up on the people who've suggested cancelling your life insurance to take one factor out of the mix - is it just life insurance? Often life insurance comes bundled with total and permanent disablement (TPD) cover. This is really really sensible to have, even if you're young. Life insurance probably isn't so important unless you have kids (though I find your husband's reasons plausible), but finding yourself having to care for an incapacitated spouse, on no income when you're used to one (or two), can be an incredible burden. Perhaps your husband is more concerned about this, especially if he's into outdoor sports. Maybe have a look at your policy more closely. You might find peace of mind without having to cancel the policy.
posted by Emilyisnow at 5:14 AM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


wow, too.

I don't care about the incidents or your interpretations. I care about the life insurance. he gets paid if you die is all I need to know. kill the motive. make sure he knows. be direct and clear about it keeping you awake at night. (don't say 'I think you want to kill me' if you want to live with him happily ever again but do make clear that you do not like that there is a financial upside to your demise, that it sounds counterintuitive to what should be the goal, which is being alive and well.)

then plan your retirement some other way.
posted by krautland at 5:34 AM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


It is completely possible to die from CO poisoning with a running car in an attached garage. Even in a huge house where the garage is located as far as possible from the place where they're sleeping.

I think the circumstances you're describing sound pretty crazy, but that doesn't mean you are. Your husband could be a charming sociopath straight out of the movies. He could be a nice guy too; if I were you, I wouldn't really want to bet at this point.

If you feel at risk, please don't listen to all the people telling you that you're just being insecure and you need to sit on the nice comfy couch in the therapist's office, because in the meantime, you're still in a situation that, if you're not exaggerating, it sounds like you have enough reason to believe is unsafe, especially since it's nothing less than your life that you suspect is threatened.

(The real question is: does he love you? But no one here can answer that, possibly yourself included. By all means go talk to a therapist about that, but not in lieu of protecting yourself as a much higher priority.)
posted by xanthippe at 5:34 AM on January 18, 2009


And he left the garage door OPEN? In the situation I was referring to, the garage door was closed and it still worked. Did he fill up his gas tank beforehand, too?
posted by xanthippe at 5:36 AM on January 18, 2009


On second thought, just get a divorce right now - even if it doesn't turn out to be true, are you ever going to feel happy or relaxed in this marriage? I think you already know the answer to that.
posted by xanthippe at 5:38 AM on January 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I read many of the early responses hours ago, and I've just revisited this thread to see which direction it went.

The hairs on my neck stood up, the way the history is presented is super creepy. Potential murder? Mental Illness? I can't say at all, but on revisiting the thread and reading terranova's comment:
"Something is triggering your worries. It may be insecurity or intuition..."
an alarm went off in my head.
This year I've read two of Gavin de Becker's books - The Gift Of Fear, & Protecting The Gift. Basically these books are about trusting your intuition and using it as a tool.

I suggest you read The Gift Of Fear, dammit, if you feel it's urgent, call de Becker's company on the phone. Situations like this is what they DO.

Hopefully your brain is being all irrational. But how could any of us know if your intuition is irrational or not? Get yourself a copy of the Gift Of Fear as soon as you can - if it assuages your feelings, that would be fabulous - if it makes you feel worse, you need protection and/or treatment.
posted by goshling at 5:55 AM on January 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


You already know what to do. You just need to accept it. Go see a therapist as soon as possible. There is nothing wrong with seeing a therapist. It does not mean you are damaged, crazy, insane or whatever.

It just means you need some help sorting out your feelings, including those feelings around the death of your parents. The more you get a handle on your feelings, the more healthy you will be psychologically. This is a therapist's job. It is what they do. Go see one. Soon. This week. And be prepared to be in therapy for quite some time.
posted by camworld at 6:15 AM on January 18, 2009


Oh yeah, on your first visit to the therapist, hand them a print-out of this Ask Mefi thread. It will make their job a lot easier and speed up the psychological healing process you need.
posted by camworld at 6:17 AM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have just read the Amazon excerpt of The Gift Of Fear, and I am having a great deal of trouble understanding how anybody could think that recommending a book that opens with a disturbing account of a stairwell rape is in any way helpful to an anxious person who has asked for help in attempting to get a grip.

If I ever started suspecting Ms. flabdablet of wanting to murder me, the last thing I'd be trusting is my intuition. Suspicion warps and bends intuition. Ask any cop who has ever worked to convict somebody whom DNA evidence has subsequently shown incontrovertibly to be innocent.

Before you risk buggering up your marriage on the grounds that your beloved might be a murderous psychopath (even the kind of completely inept murderous psychopath that Mr. Anonymous would have to be for any of the scenarios listed in the question to amount to attempted murder), you really need to be applying the same test that gets applied in any criminal trial: the evidence has to show that your beloved is actually a murderous psychopath beyond reasonable doubt. And the history you've shared with us simply doesn't do that. It just doesn't.

You should especially not act on suspicion in the absence of solid evidence simply because some Internet fool has glorified that suspicion with the name "intuition".

Look, all you're really after here is an answer you can believe in, to the following question: Is the most likely explanation for the string of incidents I've been worried about that

(a) my husband is a murderous psychopath who has so far managed to disguise this fact from everybody he's ever met
(b) accidents happen, and my husband doesn't share my fear of heights and doesn't really get how strong it is

Here's a hint: (b)

Life is not a f*cking soap opera. Accidents happen. Your lovely husband really is as lovely as he seems. You deserve to be with somebody that lovely. Trust that. And if you can't talk yourself out of this rut of worry you're stuck in, get professional help.
posted by flabdablet at 6:55 AM on January 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


if your husband is a Mefite or reads Ask Metafilter, he would have identified you, anonymous though you are because the 3 incidents together mentioned are unique enough. so if your intuition is true, he would surely desist from whatever plan he has for you. so you will probably be safe for the time being.

but as xanthippe pointed out you will never be happy or relaxed in this marriage. there is no more trust.
posted by kryptos at 7:00 AM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


after reading flabdablet:

change 'intuition' to 'suspicion'

so if your intuition is true, he would surely desist from whatever plan he has for you.

posted by kryptos at 7:04 AM on January 18, 2009


bedhead:but some people have had real life experiences that may inform their opinions here, so don't judge just because they disagree with yours.

Exactly.

Have you ever actually felt like someone was going to kill you "by accident"? I have. Since I listened to my gut feelings *at that moment* I am still here. It wasn't paranoia, it was instinct. I almost took a fishing trip that I may have never come back from.

I have absolutely no history of paranoia or mental illness, now or then. I always try to see the good in people, very often at my own expense.

Each incident itself could be explained away, and even as a whole could just be an unfortunate series of events, however, for me, in this case, it's the OP's (perhaps skewed, we cannot know that) gut feelings about it that give it it's credence.

If it's a story made up for some reason, shame on you Anon, but if it's not, trust your gut here. Other people be damned.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 7:23 AM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


anon, definitely see a therapist. Not because you're paranoid, but because a therapist can ask you questions and probe your experience of these events in ways that will shed more light on them--light that we don't and can't have, here.

Regardless of the truth about your husband, you don't strike me as paranoid; you seem quite self-aware and conscious of the unlikelihood that your suspicions are correct. It is possible to get in a rut of distrustful thinking about a loved one without being paranoid. It goes something like, "What if... nah, surely not...but it does happen; why would I be sure that I'm immune?... no, that's crazy..." Your thinking sounds a lot like this, and you need to talk to a professional to get it sorted out.

We can't tell you if there's real foundation for your fears. Either way, I disagree with those above operating on the premise that there are only two options: he's trying to kill you, or you're crazy. Probably neither is true, and you've just got temporarily fixated on an unlikely but not entirely implausible scenario.

Also, I agree that you should cancel the insurance policy and tell your husband you did it. This is a small concrete action you can take that may by itself allay your fears. Sometimes with anxiety issues, something like this is all it takes to silence those thoughts bouncing around in your head.
posted by torticat at 8:03 AM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Therapist, as so many have said, and then, some day, watch Suspicion.
posted by kimota at 11:32 PM on January 17 [+] [!]


Interesting fact: in the book Suspicion is based upon (Before the Fact) things turn out very differently, as near to the opposite of the ending of the movie as you can get, and is consequently not something we'd suggest the OP read...
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:09 AM on January 18, 2009


Finally, I keep wondering why he fell in love with me.

This, I think, is the central issue. I think the incidents you relate could be read as either totally normal (very similar things have happened to me, though not in one year and not with the same person) or as a pattern, but it's hard to tell reading them through the filter of your fears, which are a deep concern to you.

What stands out to me, though, is that you don't feel very at home in your relationship - you express surprise that you're together and distrust that your husband sees something wonderful in you. There's more to this story and you need to discover it or the marriage is going to get nasty. Even if you are just experiencing paranoid fantasies, they're coming from somewhere, and the place they're coming from is your fear that you're not good enough for your husband, your fundamental distrust of him, and your sense of social isolation. The "whirlwind" events of the past couple of years are catching up with you. You need someone to talk to to help sort this out.

So, cancel the insurance (for peace of mind) and see a therapist as soon as you can. That person will be your best help and best advocate if there really is anything to fear. But I imagine they're going to approach it by broadening the lens and asking about all aspects of your relationship. Please find someone you click well with and who you can really talk to and open up to. Don't feel embarrassed or tentative - they've heard everything. A therapist can really assist in helping you evaluate your thinking, clarify situations, and find resources in case you do need to find a safer place to be. I think it would help to have an ally who can analyze this with you from an independent perspective.
posted by Miko at 9:27 AM on January 18, 2009


My husband and I don't have kids. We took out life insurance policies about three months after we married. Why? Because you really don't know what might happen. Sudden illness... step in front of a bus... meteorite crashing through the roof and hitting either one of us... you name it. It's a ridiculously small premium cost for a whole heap of peace of mind.

I'm wondering if the baseline problem isn't your self esteem, but rather that you have conflicting ideas of risk/safety, and that this conflict is making you anxious. You marry him after a whirlwind romance, and now you're feeling happy but a bit out of your depth. He sails, he hikes... you don't. You do these adventurous/new/slightly dangerous things with him and feel happy, but edgy as hell. Anything that might go wrong in a situation like that would put you on edge. Maybe if you are starting to wonder what he saw in you in the first place, and you're anxious about having taken a big risk (marriage), having your husband around might just make you see a pattern that might not really be there.

Yes, see a therapist. If you still can't shake the feeling, hire an investigator to look into his background. He might have actual skeletons in the closet, or he might be completely legit. Once you see that report (and have time to talk to a therapist about your anxiety), you'll know which way you want to head.
posted by Grrlscout at 9:30 AM on January 18, 2009


Why do you know about the life insurance at all, if this is his plan? Did he tell you, or did you find out on your own?
posted by xanthippe at 9:34 AM on January 18, 2009


For courtesy's sake, there's a MeTa thread involving some of the answers posted here.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:37 AM on January 18, 2009


[Just reiterating that the metatalk thread would be a good place to take metacommentary.]
posted by cortex at 9:55 AM on January 18, 2009


I haven't read all the responses, but I'll second the suggestions for cancelling the insurance policy for now- that part's weird- and seeing a therapist for self-esteem and perspective.

We can't tell if things are off or not. On the surface: The life insurance is creepy. The boat accident seems innocent. The cliff thing just seems annoying. The car thing is creepy.

In my family my uncle claimed his wife was trying to kill him and we dismissed him as being delusional. It turned out he was not. These things don't only happen in movies.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:02 AM on January 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


This is the exact same plot of the Alfred Hitchcock movie, Suspicion. Watching this movie might be therapeutic for you and help give you a little insight into your own emotions. Best of luck.
posted by tinatiga at 10:42 AM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am an only child and lost both parents in auto accident (drunk driver) and so do not have much of a family. From the beginning I have never quite understood what my husband saw in me (I've seen some of his previous girlfriends and they all looked like super models) but was always so happy that he did.

I think everything you are feeling is rooted in this.

I believe you have a bad case of survivor's guilt, and basically don't think you deserve to be alive, much less be loved by someone you think is wonderful.

If this accident happened while you were still living at home, I'd go so far as to say you feel you only cheated death by happening not to be in the car or being in the back seat, etc., and that you have been living your life in the inky shadow of a conviction that it's all pointless because death is going to catch up to you sooner rather than later, and that that's the way it should be. And it's no surprise to me that you have cooked up an extremely far-fetched scenario in which you were almost killed by a car.

I'd even guess your fear over the insurance issue has to do with how much insurance your parents had when they were killed. If they weren't as provident as your husband seems to be, and there wasn't enough money to really take care of you after they were killed, the insurance policy would be almost certain to bring up again feelings of anger at your parents for being killed and leaving you alone and destitute that you may have (must have, really) had right after their death-- and those are feelings so corrosive almost no one can handle them on their own except by repressing them; you would have needed, and do need very wise intervention. I'd guess, to get down to particulars, that you must believe your husband has some evil motive to avoid facing the fact that your parents were not as responsible as they should have been.

The issue of your husband's intent to kill you I'd consider attributing to a displacement of unresolved feelings of anger and blame toward the drunk driver, and the human need to find some reason and intent at the back of any terrible tragedy.

My advice to you is to get into talk therapy and explore your parents death and its aftermath.

One final thing-- your husband may be drawn to you partly because he thinks you are a wonderful person who got a raw deal in life and truly needs someone like him. Really good people need people to be really good to.
posted by jamjam at 10:54 AM on January 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's impossible to tell what is actually going on from way out here on the internet. My post was only to try to help in case of the worst— it may very well be that there is no foul play here at all, but we can't know that from just this one post and no responses. My advice was only to counteract the loads of "oh no, you're crazy, he's not trying to kill you" that are the dominant type. Maybe she should talk to a friend or another person familiar with the situation.
posted by Electrius at 10:59 AM on January 18, 2009


It's unlikely that he's tying to kill you, but not impossible. Go see a psychiatrist.

For a person to cold-blooded-ly choose a partner, marry her, purchase insurance, and murder her, that person would have to be a psychopath. Psychopaths usually have a history, and there will be some signs in their behavior. A psychiatrist can help you figure out if you're being paranoid and/or if there are good reasons to worry. MSW(Masters in Social Work) therapists may not have the serious diagnostic skills to help you sort this out.

And, either way, you'll need therapy coping with the answers. Please follow up via the moderators at some point. Good luck.
posted by theora55 at 11:07 AM on January 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think you and your new hubby should see a therapist TOGETHER. First, you rushed into a marriage with someone, obviously before you were able to make yourself at home with him. The "he's too good for me" questions you wrestle with are usually something people deal with at the beginning of a relationship, the giddy dating phase, not marriage. But you all didn't take that time to date and really get to know each other on a deep level, so your relationship is premature, kind-of like a child who's been thrust into adulthood before he's ready. But because you all are already married and given that you want to stay married, I think couples counseling is key. It will help you learn more about your husband (be sure to share these very real fears you've expressed in this post) and in turn it will help him learn more about you. Beyond couples therapy, I don't think getting individual therapy for you would be a bad idea either. This is advice from the idealist side of me.

The realist side of me says I don't think your marriage has a very strong chance of survial. As has been mentioned earlier, how can you possibly live feeling in danger of losing your life everyday? You'll never get a good night's sleep! Eventually this paranoia will get to you and it will affect how you treat your husband. He will become disenchanted and the rest is history.

I hope the idealist side wins, but I have to admit, I'm not terribly sure it should. Be more careful jumping into lifetime committments in the future. Good luck.

P.S. If things do work out after you've had therapy, I think a career as a mystery novel writer waiting for you. :)
posted by GeniPalm at 11:24 AM on January 18, 2009


"The door to the garage from the house was open (which was not uncommon since if it didn't latch all the way it opens)."

Regardless of how you proceed on your main concern you should get this changed. Even if it's not required by code in your jurisdiction having an auto closer on doors leading to attached garages is a good idea. Although with modern pollution controls it's a lot harder to die this way than it used to be. Most of the CO is generated in the first minute or so of idling and segmented garage doors generally don't seal very well.

hazyjane writes "Cancel the life insurance policy for both of you. Tell him you don't want that hanging over either of your heads. Put your foot down about this - he's not the only one who gets to make decisions in this marriage."

Unless either spouse's income is capable of paying all their bills this is bad advice. The OP doesn't say how much insurance they have in proportion to their bills (eg: a million dollars of life insurance isn't much if you've got a $800K mortgage) but for the risk adverse it's not unusual to carry enough to pay off the mortgage and provide an annuity equal to lost salary for several years or even until any kids graduate high school. Life insurance is _cheap_ when you are young and healthy and that small investment guarantees availability as you age and possibly develop life threatening diseases.

And cancelling the policy won't even remove a motive for the husband. If he truly is the sort of sociopath who would marry someone planning to later kill them for insurance then cancelling the policy just provides a motive to kill his wife by faking a suicide so he can move on to his next victim.
posted by Mitheral at 12:07 PM on January 18, 2009


I don't think you should cancel the life insurance policy. If your husband really was a killer, than I suppose he'd be like NOOOOO FOILED AGAIN (really?), so fine. But if he is not really trying to murder you, canceling the life insurance that you'd already discussed and agreed on is simply erratic, weird behavior. If you cancel the insurance and he's not a thwarted sociopath, your husband will likely be weirded out. Avoid this especially if you're not ready to explain to him that you think he's plotting your death.

Find someone to talk to about this -- a therapist is a fine suggestion.
posted by grobstein at 12:15 PM on January 18, 2009


I'm a writer, and if I were writing a book, I'd have MUCH better, and easier, ways for your husband to kill you if he wanted to. Household accidents (not the improbable car-gassing kind) would be EASY to rig. You hit your head. Drowned in the bathtub. Got electrocuted by bad or frayed wiring. Any of these would be easier to manage than the sailing accident or the far-off cliffs or even the car running in the garage, but you have built them up into this huge conspiracy. (Either that, our you are playing us, which I'm considering as well.)

But say you're serious: Are you an heiress? Do you REALLY think it would be worth going through a marriage and a series of actions like this to inherit a little money from the life insurance? He's had attractive girlfriends, according to you, and everybody loves him, so couldn't he could get a rich woman easily? Isn't it more likely that he wants the life insurance policies because he knows that YOU were orphaned as a child, and that made him realize, hey, it could happen to our children, too?

The sailing thing, as everyone has said, happens all the time. The cliff thing is typical, too. I don't like heights, they don't bother my husband a bit, and he doesn't want me to miss out on the spectacular view because of an irrational phobia. He always tries to tempt me into getting a little closer to the edge. Either I try, or I tell him to go to hell. I don't immediately start thinking, "he wants me dead!"

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that in addition to being self-conscious and not very self-assertive, you're a little dramatic by nature. You probably have a tendency to worry over the little things and exaggerate them out of proportion. It's not surprising, considering what you've been through, not having any family to tell you when you are over-reacting. But you are NOT in a Lifetime movie of the week.

You are in a marriage, though. Are you having second thoughts, and using this conspiracy theory to bolster your courage so you can end it, or do you really want it to work? If so, you have to get rid of this notion your husband is trying to kill you.

You need someone objective, someone who has no stake in this and whose judgment you will trust, to help you see what's really going on here. For that reason, a therapist is not a bad suggestion. AskMe, as you can clearly see from the variety of answers here, is not the way to go. We can't ask follow-up questions, call your husband in and talk to him, get a gist of what you are really like--a therapist could do any of those things.
posted by misha at 12:49 PM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Husbands kill wives, for money and other reasons.

Smooth, charming, 'perfect' people choose weaker targets with poor self esteem and/or a lack of trust in their own judgment.

Who knows what books *he's* read.

The accidentally on purpose 'method' that someone described sounds totally plausible.

Cancel the health insurance, and tell him, for your peace of mind. Tell him you're cancelling it for your peace of mind. It's not a big deal. You're not hurting anybody by cancelling it. If you're wrong, what's the worst case scenario here? Not much. He'll be a bit poorer if you die prematurely before you have kids.

Get therapy for your issues around self esteem, trusting your own judgment, and death/loss. That's an inherently positive thing you can do for your life, all aspects of your life, and not just this concern.

Don't deny this issue away. It is a REAL issue. Best case scenario, it's a real issue in your heart and mind. Worst case scenario, it's a real issue for your life and security.
posted by Salamandrous at 1:01 PM on January 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't cancel the life insurance policy. I don't think it will solve anything, not even the poster's concerns. If there is any truth at all to the fears behind the question posed here, it would only serve as a red flag.

Poster, I want you to know that I hope you're reading all of the possibilities here and taking in the fact that people here want you to be well, regardless of your actual situation. If you're just playing with everyone, as my caveat referenced, it's an unfortunate abuse of a well-meaning community.

By taking in all types of responses, I hope you can see that your situation presents complexities for a group hoping to give appropriate advice and reduce harm across the board. I don't think anyone here would be happy to see your worst fears borne out even if it proved their personal theory. And I think most of us would be at least somewhat amused to find that this is a piss-take based on excellent mystery fiction, since it seems most of entertained that option.

Many people here have been through weird things and may thusly entertain possibilities which are not extant in your situation, and so could actually increase unfounded paranoia. This is not necessarily out of a desire to see the world mimic dramas "ripped from the headlines", but you should know that some people do perceive the possibilities in the world through a more melodramatic lens.

Those who are responding in a less credulous manner are also not trying to harm you or discount your concerns (mostly). They also want to see you safe, but their perception is not coloured by as much weirdness or melodrama, and may seem harsh or judgmental instead of the helpfulness and reality they are hoping to convey. And I believe they genuinely want to protect themselves and their community from the confusion of sympathy via falsehood, since those occasions do undermine overall trust.

With all of that in mind, if you're sincere, you really are better off checking in with a mental health professional first in order to get a reality check. Much of advice here depends upon getting the basic fundament of your logic center examined by someone who can give you an unbiased, truth-based analysis.

And, if you're not sincere, let us know so we can all have a good laugh.
posted by batmonkey at 1:01 PM on January 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean he's not trying to kill you. Sure you can see a counselor, but also be careful and proactive...I think there is a lot of good advice here, but this is the kind of thing where you will have to figure out how much of it is based on your own insecurities and how much of it is based in reality. None of us can do that for you. You can't just go on living like this, so something has to give. I kept trying to think of some way you could indirectly notify him of suspicion, without confrontation, but could only come up with crazy ideas that probably express why I should be seeing a counselor instead of--or as well as--you (see *).

*--I'm a paranoid type, so I'd also still install a keystroke logger (records what things he says and searches for online) on the computer and look for more evidence. And/or you could tell him how upset you were when you did a free psychic reading with some lady--make up stuff--and she told you that he was trying to kill you...go on about how freaked out it made you that she wrote down your name and info so that she could tell the police to investigate it if she read anything in the news, etc. Apologize for being so sensitive/irrational, but know that it'd also put him on notice.--*
posted by whatgorilla at 1:14 PM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Batmonkey, I do agree with you that she (IF it's true and not a storyline) that she needs to have her reality checked by a professional, but have to respectfully disagree that going through weird things makes one necessarily melodramatic.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 1:57 PM on January 18, 2009


Hi there,

it sounds to me like you are possibly a little insecure ("I'm plain, I don't have close friends,etc"), and this is informing your thoughts. I don't think he is trying to kill you.

Look at his friends and family - are they loving and intelligent? If so, let that reassure you.

Someone said a therapist is someone who cares about you - maybe, but real friends in the real world are better. Seek some out, there are tons of good people out there. Isolation can cause paranoid thoughts, so don't isolate yourself.

It sounds like you've never brought this up with your husband? Maybe better that oyu haven't. But you could try making a joke about it and see how he reacts, unless you think that's just going to make you more paranoid.

Anyway, I think some synapses in you brain are trying to tell you SOMETHING. Most likely NOT that your husband is trying to kill you, but DEFINITELY that something is not right with you or your wolrd. That said, all is fixable, you just have to figure what it is.

All the best.
posted by Penelope at 2:28 PM on January 18, 2009


And oh yes, it's not that weird to get life insurance at a young age. The premiums are lower and some people are into that kind of financial planning, even though it seems odd to other people. And the 3 things you've described sound accidental to me. The cliff thing was not even an incident, just an imagination of yours. So just cross it off your list, along with the other 2.
posted by Penelope at 2:46 PM on January 18, 2009


Grlnxtdr:
"that going through weird things makes one necessarily melodramatic."

I'm definitely not saying that. I'm saying there are people who have been through weird things that make this seem less impossible than it does to others, and that some people view the world through a more melodramatic lens. Admittedly, there may be some overlap between the two, but I'm describing two different population sets (albeit somewhat hurriedly).

Thank you for the opportunity to clarify!
posted by batmonkey at 3:07 PM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I want to say to you what I say to my mom when she talks about people wanting to kidnap her or something along those lines:

Stop watching the lifetime channel and go see a therapist.

If your husband really did want to kill you on the sailboat, he never would have come got you. He could have claimed you drowned and he was never able to find you. If he really wanted to kill you on the hike, he could have thrown or pushed you over. There is no real reason to get you to voluntarily come over.

Go see a therapist.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:56 PM on January 18, 2009


I just finished reading the true story a wife whose husband was a psychopath who tried to kill her while retaining plausible deniability. On the one hand, it's amazing how much a person will do to make excuses for brutal things that a loved one does. On the other hand, the guy in that book was doing things like plowing their car into oncoming traffic so she would be hit and running up $30,000 in debt while being pursued by FBI investigators. Unless there are really big chunks of the story you're leaving out, the whole killing-you thing doesn't add up. His "attempts" so far are about as well-planned as 'leave the toaster out with a fork tantalizingly nearby, wait for victim to kill self.'

nthing the call to find a good therapist. Tell your husband that it's about your parents, find someone that you trust, and talk it through with them. Be fully honest with them and don't hold back your fears or things that will make either you OR your husband look bad.

Be ready to accept either option -- either he's a psychopath trying (incompetently) to kill you, or there are some fundamental issues in your own life that are causing you to see someone who loves you as a potential assassin. But most important, accept that you're not in a position to judge that without outside input from someone who is independent, sworn to confidentiality, and trained to spot out when someone's suffering from Big Issues.
posted by verb at 4:53 PM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, recognize that working with a therapist is not going to be "getting a yes/no question answered" but rather "figuring out why this is happening and working it out." That's... kind of an important distinction.
posted by verb at 4:55 PM on January 18, 2009


Irrespective of whether or not he's actually trying to kill you, at this rate he's going to get you killed. We're talking two potentially lethal fuckups in the span of a year, both at best bafflingly stupid and at least one of them -- the sailboat incident -- completely inexcusable. But quite apart from that, there's a huge imbalance of power in your relationship that you need to get a handle on. You need to talk to someone outside the situation. And you definitely need to talk to someone besides AskMe, and do it nonanonymously.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:15 PM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


It blows my mind that so many respondents have been hit by booms. What?
posted by macrowave at 6:33 PM on January 18, 2009


Minor technical question: even if she cancels the insurance policy that she knows about, could her husband have other policies she doesn't know about?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 7:30 PM on January 18, 2009


Another data point: the boat thing happened to me nearly exactly as you told it, except my brother was piloting and when he suddenly tacked I got whacked in the forehead (I know why they call it the "boom") and was upside down in the water and disoriented, and then he ran over me and sliced open my leg with the daggerboard. He wasn't trying to kill me. Sailing accidents happen, especially to noobs.

Un-freak yourself.
posted by planetkyoto at 9:15 PM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


It blows my mind that so many respondents have been hit by booms. What?

It's a commonplace hazard that goes with being on a sailboat, somewhat akin to the fact that if you jog or run, at some point you'll trip. Or if you go skiing, you'll fall. Sure, you're careful, you pay attention, blah blah blah, but one unexpected thing happens and BOOM, you're eating gravel/snow/in the water.
posted by desuetude at 9:23 PM on January 18, 2009


I was typing out a thoughtful, reassuring answer - but then I read your question to my husband and he says that you are being a wimp about the whole thing, and should kill him and collect the insurance money.

Really though, I don't think you are being overly paranoid - I have almost killed my hub twice since September (electrocution & hitting him with a shovel, ACCIDENTALLY OF COURSE) and think he would have been freaking out and thinking what you are if I had just taken out a life insurance policy. And we've known each other for a decade, with none of the confounding personal issues that other people are latching onto as evidence that you are being wrong minded about the situation.
posted by Acer_saccharum at 9:31 PM on January 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


I agree with everyone who said you should cancel your insurance. Just tell your husband afterwards that it made you really nervous (which is true, so you won't be telling a lie). The sailing incident could have been an accident. It wasn't his first time, but maybe it was his first time to go with a complete beginner or go sailing with someone else in the boat. As for "taking forever to save you", well, some people say that during their brushes with death, time seemed to take so long, so a few seconds can seem like minutes and minutes can seem like hours.

You seem like someone with low self-esteem. A lot of good-looking people do fall in love with average looking ones, so don't fret about it. Perhaps you were smarter, kinder or more fun to be with than those pretty exes of his, so don't look down on yourself.

However, I find your circumstances suspicious. Whirlwind romance. Large insurance at the start of the marriage, for "the kids" but your husband delays having them. Three close brushes with death in a year. Sure your fears sound like a Hitchcock movie, but it doesn't mean that such things only happen in movies. Some people take notes from movies and detective stories to know what and what not to do when committing a crime. If he were trying to kill you during the sailing incident He could have had jitters at the last minute or got scared by the other boat.

Are you rich? Just how well do you know your husband? You only dated for a few months. What was your husband's lifestyle before you got married? Was he a party kind of guy? Did he spend more than he could afford? What kind of people are his friends? Are they clean or do they do drugs? Could your husband be doing drugs behind your back? Or be in a large debt (such as gambling debt)? Are there other times when you felt like he had manipulated you (by sweetness etc) into agreeing or doing something you weren't comfortable with or have you seen him sweet talk other people into doing something they were against with? Hire a PI to put your mind at ease. And stay alert. Tell your friends and his family and friends about the three incidents as a joke, adding "he's trying to kill me, but I'm a tough one, he would have to try harder" then laugh. Make sure you really sound like you're joking. It wouldn't be treated seriously, but if anything bad happens, someone might remember the incidents you mentioned.
posted by slashee at 12:28 AM on January 19, 2009


Number one: You seem very insecure. I see no reason you shouldn't deserve a loving handsome popular husband even though you're not a supermodel like his exes. You probably gave him something that they didn't - perhaps they were all high maintenance and shallow, maybe even boring. Just looking at your vacations you seem adventurous and ever ready to try new things that you've never done before - why isn't this a great asset that make you deserving of him in your mind? I love people who are up for trying new stuff and trust me, very few people really are.

So, I guess I think like the others, you need to see a therapist.

But I also agree with the people who say cancel the life-insurance. When you have children, these insurances are important. They can help fund college and such for offspring. I totally understand the bizarre feeling of "price on your head" that one gets when you have life-insurance, many people react this way. My mother has fretted forever that my brothers new wife convinced him to get a really hefty life-insurance when they have no children, so this reaction is a lot more common than you think. And again, a therapist may help you sort all of this out. But if the insurance makes you uncomfortable, I don't think you should keep it. Use that money for a therapist instead.
posted by dabitch at 4:15 AM on January 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm a little late to this party, but . . .

I think the problem started with you marrying someone that you were not 100 percent convinced truly loves you. You have to feel secure in a relationship, and you clearly don't. Do you really think marrying this guy was the right thing? Even if he isn't trying to kill you?

Anyway, I don't necessarily think you're crazy. I do believe in intuition. I'm not saying its LIKELY but yeah, it's possible. I am convinced that this sort of thing flies under the radar all the time. I can't help but think of Kathleen Savio who died 'accidentally' and there wasn't any news coverage or anything because it was, well, an accident. and they decided it was homocide after all, years later- only after the next wife went missing.

You're in a tough spot because . . . well, it doesn't seem like there's a lot you can do to 'protect yourself' without actually seeming crazy. then again, it seems wrong to completely IGNORE your intuition if you don't feel safe. According to the articles I've read about her, apparently Kathleen Savio told some people that she had suspicions about her husband trying to kill her. I'm not trying to scare you, and I agree with you seeing a therapist. But honestly, for everyone saying that there's no way he's trying to kill you- how do they know? it does happen. "If he wanted to do it he would have just done it"- how do you know? When's the last time you killed someone? Who knows what goes in in someone else's head or why they act the way they do?

Regardless of the fear of murder thing, maybe you just have to really evaluate why you decided to marry him in the first place. Do you really love him, does he really love you, or did you do it because you were insecure?

it isn't normal to think your husband is trying to kill you. so why do you think it? well, maybe it's IS all in your head. but there might be a lot more going on then we could know about. we don't know your husband, you do. maybe there's just something in his mannerisms or little things he says or does that rub you the wrong way. and these sorts of things are just as important as the 'incidents' you mentioned. this is where therapy would come in helpful. you do need someone to help you sort it all out and get some perspective. but don't ignore your feelings.
posted by lblair at 8:28 AM on January 19, 2009


Dear OP: You're plain, you say. His exes are supermodel types. Please remember the simple rule:
"All that is gold does not glitter".

Plain can become very welcome, cherished. What many people call plain, others call "real". Fancy folk all to often are not what they say they are. You may shine on his radar far more brightly than you give yourself credit.

High places: My partner of 12 years (w00t! Inauguration is anniversary of our 2nd date) is afraid of heights, for no specific reason. I am also, but only a little, and in odd ways (looking up scares me, when I'm on an edge). I always ask him to come look from where it is less comfortable for him, as I want him to get more used to such things. Since our balcony (7th floor) is scary to him, it is a bit much.

'boom' is Dutch, for tree. The languages are related.
posted by Goofyy at 10:51 AM on January 19, 2009


Small observation - plenty of alpha male types who date supermodel types wind up marryings normal looking women. Possibly more than otherwise. Man does not live well on a steady diet of fois gras and creme brulee.

That is all.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:46 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


And finally, the carbon monoxide poisoning - I really don't think using a car exhaust to kill someone is feasible.

Oh please. While statistically rare, it happens all the damned time. And hey, off the top of my head I can name a famous movie actress who unsolved murder was committed that way.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:59 PM on January 20, 2009


who=whose
posted by miss lynnster at 6:59 PM on January 20, 2009


...is it even remotely possible that she thinks I'm trying to kill her?

Well, it would cross anyone's mind. You're a laid-back, live-for-the-moment, risk-taking type (no life jackets, whirlwind romance, edge of the cliff) but you insisted on taking out a big life insurance policy on her and remaining its only beneficiary. You're an experienced sailor, but when she went overboard you somehow forgot the first step of every overboard rescue: throw a floatation device, both to aid the swimmer (if they're conscious) and to mark the location, which is even more vital if you're now alone on the boat and can't assign a spotter. And starting her car without noticing it, then leaving the house? That happens... about as often as men kill their wives.

But of course you're not trying to kill her, you love her deeply and respect her as a smart and rational person; so when she tells you that she has this wild idea and has told an on-line community the whole story, and that while many of them scoff at her suspicions, she has befriended two or three under her real name, you'll accept that she has doubts about your relationship and have a serious conversation in which you put them to rest. Good for you!
posted by nicwolff at 4:39 PM on January 21, 2009


Oh please. While statistically rare, it happens all the damned time. And hey, off the top of my head I can name a famous movie actress who unsolved murder was committed that way.

Sure, in enclosed garages (like in all of your examples.) Which is a far more lethally concentrated dose than a garage with a door to the house filling the entire house to a high enough concentration to cause suffocation. CO2 deaths in homes arise from faulty heating equipment.
posted by desuetude at 5:02 PM on January 21, 2009


It's rare but it does happen.
posted by caddis at 7:24 AM on January 22, 2009


Go to your doctor. Insist on highlevel professional mental healthcare - a referral to same is your best course of action here. Your average therapist won't be able to help as readily.

Also, cancel the life insurance, tell your husband you've done it, and tell him that you couldn't handle the price on your head thing.

If your healthcare goes well and you get on with your psychiatrist, I really would consider the possibility of arranging this in advance with them: inviting your husband along for a drive one day, taking him to your doc, and telling him everything about the illness. Then leave the room, and let the doc tell him everything about the illness from a different angle.

The reason I say that is simple. If you have these problems, they're going to come out eventually even if you have been in therapy for years, and sooner rather than later, and more honestly and up-front than not.
posted by paperpete at 1:00 PM on January 22, 2009


paperpete: Go to your doctor. Insist on highlevel professional mental healthcare.... cancel the life insurance

Then have trouble getting life insurance in the future due to your mental health issues.
posted by caddis at 3:10 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, let the professional tell you if you need to have him or her explain things to your husband. Way too much micromanaging going on in that post, or whatever it is you call it when you're trying to manage things way too far ahead of the game.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:44 PM on January 22, 2009


I'm very late here but I expect you are still checking the responses here from time to time. I have given everything you say and the above answers much consideration. Here is what is absolutely certain to me about what can be concluded on the facts as you've stated them. Your husband, at the very least is wilfully negligent. In a court of law where someone has been injured as a result of this negligence, such negligence is a very serious offence. He clearly has a problem. He might be someone who has routinely faced risks and is simply unthinking about the risk to others less sure-footed. Maybe he was in the military for example? It's not you who has the problem. He needs to start taking responsibility for his lack of concern for the well-being and abilities of others. It might not be you next time whose life he puts in danger. This is something that he needs to deal with as soon as possible.

The situation could possibly be worse than this. He might have considered the possibility of what happened if you did die in an accident and reasoned that he had that eventuality well-covered. This still might not be enough to infer intent to injure.

I'm not trying to be all sympathetic and sensitive here. You might have your own personal issues that you are wrestling with but I think your reactions in these circumstances are quite normal. I firmly believe it is your husband who should be seeing somebody about curtailing his tendency to wilfully endanger other people's lives before his actions do lead to serious injury of either himself or somebody else. Furthermore, you, as his wife, and as a witness to his carelessness, have a moral (and in some cases possibly legal) responsibility to see that he does take steps to address his problem.
posted by zaebiz at 8:30 PM on January 30, 2009


I firmly believe it is your husband who should be seeing somebody about curtailing his tendency to wilfully endanger other people's lives before his actions do lead to serious injury of either himself or somebody else.

The OP described three situations that led her to ask the question. Two of them were actually accidents. One has been described in other comments as a something that happens frequently in boating.

Based on one uncommon accident in one year, you're recommending her husband seek professional help to be less careless? Really?
posted by Remy at 9:11 AM on February 1, 2009


I understand this kind of paranoia all too well: I don't think you're crazy. While I think it's highly unlikely he's trying to kill you, one never knows. Going to see a therapist seems like a win-win solution. S/he should be able to help you work through your anxiety, and if there is something to worry about, may be able to help you figure out a way to deal with it. Good luck.
posted by faeuboulanger at 8:48 PM on February 8, 2009


I'm coming on way late in the game here, but I just wanted to add that instead of completely canceling the policy, reduce it to an amount that will cover your funeral (whatever kind of funeral you would choose), and any debt you have. That way it won't seem like a rash move that could make your husband think you're being weird, and if something happened to you, your husband wouldn't be left high and dry to pay everything himself.
posted by fructose at 9:13 AM on March 31, 2009


Another late addition, just on the subject of carbon monoxide poisoning. You can, indeed, kill someone by leaving their car running in an attached garage.

My aunt and uncle and their two dogs died in this way.

Their master bedroom was above their garage. Somehow, the remote start on their car (in the garage) was activated. The police figure it was just someone in the neighborhood had a remote on the same frequency. At any rate, the car was running, the exhaust fumes went up through the ceiling of the garage into their bedroom and killed both of them and their dogs while they slept.

Yeah. Pretty awful.
posted by rhartong at 4:51 AM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


the evidence has to show that your beloved is actually a murderous psychopath beyond reasonable doubt.

In all fairness, this is not true. I don't have to be sure beyond a reasonable doubt that someone has ill intentions towards me before I can react. For example, it's perfectly reasonable to lock my doors and drive off if someone approaches my car and looks like they may intend to carjack me. If they pull out a knife, I don't have to wait to make sure they're not simply about to peel an apple before getting the heck away.

There's a psychological trifecta going on here -- she has low self-esteem, therefore believes her husband does not really love her, therefore believes her value to him comes from the life insurance policy. Whatever her husband's intentions, the life insurance policy freaks her out and if he is a loving husband he should respect this even if it hurts to know that she doesn't trust him. (It certainly won't help the situation for the husband to say something like, "Don't be silly. You're just being delusional" as that plays right into the made-for-TV drama). Cancel the life insurance, first thing, just to get that out of the way.. Then, she should go to a psychiatrist on her own to work through her fears and her self-esteem issues. Finally, couples therapy to work through the trust issues that will inevitably come up.

Anonymous, if this has been resolved, it would really be appreciated if you went ahead and sent a private message to one of the mods so we could all know what is going on.
posted by Deathalicious at 2:44 AM on June 2, 2009 [5 favorites]


I believe this is called paranoid schizophrenia but might just be passive aggression.

You can't diagnose a serious mental health condition over the internet.
posted by mippy at 8:49 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


A boom on a bigger sailboat could easily kill an adult. Learn how to rig a preventer.

(touches scar on head)
posted by toastchee at 1:20 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I do think you should talk to a counselor because either way this is an issue you can't deal with on your own. Not knowing you I don't know how prone you are to paranoia so to give any kind of opinion on his behavior is impossible, but, a person should always tend to nagging suspicions whether they are warning signs to your own issues or something much more sinister. What if he is trying to kill you? What if you are just paranoid? You need to figure this out because it will ruin you and or your marriage if you don't. Good luck and seeing a therapist is nothing to be ashamed of.
posted by gypseefire at 11:05 AM on September 27, 2009


« Older Does THC have any negative int...   |  Ideas for fun (low-cost) activ... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.