Facebook share
LinkedIn share
Google plus share
Twitter plus share
Give Advice
Ask For Advice
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Advice for my relationship anxiety?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    3

    Advice for my relationship anxiety?

    Hi everyone,

    Iím new here and hope Iíve found the right place.

    Iím 34 and have been with my boyfriend (38) for 7 months. We live together, as we were acquaintances prior, and then became roommates. Then we started dating pretty much immediately on becoming roommates. Up until this point, it has worked very well for us, even though I admit it has been a rapid progression that normally wouldnít have happened so quickly if it werenít for our living situation. I do feel that we are both mature adults who value integrity, communication, and being supportive of each other. I say Iím ďmatureĒ even though what I describe below is not, but I recognize my behavior pattern and would like to change.

    I am here because I have come to realize I am too attached to my boyfriend and itís causing me incredibly severe anxiety. My ďwhat ifĒ thoughts are starting to ruin what is an otherwise great relationship.

    To make a long story short, my boyfriend sends and receives texts more than any person Iíve ever known. His family is across the country, and he has a lot of coworkers and friends. But all I can think of is ďWho is thatĒ and create some horrible doomsday scenario in my head that Iím being lied to or cheated on. Heís done neither in our time together. Quite the opposite, he is consistently caring and affectionate.

    However, I have made comments like ďWow you sure get a lot of texts,Ē ďWhoís texting you at this hourĒ and other passive-aggressive nonsense that he has now started to put his foot down on. I donít blame him. If he wants to text and itís not during dinner or quality time together, he should be free to do it without worrying will this annoy/upset me.

    I have anxiety in all parts of life. Iím also the child of an alcoholic/incredibly dysfunctional parents who are still married but hate each other. I was not 10 years old when Iíd already figured out what cheating was because my I discovered alcoholic parent repeatedly cheating (either through cards, a phone call I listened in on, etc). I believe this has led me to be a worst case scenario person for everything. You wouldnít know that from the outside but my brain just will not stop torturing me. And Iím so afraid my fear of uncertainty is going to ruin what could be an amazing future with someone who truly cares about me.

    I shouldíve addressed this long ago (I realize Iím a textbook case for therapy), but instead I chose to forgo romantic relationships for years. Now that Iím in one, Iím desperately trying to get into therapy ASAP, but Iím wondering if anyone else here has advice for the short-term, books/podcasts/apps, or has experienced something similar. I really want to address the issues with my insecurity and anxiety but it feels so overwhelming right now that I feel Iíll never be able to escape this self-defeating cycle and have a successful relationship. I certainly donít want to take out my fears on my boyfriend anymore than I already have (and feel awful about).

    Sorry for the lengthy post. Thanks for listening.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    4,482
    Gender
    Male
    Welcome to ENA, sorry as I am for the troubles that led you here.

    That said, your post is a refreshing one, as you're not only holding yourself accountable but shifting your inner compass toward the thing you know you need, and have needed, for a good minute of this thing called your life: therapy. Bravo, as I suspect you will find that really wonderful, not merely because your backstory makes you a "textbook case" (we are all, us humans, those) but because your emotional intelligence (your youstroy, let's call it) makes you a textbook candidate for getting some results.

    Alas, you're looking for supplements to that journey to swallow down right now, understandably. On that note, what do you have in your life, independent of him, that you know makes you feel more peaceful, more at ease in your skin, confident that whatever life throws your way you'll be okay? Me, for instance? I have yoga, surfing, a motorcycle, to name some big ones, and all those things are part of my daily life. Yeah, some of those are dangerous, but I'm at peace with my need for a little danger, and they calm me down, let me release some pressure so I don't fling it at, say, my girlfriend. Bottom line is that I think it's great to have a little arsenal that we can turn to, and I'm wondering if your own can use some stockpiling.

    But also? I think it's pretty critical, at 7 months, to still be realistic, regardless of your history. As in: this might not work, and that is okay. Not a verdict on your selfhood, or your complete inability to be in a "successful" relationship, but just a possible outcome, as it always is, between two people who don't really know each other and are seeing about making a life together. The texting, for instance. It is okay if that is not your thing, and okay if this relationship ends up teaching you that. Not saying that's the case hereónot at allóbut I am saying it's okay to consider it, if that makes sense. Sometimes just being able to let in those thoughts makes them less potent. No human being on the planet, after all, is "fully" secure in a relationship after 7 months.

    It also makes them things you can, you know, talk to someone about without those talks coming in the form of passive-aggressive jabs. For instance, the way you phrased it here? That you're not used to dating someone who has friends and family scattered about, and by extension who texts with so often with so many people, and that you're still adjusting to that. There was heart in that, and genuine vulnerability. Have you ever put it in that kind of context to him? I wonder if, in doing so, there might be room to bridge the gap, to make it all little less mysterious together.

    Anyhow, some initial thoughts. Hope something in there resonates. Take a few deep breaths. You've got listening ears here.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Cloud Nine
    Posts
    38,539
    Gender
    Male
    Sorry to hear this. How and why did you come about this living arrangement? Are there others in the house? Try some relaxation techniques and classes. Give each other space. There is too much togetherness and that can grate on nerves.

    In the meantime see a physician asap for a complete evaluation rather than self diagnosing or ruminating about childhood issues. Therapy is supportive but may be tough to pay for or arrange, but in this case seems quite valuable.. Let a doctor arrange things for you. At 34 you need a good physical anyway.
    Originally Posted by ranger85

    Iím 34 and have been with my boyfriend (38) for 7 months. We live together, as we were acquaintances prior, and then became roommates. Then we started dating pretty much immediately on becoming roommates. I realize Iím a textbook case for therapy

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    22,715
    I think that therapy would be a great option for you, not only for your your relationship, but for life in general.

    Do you have any social life outside of the bf?

  5.  

  6. #5
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    2,217
    Focus on the fact that he puts his cell phone down during his quality time with you such as dinner and anytime you are together. Count your blessings because a lot of people are focused on their cell phones despite being with their significant other whether it's dinnertime, downtime or anytime partners or spouses are together.

    I'm a daughter of a wife beater alcoholic and my parents hated each others guts. Then my late father skipped town with nary a penny of child support for his 3 children. My divorced and later widowed young mother had to eek out a living by toiling at 3 jobs 7 days a week. My negligent grandmother babysat for "free."

    Fast forward. I married a great man and have two amazing sons. I live a quiet, calm, content, smooth, normal, stable life at last.

    I never suspect my husband of anything sneaky nor is he obsessed with his cell phone, PC nor desktop. He has earned my trust over time as your boyfriend has. You owe your sincere, steadfast and unwavering trust for your boyfriend because he has proven is mettle. Think about that a lot.

    Tread lightly and very cautiously otherwise your paranoia will force your boyfriend to exit the relationship quickly. Never accuse anyone unfairly. It's a good way to infuriate anyone; not just your boyfriend.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    24,779
    Gender
    Female
    You did not move in because you were eyeing engagement or a relationship commitment -- you moved in platonically, and your daily proximity sparked the relationship - or lack of "roommate boundaries" or at least sex. So i understand that there could be an inherent lack of compatibility of communication or social style. There could also be insecurity because "where you stand" could be situational.

    There ARE cases where male/female roommates can work. I had a friend who roomed with someone who worked at the same hospital - and they were two ships passing in the night due to their shifts and both had only clear roommate intent -- And they also had boundaries -- but your case is why i hardly ever advocate for them - either because of an instant relationship with someone who is "there" but might not be right, or the feeling of rejection if the other person really only wants to be roommates.

    I think you should look at your situation - if you had a full social life with other choices, would you have chosen this guy to have a relationship with?

    You can read all sorts of books and go to therapy, but you cannot podcast yourself into a perfect relationship. Once you accept the circumstances of it - you did not go on dates with your acquaintance and have the chance to decide if a second date, a third date was warranted, etc and just may be forcing yourself into a square hole, i think the sooner you can decide whether your insecurity is what you would have no matter who you were with, or your insecurity is there because you are forcing to make this work because you live together.

    I am not saying "dump him". but let go a little and step back in your head -- be okay if this relationship really has an expiration date because it was not love, but two bodies in proximity.

    Maybe i am reaching or being harsh, but sometimes its "us" and sometimes it really has to do with the fact that we are trying to "be okay" with something that goes against our grain. When i moved across the country to be near my ex, i would have dumped him pretty quick if he was a guy in my town, but because i moved, (not in with him, but nearby), i put up with things i should not have or constantly tried to "make myself okay" with things i should not have -- even if it was not something horrendous like gambling his life away or some behavior like that, but just things that were not best for me/not matching my values or being myself

  8. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    51,614
    Iím sorry youíre feeling so anxious. I agree with therapy because this isnít fair to either of you.

  9. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    3
    Thank you all for your words of support and advice.

    I definitely did focus too much attention on my boyfriendís interests/hobbies/life in order to spend more time with him. A lot of our interests overlap but I was doing these things (such as hiking, playing an instrument, etc) before I met him and need to continue to do them on my own. I also know I need to meet more people and have my own life outside of him. I am really angry with myself that I let it get to this point. I do have friends, but it is a small group, and my best friend is also his friend (how we met), so it just makes it one more thing weíve overlapped in. I also work remotely so that means even more time to be alone and drive myself crazy.

    I feel like Iím a smart person, but I hadnít been in a relationship in a very long time and I forgot/neglected my own priorities. Not to say he isnít worthy of my attention but I am just so frustrated I didnít maintain my independence which has left me wrought with anxiety, questioning every little this or that, and playing movies in my head that have taken one little 99.9% likely innocent thing (a notification on his phone this morning at 3am woke me up) and spun it into something so elaborate I donít know whether to laugh or cry about what my brain is capable of imagining.

    I will say, I have made an active effort not to say anything about his phone since he told me pretty much that itís obvious what Iím doing, and that it hurt his feelings, so I said nothing about the notification (he did offer up that it wasnít a text). I have said in the past that itís unacceptable for social media or news notifications or texts to wake me up in my sleep. He started silencing his phone, so I know he just forgot to last night.

    He has told me ad nauseum that if he wanted to see someone else or carry on some text love affair, heíd break up with me. He truly is not the type of person to be so callous.

    My goals are to start therapy as soon as possible, think before I speak, and dedicate time for myself to get back to the things I like to do, do them *by myself*, meet new people, and stop centering my life around one person. I realize thatís much easier said than done but I appreciate the comments I was given here and Iím hopeful therapy will put me on the track to being happy again with myself and not dependent on another person for that happiness.

    Thanks again. :)

  10. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    3
    I also wanted to say that itís been extremely helpful to just vent this out. I feel so much better now than I did before I started my response. So thank you all for that!


Give Advice
Ask For Advice

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •