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Self-sabataging my relationship

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I know this is long, and I thank you in advance for taking the time to help me. My problem is taking a toll on my life and I really would like some feedback.


For the background:

I met my current boyfriend over the internet. We talked online virtually daily for about 2 months. He lives in Europe, and I in the US. I was invited to a conference for my profession, that just happened to be in the city he lives near. (Im am in the last year of my masters degree program) We met while there, hit it off wonderfully, and I ended up extending my trip to 2 months and stayed with him. At the end of the trip we decided that we wanted to make the relationship work, and I returned to the states and he got back to his life and job, which he had put on hold to spend time with me.


He in that time applied for jobs in his field in the city where I live, and booked a one-way ticket to come here, 2 months after I had returned from Europe.


So, he will be here in about 2 weeks, and I am very excited about it and I know he is as well. My problem stems from my own insecurities and I am worried that I am going to sabotage our relationship, or if not, make myself crazy in the attempt.


I was a very strong, secure person always in control of my relationships. My last break-up definitely damaged me some and I'm still working on building myself back up. Admittedly I jumped into my current relationship too soon after my breakup, but I feel like this person and opportunity are too good to pass up, so Id rather work on myself while with him, which I know is going to be much much harder.


He is about 6 years older than I am, is emotionally secure, experienced, and knows what he wants. While Ive broken the cycle of my choosing emotionally-stunted men, I have somewhere alone the way become an emotional wreck myself.


So the essense of my problem is, since Ive returned from Europe, Ive become extremely anxious over my speaking to him. I know that he loves me, cares about me, wants to be with me, and is coming here. Yet I am obsessing over meeting times online, hearing from him, etc.


He made it clear when we decided to make this work that he has been through long-distance relationships and feels strongly on how to make them work in a healthy manner. He feels strongly about not being attached at the hip to cell phones and texting. And that it is important we retain our own lives apart instead of obsessing over just speaking to each other. (which is exactly what I find myself doing).


So, true to his word, he manages to show me he loves me, build my trust, and find time to communicate with me, all while managing to balance his job and personal life. I, on the other hand, am a wreck. It is too expensive to use the phone, so we instead chat online using web-cams and speak on the phone maybe once every 2 weeks.


When we first met and our relationship was purely online we spoke every night, and maybe that is the standard I am comparing to now. I recognize that those first months were the exciting beginning times when you are getting to know the person, and now that we have discovered the basics about each other and are happy and comfortable, it wont continue exactly as is was since we now have the connection, we aren't still working on creating one.


We manage to see each other almost every day. His schedule has shifted: we used to talk every evening, he is now instead out socially, and we meet during the day. I trust him, and recognize that he has to live his life, and yet I am so insecure that I'm not controlling the relationship. Also, as he is loathe to making schedules, and I leave my computer always online, we don't have a set time to meet, he just messages me when he is around/wants to talk. He wont make one since he feels that if he cant make it for some reason he doesn't want to have me waiting for him on the other end.


The result of all of this, is I'm not living my life. I'm just waiting for him to message me. I'm upset when I don't hear from him, and thinking about it constantly. This is obviously not a successful or healthy way to make a relationship work, and I know how strongly he feels about this, so I don't want to show him my crazy.


So, is this just something I have to deal with? From how I describe our communication, is he in the right, which I suspect? It is only two weeks until he gets here, and I don't want to live it with my life on hold since I am constantly fidgeting and anxious. I think part of it is that my life is currently slow and empty. In the next week I will move into a new apartment, and go back to graduate school. So I suspect once I am too busy to spend all day waiting, things will get better. But I don't just want to cover the problem.


Is he cannot find work here, he can only afford to stay about a month. If that happens and we have to return to a long distance relationship, I want to do it on good footing, in a healthy way. He says that they are easier to survive when we are moving towards a common goal and not just separated for an undefined time. That goal is the month of may. So its manageable, but I don't want to be so unhealthy or drive him away when this relationship is actually fulfilling me in so many other wonderful ways.


So any advice on how to cut down on my obsessing and insecurity? Ive mentioned, we talk practically daily for 15 minutes to an hour. But the lack of having a meeting time makes me just wait, and feel like he wont make a time for me. He doesn't spend a lot of time online, doesn't chat almost at all. Often when Ive spent my night in waiting anxiously and don't see him, the next day when we do speak, and I ask him what how he spent his previous evening, it he will have spent it reading, working on his music, watching a film. He again feels that just because he is home and not working, doesn't mean he should be constantly speaking with me. Where I think in my current state, I'd be happy speaking for hours on end to the exclusion of everything else. He is very firm in his opinion on this sort of thing as he has been through it. And I want to give him the benefit of the doubt since he must have some more experience than I (I am almost 24, he just turned 30).


He sees through me somewhat, and when we say goodbye for more than a day (Ive gone on some trips) he will tell me not to be anxious, remember that he loves me, don't worry, live my life, etc. And the old me would have been in agreeance. I somehow changed into a fragile person from a very very bad breakup (we were just engaged, he abandoned me, took the bank accounts, never said a word to me, no warning, etc etc)


This combined with the fact that for the first time I have a partner who I cant enable/fix/be co-dependent with and control, is taking its toll on me. He again sees this and says that I am not upset with the fact he goes out at night with his friends, rather I am upset that I cannot control him/where he's going/our relationship, and that if we are to work I have to accept that he is his own person, and want to accept him as is, good and bad.


So I think he's giving me all of the clues and tips I need, yet I'm not living the way I should be. I'm relatively sure its all me, not him. If someone could verify that it is me, that would be a big help. After that.. is it just time? Am I still healing from my last ex? How can I build back up my security/confidence without ruining my current relationship. I am secure and confident in who I am, and trusting and not slightly concerned about his behavior, commitment or fidelity. I'm just panicking and thinking constantly to his talking to me. For instance, once we've spoken, and I know we wont again until tomorrow, I am fine, and happy. It is when I don't know when/if I will hear from him that I just wait around worrying.


When he does settle here with me, finds a job and his own friends, I don't want to have to panic the first time he tells me he is going out with them either without me, or while I'm gone. Which again, I know its healthy to have your own separate friends and life, I just now find myself unable to deal with it.


So I know this is very long, and thank you if you make it through this. But I can't take the anxiety I am giving to myself and want to enjoy this phase of my life, which I don't think I'm doing right now, and I know it will eventually show to him. (I am keeping all of this too myself - I wouldn't even know where to start telling him what the problem is, since I don't actually know that there is a problem.)


Feedback would be very very appreciated, and thank you in advance. (And for further reference, I do have anxiety generally, and am medicated for it and see a therapist. So I am feeling anxious even through my medication. I want to handle any emotional problems I have through myself, not medicating.) He has anxiety as well, (far worse than mine I suspect) and has been medicated and level for a years. But I do know that he said in the past his biggest source of anxiety came from a long distance girlfriend constantly complaining about seeing him more, which is why I think his rules are so stringent.


Thanks again!

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Could your anxiety be due to the fact that this man is so secure and stable and keeps things on an even keel, thereforee taking your emotional control away from the relationship? You say your previous boyfriends were emotionally stunted......maybe that's why you felt in control.


It's just 2 more weeks.....try to keep yourself occupied with other things. Moving will take your mind off things, and so will school. Have an open, heart-to-heart talk with him when he gets there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Chloeam, I have been in a LDR (american/england) for 3years. If he doesn't reciprocate the love, time and attention EQUALLY, then it will be nearly impossible to work. YOU must, however, work on finding some interests to keep your sanity. When you do this, your relationship could start to become stronger. It sounds like he's detecting your 'neediness'. Show him that he needs YOU too. He can't need you when you're always there ready and waiting. Just some things to consider.

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This thread is amazing to me because I have been so anxious lately over exactly the same things - in fact, reading some of those lines I began to wonder if, in some parallel universe, I wrote them myself.


I cannot count how many times I have said to my friends, exactly, "i don't want to show him my crazy."


oh. my. god. i think we're twins.


i also have, in the past, somehow managed to have boyfriends with emotional issues which generally led to very, VERY co-dependent relationships where I was definitely in control and thereforee confident and comfortable. of course, in the end, i always felt like they were too obsessive or didn't give me enough space and i'd have to end it. most recently, 3 months ago, actually, i dumped a boyfriend of a year and a half because his emotional instability and his reliance on me was too great to bear... and already i find myself in another relationship - one in which the man is so far from dependent on me that it actually makes me scared!


i'm the same in that i wait for him to call or write (he's in school an hour or so away from me... i know - i have it easier than you with your overseas thing) and even though i KNOW it's wrong, i get worried when he goes out with his friends without me - not because i think he'll cheat... i don't! i just feel like i'll be missing something and i won't know where he is or what he's doing and ... and... somehow it makes me feel like something is going to go wrong. what, i don't know. he loves me and constantly reassures me and says things to make me believe that he has every intention of staying together and making it work, and yet i find myself often mourning our breakup... but we haven't broken up!!!!!! NOT EVEN CLOSE!!


i'm obsessed, and it's ruining me. when i see him and we part, it's fine... and then a few hours later when i realize i don't know when i'll hear from him next, until i do, i'm very depressed and anxious. i also have general anxiety, however i've never gone on the meds for them - i'm 23 and avoiding them like the plague, however i'm starting to think i might need them at some point, because i'm having a very hard time distracting myself.


that being said, thank you so much for sharing this - it really goes along with the forum name in that i feel so much better right now knowing i'm not alone and that i seem to have an american emotion-twin.


unfortunately, I can't offer advice at the moment since i'm in the same boat, however i'm seeing a counsellor this week and hopefully will gain some insight at that point. if i do, i will come back to this thread and share my findings... in the mean time, good luck to us both. hopefully by now you're okay, anyway.

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Hey I feel exactly the same, especially lately. Everything you have said is me down to a tee. I've been struggling with this for the last 2 weeks (been with my bf for about 3.5 months).


I've never been in an LDR before and like you have had a string of emotionally 'stunted' guys, and this one is a good one (finally). I feel myself waiting too for his calls and find that when he is happy doing his thing I feel sad cos I want to feel in control of the relationship and not be the one who is feeling the distance the most.


I know that I want this to work out as much as he does so its really important that I relax and let all the stress die back down. Its tough but if you both want to enough it will work out. Try not to think about being in 'control'... because ironically that is what takes it away from us. As soon as you try to control everything you actually give up the control that you do have by always focusing on the control you dont have.


Put yourself back in the drivers seat- the more you show that you are totally fine with (or without) him the more he will probably miss you. Its cliche but true- things become more valuable if they are rare. He probably doesnt even realise it (like I think my boyfriend doesn't) but they are probably more reluctant to call when they know we are just waiting around for them. Not because they dont want to talk to us, but just because its human nature. If he was at home shut off from his life JUST because he knew you were going to call would it make you want to call him more (and if you did was it cos you WANTED to or cos you felt bad)?

I know this cos even with just my girlfriends I have found myself not wanting to talk to them if they call constantly or always get angry at you about something (I have a close knit group of girls and its intense sometimes Its when they are busy doing they're thing and I only speak to you every so often (and when I do we share funny stories and have a laugh) that I really wanna see how they've been and what they're up to. Its human nature see? I'm sure you've felt the same in situations.


Just relax, its all fine, and try and not to centre everything around his call. Try and be happy with whatever and even enjoy having 'you' time. You'll probably find as soon as you get busy again it will seem like he calls more

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