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When in doubt, - - - - ?


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Hello everyone - sorry about the long story. Will try to keep it short as possible.

 

My girlfriend of 2 years left to go home and live in another country about 2 months ago. I will see her again in 3 months (for 2 weeks) and plan to move to live with her later this year. As time goes on, I miss her more and more.

 

My space is the same, while hers has changed quite a lot and seems more exciting (new friends, work etc). Because of this difference, we don't really speak as much - especially on weekends when she's out. I feel like sometimes she forgets me, and I am moving my whole life to be in a new country (which i probably would do any way), but also to be with her.

 

She loves me, I know that. But unfortunately I have a nasty habit of letting negative thoughts in about most things in life, but now it's started to creep in too much and I sometimes doubt myself, her and our relationship. It's really hurtful.

 

Do/have any of you ever have any self-doubt, insecurities, negativity, which then leads to doubt about the relationship while your partners have been away? And how do you prevent it from affecting your relationship? It's also been unfair on her because we've argued about silly things which have been mostly my fault. I've become needy, insecure, when I am not usually like this, and I don't think it is attractive for her at all.

 

I'm trying to focus on something else in the meantime, like reading, film etc, but I'm sure many of you know, it isn't always easy to stop thinking about your partner.

 

How do you guys and gals stay strong in times like those?

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Hello, Random Panda!

 

You have my sympathies - this is a rough and stressful position for you to be in, and you are showing a lot of strength to weather it. Soon she will be returned to your life together, and I wish you both the best.

 

In the meanwhile - this is something I have had some luck with, and might be an exercise you find valuable. It's simple enough to do, and requires only a journal or a sheet of paper, if you do not want to record your thoughts for another day.

 

Make five columns. In the first, write what your worry, or your fear is. In the second, write why this is your concern. In the third, write what evidence you have that this concern is valid. In the fourth, write what you want the outcome to be of the specific situation. And in the fifth and last, write what your next step, or even plan to handle the concern is.

 

These do not have to be long entries. A few words can sum each category well enough. I will give a fictitious example to illustrate how it might work:

 

Column One: I am worried my husband is having an affair.

 

Column Two: Because he seems distant, but says nothing is wrong. I pick up a bad vibe, can't explain it.

 

Column Three: He is distant... but (and at this point in this example, the person might feel a little better to realize there IS no real evidence. Sometimes we just need a chance to master the negative thoughts that would otherwise carry us off to a rotten place)... no concrete evidence

 

Column Four: I want him to be faithful (Oversimplified, but it helps, sometimes, to narrow down your needs to see that they are possible to meet - and even better, probably are being met, already, if fear and insecurity is tamed.)

 

Column Five: Talk to my husband about my bad feeling and ask for reassurance. Make arrangements to spend time with him over a shared activity, so we get time together (this would be an ideal ending to this example, as opposed to, say, accusing him of cheating, with no evidence, or nag at him for being distant, without giving him a chance to rectify it, etc.)

 

I hope this or your own version of it, if you are interested in trying it, might be helpful. I also think it can be beneficial just to write thoughts and feelings down, even if you do nothing with them but tear them to bits later. No matter how unnerving and unpleasant the ideas are, there is something satisfying about wrangling them and arranging them by your own design, at least for me.

 

Best of luck.

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