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Self-sabotage/relationship anxiety


DaveyBoy
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Hi,

A couple of months ago I had some major relationship doubts which resulted in me leaving my girlfriend of 7 years (we were even engaged). I raised the issues I had and my girlfriend wanted to work through them and try and work on things, I said we would try but literally gave it 2 weeks before bailing.

At the time I took the way I felt as a gut feeling and that the relationship wasn’t right and I was doing the best thing by ending it. Since I left we had a on again off again few weeks where I could 100% convince myself I wanted to go back but when I did started getting anxiety symptoms like not sleeping, knotted stomach, sweating so took this as another sign to leave, but then when I was apart from her I had the same anxiety about not being with her.

The on again off again was no good for us both and I’m not proud of how I acted during that time as I didn’t see how me reacting to my emotions was damaging her. As it stands we are off, but we still message each other now and again.

My head is in the shed at the moment as I think I focused too much on our problems and failed to appreciate what I did have, we did have things we would need to resolve and agree on but we got on really well, made each other laugh, enjoyed similar things, supported each other, sex life was great and she would do anything for us and the relationship. 

I miss her and love her but I’m so scared of going back and hurting her and think what has happened is down to my own insecurities, fears and doubts and I have let them ruin a good relationship. I’ve been reading about relationship anxiety and self sabotage and a lot of rings true.

Just wondered if any others had similar stories or insights around this, if not that this was a good place to vent :)

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Some of the issues were me just not communicating about little annoyances that snowballed into bigger resentment I guess (like always being on her phone, never tidying up after herself), but I should have not bottled everything up.

There were money issues that needed talking about (debt she was cagey about but said she was handling she earns good money).

She had a child when she was younger who lives with her parents, she didn’t open up much about why and never seemed to want to improve that relationship (the father bailed before the child was born). I have always wanted kids and although she said she wanted one too the relationship she has with her child made me think she didn’t.

In hindsight i think I put too much on her and should have accepted things more or done a better job of communicating my worries. I made the decision to find fault and not trust what she told me I guess.

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By the sounds of it, she has the problem not you. If she has poor communication, that's how she is, and nothing is going to change that. This was her choice, and probably didn't trust you enough to tell you about anything. I think you were just reacting to her poor behavior, and how she treats things like being on her phone all the time, not cleaning up after herself....that's her self entitlement. You don't fix a broken person. That's why we date, to see what they are like, how the relate to us, and how they treat people and themselves in life. Your anxiety is because of her, not you. You did the right thing by walking away. Of course you will miss her, everyone has those feelings of regret etc when a relationship ends. There's a little bit of a grieving process to go through, totally normal, and nothing to do with anxiety. 

You are at the stage where you shoulda coulda woulda, but will not make any difference. It's OK to end things, you mind, and body wanted to, so stop fighting it. 

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I've had core shaking doubts like these including when I was engaged (many years ago, not when I was engaged to my husband) and when I was in a 7-year on again off again LTR.  I really like how you're listening to your body and physical reactions. Look -sometimes a physical reaction doesn't mean something is wrong with the relationship or whether it's right but -to me anyway - you should be reasonably excited and sure to be with someone. 

Any doubts should be momentary/fleeting/easily resolved not core-shaking.  Or if the doubts stem from something the other person did or didn't do that concerns you, communication should either resolve it or reveal more of what is going on.  

There is this scene in Sex and the City when Carrie had doubts about marrying Aidan and is trying on bridal gowns.  She feels suffocated in the gown and actually gets a rash from wearing it for that short time.  I had a similar experience when I was engaged and trying on gowns at a well known sort of "bridal factory" -it was an awful feeling and my mom and future mother in law were there.  My mom knew what I was feeling but I had to hide it from his mother.  So, I get it.  

I think you are doing the right thing by staying apart and I know it's hard.

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10 hours ago, DaveyBoy said:

She had a child when she was younger who lives with her parents, she didn’t open up much about why and never seemed to want to improve that relationship ...I have always wanted kids and although she said she wanted one too the relationship she has with her child made me think she didn’t.

Well, this is kind of a WHOPPER.

I couldn't envision having children with someone who isn't interested in their own child.

And you've just passively accepted this without forcing the issue and getting to the bottom of it for 7 years? Really?

I think your anxiety and bodily responses are telling you to Pay Attention and find someone who you can trust to build a healthy family with you.

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10 hours ago, DaveyBoy said:

She had a child when she was younger who lives with her parents, she didn’t open up much about why and never seemed to want to improve that relationship

Unless there is some legitimate reason why she cannot be around her child, this would be a dealbreaker for me in and of itself. It says a lot about her as a person, and none of it good. 

I don't think you are sabotaging this relationship. I think you rightly recognized big red flags and are having difficulty admitting to yourself that she is not the woman you want to spend your life with. 

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Unfortunately you're anxious, panicky and have insomnia with or without her. 

The best thing you can do is see a physician for an evaluation of your physical and mental health. Discuss all these symptoms. Get some tests done. Ask for a referral to a qualified therapist.

Relationships can offer a sense of security, but they shouldn't be used as security blankets when you have a list of complaints and reasons to stall out.

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6 hours ago, catfeeder said:

Well, this is kind of a WHOPPER.

I couldn't envision having children with someone who isn't interested in their own child.

And you've just passively accepted this without forcing the issue and getting to the bottom of it for 7 years? Really?

I think your anxiety and bodily responses are telling you to Pay Attention and find someone who you can trust to build a healthy family with you.

I didn't focus on that/read that properly.  I agree totally.

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There has to be a really, REALLY big reason why she had her child taken away or why she chose not to raise her own child. It takes a LOT for the courts to award custody to someone other than the biological mother, such as abuse, drug use or mental health issues that are so extreme they feel the child is at risk. And if she willingly chose to walk away from her own child? Well, has she ever said why?

You just have "seller's remorse" because you're lonely. That's normal. 

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Thanks for the replies.

I think we both struggled with communication, I tried to get her to open up about her relationship with her child, and she did a little at times but I knew it upset her and she closed off, maybe I should have tried harder to get her open up about it. I never judged her for not raising her child just didn’t fully understand the circumstances or lack of relationship over the years. We took her child out together on occasion a couple of years after we got together to the cinema etc, but this fizzled out as she got older. I think her parents made it difficult and she resigned herself to this being how it is, we went on family holidays with her and see her at family meals, but I guess I never understood why they weren’t closer. There are no insidious reasons for her not raising her as far as I know, I think she was struggling on her own, had some ***head boyfriends (which may now include me), and her parents stepped in.
 

We are both at fault for some things and maybe it is best that we are apart, it’s just tough because when we were great we were really great, she is not a terrible person which the way I have worded this thread, it may sound, I just don’t think she’s ever dealt with some stuff and allowed anyone in to change that, but I can be like a closed book too.

Im having therapy to help deal with my issues and hopefully I can get to a healthier, less anxious place and start thinking with a bit more clarity.

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1 hour ago, DaveyBoy said:

and she resigned herself to this being how it is, we went on family holidays with her and see her at family meals, but I guess I never understood why they weren’t closer. There are no insidious reasons for her not raising her as far as I know, I think she was struggling on her own, had some ***head boyfriends (which may now include me), and her parents stepped in.

A caring parent would never ever resign herself to that sort of situation.  She would fight including in the courts if needed/work on herself so that she could be present for her child - physically present whenever possible and present via phone when not. Certainly it can take a village but no good parent I know would "resign" herself unless heaven forbid the child was kidnapped and couldn't be found despite doing all it took.

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3 hours ago, DaveyBoy said:

There are no insidious reasons for her not raising her as far as I know, I think she was struggling on her own, had some ***head boyfriends (which may now include me), and her parents stepped in.

While it may not be an "insidious" reason, prioritizing "bleep" head boyfriends over your own child is pretty self centered and uncaring, at the very least. 

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5 hours ago, DaveyBoy said:

I guess I never understood why they weren’t closer. There are no insidious reasons for her not raising her as far as I know ...

The goal isn't to villainize the woman, but rather to observe that her lack of motivation to take on even a peripheral role as a parent to her own daughter pretty much rules her out as a potential mother to your children--doesn't it?

Are you missing that link?

If you have goals of finding a partner and starting a family, you'll need to let go and find someone suitable. This woman may be lovely, but she's not family material.

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