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At crisis point again - insecurity

(22 Posts)
AtWitsEndAgain Wed 17-May-17 09:42:28

I cannot get over my massive unreasonableness. So I do absolutely know IBU, I'm just desperate to reach out to people for help and advice at this point.

I SHOULD be a very strong, secure person and I SHOULD trust my partner because he's never given me a reason not to. (My previous partner, however, was a sneaky b*stard and cheated on me multiple times before I finally had enough and finished with him.)

I'm in an absolute state right now because DP stays away from home for work a lot and part of his job is entertaining clients - attractive, female clients, and because he works in sales there's an element of charming them, looking after them, basically building good relationships with them. The reason I'm upset right now is because I CANNOT overcome my insecurity. He's about to leave for London for the night - he's taking two of the aforementioned attractive (single) women out for dinner and drinks this evening - and we've just had a massive fight (I'm WFH today) because I hate how I feel about this and I take it out on him.

I want to cheerily wave goodbye, wish him a lovely evening, see you in a couple of days etc. but instead I am filled with fear, self-loathing and anxiety.

I've had counselling twice, both for six weeks, and it hasn't helped. The first one was rubbish - we just talked about my feelings so I'd basically cry for an hour every week for six weeks. The second one was little better even though when I started I made it clear that I needed to learn coping mechanisms for when I felt anxious and insecure. I didn't, again it was all about feelings.

From the outside, I look as if I have it all - I've been very successful in my career, I'm fit and healthy, I have great family and friends. But I can't relax and trust my partner.

What the fuck is wrong with me?

onemorecupofcoffeefortheroad Wed 17-May-17 10:03:20

There's nothing wrong with you - it's completely natural to feel concerned especially when your partner is taking out and charming attractive single women for drinks and dinner.
I've experienced similar - my partner is an academic and surrounded by young (often gorgeous) smart university students/ young academics/ PhD researchers etc. on a daily basis - my partner is in a senior position and all these students researchers etc. seem to be in constant need of advice/ help/ reassurance/ support in one form or another. Often there are trips away - conferences that sort of thing with dinners and drinks afterwards.
Used to really worry me but my partner has never given me any reason to worry and so gradually the fear has faded. Ir's completely understandable though.

AtWitsEndAgain Wed 17-May-17 10:09:57

onemore So if I hang in there, it will fade and gradually improve? We've been together for two years - I was fine for most of the first year but then seemed to develop anxieties and then they snowballed. God I really hope mine will fade like yours did. I'm going to drive him away - he says I won't, but he gets very angry and frustrated.

It doesn't happen every time - sometimes a particular trip hits a nerve and I become so anxious. I also wonder if hormones are a contributing factor - I'm perimenopausal. And I'm only 37, dammit sad

onemorecupofcoffeefortheroad Wed 17-May-17 10:21:14

Yes it could partly be hormones I guess - I'm on the other side of the menopause and am more relaxed about this sort of thing than I used to be but then I've also been with my partner 10 years so maybe have had longer to feel secure. You've only been together a relatively short period of time.
I think in the end you just have to trust that it'll be okay. Each time it gets easier and in the end I got so exhausted worrying about it that I exhausted myself and couldn't be bothered anymore
I also focussed on doing things to make me feel good about myself - excercise, study, meditation and now I genuinely don't worry at all even though I'm a middle aged 50 something woman! Not a cute 37 yr old like you 😋

AtWitsEndAgain Wed 17-May-17 10:29:36

That's how I feel - exhausted and frustrated with my stupid illogical fears. Maybe I'll wear myself out and get to the "don't care, whatever" stage soon . . . What a relief that would be.

Thank you - your words have made me feel a bit more optimistic, I'll try to ride the storm and hope for calmer waters ahead.

nInachu Wed 17-May-17 11:28:24

I have similar feelings to you OP, my exH cheated on me a lot and through most of our marriage I was in emotional turmoil. Now my OH hasnt given me any reason to doubt but everytime he goes out etc, I do worry a lot. I wish it didnt happen but its just a reflex. I dont know what to do either.

AtWitsEndAgain Wed 17-May-17 15:14:27

nlnachu How does your OH react? We had a full-on shouting match this morning - he's sick of feeling under suspicion, and tired of reassuring me. I don't blame him.

I wish there was something I proactively could do to get back to the relaxed, happy, easy-going person I used to be.

I've made a doctor's appointment for Friday. I have no idea if they can help me but I'm desperate, I'm sabotaging my relationship with the loveliest man I've ever met.

carabos Wed 17-May-17 15:21:42

You will have been told in counselling I'm sure that you risk this becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy- you are sabotaging your relationship in order to "prove" that you are unworthy/ your partner men can't be trusted. It's that that you need to work through.

My DH is a sports coach working pretty much exclusively with attractive, wealthy women of varying ages and states of romantic commitment. I could have spent the past 27 years driving myself round the bend with insecurity and jealousy but what's the point? I'm attractive and successful in my own right and if that isn't enough to hold him then nothing is.

My heart goes out to you, but you must sort this out.

AtWitsEndAgain Wed 17-May-17 15:40:22

carabos You're absolutely right, I so badly want to sort this out, I'm hurting him and frankly I'm hurting myself as well. It's a horrible feeling - I feel really scared of getting hurt, but I absolutely hate myself at the same time.

How did you get to the not-caring stage? How did you make that conscious decision sink through to your sub-conscious? Is there anything practical I can do to calm these spikes of emotion I experience at these times?

gttia Wed 17-May-17 16:04:47

I am exactly the same, the bit I really struggle with is that this is not how I want to feel. I've had cbt, did nothing and now a situation has presented itself where he decided not to do something because of my anxiety but I'm desperate to say go and do it.
It's would out me if it got to the dm so feel free to pm me.

Would love a way forward. Big hugs

AtWitsEndAgain Wed 17-May-17 18:29:37

gttia That's a big fear I have - that he'll stop doing things or change his behaviour for an easier life, and therefore miss out on things he wants to do. I want him to be free and happy because he's done nothing wrong. Well, he's handled things badly on occasion, but he certainly doesn't deserve the stress I cause him.

Counselling mustn't work for everyone, then. I thought it was useless, which was disappointing because I had so much hope.

It's also scary to think that I don't have control over this and I just have to hope it improves before I alienate him for good.

carabos Thu 18-May-17 18:41:05

I didn't have to get to not caring, I never cared in the first place because my ego is intact. I love him, but he's a luxury not a need wink. Try to love yourself first - I know that's easy to say, but if you don't love you, then why would anyone else?

nosleepforme Thu 18-May-17 19:00:20

sounds very tough! i assume that your OH understands your insecurities and that you don't want to feel like this. is there anything in truth that he could do to make you feel better? if not, then as you say, you need to find a way to deal with your feelings and be okay with him going away FOR WORK.
i also worked in sales previously, with lots of attractive (and old, ugly) guys (who def did try their luck) but i was open about it with my OH and would tell him about things that came up. he trusted me b/c i was just so open and honest about it, that there was nothing for me to hide. would that work for you?
as long as you are both honest and happy in your relationship, you owe it to both yourself and your OH who sounds really lovely, to trust him - im sure you will be pleasantly surprised. truth is hun, if he wanted to cheat on you, he would have done it by now. seems like he has really shown he loves you and is not interested in anyone else.
hope dr can find something that works well for you! good luck

TheDowagerCuntess Thu 18-May-17 19:23:09

It's also scary to think that I don't have control over this

You do have control over it, but it's just a matter of harnessing it.

DH travels a lot for work - always has.

I went through a period where I was feeling a bit low and insecure, and suddenly that seemed to manifest in being unhappy when he went away.

He goes away for conferences and meetings, and his company have away days (over a few days) every quarter.

He has never, not once given me cause for worry, so where this bout of insecurity came from, I don't know.

But, like you, I really did not enjoy the feelings I went through.

DH and I have been together many years now, so the logical part of my brain knew I was being irrational. Especially as we went through many years of it not being an issue at all.

If it helps to feel like you have some control over it, maybe think of it like this.

You always have a choice about how you react to something. That lies with you, and no-one else. Yes, there may be an initial visceral reaction, but you do get to choose whether you give in to that - or make a better choice.

He is going to go away. That isn't going to change.

So he can either go away under a cloud, with both of you feeling miserable, and with you feeling awful, and unhappy when he's away. Or, you can somehow take a deep breath, and just say goodbye.

You don't need to be delighted about it. That's a step too far. Just aim for being neutral about it.

He is going to go. He is going to be away. And then he is going to come home. And you do actually get to choose how you are when those things happen.

Practice this a few times. He already 'proves himself' by being trustworthy. Allow him to keep doing that. The more he does it, the easier this will become over time.

The choice is with you, you just don't feel as if you can exercise it. But you can, if you choose to. flowers

And as time passes, it will start to feel easier more naturally.

AtWitsEndAgain Thu 18-May-17 19:55:16

Thank you for the advice - it's really appreciated. And it's exactly what the old, sensible, secure me would have said to a friend who was feeling like this.

It's exactly that - I know rationally, logically that I have nothing to worry about. It's that visceral reaction - that spike of anxiety, pain and fear - that takes over and I know I have to find a way of controlling it. I'm just at a loss as to how. It's not like I'm sitting around the house doing nothing - I have a demanding job, friends, hobbies. It just ambushes me.

I have talked and fought with DP at length over this. In fact we've just had a massive row on the phone because, even though his meetings finished at 3pm, he decided to get an 8pm train. So of course my brain leaps into "he's meeting one of the girls for dinner again" . . . and then he didn't answer the phone when I called him, or answer a message I sent him, even though he was supposedly just hanging around the office and wears a Fitbit so would have known I was trying to reach him.

The problem is, I blindly trusted my ex with my heart and soul, never dreamed he would hurt me. What if my instincts are picking up on something this time round, because of what I learned from before?

I'm at the point where I want to end the relationship because it's so painful. I'd be setting him free and wouldn't be putting us both through this anymore. I feel like I'm on the edge of an abyss. I can't tell you how much I hate myself and the pathetic person I've become. I literally don't want to exist anymore. I realise that sounds self-pitying and melodramatic but watching myself destroy my relationship, as if the real me is on the outside looking in, is killing me. I don't want to feel like this anymore and I don't see a way out.

carabos Thu 18-May-17 20:43:30

You need professional help with this for both of your sakes. Make sure you attend the appointment you have with your doctor tomorrow and tell them what you've told us - that you are at the end of your rope. I'm not a medic, but I should think a course of medication for a while to take the edge off might help you feel better and engage better with the counselling you certainly need.

WicksEnd Thu 18-May-17 23:18:32

I used to be like this when I was younger and it was definitely worse for me during the run up to my period. DH worked away for several years and tbh, reading stuff on here doesn't help! So don't go into the relationships threads!
if someone's going to cheat, they're going to cheat. You can't actually stop them but dont push em to it!
May as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.

WaitingYetAgain Thu 18-May-17 23:57:30

I really feel for you because this is how I can feel if I get triggered. Like you I had a terrible relationship where I was deceived and cheated on.

One thing that is worth thinking about is no matter what we do, if the other person is going to cheat, they will. It's a waste of energy and so stressful worrying about it. I totally understand why you want to end things to avoid the pain, but ultimately it won't achieve anything as you'd just be running away and in another relationship would likely find another way to replicate the same dynamic

What could your husband do to make you feel better?

It sounds as if he could do more to reassure you. In my current relationship, when I got triggered (by him needing to stay away unexpectedly) his reaction to my distress was so calm and reassuring that it threw me! My exP would have reacted very poorly to my distress. He would have reacted very defensively and started telling me I was crazy and horrible and he couldn't put up with it anymore etc. So the fact my current BF was the opposite helped me. He didn't belittle my anxious feelings. So perhaps your husband can work on how he reacts and realise that you are aware of how your previous experience has shaped you and that it is no reflection on him.

I think when you have been previously hurt like this it creates a trauma state. Post-trauma you look for red flags and shady behaviour everywhere. This high state of alert creates some form of negative and self fulfilling feedback loop. Have a look at this:

AtWitsEndAgain Fri 19-May-17 12:02:58

Going to have a look at the link now, Waiting, as what you said about looking for shady behaviour and red flags everywhere is very very true. I do feel a bit "traumatised" by my last relationship! Thank you.

I've just been to the docs, explained my medical background (perimenopause etc.) and how I wondered if the anger and the irrational behaviour is linked to hormones. He said it could very well be and prescribed Femiston Conti, which is a type of HRT. I'm so relieved as I feel this is a ray of hope. He also took a blood sample to check my FSH and LH hormones, thyroid function - when he mentioned it I remembered my sister is on thyroid medication - and will check liver/kidney function and anaemia too.

It may not be exacerbated by medical reasons, I could well just be a crazy person now, but at least I feel like I'm doing something to improve the situation, which makes me feel more optimistic. It also gives me a reason to hate myself just a tiny bit less if there's a medical reason contributing to my behaviour - I'm not saying this excuses me, or justifies anything (I know it's up to me to moderate and control what I say and do no matter what) but it might ease the self-loathing a little . . . !

gttia Fri 19-May-17 12:20:11

That's good, a way forward.
And hopefully a positive way, don't beat yourself up. By recognising you want to change the behaviour your accepting it's not rational and your dp should see that as you are at least trying.
That's all you can do xx

Gwenda8 Fri 19-May-17 22:27:15

Hi OP , I just wanted to reach out to you and say that I used to have exactly the same insecurity as you, but with time, it diminishes majorly and now I'm only insecure once in a blue moon So there is hope .If someone had told me that I could overcome it I wouldn't have believed them but I've virtually managed to with time so I'm positive that you will too as obviously you want to .
As I say , I was just as insecure as you and now pretty much don't have problems with it . It will get easier!

HildaOg Fri 19-May-17 22:56:02

Maybe it's not you. Or him. Perhaps his life just isn't compatible with what you need to feel secure and happy.

The reality is that if he is taking attractive women out for dinner and drinks all the time, the temptation is on a plate for him, most cheating is opportunity based. It's going to be very hard for him not to. It's not crazy to recognise that or to have a problem with it. To wonder whether he is taking what's on offer. You either accept it and are happy with it or you pretend otherwise and convince yourself you're crazy OR find someone who makes you feel happy, secure, attached, special and of whom there is no questions about.

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