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Low-self esteem/anxiety ruining relationship with DP

(7 Posts)
JourneyOfAThousandMiles Tue 04-Oct-11 12:59:36

Hi ladies,

I am a newbie, been lurking reading other posts for a little while. I just had to post to ask for some advice.

My self-esteem is currently at almost rock bottom. I have put on a fair bit of weight in the past year, and in general just begun to dislike my body/the way I look. This has made me become consumed with the idea that DP doesn't find me attractive anymore (although he has not said anything of the sort), and I constantly have anxiety relating to him cheating on me.

I am constantly suspicious when he is on the laptop/ his phone, I hate when he goes somewhere without me and worry that he is lying about where he is and I am very teary and emotional when I am away from him.

This is driving me insane sad I can't live with this sort of anxiety. I have found long brown hairs in the bathroom on 2 seperate occasions (I am bleach blonde) and worry that this is evidence of his cheating..even though they could really have come from anywhere. Am I going mad? Has anyone else felt like this?

Please help me slap some sense into myself.

RumourOfAHurricane Tue 04-Oct-11 13:10:54

Message withdrawn

Bangtastic Tue 04-Oct-11 13:15:05

Why don't you put your energy into losing weight and improving your self esteem, rather than using it to worry about your DP doing something which quite frankly if he was to do, he could do whether your were fat or skinny?

I don't mean to sound harsh, I have been where you are now. Trust me, sorting yourself out is a lot less hard work than it is to spend every single day being a nervous wreck.

JourneyOfAThousandMiles Tue 04-Oct-11 13:44:40

Hi shineon we have only been together 2 years so it's a fairly new relationship. I was cheated on by my ex partner, but I don't think that is the reason for this as I didn't start to feel anxious until I felt so rubbish about myself. But yes I have had anxiety problems in the past that havent really been fully addressed.

Bangtastic, thanks for the advice and yes I am trying to do just that! I have joined the gym and am trying to eat well (although food seems to be my main source of comfort/ stress release!!)

RumourOfAHurricane Tue 04-Oct-11 13:53:59

Message withdrawn

LongGoneBeforeDaylight Tue 04-Oct-11 14:23:18

This is definitely an anxiety problem, and one I, too, suffered with.

For me there are a few things I worry about obsessively (health, uncertainty in the future and my DP cheating on me). They all follow the same patterns of thought - irrational thoughts, obsessive thoughts (i.e. thinking same things over and over) and unreasonable thoughts, so I would be CONVINCED despite all evidence.

I checked the bedsheets for stains once, and I (being a brunette) found some blonde hairs in the shower, too, probably from coming in on our clothes or from a friend or something. I used to obsess over my DP's going out clothes and even once inspected boxers for stains.... gah. I was terrified of my DP's bags in case I found condoms and was obsessive (ie going over stuff) and avoidant (NEVER looking at his phone etc even though he wasn't remotely cagey about it).

I go through phases of worrying about all the things I worry about, but I did manage the nip the cheating worries in the bud:

I explained to my DP that I was suffering from anxiety, related to uncertainty (as you have to TRUST), and, even though it REALLY irritated him at the time giving me the reassurance he actually promised me he had never and would never cheat on me, and he said it was the last time he would say it. I don't want to get you into the habit of seeking reassurance often, because that is also a kind of unhelpful obsessive behaviour, but I think having him look me in the eye and say that REALLY helped.

Then I wrote down that no matter what "evidence" I found, I wouldn't ask him about it. Because he didn't deserve it. I wrote down how I felt when he made his promise and I made myself promise that unless I found three different bits of corroborative evidence, or one big one that was unequivocal, I would never bring it up again.

I read a lot about CBT as well - have you looked into this? Basically, often people experience irrational thoughts. So, you might think:

there is a brown hair in the shower
DP is having an affair

The latter one is the "hot" thought. I still have to watch myself now, for example, I will think:

Dp has gone to the pub for the second night in a row!
Dp is selfish/doesnt love me

What you have to do is realise that the "hot" thought is an irrational conclusion. Imagine you put the "thought" on trial: what evidence is there for it. Is your DP the type to cheat? When would a blonde lady have come to your house? Why would she have showered?! Does your DP show you he loves you? Wouldn't he leave rather than cheat?

So you see from the above there is a lot of evidence AGAINST cheating and no evidence FOR. Then, you decide on a new thought, e.g. "there is a hair in the shower because life is not always explained and there is probably a blonde hair on my coat somewhere" or something. For example I once did find an extremely tiny and almost invisble stain on the bedsheet and my CBT "reasonable" thought was that it was from me or that it was permanently stained beyond washing etc... sure enough it's still there.

Do you see how I mean? Then once you have decided on your more reasonable thought, consider the matter done ans FORGET ABOUT IT. And each time your thoughts go there, do not repeat the above, just say to yourself "I dealt with that and I'm moving on."

It will get better.

xxxx

JourneyOfAThousandMiles Tue 04-Oct-11 18:01:08

Thanks shineon, I do think I need to foremost work on improving my self-esteem. I think talking to the doctor about this would be a good idea but it all seems very self-indulged and trivial compared to what some people are dealing with.

LongGone, thank you for your kind words smile It's nice to have the perspective of someone who suffers from anxiety too. I had an abortion aged 19 and my anxiety really started from there (for a long time afterwards I was terrified of becoming pregnant again to the point where I would take 2 or 3 pg tests a week even though I was on the pill and made my partner at the time wear condoms). I have never really had any counselling (I had a few weeks counselling whilst at uni which was useless), and I was put on citralopram at 20 to try and help my anxiety but it made me feel so wiped that I came off it and didn't seek an alternative.

I will try very hard to follow your advice and think about things rationally. It's so frustrating because in everyday life, eg at work, I am so rational and level headed. Just when it comes to certain things I struggle so much.

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