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Why do I have trust issues? I don't want to push my new gf away.(13 Posts)
I'm 28, previously straight, but am now in a relationship with a woman. The most amazing woman in the world I might add, but for some stupid reason, I find it really difficult to let go and trust her entirely.
She has given me no reason not to trust her. I have always been like this and she understands that it's nothing personal, but I'm really worried that I'll end up pushing her away.
We're completely in love and I know she would never want to hurt me, but I always seem to have this niggly feeling at the back of my mind. It's stupid!
I'm natrually a jealous person, but I think being jealous and being genuinely suspicious are two very different things.
Do I think that she's having an affair? No. Do I worry ALL the time that she might? Yes and it's killing me.
She's a very placid and calm person and I always apologise for how suspcious I can get, but she insists she understands. She shouldn't really. If she's not doing anything wrong, she would have every right to be angry with me.
I think maybe it's because I'm just so scared of losing her. Things that I fear the most tend to go through my head a lot. I don't know why I torture myself like this.
Also, when we met, we were in other relationships. I wouldn't say it was a full blown affair because we both ended the relationships before things got serious, but nevertheless, I suppose you could say we were having an emotional affair. Maybe I feel like I deserve to be punished or something? Karma perhaps. I don't know.
Can anyone offer some advice on how I can stop thinking like this? I just want to relax and enjoy being in love.
Thanks for reading.
I can't give you the psychological stuff, but what I would say is that you can only enjoy the "now", you can't ever know what's going to happen in the future to either of you. Being jealous is exhausting and will tire you out emotionally, and stop you enjoying the relationship you have. Try and focus on enjoying "now" and forget all the rest.
A couple of things might help:
the first is to remember that whatever thoughts come into your head you ^don't have to act on them^; if you refuse to give in to the thoughts, if you won't let them make you snoop or question your gf in an inappropriate manner or try to control her life, then she won't suffer and the thoughts haven't won!
the second (and here we are entering CBT territory) is that you can actually control your thoughts; you can train yourself to recognise a particular train of thought and say to yourself: aha, this is that kind of thought, I won't give it houseroom, I don't have to go down that route
I actually find it helps visualising a country lane at this point with a sign-posted crossroads; one has a sign leading to Negative Though and I tell myself- sometimes aloud- that I'm not taking that path. Even more helpful if you keep a supply of more pleasant distraction techniques or thoughts that you can dive straight into: I am writing a story in my head, dd does colouring in or friendship bracelets. Dd is training herself out of extreme anxiety with this kind of technique and though it is not an instant fix, it has improved her life enormously.
thirdly, jealousy is likely to be about your own insecurity, so make sure you have something you enjoy in your life, something that makes you feel good about yourself but which is not related to sexual competition
How long have you been together?
Playing amateur psychologist: you probably have trust issues because someone (or more than one person) let you down in the past. Might have been a parent, good friends, romantic relationship, etc. Also, some clingy people are very insecure - do you have issues with that? Think about it, and learn to recognize if/when you project those past experiences onto your current relationship.
You'll have to look at why you think/react the way you do (where you 'learned it') - in order to learn to think/react differently.
At the moment your partner is being very understanding. What do you think the long term effects of jealous behaviour might be?
I think it comes down to the act you were both "cheating" by having an emotional affair. If you did that in the past, of course there is the fear it could happen again as both of you are capable of it. Maybe she feels the same? Maybe you need a long talk and try to draw a line under it.
Thanks for all the replies.
Sorry it's taken me so long to reply, but my laptop died and had to be repaired.
vintage, my gf always says I need to live in the now. I know she's right and I try really hard not to look too hard into the future, but old habits die hard I supppose. I will keep trying though.
cory thanks for all that. I actually had CBT about a year a go. At the time I found it reasonably helpful, but since stopping I find myself slipping back into negative thinking and I'm sure this is all just a part of that.
earlybird, we've been together 8 months. I'm not sure if I have those kind of issues tbh. I don't think I've been cheated on in the past. I guess I was let down by my dad, but I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it. He didn't cheat on my mum though and they're still together after 45 years. My issues with him are more about feeling neglected.
viv, I know that if I don't snap out of it, the consequence could be that I lose her and that is a risk I can't take. She is the best thing that has happened to me.
porto I completely agree and actually my gf has said that this is the first time in her life that she's been jealous. Although she manages to control it better than me. She says it's because this is the first time she's been in love, but maybe it's more because of the way we got together. As time goes on, I know we both feel more and more guilty.
If you both feel guilty about being with each other then I don't see much of a future in this, sorry. Your affair was more than emotional, and it was clearly very intense. You both got a big thrill - I'm guessing - over the 'forbidden fruit' aspect. Now what you're left with is 'fruit' that you worry a) you don't deserve and b) is going to get bored and bugger off elsewhere because you've invested so much emotionally. That's not a good foundation for something long-term.
It's also your first serious gay relationship and I wonder if you feel any pressure to make it work and prove (to yourself perhaps) that you are 'properly' gay?
cogito, no, our relationship wasn't more than emotional. We didn't take it to the next level until we'd ended our previous relationships. I think the guilt stems more from the fact that essentially, we left our ex's for each other. There was no gap between relationships. Also, we didn't get a big thrill and there was no 'forbidden fruit' aspect. We met and fell in love. End of. I'm not sure what your last comment has to do with my issue if I'm being honest. I have trust issues. Your last question is suggesting that I'm pushing this relationship and that maybe I feel trapped but feel I need to keep it going to prove a point. That's not the case at all. I am 100% in love and I don't need to prove anything to anyone, including myself. I just don't want to keeping worrying about fidelity.
Oh and just to add, I don't feel the need to label myself as anything. Not sure what 'properly gay' is. I'm not gay, I'm evidently not completely straight, although I hate that expression, because it suggests that I'm bent. I'm just a woman who fell for another woman. She could have just as easily been a man. It's the person I fell in love with, not the gender.
Every time we open ourselves up to love we open ourselves up to the possibility of being hurt. If you have been hurt before then it sometimes becomes such that you worry more about possible future hurt and stop living in the moment.
As another poster has said, living in the now is important. Who knows what tomorrow or next year will bring. Learn to live in the now and enjoy your relationship.
cogito, it's not so much that you've touched a nerve, I'm just not sure where you got your last question from. I never made any suggestion that I was feeling trapped or unhappy in the relationship, so I wondered why you asked if I was trying to prove something.
taw I really want to live in the now. I suppose I'm a massive pessimist overall and I tend to think the worst is going to happen. I assume that the bubble will burst at some point, but it's not as though I've been particuarly unlucky in my life. I wish I could reprogramme myself to be an optimist, which is why I had CBT in the first place, but evidently, it's not had the desired effect.
I go through phases of letting go and I just enjoy being in love, but usually it doesn't last long and I end up becoming all suspcious again.
Sometimes it's not even that I think she's having an affair, it's that I worry that maybe she doesn't really want to be with me, which is ridiculous cos I know deep down how much she loves me. She's given up a lot for me and I guess you just know when someone is being sincere about these kind of feelings.
I'm confident that she wants me physically, but sometimes I worry that academically I'm not enough for her. She's very clever and soon to be a doctor. In the beginning her intelligence is what attracted me to her, but now I probably feel intimidated and maybe intellectually inadequate.
I've discussed this with her and she insists that that's not the case at all. In fact, she was in tears after I told her my fears.
If it weren't for my trust issues in other relationships, I'd assume that it was just that I didn't feel good enough, but my ex of 10 years never intimidated me and tbf, he never gave me any reason to not trust him. He was incredibly loyal and trustworthy and I didn't really trust him either.
Why do I torture myself like this?
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