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how to deal with anxiety in relationship?(19 Posts)
I'm four months in to a new relationship with a man who so far seems lovely. He is reliable, generous, kind and funny and looked after me when I was ill. So far, so good. However I'm really struggling with anxiety. I keep expecting him to end it and every time there's a slight gap in texting, I keep thinking he'll just disappear. I am finding that this fear is stopping me from relaxing and enjoying a lovely relationship that is still in the honeymoon period. I did have two short relationships in the last couple of years that ended after three months. Both men dumped me and one just disappeared. I'm fairly sure my bf is not the type to just disappear, but I keep expecting it - because-well, the others did.
How can I relax and just enjoy this? I know even if it did end, it wouldn't be the end of the world, but I think it'd confirm my belief that I can't do relationships.
I suffered with this horribly in the early days, and have a touch of it again recently.
I found keeping busy works well, exersing and cleaning, turning my phone to silent and leaving elsewhere in the house (ie upstairs etc) so I cant keep looking, did this last night worked well. Reading lots when having quiet time to distract.
I am having a slight recurrence at the moment but I know that there is a reason and am hopeful it will go once a situation is over this week - although I got anxious about the anxiety not ending today lol
I sometimes take Calms or another but find they don't really work for me anymore.
Its easy to say relax but I understand you genuinely cant. I also bought myself a colouring book (an adult one this week) oh and listen to my favourite music.
I'm several years in now and haven't really suffered like this for a while now. It will get easier, but take time out for you and go with it, don't fight it.
I try to plan my evenings alone in advance etc
having a past is horrible, when it brings memories it is hard and the fear is irrational but your not going bonkers.
hope that helps
Good luck and your new relationship.
Thanks pinklady. It's helpful when I try to keep busy. I've been off work so that hasn't helped, plus I had a minor operation that made me feel a bit low. I've had cbt, counselling and I take anti depressants for anxiety and I'm 100% better than I was, but I don't want to drive away a lovely man through irrational fear.
I understand. I think he didn't notice in the early days, but he's noticed this time and I also had that fear at weekend, convinced myself he was backing away!! I have had to try and pull myself in, managing so far but then I will be ok by weekend probably.
We actually live together now lol.
I to took anti depressants but no longer. I think being of work is a key thing, I was off last week and I've had a recurrence but should resolve end of the week when things are back to normal here.
I found if I was or am getting clingy I do the opposite and tell myself to put the phone on silent etc.
We live in an instant response age and need to remember we are humans and can't be texting all day (although we'd like too) it would be too draining for anyone. Switch you phone off for a few hours a day is amazing how free I feel when I know I can't hear it or see it x
I really feel for you as I have been in the exact same place as you.
I can recommend keeping yourself busy as obvious at it sounds, this will take your mind off things.
I too had counselling and one of the things I was taught is that when I worry about why he hasn't text in a while etc then I need to rationally think of at least 5 other reasons for the gap. For example, he could be eating dinner, in a meeting, driving....this helped me to calm down.
I also found it helpful to be completely honest with my partner (can understand you not wanting to do this straight away as you are in a new relationship) and he could reassure me if I was having a 'niggle', although the best thing is for you to be able to handle the anxiety yourself This is easier said than done! Good luck!!!!
Thank you so much it really helps. I actually discovered that one of the ex bfs who said he was madly in love with me was a v heavy user of prostitutes. He allowed me to believe the break up was my fault and I was depressed for months. I'm so now about that. I do think my bf now is lovely and genuine. There are no over the top declarations or promises, he's just there when I need him. But my judgement was so v wrong before that I daren't trust myself.
I totally get this. Completely and utterly. I am in a new relationship of 7 months after 17 yrs of the last relationship, the vast majority of which were unhappy. DP is everything that exh wasn't and when we are together, I do not doubt how he feels about me for one second. However, when we are apart, I find myself doubting it, thinking he is too good to be true. He has never let me down never indicated anything other than that he loves me and envisions a serious future with me and we talk every day even if we don't see each other. But there is a part of me who thinks that good things like DP don't happen to me.
My only suggestion is to keep busy and be rational. My friends said when i have a moment the best thing to do is to write/think of evidence to suggest he doesn't love me, and evidence to suggest he does. Everytime i do this i realise i am being an idiot. The other thing you should do is talk to him. DP and i have to do long distance from time to time and when i have had my needy insecure moments, i tell him and he tells me to stop being stupid.
I have finally relaxed and begun to accept that he loves me, that he means everything he says and that i deserve to be happy with this amazing man and am finally enjoying it. Hope you can do the same.
He sounds promising, dontcall.
Your anxiety is completely understandable considering your experiences. For now, it might be best to feel the fear and....don't talk about it. Not yet anyway. If you are noticeably anxious to the extent that he comments on it, just tell him you have a few issues with anxiety and it's nothing personal.
If he's genuine and cares about you, you won't drive him away.
I agree with others that if you're inclined to obsess a bit (not blaming you for that, it happens) - force yourself to take up a new interest and focus on that. Keep busy. Don't make this guy the focus of all your free attention.
Yes I think keeping busy is the key. I sometimes lock my phone in my car for a few hours. I just feel so angry at the way the last guys (particularly the lying prostitute user) thought they could use me and destroy my trust really.
He knows I've had counselling in the past, but I've kept my anxiety hidden from him mostly. I figured that if he's worthy, one day I'll tell him everything and I'll know when the time is right.
You've been given very good advice here....
I would say the key thing is to make sure you have plenty of other things to think about/look forward to so he doesn't become the only route to happiness for you. That way if things work out you're not staking all on it. I know this is easier said than done but I think getting into the habit of having multiple other things to focus on and being busy is just good mental discipline anyway and will make you stronger and more attractive.
The only thing I wouldn't agree with is the advice to share with him. Great idea in theory and maybe down the line you might want to but now don't. In practice this just undermines you. There's nothing to be gained from this. It will make you seem needy and it won't endear you to him even if he is a keeper. Save that for when you feel more robust.
Sorry, I meant if things don't work out.... fat finger....
Yes, I wouldn't tell him about your anxieties yet. You will know when the time is right to do so, or you may never feel the need to. I only did when it became hard for my partner to understand why I was acting in the way I did. I would say terrible things I didn't mean and try to end it as I was so petrified of the relationship going wrong. Once I explained (which took a lot of guts and in itself made me feel vulnerable) then he could understand. He even came along to counselling with me to learn ways to help me through it. He is an absolute star and so patient. He is now my husband and we are expecting our first baby together
Thank you so much for sharing your stories - congratulations tessiegirl, that's lovely to hear. I think I'll slowly tell him things v v gradually. I'm not ready to disclose much about my anxiety yet, but if he's good, eventually I'll know.
I agree tessiegirl, there will come a time when you will know he can be trusted with this or not and if it feels right, do it.
My point was that if someone is making you feel insecure you shouldn't do it until you're sure. Given your anxiety its quite likely that this insecurity is unrelated to him and he certainly seems to be doing everything right so far, but I'd wait until you feel stronger and safer before sharing something like this....
Just wanted to empathise with you dontcallmehonreturns
In my case I was left very suddenly by my last partner of 14 years and this is the reason for my insecurity. When I write it down like that it sounds reasonable enough but I can't picture talking about it with him without sounding unhinged. I imagine driving him away but then that's probably the insecurity talking again! If we're still together a few months down the line and I'm still feeling the same way then I'll bring it up...possibly.
Your man sounds like a good one and I hope it works out for you x
Thank you anxietydreams, I really hope it works out for you too! I've had spectacularly awful taste in men in the past, so I'm scared to hope.
Pleased to hear this one is a nice guy, dont!
I have the same issue with anxiety so I'm dealing with it by just taking myself out of the game altogether! I'm not interested in even thinking about men.
I hope this one works out for you x
Thank you folkgirl, I hope so too. I think if this ends I'll join you in being happily single for a while!
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