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Serious insecurity and anxiety issues. PLEASE HELP!(12 Posts)
I'm a severe sufferer of anxiety and have been seeing a councillor for a year and a half, making significant progress in this time. In January I entered into a very intense, passionate new relationship and things started to unravel.
My unquestioningly committed, loyal, and adoring partner is friends with a significant number of women with whom he has, at the very least, had sex with. He's friends with a number of women with whom he had fairly serious relationships. He has admitted that a number of these women he is friends with mostly because he felt bad for not being what they wanted, and so is trying to at least fulfil a different role in their lives. He has agreed that some of these friendships are unhealthy and I believe he has taken steps to phase some of them out. On top of this, his extremely difficult and nasty ex of a few years ago is the mother of his two children who he has custody of here in London, as she is an army doctor stationed in New York. She is a constant threat, demanding the children go to her even when she is about to have a third baby by a new man and just generally making life hard for my partner when she can. The relentless presence of this woman has been hard for me to cope with but I've got my head around it, to an extent.
The main issue is my insecurity. It is understandable considering my past (one abusive relationship and neglectful, thoughtless partners, plus being intensely bullied much of my life) but it is driving me insane. I have absolutely no reason to believe anything except that he really loves me and would never do anything to hurt me. And I know this, yet when he pulls out his phone to send a text or I see he's Skyped an ex or anything, not even necessarily to do with other women, I feel the anxiety rush into my heart. A serious issue has been my envisioning him with other women. It happened a few weeks ago after we made love, and I was overwhelmed to the point where I was having heart palpitations and severe nausea, with these intense visions of him in the same sexual scenarios we've been in, but with past girlfriends. It started happening all the time, even if he was just to take my hand or if we were to share a joke and laugh together, my mind would scream 'JUST LIKE ALL THE OTHER WOMEN' and I would be overwhelmed with visions of him being blissfully happy with women from the past, and it just destroys any sense of a special moment.
The visions have been chasing me around, projecting themselves aggressively in my mind especially when I'm with him, but also when I'm alone. I've tried to practise meditative techniques, grounding myself and letting the thoughts just fade away, but honestly I'm losing my mind and it is starting to have a serious impact on my relationship. My partner is afraid to sleep with me, he is afraid of triggering something in me or us fighting...It's awful.
I think what it comes down to is that it's really difficult for me to feel special. He's gently reminded me that I'm the first woman he's felt seriously about in years, he chose me over the two women he was kind of seeing when we met, and proceeded to introduce me to his parents and his best friend, all of whom remarked on the significance of this relationship. Yet I still find myself experiencing immediate and violent stabs of insecurity and pain if he even says something jokey which hits me badly or if I see him open his phone. I've snooped on his phone and Facebook on two separate occasions and found little to give me reason to be upset, at least since we've been together, but my need to see what he's doing and indulge my paranoia is very strong. I haven't snooped since the last time, but I've wanted to pretty badly.
I'm sorry for the essay, I'm so desperate that my emotion has poured out of me and onto this page, but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if anyone can offer any advice or insight, anything would help at this point!
I've tried to practise meditative techniques, grounding myself and letting the thoughts just fade away
You need to go back to these techniques. As you know "thoughts" are not real and you are getting attached to those thoughts and this pattern will destroy you.
It doesn't sound to me as if you are ready to be in a serious r'ship
I'm sorry but I agree with NoMore, it's too soon for you to be in a serious relationship.
I think you should continue working with your therapist and perhaps ask him/her about whether they think a CBT based approach would help you in managing your intrusive thoughts.
Id say with insecurity issues he is not the man for you, with women coming out of his ears.
He is definitely not the man for you and I would agree that entering a relationship when you are having treatment for this is not ideal.
I'm sorry to say it also, but I don't think he's the man for you. Seems too much for you
Wish you all the best whatever you do OP x
Dear heart - you really are suffering aren't you? And your DP and your relationship are going to suffer too. But I do feel for you!
Morbid jealousy in man is usually quite abusive - (can you imagine a man on here screaming "just like all the other men" to himself?) I think it's quite healthy to have a friendly relationship with exes, it tends to show that they were positive and that the relationships they had were broadly good. I'd be more concerned about someone who is never on any kind of speaking terms with any Ex they'd ever had - what might that say about them in relationships?
Your problem sounds like low self-esteem and anxious attachment?. If he is a secure person that he may be able to deal with it. He seems to have done the right thing so far. But you will need more counselling and support because you know that these intrusive thoughts are unhealthy.
It may be as others said that you're not really quite ready to sustain a healthy relationship. But in the real world that has really prevented people from forming relationships. It's usually more observation looking back then in the moment!
This fear of betrayal, or inadequacy obviously runs deep. But try and remember that anybody can be deceived - it doesn't make you a fool. And he is with you because he wants to be, completely bloody obviously! So it may sound harsh - but if you think you are not good enough for him then you need to be better than you are in your own mind. Love is being the best person you can be.
From what you say, everything seems fine, other than what's going on in your head. So maybe stop listening to yourself when all this rubbish starts bubbling up. In my experience, people talk a lot of shit. And you're listening to yourself way too much. It's what we do that counts.
Good luck OP.
This is a hard situation op. My thoughts were different to other posters, it could be that he has blurred boundaries and unfinished business with some of these women and that's why your anxiety is sky high. I believe one's gut rarely lies to us, perhaps yours is giving you messages too, not just your anxiety problem.
And seriously, I get on well with most exes but they aren't deeply entwined in my life and I don't befriend out of pity, that seems really odd to me.
You need to work this through with your counsellor I'd say, and talk to trusted friends, find out what they think about him.
Good luck and I hope you feel better soon
I'm sorry but, it sounds like you have a lot going on. Maybe this relationship isn't for you, for the time being?
I agree with Rumred. To me this sounds like a man who likes a harem of women around him all boosting his ego. I'd be pretty sceptical in your position too.
Maybe the problem isn't you, it's him?
Interesting, you suffer with extreme anxiety and yet you begin a relationship with someone who at best has blurred boundaries and at worst, needs to have selection of previous sexual partners on hand (pity friendships my arse).
As for his Ex, you've given way too much information about her and their residency arrangements are none of your business (how dare she want to see her children).
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