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Insecure in new relationship

(22 Posts)
CJBear Mon 16-Nov-20 17:22:51

I’m 49, divorced and in new relationship (8 months) Progressing nicely and he’s lovely but I suffer from extreme relationship anxiety which is actually getting worse longer I’m seeing him. Terrified of it not working out, suffer from low self esteem and a big part of me feels it would be easier just to end things now to prevent myself getting hurt. Part of the issue is we live over an hour or so apart so weekends need to be planned and spontaneous get togethers not possible. When we are together we have a great time but he finds it impossible to sleep in the same bed as me (he claims he gets restless legs) so we end up sleeping apart and I miss the closeness and can’t sleep for worrying. By the time we’ve spent two nights together I’m utterly exhausted and spent and feel really down between visits. We have talked about living together but in a “couple of years” and I honestly don’t know how I’ll get through the interim period. We both have demanding jobs and older kids at home so lots to work around. I can’t help feeling that I should be feeling less anxious by now but the worry is all consuming and I’m miserable for much of the time I’m not with him. I know this isn’t an attractive quality but I can’t seem to shake it off.

OP’s posts: |
Justmuddlingalong Mon 16-Nov-20 17:26:27

If the stress of worry is leaving you exhausted after spending time together, I'm struggling to see any happy future for you tbh. 💐

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Mon 16-Nov-20 17:26:42

I'm a little unsure about the restless legs thing. I have this sometimes, but I would say it has the potential to bother DH more than me. I'm wondering if you are subtly being kept at arm's length here? In which case, that's why you're feeling a bit 'off' about it.

CJBear Mon 16-Nov-20 17:45:12

Think that’s exactly how I’m feeling. We have talked about it and he says there’s nothing wrong but has also observed this is a phenomenon that only happens when he’s in bed with me (or to be more accurate has happened with anyone other than his wife ...separated three years ago)
He’s got a much more secure attachment style than me and apparently doesn’t really consider it a problem.
And, yes...the worry is crippling but I know much is to do with my own history/past rather than what he’s doing. He’s generally attentive, kind, communicative, thoughtful.... if a little detached. I’ve told him a little about how I’m feeling and he did respond well but if I told him the whole truth he’d think I’m absolutely mental and I’m worried about coming across as too needy.

OP’s posts: |
widespreadpanic Mon 16-Nov-20 20:53:21

He’s somewhat detached and you seem to have an anxious attachment style. Unfortunately those two styles do not work well together as you will always question or worry or read into his words/actions and think it means he’s losing interest or not as committed.

youvegottenminuteslynn Mon 16-Nov-20 20:59:24


He’s somewhat detached and you seem to have an anxious attachment style. Unfortunately those two styles do not work well together as you will always question or worry or read into his words/actions and think it means he’s losing interest or not as committed.

This. Sometimes two people can be lovely and great just not compatible. It's rubbish but it's a fact of life I'm afraid. This mix of attachment needs is usually a recipe for anxiety and tension.

ReneeRol Mon 16-Nov-20 23:44:41

I don't think the bed thing means anything other than he wants to sleep. Maybe it's a polite excuse because he doesn't want to tell you that you snore or move too much. Some people are very light sleepers.

Rather than worrying about whether or not the relationship can work, focus on doing things for yourself - exercise, online classes, self improvement... Find something positive to focus on and when he's with you, just have fun and enjoy the time.

FloraFlamingo Tue 17-Nov-20 00:04:05

Christ this doesn't sound like a huge barrel of laughs does it?

No idea about the restless legs thing - maybe take that at face value.

You say you've been together 8 months - so all through lockdown? I wouldn't be talking about living together just yet .. this relationship seems to be causing you more anxiety than not - you don't need me to tell you that when a relationship is right, there's none of this hand wringing and angst

You need to end it if you truly feel as bad as you say - you'll push him away in the end anyway if you carry on. Or give yourself some sort of breakdown. It may be more sensible to concentrate on your home and kids and get yourself to a better place mentally before considering dating

NiceandCalm Tue 17-Nov-20 03:16:51

You don't feel secure in this relationship and that's enough to end it. Can you really see yourself carrying on like this for another couple of years? Unless you dial back the emotions and just see this as something fun/casual?

Anordinarymum Tue 17-Nov-20 03:19:37

You sound overwrought OP. Perhaps your man thinks so too.

HappyThursdays Tue 17-Nov-20 04:18:05

It already sounds like hard work. I would break up with him and work on your self esteem.

Do you really want a long term relationship with someone who doesn't want to sleep in your bed ever? I just can't see that working for you

HappyThursdays Tue 17-Nov-20 04:19:40

Just don't make the mistake of ignoring red flags because you think you are insecure in a relationship

Sunflower1970 Tue 17-Nov-20 04:48:36

I think you need to reset and relax. This relationship doesn’t sound like it’s good for your mental health. Maybe you need to take some time out to work out why you are so anxious and needy. These feelings won’t go away even if you end up living together and you need to sort it out before you kill the relationship

aloneeatingchocolate Tue 17-Nov-20 07:27:23

I'm in a new relationship and having exactly the same issues. It's hard not to feel rejected when someone doesn't sleep with you.

I'm really missing the intimacy that you get from waking up together and cuddling. Seems like he is not interested in me already although I think he is.

I'm going to try talking to my man again and see if we can find a compromise.

Good luck!

cloudbusting42 Tue 17-Nov-20 08:50:13

I can very much relate to this, and have had some therapy to address similar traits. It’s exhausting. My ExH left me out of the blue 2 years ago and so I brought quite a few ghosts into my new relationship (we also live an hour apart, each with kids and busy jobs). For me, the extreme anxiety, hypervigilance, and need for reassurance was a trauma response to having been abandoned by my long-term partner and father of my child.

Have you read about psychological strokes? It’s a tool from Transactional Analysis and is helping me recognise the ways in which my DP shows me love and commitment, and how I can do the same for him. We had quite a stormy time when I expressed my needs and he felt criticised, but this model (plus honest talking and a great therapist) is helping a lot.

Looking so far ahead to moving in etc. is a mistake – as a PP said, this will not solve your problems. Try to enjoy things for now. You might need to think out of the box for nonstandard signs of commitment – midlife relationship will not follow the same pattern as those in your 20s/30s that involve moving in, kids, marriage, etc. as conventional markers.

I’m not sure about the separate sleeping thing – do you get together for cuddles after you’ve both woken?

CJBear Tue 17-Nov-20 10:32:56

Hey- thanks for all the responses. First time I’ve posted here and it’s great to get some totally objective views.
Sadly it might be that we’re just not compatible no matter how much I want us to be. It’s a shame because I truly love him and think the feeling is mutual but the joy that brings is kind of cancelled out by the anxiety between meetings and our differing styles. Interestingly, he broke up with his last girlfriend because she was “too needy” so the stress of keeping what are perhaps legitimate issues to myself is definitely contributing to the way I’m feeling. I don’t think he has any clue about any of this- I am aware of my own issues and am swallowing them which is making things worse.
I will try and detach a little I think and keep working on myself. It’s difficult to know whether something is truly off or whether it’s just my own stuff reacting to someone who has a different attachment style.
I turn 50 next Sunday and he’s booked a surprise trip away Thursday-Sunday (lockdown rules permitting, we in Scotland) so I’ll try and relax and enjoy that. I do think the lack of sleep is a big contributor as I can cope with anything with 8 hours under my belt!

OP’s posts: |
rumred Tue 17-Nov-20 10:44:46

Hi op I think you need to be more upfront about your feelings, 8 months in isn't too soon.
I'd also really dislike the separate sleeping. No, actually I'd hate it. So if it's a big deal for you, you are best to let him know and see what happens.
Turning 50 was massive for me as I wasn't in a good place relationship or job wise and felt bleak. 5 years on and I'm in a good relationship and self employed. I suppose what I'm saying is don't settle for something because you fear times running out. Or because of low self esteem. Maybe work on that as a priority? Loads of useful meditations on YouTube, etc
Good luck with it all

Ruby0707 Tue 17-Nov-20 13:00:27

I can really relate to what you're saying here. I've been with a guy for a year after a long time single after my last relationship left me quite jaded.

I've been feeling a lot of anxiety, questioning how he feels about me, if we're right together etc when all I want to do is just relax and enjoy it. I think starting this relationship has bought up a lot of issues I have that need to be addressed, I'm having counselling for that.

So I don't really have a solution, just wanted you to know you are not alone. Feel free to message me if you want to chat!

Enough4me Tue 17-Nov-20 13:08:33

If you pull out the facts, you need reassurance and he doesn't want to change. He can label you as needy and you can label him as distant. Ultimately it doesn't sound fun or secure.

I was dumped for being needy before, I thanked him for finally noting that I had needs!

ADelicateFlower Tue 17-Nov-20 13:17:25

Another one suffering from similar! Mine lasted 2.5 years and made me pretty ill. On a different occasion when we split, I told everyone that he couldn’t meet my needs.

Many ways to look at it,

I’m interested now - should my next relationship be with someone also anxiously attached, like me?

ADelicateFlower Tue 17-Nov-20 13:22:27

That’s 2.5 years of anxiety and his distance, his movements, sleeping apart/together. He was emotionally absent so much. Sleeping or checking out. Playing silly little games on social media. I’ve never felt so lonely in a relationship. Hard work.

CJBear Tue 17-Nov-20 13:45:20

Well, here’s the perverse thing....I don’t do well with clingy and needy partners myself! But yes... it’s exhausting and lonely pretending you don’t have needs or being unable to talk about the important stuff. response to some of the comments here we actually do have fun when we’re together and we laugh lots. In fact, we laugh too much, including when we’re in bed together. Sometimes the dynamic is like two ten year olds at a sleepover...over excited, giggling, winding each other up. We both use humour to deflect from important issues and I think that’s part of the problem.
I don’t want to be too hard on him...he’s genuinely lovely, I think he’s just emotionally repressed and perhaps a bit anxious himself. I love him very much and I’m reluctant to throw in the towel because of my own stuff.
Glad to know there’s some other people out there-thank you.

OP’s posts: |

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