Abandonment issues have made my relationship toxic

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    I love my boyfriend. When we spend time together one on one, we’re comfortable sharing almost all aspects of our lives and our opinions. We have similar senses of humour. We share the same values and personality quirks. It hurts me immensely when he feels upset and he comforts me like no other when I am. We share a few hobbies that mean a lot to the both of us. When we get to end the day together cuddled together in bed, I feel at peace. We wake up to each other with smiles on our faces.

    However, when we spend time apart (on most days of the week except 2), my abandonment issues are triggered sometimes so intensely that I feel broken and unable to concentrate on anything else. This relationship anxiety I have developed has also triggered his anxiety. We’ve been dating for a year and a half now. This is the first relationships both of us have been in. I love him immensely, but the anxiety has been here for most of it.

    For the last months, I initiated most of our texts and phone calls throughout the day. A couple of times, if he’s out with friends the entire day, he would reply to me 7 hours later. On the whole, I would characterize myself as the one both initiating and replying promptly. Sometimes he would ignore a certain message altogether or miss our habitual good morning texts or good night calls. We used to text throughout the day with more meaningful, loving content; I miss that so much.

    Also, both of us are very studious, but when he studies, he prefers to be alone. His preference applies to attending class, as well. We share almost all the same university courses, but he told me that he would like to sit away from me for the majority of them to concentrate on work (other times he says he wants to branch out a little). I realized that he ended up sitting beside a particular girl for most of them, a girl who was top in our class. I tried not to get jealous, but seeing him dashing to the front of the classroom with a big smile to sit next to her (sometimes completely disregarding me, even when I wave), often reminding me how much she helps him with academics and how smart she is and how often he texts her about problem sets (multiple times a day into the night always with prompt replies), it started to all really hurt. Seeing him essentially gravitate towards this one girl whenever he did felt like he was choosing her over me.

    I started doubting his intentions. I was very understanding and easygoing at the beginning of our relationship, but I found myself growing even more insecure (as a generally insecure person) and hurt enough to cry at the smallest issues. When he doesn’t respond to my texts promptly, my heart races and my head starts pulling up the worst case scenarios (maybe he doesn’t care, maybe I bother him too much, maybe he’s texting that girl in class, maybe he doesn’t love me as much as I do him). When I find myself reaching out to him way more than he does, I feel clingy (which I admit is true that I have some attachment issues) and pathetic. I used to hide how I feel, but the anxiety and insecure has resurfaced multiple times and more frequently now in outbursts where I become very moody and say nothing is wrong until I finally admit how I feel, only to leave him feeling upset that I couldn’t have been more assertive before and hurt that I feel this way when he feels quite secure in our relationship. We try to solve these issues when we have disagreements and eventually, we settled on him not sitting next to the girl in class, him texting good morning every morning, and him trying at least to send one message during the day, and me trying not to get so upset at any little blip. Evaluating the outcome of our arguments, I have realized that I am demanding, bordering on controlling. He is also thinking that so many of his actions are done just to appease me.

    My anxieties and insecurities are destabilizing my relationship with him. I keep missing the beginning of our relationship when both of us were reaching out more and our texting habits were in sync… When I felt completely secure. Despite therapy and honest conversation, I feel like I’m demanding more and more and he’s sick of having to deal with my moodiness and neediness. Recently, I was upset again that he adamantly opposed me to studying next to him for 20 minutes in the library while I had missed him for two days and just wanted to feel close. During our argument, he admitted that he’s now feeling really anxious and gross whenever he sees that he hasn’t replied to my texts in a while or when I don’t reply to him for a while and he’s just scared that I’m upset again. I fully admit that insecurity has caused much of his hurt, but I really don’t intend to be a bad person… I feel extremely guilty and sad that I’ve done this to him.

    He proposed a reset system where we don’t text or call each other for a week. In the meantime, I just feel confused. Is our relationship too broken to fix? What if we can’t find a happy medium? How can I feel secure again? Am I just a toxic, demanding person who should take a break from relationships in general so I don’t hurt those around me? I feel stuck.

    (I apologize for such a long post and for my wordiness.)



    Dear Este:

    This part: “seeing him dashing to the front of the classroom with a big smile to sit next to  her (sometimes completely disregarding me, even when I wave), often reminding me how much she helps him with academics and how smart she is and how often he texts her about problem sets (multiple tomes a day into the night always with prompt replies”-

    – I can’t imagine this not being a problem for any girl, abandonment issues or not. How can it possibly feel okay to wave to your boyfriend, he ignores you waving to him as he rushes.. to sit by another girl.

    Do you see how this part would bother anyone, that it bothering you is not an indication that you are “a toxic, demanding person”?



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