February 27, 2019 at 11:16 am #282033
Hi guys, I’ve (F21) been dating an amazing guy (he’s 25) for 6 months now. He invited me to go on a 10 day cruise with his family about 4 months ago, and the date we leave is coming up. I cannot shake my anxiety about this situation. When we first started dating, I got along with everyone that is coming. Which is his step brother and his wife, his brother and his brothers girlfriend, and his mom and step dad.
But as our relationship has progressed. I’m starting to not like his brothers girlfriend, him and his brother live together and she is constantly over there. Whereas I am at work and going to university which is something that is hard in my relationship. My boyfriend see’s her with his brother and becomes insecure sometimes because I am not always there. Which I understand completely, and I’ve tried my best to see him and love him as much as I can.
What sucks is she is a lot more of an open person then me, my boyfriends parents consistently compliment her, talk to her, and just be nice to her. I feel so left out.
On top of all of this I have this worst anxiety socially, I feel like I can’t express or talk very well in groups. And this vacation we are going to be in groups constantly.
I hope this all makes sense my brain is kind of scattered. Thank you for the read if you have gotten this far.February 27, 2019 at 4:19 pm #282087
It’s okay to feel anxious and having worries about your relationship is normal. It sounds like you’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself and comparing yourself to the brother’s gf. This is always a downward spiral. I’ve done that so much in my life and the older you get you realize it’s just not worth it. You’ll never be her (which is good…better to embrace you and just be yourself) and you don’t need to be. If his family seems into her more, that’s not a reflection on you. You aren’t failing at anything and you don’t need to change yourself.
I can totally remember all the insecurities and anxieties I had in my twenties. And as you get older they shift. Whereas my anxieties were about finishing school and what others thought of me back then…now it’s about getting older and worrying about retirement and disease lol.
Someday, you will be able to look back and smile and think about how anxious you felt going on this trip…but then all the things that happened after it. Maybe it’ll be an amazing trip! Maybe it’ll just be okay…but the thing with anxiety is that it robs us of the larger picture. Live in the present but also know that you’re life is more than this trip. So much more will happen to you. You may be with the same person in 5 years, you may not. But regardless, you’ll get through this just like you have every other thing in the past that made you anxious at the time.
While on the trip, don’t try to please everyone. Don’t ignore your needs. Be honest and be yourself. If you feel anxious at a gathering, do your best and then leave if you have to. Give yourself extra self care. Talk with your bf about your worries and insecurities.
The biggest thing that will help you in life is communication. If you can open up and communicate with your bf about how you feel and he’s supportive and responds, great! If he doesn’t or he’s critical…it may not be a long lasting relationship.
Always be there for your own needs. Don’t try to replace yourself with someone else. Take breaks and be by yourself if it helps you cope. The person that will be with you through everything is YOU so honor and nurture yourself first, always. Others will flow in and out of your life. If you’re open and friendly and others like his family don’t respond or embrace you…that’s on them. You don’t owe them anything.
You can do this. In two months from now the trip will be over and you can look back on it with greater perspective.February 27, 2019 at 4:47 pm #282103
Did you talk about this with your boyfriend? The two of you can talk about different group scenarios likely to happen in the cruise and decide now how the two of you will interact in those group scenarios in the future: what he will say, what you will say, what the two of you will do if this or that takes place.
The two of you can prepare now so that during the cruise you act like a team, he is there for you and you are there for him. As a team, if the two of you are left out of the bigger group, then the two of you, as a team, as a group of two, can leave the bigger group and go someplace else, do something different, have your own fun.
anitaFebruary 28, 2019 at 12:56 pm #282275
Cass and Anita, thank you you so much for this. I will return here during the trip to read your advice and guidance. I appreciate this so much, my mind has been going crazy, comparing, playing out scenarios and just being nasty to me. I feel a lot better today, and I’m definintely going to pack all of my feel good things like books, iPad, and music. You guys are very sweet and I am glad I reached out, makes me not feel so alone.
To answer your question Anita, I have. He has said that I can go back to the room at any point alone or with him whatever I need. He is a nurturing and providing person so I doubt that will change on the cruise. I think it just hurts him I have been so worried about this trip. I am trying to just accept that this was my decision, and now I need to go an experience it day by day. This is the furthest I’ve been away from home and the longest so it is very nervewracking.March 1, 2019 at 7:54 am #282369
You are welcome and I will be glad to read from you anytime during your trip and reply. How exciting, this being the farthest and longest time away from your family, excellent! It is an opportunity to notice and learn new things.
When you are in the group settings you fear, when your boyfriend’s girlfriend is talking and his parents listen to her and compliment her, and you feel left out, will you repeat to yourself something like (you can choose the words that feel best for you): “I am not less than her; I am not inferior to her. I am no less valuable than her, she is not more valuable than I am”?
anitaMarch 6, 2019 at 9:48 am #283311
I’d like to specify that the person I am refering to is my boyfriends BROTHERS girlfriend haha. Not my boyfriends girlfriend.
But yes Anita I have been using your affirmations and they have been helping so much. I will be reporting back soon and let you know how the trip is going. I leave in 7 days.March 6, 2019 at 11:49 am #283373
Yes, I remember now: I was going to type “your boyfriend‘s brother‘s girlfriend” but as I was wondering if it was grammatically correct, I forgot to type “brother’s”.
Glad the affirmations helped you and am looking forward to your next post!
anitaMarch 11, 2019 at 8:09 am #284059
Also, Anita. My anxiety is coming back, do you have any book recomendations of powerful women, fiction or non fiction? I think that would greatly help during this trip.March 11, 2019 at 8:17 am #284071
No, I don’t have book recommendations. I no longer read books and I don’t remember one about powerful women. I don’t know what you mean by powerful women anyway, what do you mean (maybe I can offer you my thoughts on the matter of powerful women if I know what you mean by it, if you are interested, of course).
anitaMarch 11, 2019 at 10:07 am #284097
What I mean by powerful women, I mean a women who is inspiring, full of strength and just wakes up and decides its going to be a good day, takes oppurtinities, isn’t afraid to speak for herself and talk to others, gets through everything with the grace of knowing herself and knowing her capabilities, someone who shows other women to take care of theirselves, and lifts other women up instead of being judgemental or tearing the other down. These are just some qualities that I have been wanting to integrate, reading fiction books about these type of women make it easier to demonstrate in my life in a way.March 11, 2019 at 10:20 am #284103
You want to integrate the quality of not being “afraid to speak for herself and talk to others”- no way of not being afraid anymore by reading about or from someone who is not afraid to do what you are afraid to do.
The way for you to no longer be afraid to speak for yourself is… to speak for yourself. You start small, by speaking for yourself for just a moment, just one thing you say, then see the reaction, and once you see nothing bad happens, you speak for yourself one more time, pause, see the reaction, and again.
Take an opportunity today to speak or yourself, to talk within a group, for just a moment, and take it from there, will you do that and tell me about it?
anitaMarch 11, 2019 at 11:25 am #284125
I will do that, I’m not sure how much social I can be today because of school. But I will do that over the next few days and report back. Thank you Anita.March 11, 2019 at 11:30 am #284129
You are welcome, Alexandria. I will read your report when you post it and reply.
anitaMarch 26, 2019 at 11:03 am #286465
Hey, I couldn’t use internet the whole time I was out there. I decided I’d write back and update on everything. It wasn’t a good vacation. I mean there was a few good moments but I am never doing that again. I need land and internet, and just being grounded.
Anyway, the whole family (I feel) likes the brothers girlfriend more than me. For some reason there is something I find ingenuine about her, she’s constantly feeding off the attention of others and is kind of like a chamelion if that makes sense. I am honest and real, I’m not going to kiss anyones ass for approval or fake something that is so obviously forced.
I didn’t have any of my resources so I wasn’t behaving or acting my best that is for sure. My boyfriend thinks everyone loves and me and everything is okay I wasn’t acting weird. But I felt discomfort and not belonging the entire trip. It makes me sad because I look back and I feel guilty for not being able to be in the moment and be more grateful when I was out there but when I am far away from home for too long I get grumpy and uncomfortable it’s just how I am, I am also quite the introvert and need time for myself completely alone. I don’t know why I thought this would be different. It really made me consider whether this is the family I want to marry into.
At some points I felt a connection but most of the time the other girlfriend really just had their attention and energy. I kind of just felt like a shadow.
This trip has inspiried me to live my life unapologetically. I am the way I am and I do not need to change for approval or attention. As soon as we got back my boyfriend and I went on a hike, and I’ve been back to my yoga routine. I’m thinking about going to counseling because I hate not feeling enough and I felt that way the whole trip it was the heaviest feelings I have ever felt. Anyway, I wanted to get that all out. Despite everything that happened, I feel inspired and ready to embrace the way I am and take my life back.March 26, 2019 at 12:36 pm #286479
“I feel inspired and ready to embrace the way I am and take my life back” reads excellent to me. I think that quality counseling will be the place to form a plan how to take your life back.
It is a very unpleasant experience, to feel “like a shadow” as someone else grabs the spotlight and keeps it. I know the feeling all too well.
I will soon be away from the computer for a few hours. I am glad you came back to your thread for this update and I hope to read more from you.