April 16, 2018 at 5:50 pm #202713
i'm 22 and my SO is 25. we've been dating for 5 months, and with my anxiety/OCD flaring up from my relationship anxiety, along with us both dealing with a lot of outside stressors, i've been feeling extremely scared that everything will not work out. of course i deeply respect, care, and love this man, want him in my life, & want to see where our relationship goes. but i get extremely scared of the risk (ironic, considering i am ready to take the risk when i'm single, and when i met him i was so excited to, but i'm becoming more terrified as things get more serious!) i'm very scared of “settling,” committing to the wrong person for many years only to end up breaking up, etc. I grew up seeing my mother miserable and divorced, along with sisters that hooked up with MANY people before finding “the one” (they always advise me to do the same, and that me struggling in this relationship must mean i dont know any better). although i've both forced a relationship AND “sowed my oats” with many men in the past, neither satisfied me. with the constant anxiety/OCD, it grips onto my commitment phobia, making me think if this was the right person I wouldn't be scared of committing!!!! it shouldn't feel so difficult!!!! etc.
nonetheless, i've had problems in every serious relationship with control and trying to change the person. i took this as a sign that we were too different, and i should find someone better. gladly, those people weren't right for me anyway. with my current relationship and the last one though, these men were absolutely amazing. but after a while, i found myself getting too worked up over tiny things that didn't matter, trying hard to change it in order for me to feel comfortable. yet when they would be brutally honest with me, i would feel hurt and blame the relationship for simply not working.
with my current SO, he loves to joke around a lot, play video games, do spontaneous things, etc. i admire all of these things about him, yet i take it so seriously when he makes a joke, or spends hours playing video games instead of sleeping, or wanting to go to a party. these obviously aren't dealbreakers, but since i don't like these things, i feel like my anxiety keeps finding reasons to leave the relationship and find incompatibilities. in fact, i respect that he has his own life and hobbies, but it's like i'm always trying to find something wrong with the person. he even pushes me to become a better person, which deep down i'm happy about since i WANT to be more assertive, ambitious, and have more fun — yet i push him away even more. due to my childhood, i spent MANY years doing things on my own, since others did not want to help. i'm not used to accepting help from others, or not being fully autonomous. when I do go to him for support, my anxiety even thinks that i don't love him, and i'm only using him to be distracted from being alone.
i just want to enjoy the relationship and stop trying to dissect every single thing. ironically, me trying not to ruin my relationship and putting way too much focus onto it only leaves me more unsatisfied and more hopeless 🙁April 16, 2018 at 7:32 pm #202719
It might help to take a step back and consider whether your anxiety is what is making you find reasons to leave the relationship, or if you are simply unhappy with the relationship.
I also think it would be good if you can find what you yourself are looking for in a relationship – not just the attributes you look for in the person. At all costs, find what works for YOU. Not your sisters, and not your mom.
There are zero guarantees in anything. If your thought pattern is to always search for what could go wrong, you will miss all the things that are going right.
Your thought that if you were with the right person, things wouldn't be this difficult is a little off the mark. Because no relationship or person is going to always feel “right.” There will be disagreements and little things your partner does or says that will make you think you are not with the right person. And you might want to change a person, but that never works! You need to be able to accept the person as is…the good with the bad, the ugly and the pretty. Wanting to change someone is a great way to take the focus off yourself. When you find yourself wanting to change something about your SO, think instead about what it is that you need to change within yourself.
When you think that it might not work out, what is the worst possible thing that you think could happen if it doesn't work out? Would you be an emotional mess? Lose a limb? Turn purple? I'm not making light of this, it's just that if you are focusing on the fact that it might not work out, you again are missing out on all the good, fun things in the relationship.
If you are having trouble letting go of focusing on the relationship and dissecting it, you might have to accept that this is part of who you are.
Wishing you the best,
April 17, 2018 at 3:21 am #202777
- This reply was modified 3 months ago by Airene.
Taking information from your previous thread, this is my input today:
Life is easier for you, much easier, when you are not involved in a relationship. Because currently you are “dealing with a lot of outside stressors”, it may not be the right time for you to be in a relationship. Too much stress, too much distress. The right time will be a time with way less outside stressors.
The anxiety and distress you are experiencing in this relationship (and the ones before it) is, in my understanding, pretty much the same experience you had in your early relationships with your parents. It is the same experience, activated.
You wrote: “I spent MANY years doing things on my own, since others did not want to help. I'm not used to accepting help from others, or not being fully autonomous”
You are used to, that is, you feel comfortable, the least stressed being on your own, autonomous. You feel most distressed being in a relationship, being together with another person.
You wrote: “my anxiety keeps finding reasons to leave the relationship and find incompatibilities”. More accurately, I believe, is that the thinking part of your brain is trying to find a solution to the ongoing fear (the anxiety), and the solution is what I suggested to you myself: to end the relationship. Ending the relationship will resolve the anxiety, at least a whole lot of it.
No need to look for incompatibilities, for reasons other than the true one: to not feel so anxious so that your experience of life is comfortable, not so difficult, and so that you can function better in other areas of life.
Would you like to elaborate on the over responsibilities handed to you, as a child, by your parents, and how they did not help you with what you needed help?
anitaApril 17, 2018 at 7:37 am #202805
thank you both for your responses!
these are actually things I have been noticing as i started journalling and spoken to my therapist about. as the physical anxiety has lessened, i have definitely been feeling better with my SO. my main issue is that due to the OCD tendencies, I'm CONSTANTLY checking my feelings in every moment with him — making me feel like the relationship is more of a test run than actually enjoying quality time. i feel like i still also get these thoughts and doubts, mainly b/c are relationship is progressing (we're at 5 months, I've never been with anyone past 6). although i very much enjoy his company and am lucky to have him, i feel like i'm in fight-flight mode. my fear is that the longer i'm in this relationship, the more hurt I will face when we break up (not if, since I believe lots of things in my life are doomed)
as with the stress, i honestly don't think my excessive assignments or slight financial issues should warrant a breakup. me and him are stressed in our own lives, but i think you can still be in a healthy relationship and not let outside stress bleed in. for me at least, it's my mental health issues/ongoing therapy that very much gets to me. since i'm learning more about my anxiety and behaviors, i think that is what makes me dissect my relationship to no end. it's good in that i can see what is going wrong and if it's worth fixing, but also makes everything feel less natural.
we're either of you in therapy or taking meds while in a relationship? i think it's worth seeing if this is a wrong fit rather than abruptly ending it. stress is part of our everyday lives, and i never handled it well — relationship or not. i love being stuck in my comfort zone 🙁April 17, 2018 at 9:27 am #202825
You are definitely very interested in keeping this relationship going. The young man reads like a decent person as do you. I hope the two of you continue and that your love for him continue to increase as your fear decreases.
You wrote: “my fear is that the longer I'm in this relationship, the more hurt I will face when we break up”-
The hurt that you are afraid to feel in the future, didn't you already feel it, in the past?