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Did I cheat on my ex-bf emotionally?

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  • #381094
    Kate
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you so much for your reply!

    Yes, that sounds like me in terms of previous and current relationship.

    Kate

    #381102
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Kate,

    I believe that one of the reasons why you’re afraid of your boyfriend cheating on you is that you have pretty low self-esteem. You said about your second relationship:

    In my second relationship, the guy was really critical of me. He would consistently comment on my body weight, height ( I was quite shorter than him) and looks. He would tell me you are not beautiful but your nature is good. That really affected me mentally. I became too insecure of myself and was not at all comfortable in my own skin. I felt ugly and irritated all the time.

    Since you stayed with this guy and tolerated him criticizing your looks, it tells me you have low self-esteem and that a part of you actually believed him when he said those unflattering things. That might be why you were insecure and jealous of that other girl whom he had a crush on (although a part of your jealousy seems justified – if he was actually lying and manipulating you), and why you’re now jealous of every girl who may come into contact with your current boyfriend.

    It could also be that your strong sense of insecurity didn’t really start with your 2nd boyfriend and his comments, but earlier, with your parents? (you said you didn’t want them to see you with your first boyfriend, so I guess they are pretty strict and perhaps judgmental?)

     

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by TeaK.
    #381104
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Kate:

    You wrote that your boyfriend is a great guy who cares for you and loves you. You love him too. Two good people loving each other is a good thing, isn’t it, and the two should be calm and happy about being in a relationship, right? Except that when one of the two people is too scared to lose the other. When Fear enters the relationship, Calm & Happiness exit it.

    “When D doesn’t reply (to) me on time despite being online, I get scared thinking that he might be talking to someone else”- it isn’t fun every time this happens because when Fear is In, Calm & Happy is Out. When a person feels fear for too long, or repeatedly, the person sometimes disconnects and feels indifferent or spaced out, as a way to get a relief from fear.

    “My boyfriend is a great guy. He cares for me and loves me. But sometimes, I just feel a disconnect. I am not sure where is the issue and how do I deal with it”-

    How to deal with it: protect the relationship from your fear by deciding on how you should behave, regardless of how you feel at any one time. To feel safe, a person needs to feel that they are walking on solid ground, not a shaky ground. If you think of your feelings as the ground you walk on, then you are walking on shaky ground, different feelings at different times: happy, sad, scared, disconnected, hopeful and positive, distressed and negative..  angry, tired, indifferent- all these make a shaky ground.

    Better to think of your behavior as the ground you walk on. You can decide on certain behavioral rules for yourself that you can count on. When you practice these behaviors no matter how you feel- you will be walking on solid ground.

    It is important that you make your own rules, choosing the words that fit you, and as you practice a particular rule, be open to change the rule if needed so to make it fit and work better for you. Here is an example of a behavioral rule: when I send a message to D, I set the alarm in my phone for 2 hours from the time I send the message. During those 2 hours I will do nothing about his lack of reply no matter how I feel. When the alarm sounds, I will think: is there something I need to do now about his lack of reply?

    In this example, the idea is that for 2 hours, if you are committed to not doing anything (not initiating another message, not calling him, not anything), then you are less likely to think about why he is not replying to you and what he may be doing. We tend to think and overthink when we are open, if only a bit, to taking some action. If action is completely off the table- the overthinking will be too. These 2 hours will promote your peace of mind and D’s peace of mind because he is not going to be bothered by a second message or a phone call before he is ready.

    “I feel scared that what if he talks to someone and falls for her… The other day we were just talking and he tells me that there are no girls in his team (work). I asked if he wants girls in his team”- here is another behavioral rule for you to consider: when D mentions girls or women, I will not ask him about it. When I am alone later on, I will think: do I  need to ask him anything? The idea behind this example of a rule is that when you feel a strong emotion/ being on shaky ground- you endure the strong emotion without quickly/ impulsively reacting to the emotion (by asking a question). Instead, you wait and when you are alone and calmer, you will be able to make a rational decision as to whether a question is needed to be asked.

    “While I am in that situation, I directly jump onto the conclusion that it might not or difficult to work between us”- when we feel fear, we automatically want to run away or otherwise end the situation that scares us. It is a natural reaction to fear. Here is another possible rule: when I jump to the conclusion that the relationship will not work, I take five slow breaths, and when I am calm, I think: is there any real evidence why the relationship will not work?

    Let me know what you think about my suggestion above. As to the rest of your post before last, regarding your past: you shared that you believed that your first boyfriend would never cheat on you. There was a fight and you didn’t talk for a week. The relationship resumed after that week and ended a year later. After it ended, you found out that he was seeing another girl during the week you didn’t talk. Your reaction: “this really broke me. My belief system was complete shattered”. Your second boyfriend was critical of your looks, telling you: “you are not beautiful but your nature is good”. Your reaction: “I felt ugly and irritated all the time”, the two of you fought a lot regarding his seeming attraction to another girl in a friends group.

    My final comments for this post: (1) There is never a guarantee that a man you love will forever love you and will never consider getting involved with another woman, or other women. But there are circumstances and there are men who make the chance of being cheated on very, very small. You want to rationally evaluate a man and choose one whose character is such that the chance that he will cheat on you is very small.

    (2) Every man has his personal preferences as far as a woman’s physical looks go. If you had to be perceived as physically beautiful by every man- you’d be in trouble. But you only need one man to believe that you are physically beautiful.

    (3) In regard to anxiety in the context of a romantic relationship- what happens is that on one hand, you very much want to be in a loving relationship, but on the other hand- you are scared of the very thing that you want. A loving relationship holds a promise of Love, but it also offers the threat losing that love (being betrayed, cheated on, left). So, you want it (the joy of being loved) and you don’t want it (the pain if you losing love). We can talk about this more, if you want to.

    anita

    #381118
    Kate
    Participant

    Hi Teak,

    As a child, I was insecure of my looks and was made fun of or not treated well by other children at times. My parents really supported me but faced comments from my distant relatives. Growing up, I have tried to work on myself to accept the way I am but my insecurities pop up at times.

    Best,

    Kate

     

    #381119
    Kate
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for your reply!

    What all you have told makes sense to me and I’ll try incorporating the ideas you have given me to me.

    Best,

    Kate

     

    #381121
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Kate:

    You are welcome. When you have the time and patience, re-read my last post to you part by part, see if you can make good practical use of it, and post again anytime.

    anita

    #381122
    Kate
    Participant

    Sure! I will 😌

    #381123
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Kate,

    As a child, I was insecure of my looks and was made fun of or not treated well by other children at times. My parents really supported me but faced comments from my distant relatives.

    It’s great that you have supportive parents, who don’t criticize you, either for your looks or otherwise. It appears your insecurity stems rather from being teased by other children, and by distant relatives making inappropriate comments. When the latter happened, how did your parents react? Did they reassure you that you’re fine and there’s nothing wrong with you?

    Growing up, I have tried to work on myself to accept the way I am but my insecurities pop up at times.

    How is it nowadays with your insecurities? For example, do you see yourself not pretty enough, and due to that, in danger of being cheated on/abandoned by your boyfriend?

     

    #381268
    Kate
    Participant

    Hi Teak,

    Sorry for the late reply!

    They would support me and protect me from the nuisance. However, many times I didn’t tell them what happened at college so that they don’t get hurt.

    The insecurities do pop out sometimes and do make me feel that there might be better people than me out there.

    Best,

    Kate

    #381298
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Kate,

    The insecurities do pop out sometimes and do make me feel that there might be better people than me out there.

    Would you care to elaborate on this? What makes you believe you’re not such a good person?

    Oh and please tell me if my prying and questioning is a nuisance for you. I am asking with the intention to help, to maybe figure out what’s at the bottom of your insecurity. But if you don’t feel like talking about it, just say so and I’ll stop.

    #381893
    anita
    Participant

    How are you, Kate?

    anita

Viewing 11 posts - 16 through 26 (of 26 total)

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