• Welcome! It’s great to see you.

    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

Relationship doubts caused by recent anxiety?

J

Jordan_Alyse

New member
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
Messages
3
Prepare yourselves, this is a long one.

I’m not sure where to start but I would greatly appreciate another opinion on what I’ve been going through the past month.

I have been with my boyfriend for over a year, he is the light of my life. I never could have imagined finding someone has wonderful as him. He understands me most of the time, and if he doesn’t, he tries like hell. We have always had a wonderful relationship, unlike any other. He makes me laugh and he cannot say or do one mean thing to me without apologizing immediately after. We argue like normal couples, but it always ends in us laughing and him apologizing, he really is one in a million.

I’ve always been a pessimist, and I have always struggled with anxiety. I assume the worst of situations and I blow small things WAY out of proportion, I literally get in fits or rage and panic over the tiniest things. In addition to this, I also have Social Phobia, which causes me to avoid any social situations if possible. It’s not that I don’t enjoy going to parties or going out, I just prefer to avoid conversation at all costs, in fear that there will be awkward silence (and when there is, I babble uncomfortably and say stupid things that I pay for later with constant thinking about it, I basically beat myself up for hours after.) I cannot handle the slightest bit of stress without thing my world is going to crumble beneath me. Will all that being said, since my boyfriend came along, he has always been the “net” beneath me, something to catch me when I fall. He’s been relatively good at it, but because of how good he was it has caused me to latch on to him and lose all sense of independence within myself. I cannot drive anywhere anymore in fear that I will wreck (I have gotten in a few wrecks, which ALREADY caused me to fear being in a car) but in addition to my fear, he has driven everywhere since the beginning of our relationship, and we are ALWAYS together. When you think of couple that spends all their time together, multiply it times 10. He basically moved in after we graduated, so we had been dating for about 8 months, give or take. I don’t like going anywhere without him, and I can admit with complete honesty that I KNOW I am far to dependent on him. I have been told that I need to gain more independence, make sure that I am my main source of happiness, but I don’t know where to start. We have the same friends, we ride to school together, we live together, I never have the desire to separate myself from him.

Now to the main point, about a month ago I took a trip to Pennsylvania to visit an online friend. It was only for a week, but like I said, I am NEVER away from him. I had not slept alone in a year. I did not ween myself away from him, or prepare myself for being without him (ESPECIALLY in a place so foreign to me, with people I had never met.) I was not ready to say the least, but I went anyway.

My first day in Pennsylvania I felt like I was going to die, literally like I was going to die, I cried my eyes out and it felt like someone had reached into my chest and ripped out my heart. I didn’t think I could bare being without him, not for that long, I almost when the extreme of buying an earlier plane ticket, which I really could not afford. The days following got better, I slept late so most of the day was gone and organized my schedule around his work schedule so that I was distracted when he could not text me. Overall, I was feeling a good bit better.

The day I went home I was SO excited, I just wanted it to fly by so I could finally be in his arms again. The second I saw him I ran into his arms and cried, I didn’t want to let go. The ride home is when my problem started. I did not feel like I loved him anymore, my mind was telling me that I didn’t, and I was fighting with it. Unfortunately, this feeling carried over the next few days. I stopped eating, I started throwing up, I broke down every few hours, it was like there was this horrible burning emptiness in chest that I couldn’t get rid of. I hated myself and I hated whatever was making me feel this way. Being that our relationship is so open and comfortable, I told him what was going on. He accepted me and did not get angry, he did not make me feel bad about it, he didn’t even act sad. He comforted me and reassured me that I did love him and that he would not give up on me because he knew that I was fighting. Him knowing allowed me to start to feel better, but I still had horrible attacks. It seemed that the only cure was seeing him smile. I felt so guilty and disgusted with myself, all I wanted was for him to be happy, even if that meant me being miserable.

I looked up my symptoms on the internet and found loads of explanations, most of them said anxiety was the cause. I accepted this with open arms, and went to the doctor. After the doctor diagnosed me, I felt ten times better. Within the next week, I was back to normal. I felt all the love come rushing back. It was like it had never left. This continued for a while, but it soon came back.

The past week or so I have been overwhelmed with anxiety and doubts. It may be because of all the stress I am having with school, but nonetheless it was there and it felt realer than ever. My anxiety and doubts were now targeting more realistic aspects. Rather than a burning feeling in my chest, I felt sick to my stomach. My mind was telling me that we had nothing to talk about, or that he wasn’t exciting enough, I started needing constant reassurance that he was attracted to me, and I was constantly having to reassure myself of my love for him. Because of these doubts, all of my time with him is spent with me analyzing everything we do. If we aren’t talking constantly it pops up in my head “see, you don’t have anything to talk about,” or if he doesn’t laugh at something “see, you don’t even have the same sense of humor.” It is physically killing me. I am now struggling with the thought that I don’t want a relationship (which is not true, it has made me happier than I have ever been in my entire life) I feel as though I am to dependent and I am to horribly damaged to worry about anything but myself. I want to find a way to reassure myself and realize that I can work on myself while I am in this relationship, that I do not need to end something so wonderful because of these doubts.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Do you think it is possible that these doubts are from my anxiety? Any mention of me not loving him from another person makes me drop to the group in tears. I was looking into relationship OCD, it seems likely.
 
RainbowHeartz

RainbowHeartz

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 25, 2013
Messages
13,273
hello and welcome xx

anxiety is horrible and its possible that the anxiety is making you have doubts, i doubt myself and life all the time and im anxious alot of the time too xx
 
I

inhaleexhale

New member
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
1
I'm not sure if this will help, especially given the time lapse, but I am going through something similar. I was recently diagnosed with GAD and depression and have been suffering severe anxiety in regards to my relationship. Prior to the overwhelming anxiety, everything was great - occasional fights like normal couples, but I definitely knew he was the one I wanted to be with.

Ever since the anxiety and doubt started, I continuously question whether I love him, if he'd be better off without me, etc. It is always unwelcome and always seems to pop back up just when I am started to feel a little more normal in the relationship. It can be so exhausting and I don't want to share with him all that is going on in my head because I don't want to feel guilty for making him worry.

One of the best things I came across was Sheryl Paul's website Conscious Transitions. She talks about relationship-based anxiety and how it happens to more individuals that you would realized. She offers an online course for lots of $$$, but just reading through her threads helped me realize it's okay - just because you have these thoughts doesn't mean they are true.

I think the issue facing many who deal with anxiety is that we want to be cured. We want to go back to that time period we can remember when it didn't seem to overwhelm our every thought and impact us physically. We want to go back to that time in our relationships when we had no doubts and live there - because it seems as though once doubt sets in, you can't shake it. And sure, pills and therapy are fantastic ways to work on anxiety, but I think what we have to realize is anxiety can be managed, not cured. I've found as I've worked on accepting that, I'm more receptive to negative thoughts associated with anxiety because I know they will pass - that yes, I have these thoughts which can ravage me emotionally, but that's all they are - thoughts that my anxiety-distorted brain has come up with. It doesn't take away the frustration and pain of having them, but makes them much easier to bear.

You mention feeling really good and in love but then getting anxious again? It's happened to me many times. Anxiety is a bumpy ride very similar to a roller coaster - we have high highs and extremely low lows. But here's some of the best advice I got for Sheryl Paul and my therapist: when you get that rush, that feeling of love and contentment and feel as though things are back to normal - cherish it! soak it up and commit every moment of that to your memory. Because when you are feeling anxious and unsure and doubting the very relationship that brought you joy, you have those moments that will make you realize all the doubts and anxiety are worth it.

I hope this helps in some way if you are still suffering from this issue/still on this forum.
 
N

notrealname

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
766
I can to some extent relate to this, and I also suffer from anxiety.

I have a deep fear of dependence and whenever I feel in the least bit dependent on someone I freak out. I think there are two reasons for this - firstly I think it hits my self esteem and I start to think less of myself (because my self-concept is based around fierce independence and doing everything single-handedly etc.); and secondly I don't think I've ever had a relationship I didn't think was temporary (although usually I think I will end it - but if I feel like I have any dependency then I assume they will end it instead and usually because of some perceived flaw in me).

Years ago I was in a relationship where I felt much more strongly than usual for the person I was with. When I noticed some distance come between us I woke up one day and simple didn't love him anymore. I thought, I just don't have any feelings for him and I need to split up with him, so I phoned him up (dick move, we'd been together over a year) to split up with him and then the moment I started talking I started questioning myself and I wasn't sure anymore. Later on I felt deeply in love with him again, but that was once he'd started the process of splitting up with me (not imagined, he actually said he'd be splitting up with me in a few months, and yes I did try to leave but I was having a horrendous time in other parts of my life and found it difficult). I then found myself staying with him but at the same time not wanting to, so I would for instance spend a day with him as my boyfriend but then choose to sleep on the couch at night because I didn't want to be near him. I also found I would get obsessed with anything but the relationship - I got obsessed with TV shows, with word puzzles....and I mean obsessed to the point I could think of nothing else.

The best way this has been explained to me is that it's basically a very complicated attachment style (I think they technically call it disorganised). All insecure attachments are based around a fear of abandonment/rejection and they affect the way you act interpersonally (they are also the cause behind social anxiety). Some people feel insecure so they cling to stop the other leaving, other people feel insecure so they distance themselves from their partner so as not to get too attached, some people do both (I tend to do both but I err towards distancing). Distancing includes thinking about your partner's flaws and feeling emotionally detached from them etc.

It doesn't really matter whether you tend to cling, distance, or do both. It sounds like you're feeling a mixture of both. At the end of the day, it's the same fear, which is that you will split up - or more accurately, what you think will happen if you split up.

There are a few practical things you can do:
1) Work out what story you are telling yourself - what do you actually think will happen if this relationship doesn't work out? Do you think it will say something about you personally? Will it lower your self worth? Or perhaps you think you can't go it alone? Or perhaps you think you will not have a similar relationship with other people? Once you've worked out your story, remind yourself that these are just thoughts. They are not reality. You might try practicing mindfulness (you can find free courses on the internet) to help you get used to observing your thoughts without necessarily taking too much stock in them.
2) Increase your self worth - All insecurities are based on low self worth. If you can increase your self worth, you can beat your insecurity altogether. Ignore everyone who says 'you just need to love yourself more' because that's an empty phrase that is impossible to apply. Instead, do practical things such as being more assertive. Before you enter a social situation, remind yourself that you are important - just as important as anyone in the room - and that you deserve to be treated as if you are just as important as anyone else. That includes your emotions (which are always valid - I have difficulty with that part but you just have to work on it). Learn to expect that others treat you with the same importance they treat themselves and others. At first it will feel unnatural and it will take a lot of practice, but the more you practice the better you will get. It's a long journey but it's worth it. The more you 'act' as if you have self worth, the more your self worth will increase, because of the feedback you get from others and the very fact you get used to the idea.
3) Don't let your boyfriend help you too much. Don't take that the wrong way, he sounds lovely, and it's very important to have someone around who understands you and is compassionate like he is. But explain to him you want to be more independent because you will need to be for your future life together and you need to learn to be by yourself. Maybe you could plan it together so that you do things by yourself bit by bit and through gradual exposure prove to yourself you are ok alone?
 
E

emilyei96

New member
Joined
Jul 6, 2017
Messages
1
Prepare yourselves, this is a long one.

I’m not sure where to start but I would greatly appreciate another opinion on what I’ve been going through the past month.

I have been with my boyfriend for over a year, he is the light of my life. I never could have imagined finding someone has wonderful as him. He understands me most of the time, and if he doesn’t, he tries like hell. We have always had a wonderful relationship, unlike any other. He makes me laugh and he cannot say or do one mean thing to me without apologizing immediately after. We argue like normal couples, but it always ends in us laughing and him apologizing, he really is one in a million.

I’ve always been a pessimist, and I have always struggled with anxiety. I assume the worst of situations and I blow small things WAY out of proportion, I literally get in fits or rage and panic over the tiniest things. In addition to this, I also have Social Phobia, which causes me to avoid any social situations if possible. It’s not that I don’t enjoy going to parties or going out, I just prefer to avoid conversation at all costs, in fear that there will be awkward silence (and when there is, I babble uncomfortably and say stupid things that I pay for later with constant thinking about it, I basically beat myself up for hours after.) I cannot handle the slightest bit of stress without thing my world is going to crumble beneath me. Will all that being said, since my boyfriend came along, he has always been the “net” beneath me, something to catch me when I fall. He’s been relatively good at it, but because of how good he was it has caused me to latch on to him and lose all sense of independence within myself. I cannot drive anywhere anymore in fear that I will wreck (I have gotten in a few wrecks, which ALREADY caused me to fear being in a car) but in addition to my fear, he has driven everywhere since the beginning of our relationship, and we are ALWAYS together. When you think of couple that spends all their time together, multiply it times 10. He basically moved in after we graduated, so we had been dating for about 8 months, give or take. I don’t like going anywhere without him, and I can admit with complete honesty that I KNOW I am far to dependent on him. I have been told that I need to gain more independence, make sure that I am my main source of happiness, but I don’t know where to start. We have the same friends, we ride to school together, we live together, I never have the desire to separate myself from him.

Now to the main point, about a month ago I took a trip to Pennsylvania to visit an online friend. It was only for a week, but like I said, I am NEVER away from him. I had not slept alone in a year. I did not ween myself away from him, or prepare myself for being without him (ESPECIALLY in a place so foreign to me, with people I had never met.) I was not ready to say the least, but I went anyway.

My first day in Pennsylvania I felt like I was going to die, literally like I was going to die, I cried my eyes out and it felt like someone had reached into my chest and ripped out my heart. I didn’t think I could bare being without him, not for that long, I almost when the extreme of buying an earlier plane ticket, which I really could not afford. The days following got better, I slept late so most of the day was gone and organized my schedule around his work schedule so that I was distracted when he could not text me. Overall, I was feeling a good bit better.

The day I went home I was SO excited, I just wanted it to fly by so I could finally be in his arms again. The second I saw him I ran into his arms and cried, I didn’t want to let go. The ride home is when my problem started. I did not feel like I loved him anymore, my mind was telling me that I didn’t, and I was fighting with it. Unfortunately, this feeling carried over the next few days. I stopped eating, I started throwing up, I broke down every few hours, it was like there was this horrible burning emptiness in chest that I couldn’t get rid of. I hated myself and I hated whatever was making me feel this way. Being that our relationship is so open and comfortable, I told him what was going on. He accepted me and did not get angry, he did not make me feel bad about it, he didn’t even act sad. He comforted me and reassured me that I did love him and that he would not give up on me because he knew that I was fighting. Him knowing allowed me to start to feel better, but I still had horrible attacks. It seemed that the only cure was seeing him smile. I felt so guilty and disgusted with myself, all I wanted was for him to be happy, even if that meant me being miserable.

I looked up my symptoms on the internet and found loads of explanations, most of them said anxiety was the cause. I accepted this with open arms, and went to the doctor. After the doctor diagnosed me, I felt ten times better. Within the next week, I was back to normal. I felt all the love come rushing back. It was like it had never left. This continued for a while, but it soon came back.

The past week or so I have been overwhelmed with anxiety and doubts. It may be because of all the stress I am having with school, but nonetheless it was there and it felt realer than ever. My anxiety and doubts were now targeting more realistic aspects. Rather than a burning feeling in my chest, I felt sick to my stomach. My mind was telling me that we had nothing to talk about, or that he wasn’t exciting enough, I started needing constant reassurance that he was attracted to me, and I was constantly having to reassure myself of my love for him. Because of these doubts, all of my time with him is spent with me analyzing everything we do. If we aren’t talking constantly it pops up in my head “see, you don’t have anything to talk about,” or if he doesn’t laugh at something “see, you don’t even have the same sense of humor.” It is physically killing me. I am now struggling with the thought that I don’t want a relationship (which is not true, it has made me happier than I have ever been in my entire life) I feel as though I am to dependent and I am to horribly damaged to worry about anything but myself. I want to find a way to reassure myself and realize that I can work on myself while I am in this relationship, that I do not need to end something so wonderful because of these doubts.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Do you think it is possible that these doubts are from my anxiety? Any mention of me not loving him from another person makes me drop to the group in tears. I was looking into relationship OCD, it seems likely.
Hi,

I know this is an old entry, but I can relate to this post a lot. I've had a similar experience in my current relationship! (sorry in advance for the long post)

I've suffered from depression and GAD most of my life, but have only recently (January of this year) been formally diagnosed with both. In September last year, I came out of my first ever long-term relationship. It lasted two-and-a-half years, from when I was 17 until I was almost 20. Naturally, as my first 'big' relationship was during these years - during which I moved far away to go to university, met tons of new people, experienced the transition from a regular to long distance relationship, etc - it didn't really go as well as it could have. Eventually, it ended quite badly after I had a terrible few months of heavy anxiety, as my boyfriend slowly became more and more impatient and disinterested in me (both mentally and physically) - this lowered my already low self esteem and made me feel completely unlovable.

Soon after the breakup, I felt an burst of confidence - my friends all helped me get over my previous relationship, and i tried a lot of new things. I've always been a very romantic person, and happy to socialise and meet new people (despite my anxieties) and before long I had struck up something new with an amazing guy I had made friends with at university the year before. He was everything I pined for when things were going catastrophically wrong in my previous relationship: good looking, funny, passionate about the same things I was, and best of all - he understood my anxieties/insecurities, and was kind and patient enough to listen to me and value my thoughts and feelings. The rest of my friends gushed about how he was just my type - I couldn't believe my luck when it turned out he was as interested in me as i was in him.

But it was a tricky situation. As it was so soon after coming out of my previous relationship (just under a month), I had trouble committing and trusting this new guy - I had to cool it off and tell him I needed some space to myself before attempting any sort of serious romantic thing. This was fairly successful, but difficult - he was all I could think about, and the thought of not ever being with him was torture! So, as we were in the same friendship group and had a strong connection, we found ourselves hooking up at every group party and eventually getting together properly a few months later (around January). :LOL:

After a short period of time, my anxieties started up: although this guy was incredibly supportive, understanding and wonderful, I found myself having constant doubts about whether I should be in a relationship, or if my feelings were valid or even real. It may be worth mentioning that these anxieties are more or less unfounded: we get along really well, have plenty in common, teach each other A LOT on an intellectual level and are insanely physically attracted to one another. But still, half of the time I feel completely comfortable and happy in his company, whilst the other half I find myself looking at him and thinking 'do i love you? do I like you? how am I supposed to know? should I break this off? will something go wrong?' and feeling incredibly guilty and a consequence. :panic:

Now, 6 months later, I still struggle with these mad, anxious thoughts. They usually get worse if something minor goes wrong - say, if we have an argument or one of us does something wrong. It's starting to really affect my mental state AND my relationship - we've almost broken up once, and I couldn't even give him a real reason, as I really didn't want to break up at all!

I've talked to him about these feelings a lot, and understandably it has caused quite a bit of hurt and upset (though ultimately he is very understanding and sweet) which is something i really don't want to have to put him through. I really want to keep on with this relationship as he is unlike anyone I've ever been with before - when I'm not anxious I feel like he is as near perfect as can be, and I burst with pride and love for him.

It may be worth mentioning that I've recently began to read up about Relationship OCD - I feel as though it fits my personal situation (and a lot of yours) almost completely, as I constantly find myself thinking in black and white if things aren't going completely perfectly, seeking other people's advice constantly, and even avoiding other couples I know/romantic TV and movies as they will set me off wondering if I really am in the 'right' or 'perfect' relationship. This is difficult for me to get my head round because, as I have mentioned, the doubts are more or less unfounded.

So as you can see, I don't have any answers, but hopefully hearing that someone else has had the same experience might help some of you guys - it certainly helps me!
:hug1:
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
1,969
I did not feel like I loved him anymore, my mind was telling me that I didn’t, and I was fighting with it. It seemed that the only cure was seeing him smile. I felt so guilty and disgusted with myself.
Your story was very sweet, and your love for him speaks volumes ;) You mentioned researching your symptoms, did guilt crop up in them? This was the only thing that was going through my mind as your story unravelled. May I ask why you went to Pennsylvania without him, and was it something the pair of you talked about in depth before you went, and did you feel comfortable leaving him behind? In my opinion you felt guilty, his love and smiles reassured you that he was alright while you were away, and yet the guilt still crept back. Thing is you are struggling with other things, and then when something else crops up it is so easy to put it all down to your anxiety, and this is where, in my opinion labels cause more problems than the worth of it. Of course I could be totally wrong, but does my opinion make even the slightest amount of sense :)
 
A

amberfx9

New member
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Messages
1
Love is probably the most powerful emotion possible, and when you start to experience anxiety over that love, it's not uncommon for it to have a profound impact both on your relationship and on your quality of life. Relationship anxiety is complicated and means different things to different people, but there is no denying that once you have it, you'll do anything you can to stop it.
 

Similar threads

Top