Is this anxiety or something worse ???

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
Member
861 posts
Busy bee

love1243 :  This is just anxiety and what sounds like PTSD from your previous abusive relationship. You need to seek help for both of these issues. You know that you love him and this is what you want so try to remeber that and get professional help for the other stuff. 

Post # 3
Member
6835 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2016

love1243 :  Have you ever tried therapy? It sounds like your last relationship really did a number on you and was definitely abusive (physical abuse isn’t the only type of abuse). I highly recommend speaking to a professional about it. They will help you work through your different thoughts and feelings. 

Post # 4
Member
2486 posts
Buzzing bee

This a self-protective reflex your body has put into place to avoid being hurt. It’s really good that you recognize what is going on – that means you can slowly re-program yourself away from this unhealthy thinking/behavior.

I’ve dealt with the same thing, so I’m living proof it can be overcome. Whenever you feel negative feelings toward your FI (worrying you don’t actually love him, intrusive paranoid thoughts that maybe he still has feelings for his ex, when you KNOW rationally speaking that he doesn’t, etc), see if you can trace them back to a fear. I know I almost always can. 

Worrying you don’t love him is actually fear of being hurt by him in the future. You’re instinctively cutting off your feelings for him to pre-empt feeling vulnerable and admitting that he could hurt you if HE stopped loving YOU.

Worrying there’s something between him and his ex is your fear he will cheat on you or hurt you in some other way, or fear that you don’t “live up” to his ex, etc.

You rationally know all these fears to be silly. You KNOW, rationally-speaking, that your FI is a good guy, loves you, and won’t (intentionally) hurt you.

But your emotions are operating out of fear because of all the trauma you’ve been through. It’s constantly looking for the worst case scenaio that it needs to protect itself from. 

How *I* overcame this problem:

1.) Learn to stop when you’re feeling negative feelings and trace them back to the REAL fear-based emotion. Identify THAT emotion and recognize that it’s not founded in reality. Try not to ACT on the emotion. In fact, what works for me is to do the OPPOSITE of the action I wanted to do.

Say, your knee-jerk reaction to a paranoid thought abou thim and his ex is to put emotional distance between you and your Fiance. You want to be less affection, kinda distant, pull away. That feels right and good. Because it will protect you in case anything happens. Instead, be extra affectionate with your Fiance, give him compliments, build him up, move closer to him, emotionally-speaking. This helped me immensely in my current relationship with Fiance. Instead of acting out on my fear, I resisted it and continually worked on trusting and loving him more and more. 

2.) Work on trusting yourself more. Your body has taken over because on a deep level, you don’t trust yourself to make the right decisions anymore after your ex. You figure, you let yourself fall into, and put up with, that abusive relationship for so long, how can you possibly be trusted to know this is a good relationship after that? You will need to actively work on learning to trust your own perceptions again in order to get back in control of your emotions. You need to prove to yourself that you can be in control again. 

3.) Be very transparent with your Fiance about this process. Explain to him that you DO have “baggage” from your past relationship, but that you are working on it, and you will need his understanding, his help, and his support to move past it. Once everything’s out in the open, you can go to him with your fears and paranoid thoughts and he can help soothe you. He can also help by gently pointing out to you when he thinks you’re acting out on fears that aren’t based in reality. (This is not to say that he gets to gaslight you. He should ALWAYS validate your feelings. But after validating your fears, he can explain to you why the fear is unnecessary.)

By reading self-help books and doing everything above, I was able to make great strides on my own, without therapy. I am much more trusting and loving now. I try to always be authentic and vulnerable instead of stoic and “protected.” My self-esteem is much higher. I trust myself. I rarely act out of fear, and almost never have fear-based irrational thinking anymore. 

But it’s taken me YEARS.

If possible, I think you could also benefit from seeing a good therapist. Not just any therapist – a therapist who really understands what you’re going through and is able to give you constructive (not critical) feedback. 

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