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  1. #1

    Relationship insecurity

    Hello,

    I've been experiencing a lot of insecurity and jealousy in my relationship, and was wondering if anyone had any coping ideas/skills they could share with me. I'm engaged and my fiance and I both have serious trust issues stemming from traumatic childhoods.

    When we first began dating, I put up a front. I acted like I was too mature and too confident to get jealous-but that was a lie. All I accomplished back then was hurting him while I thought I was protecting myself.

    We got past that and he eventually discovered that I was actually quite jealous, indeed. We agreed to openly communicate to the other about how we were feeling in order to get us past it.So I did. Everytime I felt insecure or jealous-for whatever reason-I talked to him about it. At first, he was very supportive and re-assuring.

    But now, (because he says it's all I do) just gets defensive and angry. This makes me angry b/c he is as insecure and jealous as I am, and I go out of my way to console him when he's feeling these things. I feel that it's very hypocritical of him to judge me for feeling the same terrible emotions that trouble him.

    I don't bring up the issue anymore, and I don't ask for reassurance anymore--it's not worth the arguing. I feel sad and disappointed. I thought he was the person I could feel safe talking to about these issues; I thought he was the one who would understand and at least try to make me feel better-no matter how often it took. But now I just try to ignore the insecurity. And I try to push the jealousy away, and I hope that one day I'll feel better and I won't have to bother him with it anymore. I just put on a "happy" face and if he asks "what's wrong?" I lie or change the subject to avoid a fight and to avoid further feelings of isolation. Can't he see that being angry at me when I'm feeling like this only spawns more insecurity? He tells me that I've ruined all the "good times". I ruined the night we got engaged, I ruined romantic evenings on vacations, I ruined his birthday, I ruined holidays, etc. How can he say I ruin everything and then expect me to feel good about myself???

    Any advice is appreciated!

  2. #2

    Relationship insecurity

    hi mmg. relationships problems tend to focus on three themes: trust, control, and intimacy. All of those are worth talking about and pretty much all of us have to deal w/ one or more some time in our relationships. The fact that both of you have histories w/ traumatic childhoods can definitely complicate the issues you're having. The step that you guys took to openly communicate sounds like a really good idea, but over time if only one person is open about everything while the other one just listens this is bound to fail.... have you ever asked your fiancee why he doesn't open up like you agreed to do? has either one of you been in therapy to deal w/ some of the issues from the past? sometimes you need to deal w/ things on your own 1st b/f expecting parts of your life to properly function that involve those issues... what about couples therapy? It really sounds like a one way thing, where you speak up about your feelings and console him about his concerns, but he isn't there for you... maybe you're so afraid of trusting him and letting your guard down that you need to "check out" every detail, I don't know if this makes sense... but he shouldn't react to you the way he does. a relationship takes two people to work, not just one. trying to deal w/ some underlying issues, feelings of your own though may help you be able to trust him more... but not only should he do the same thing, but you need to earn each other's trust... and someone who blames everything on you isn't being very respectful.

    I don't bring up the issue anymore, and I don't ask for reassurance anymore--it's not worth the arguing
    this is kind of a "being defeated" attitude.... but the issues are still there, right? they won't go away just by not talking about them anymore, especially if they still upset you. if the relationship is worth it then these issues are worth being discussed and worked through. don't you think you're worth discussing these things?

    I thought he was the person I could feel safe talking to about these issues; I thought he was the one who would understand and at least try to make me feel better-no matter how often it took.
    that's something reasonable to expect from any relationship. doesn't it seem weird to you that you no longer feel "safe" discussing the issues- out of fear that he will get mad, that you will end up fighting and end up feeling more isolated?

    I try to push the jealousy away, and I hope that one day I'll feel better and I won't have to bother him with it anymore.
    you can cover up being jealous only for so long, these things have a tendency to sit around the corner only waiting to re-appear when you least expect it.... you can't fight jealousy by ignoring it but only by understanding it. didn't both of you agree to communicate w/ each other? then clearly this isn't about you bothering him but making an effort to work things out!

    if he asks you what's wrong tell him that you are willing to be honest w/ him and that you want to be honest w/ him but that you expect him to treat your opinions and feelings w/ respect as you treat him. the moment you pretend everything is fine and put on that smile you are assuring him that one everything is fine, and two the times when you do bring something up it must seem like this is coming from out of "nowhere" to him... ignoring your own feelings about this won't help him in the l/t to understand where you're coming from... I understand that he isn't very receptive of your expressions of concern, but this is why I was suggesting maybe therapy, b/c right now this just seems like a vicious cycle to be in: you get jealous and want to talk about it, express your feelings to him, which are shot down, then you get more upset and he gets angry, and you end up resenting him and you still feel jealous and he feels like he can't trust you and on it goes.....

    He tells me that I've ruined all the "good times". I ruined the night we got engaged, I ruined romantic evenings on vacations, I ruined his birthday, I ruined holidays,
    I hope that you can see that noone should say things like this to you... it's not okay. You shouldn't take all the blame and end up feeling bad about yourself. Putting blame on someone else makes that person feel better about themselves as it takes their responsibility away from things... but again, there's two people in this relationship and he can't blame everything on you. He sounds like he expects to be trusted and loved and cared for but doesn't actually give you anything to base this trust on, and keeps on hurting you time after time. You're right, how can you trust him like this?

  3. #3

    Relationship insecurity

    Thanks, Eunoia.

    We have discussed couples therapy and I'm beginning therapy on my own within the next month. He has been in therapy all his life, which is a lot of the reason I don't understand the insensitivity to my issues.
    But, to be fair to him, I know I need a lot of reassurance and that it must be demanding for him. This is not a once in a while thing for me, it's every day-sometimes more than once in a day. And it kills me to be like this-I feel pathetic and clingy. I feel like my constant need for affection/assurance is making him resent me. And that makes me mad at myself. It also makes me feel like "Well, no wonder he doesn't act like he used to. Look at the way you're acting!" And I still can't control it.
    I want to be with him, but now it seems more and more like he doesn't want to be with me. Or even near me. I make him dinner, he eats without me hours later. I try to talk to him, he gives one word answers and acts distracted. If I go out front for a cigarette, he goes out back. I try not to let the way he's acting guide my moods, but I can't help it when I feel like it's my doing. I feel like he'd rather be anywhere else than with me.
    Well, I'm sorry for ranting again. I just hope the therapy helps with my self-esteem. I'm a wreck and don't know what else to do about it.

    Thanks again for your input.

    mmg

  4. #4

    Relationship insecurity

    I think couples therapy would be a good idea, but going to therapy yourself is a very good idea too considering he's already in therapy, so you should get the benefit of that too. maybe your fiance really doesn't see anything wrong w/ the way he's acting, but that makes me wonder, why he would think it's ok to do and say the things he does... relationships are a two- way thing, so maybe he is reacting the way he is b/c of the way you're acting, kind of like you're playing off of each other, but the point is someone has to do something about it in order to change it. You sound like you're feeling pretty discouraged about things and I'd say that you definitely have things to work through on your own, and therapy will help you w/ this so that eventually you won't feel like you have to be so "clingy" and constantly striving for affection & approval etc. Don't be mad at yourself, instead use that energy to try to do something about it. You know, I think from what you've said, this comes down to both of you taking responsibility in this relationship. Even if your fiance feels like you're being clingy (as an ex.) the way to fix this sure isn't to avoid you whenever possible... does this sound like a healthy relationship to you? The more he avoids you, the more affection you seek, and again the more he withdraws.. it's a cycle that won't stop by itself.

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