Help me put an end to emotional blackmail.
For some background, I'm in college, I have a job, a few friends (though I don't see them often), and my relationship of one year. I have quite a bit going for me, and I want to enjoy it, I really do.
So, after reading this book on emotional blackmail
, I've realized that my behavior in romantic relationships is unacceptable. Deep down, despite self-loathing, I don't think I'm a bad person, and though I don't make excuses for myself, I'm coming to understand why I feel the things I do.
There are many different types of emotional blackmail, and the kind I exhibit deals with me needing constant reassurance, approval, and attention. I'm super sensitive, and if I feel slighted, criticized, or ignored by my SO by even the most trivial things, I go into crazy panic mode, "Oh, he doesn't love me, he's going to leave me, he thinks I'm stupid, he thinks she's more attractive," and sulk and turn it into a big thing where he spends an hour saying the same things over and over, trying to reassure me. So far, he's been very patient and very loving, but I have a feeling that now his limits are being tested. I love him and I want him to be happy, and I know that I make him happy when I'm not taking my insecurities and fears out on him.
I have some pretty deep-rooted abandonment issues from my childhood, and I feel that what I need is a fundamental shift in thinking, a new way of looking at situations that I will be able to feel and not just rationalize intellectually. Intellectually, I understand that I am not being abandoned when my SO goes out with his friends or what have you. Intellectually, I understand that it is good that we develop as individuals so we can grow together and complement one another. Okay, got it...But, wait. Why does it still feel like abandonment?
I've noticed that my "triggers" always involve me feeling left out and ignored by things at which more well-adjusted people wouldn't bat an eyelash. So, what I would really appreciate is practical advice on what to do when I start feeling these things so that I can enjoy the time I spend with my SO, drama-free. Pieces of wisdom and information that can stick with me. I'm basically trying to convince my emotional mind what my intellectual mind already knows, but I need some help.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.