How to get over the petty stuff to maintain a healthy relationship
April 24, 2014 10:35 AM Subscribe
The relationship is great and we both see a future together, but at times I tend to focus on insignificant things or feel insecure for no rational reason. I want to prevent unnecessary conflicts arising from these feelings.
posted by monologish to Human Relations (21 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
We've been together for nearly a year now (me: f.26 him: m.29). We'd known each other through mutual friends for a few months prior, but once we got together, it all happened pretty fast. He'd shown nothing but commitment to me from the start and had taken all the first moves (brought up topics like moving in together) as far as moving the relationship to the next step. I've been surprised but also pleased by this as most the guys I've dated have not been as communicative or into the "let's talk about our future" stuff. I really want to move toward positive thinking and not get paranoid about the small stuff, which I think is really important in maintaining any relationship.
Some background - Three weeks after we had first started hooking up/dating, I had to go on a five-week vacation that had been previously planned. We hadn't established the relationship at this point, but saw each other about twice a week and texted (him to me mostly) nearly everyday. Night before I left, he asked me what I wanted to do when I was gone (regarding us). I told him honestly that I thought we had a good thing going and I want to continue it when I come back, and that while I don't want him to sleep with anyone else, I understand at three weeks in, it's really not my place to request this. He didn't say anything either way, and just said that he had thought he wouldn't mind if I did since I was taking my big vacation.
We texted a lot while I was gone, exchanged a lot of emails about how we missed each other. It drove me crazy to be gone from him, I think especially knowing that he had been fairly promiscuous before me. Anyhow, I came back and he got me at the airport, i later asked if he had been with anyone else and he said no. He told me his ex (high school, never had sex with) was in town and very single and asked him to meet up and he declined so as not to be in that situation. And turned down another previous FWB as well.
A few months later, he went to a weekend-long camping art fest, invited me but i declined (later regretted). I felt extremely insecure and paranoid over this whole weekend, thinking about him camping out there by himself around lots of hippies on drugs. His phone reception was really bad too, hence more insecurities from no responses. Much later during a relevant conversation, he told me that his previous FWB was there and implied wanting to share the tent with him, and it was a hard no from him. He said he had not told me because he didn't want to upset me, which actually bothered me in the way that he thought I would get upset over something which he didn't do wrong, making me think that he thinks I'm irrational. Anyway, wasn't a big deal but whenever I remember that weekend it just makes me feel uneasy for some reason.
There is no rational reason for me to think he'd ever cheated or would cheat on me, but every odd while I get really paranoid and imagine scenarios where he's living a double life (totally crazy). Like if he gets a text, and doesn't say who it's from. I don't want to keep tabs on him and I don't want that kind of dynamic. I know he'd already cut off people from his life like his previous FWBs, on his own accord. I feel perhaps because he volunteers so much info all the time, whenever I don't know something trivial, I get paranoid.
I know his ex (how we met actually) and I know he's never done anything of the sort. He's very much against misogyny/male dominance of any kind (in daily life, sex, etc). He's voluntarily told me a lot of things I never asked for (his plans for the night if it's not with me, encounters with girls like the ones mentioned above). It's just been a really great relationship. We've had issues with our fights (I shut down, he snaps) but we've talked a lot about it and are both working on it. I know I get petty sometimes, and I'm trying to work on it. That and being paranoid kind of go hand in hand I guess. So, how do I calm myself when I get that paranoid feeling and just get passed it? I can't even figure out if it's entirely jealousy or just not knowing something, perhaps the latter. I don't want to harp on insignificant details and cause any conflict that could damage the relationship, and I definitely don't want him to think I don't trust him because he has done nothing to warrant suspicion. Help me toward a more positive trusting relationship and self in general.