How can I moderate my behavior so I don't ruin my relationship?
February 24, 2008 5:40 AM Subscribe
I need help with my behavior regarding my boyfriend. He's absolutely great, but when he's not around I worry myself sick, to the point of incapacitation. What can I do to stop this?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (17 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
He travels a lot, and when I don't hear from him I start feeling sick. For example, not long ago he went off to a meet. An ex of his would be present and I didn't even want him going in the first place, but I realized this was crazy. We discussed how anxious I was feeling about this trip, and he offered not to go if it bothered me so much, but I told him it was okay. After he left, I didn't hear from him for over two days. I was okay the first day, and okay for most of the second, but by the third day I couldn't get out of bed. I just lied there, feeling sick and unable to make myself get up and do anything (no eating, nothing). The entire time I wondered about him, if something bad happened to him, what he was doing and why he hadn't contacted me, while the same song played over and over in my head. In the late afternoon I was able to get up and forced myself to send him a text, to which he responded immediately. Instantly I felt better, and after a couple more texts was able to get up and move on with the day. I had resisted contacting him because I felt that I was being very needy or insecure, so I didn't want to act on that impulse.
I've had episodes like this before. Sometimes when I think about his exes or other women being with him, I feel so sick that I vomit. He does nothing to make me feel like this. I know he's crazy about me and doesn't want to be with anyone else. I've never been sure about wanting to be with someone before this, yet sometimes when I am upset I will make little snide remarks or quips that I know really bother him. I'm getting better at controlling these, but sometimes one will slip out and I feel absolutely horribly because I do not want to hurt him.
I have talked with my boyfriend about this, and he's very understanding. I'm only sometimes in the crazy-depressed-obsessive state described above, but when it comes on I feel like I have very little control over it. I understand I'm being irrational, so how do I overcome this? Not only am I giving myself an ulcer and being generally unproductive, but if I keep this behavior up, it is going to ruin the relationship. I do think that when this isn't long-distance I won't act so crazy, but what to do in the interim?
Some details: We're both in our late twenties. Our relationship is long-distance (one of us on each side of the Atlantic). We've spent over two of our eight months together in one another's constant company. When we aren't together, he's usually "around" me by both of us keeping a chat program on, usually with webcam. We aren't always directly interacting during that time, but it's like we're in proximity and the option for communication is there. We probably talk for at least a couple hours every night, usually more. The only time this varies is when he leaves on short trips for various reasons (which he often does, and even then he brings his laptop along and usually talks to me before he goes to bed).
I've been in several relationships, a few of them long-term (the last ended in divorce) but I have never behaved like this, aside from the quips. In the past this was usually done out of resentment. I know it's a problem, and it's gotten better. My ex-husband was secretive, cheated on me, and was physically and emotionally abusive. I'm sure this contributes to my actions, but I was never like this with him. I have far more relationship and sexual experience than my current bf, so that shouldn't be a source of insecurity for me, but I think it might be anyway. Any suggestions are so appreciated. I'm getting a little desperate.