Jealous and anxious about something that *might* happen
November 8, 2016 11:39 PM   Subscribe

There's a girl that would be perfect for my fiancé at my workplace. And my fiancé is joining the same company in a couple of weeks. How can I stop myself from feeling anxious and upset that something may happen?

My fiancee and I are both mid-30s. I helped him get a job in my company (his dream company), and he’ll be joining soon.

About halfway through the interview process I realized that that there’s a girl working in the same company who is “better” than me in many aspects - several years younger, prettier, wealthier, higher education, better job and connections, more outgoing, and interested in all the things that my fiancé is interested in.
She even speaks the same languages as him (I speak two but not his native language).
To make matters worse, from what I could find out her family has connections with industries my fiancé is particularly interested in, and has citizenship in a country he’s said he may want to move to someday.

Even though all three of our departments are different, our office only has a few hundred people in it, and eventually they are bound to meet each other.
When I realized this around a month ago I panicked, but after thinking about it I thought that no matter what happens I want him to be happy, so I continued to give him a lot of advice and he did get the job in the end.

Now I’m struggling with anxiety because I know they are eventually going to meet, and very likely before our wedding next year.
I *haven’t even talked with her* yet myself (haven’t been able to find a reason to bump into each other), don’t even know if she’s involved with someone, and I intellectually realize that despite all the facts above my fiancé might still not be interested in her.
He has never cheated in his life, and although sometimes he is a little overly friendly with girls my opinion.. I believe with my whole heart that he’s faithful and all of our friends say the same. We’ve dated for three years and lived together for a year. We got engaged after talking about it together and I asked him to, but things are going very well and I love him very much. We both say to each other that we want to be together forever.

I know that I’m feeling anxious because she has everything that I feel that I lack or can’t give him. I also know that my control of the situation is very limited. But sometimes due to the anxiety and “pre-jealousy” I feel myself being cold to him or getting depressed because I fear being suddenly dumped before the wedding. In those negative times I begin thinking that I know something is going to happen so I want it to happen asap so I can move on…

How can I relax without knowing what will happen?
How can I prevent myself from self-sabotaging my relationship?
Is there some kind of approach that I should take to this situation with what I can control?

(Anonymous because the details connected with my account would make it obvious.)
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Your anxiety not about the demographics of this woman. Your anxiety is about a belief that you are lacking. I realize it's almost a cliche on AskMe, but I think you should consider talking with a qualified therapist about your feelings of inadequacy. And I think you should do that now, well before your wedding.
posted by decathecting at 12:05 AM on November 9, 2016 [14 favorites]

One thing I learnt about jealousy is that usually it involves an element of you concocting a story of this girl in your head that may not translate to reality.

Just because she is from the country he wants to migrate to doesn't mean he will like her better than you.

Just because they speak the same language doesn't mean he will like her better. How many times have I met someone who speaks my native language in a foreign land and someone goes, NOW KISS, and I'm like um what do you think we'll be friends just because we speak the same language or come from the same culture?

Just because she is prettier to you or to everyone else does not mean he will definitely find her more attractive.

Just because she can theoretically, according only to your own calculations and perceptions, help him in his career, doesn't mean she actually can, or will. Or that he will even ask her for help.

You may have painted a very ideal image of her in your mind to take the focus off your anxiety over something else in your relationship, whatever that may be. Just like decathecting mentioned, I also think you should talk to a therapist about this anxiety.
posted by rozaine at 12:44 AM on November 9, 2016 [3 favorites]

You should not marry someone you cannot trust enough to discuss/understand a situation like this. Although you can never know what happens, you should only be marrying someone who you can communicate openly with, and whom you trust a great deal. Why do you think she would be such a distraction to him? Is it purely her origin that you think will make her so attractive to him?

"Now I’m struggling with anxiety because I know they are eventually going to meet, and very likely before our wedding next year."
Go talk to a therapist about this. What is the root of this anxiety? Is it something in your mind, your viewpoint, or something supported by a particular behavior you fiance has shown? If this person is right for you, then you should be able to work through things like this with one another. Don't let your imagination turn this woman into a threat when she is not one.

"from what I could find out her family has connections with industries my fiancé is particularly interested in, and has citizenship in a country he’s said he may want to move to someday."
these qualities are coincidental. even if he wishes to take advantage of these qualities, i'm sure he could do so without infidelity. please bring your anxiety to a therapist.
posted by zdravo at 12:50 AM on November 9, 2016

Someone is ALWAYS going to be " younger, prettier, wealthier, and smarter" than you. The only way to combat this insecurity is to get right with yourself. Talk to a therapist, and as zdravo says, talk to your fiancé. If he balks or makes you feel in any way bad (or worse) about this, I'd have serious doubts about the quality of the relationship.
posted by Brittanie at 1:12 AM on November 9, 2016 [21 favorites]

Do you think you're not good enough for your fiance? Do you think he's better than you? Because you have to realize what you're bringing to the partnership. Another person could be the catalyst for the situation you're describing, but is he that kind of guy? You said he hasn't cheated before in his life, so why would he now? Is this woman such a truly magical creature that he'll instantly go "nope, I don't love or want to marry OP because reasons"?

Think this through. She may not even be interested in him. She may be married with kids. She may be lesbian. Hell she may be perfectly happy being single. You don't know this woman and you can't predict the future. What you do know is your relationship and the person you want to marry. Enjoy this time planning your wedding and find a way to feel secure in your relationship before you do get married. Plenty of people look right on paper and don't work out and vice versa. There's more to people and relationships than their characters stats. Congratulations by the way and good luck.
posted by lunastellasol at 1:50 AM on November 9, 2016 [3 favorites]

All those things about this woman might be true, but how about the other things that bind us, draw us in to our partner's range of care and affection, hopes for the future and attachment?

Like: kindness, laughter, happy mannerisms, conversation/ meeting our partner's 'bids' [a la Gottmann], sexuality and how it is expressed, scent, introversion/extroversion, love of the same movies and TV shows, food, tidiness/lack of, lifestyle habits, love of dogs or cats or animal company/or not, sharing the emotional loads, basic manners, generosity of spirit, warmth, regard for others, gentleness or strength, lots of shared memories.

Lots of people look good on paper, but that is not really how love happens is it? I've met many erstwhile 'competitors' who looked great on paper or in person, and my lovers have dated them before me, or after, and it really didn't come down to the curriculum vitae but the person, the personality, the cocktail of other things that makes a person match with another person.
posted by honey-barbara at 1:57 AM on November 9, 2016 [4 favorites]

I got engaged to my girlfriend earlier this year. I know there are other beautiful people in the world, and other caring and fun and compassionate and creative people in the world, and other people in the world with whom I could probably have a long and happy relationship. We have chosen to be together, and every day we choose to make the world a little bit nicer for each other, and to be there for each other. Not because there's no one else on the planet that we could love, but because we're committed to each other.

I know there are people that cheat and couples that break up, but it's not because one person just happened to bump into someone that was a good fit for them. It's because they weren't committed to each other. I'd suggest that you talk to your partner about your fears, and perhaps to a friend or a therapist about the source of this anxiety, and some tools for how to deal with it in future.

All the best.
posted by twirlypen at 2:09 AM on November 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

Wait, you haven't even talked to her, don't know her at all, and you've decided your fiancé is going to leave you for her? To the point where you're pre-emptively rejecting him?

You're displacing something... some anxiety you have about your own relationship. It sounds like for some reason you're afraid he doesn't really want to be with you. It has nothing at all to do with this girl. It could have to do with some behavior you've actually observed on his part; or the fact that it was you who proposed to him; or - most likely - your own deep insecurity about your own worth.

Deep down do you feel like he wants you and is happy to be with you?

I think you would be doing yourself a big favor to get to a therapist ASAP to sort this out. Some level of worrying about whether your partner is committed to a lifetime of togetherness is totally normal - it is a huge question for both of you. But this sounds like you could use some help with the unpacking.
posted by fingersandtoes at 3:46 AM on November 9, 2016 [14 favorites]

This sounds like you're kinda jumping the gun. Literally, nobody's even met yet. I'd say to come back to this idea if/when he's actually met her and is spending tons of time with her and they have flirty vibes up the wazoo. Right now, we have no idea if she'd want him, he'd want her, or if they kissed it'd be like kissing their sibling and they have no sexual chemistry whatsoever. Plenty of people sound great on paper and then end up being oh, closet racists or they disagree about kids or god knows what.

I'm actually reminded of Jane Eyre beating herself up over Blanche, and look how that worked out.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:06 AM on November 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yeah, who's to say that this girl would be interested? I find that quite presumptuous that she would automatically jump to steal away your man.

Work on your insecurities (as others have pointed out) but also try to examine why you assume another woman would do this.
posted by kariebookish at 5:28 AM on November 9, 2016 [4 favorites]

What is it about him that makes you think he would replace you with someone who is "objectively" better fitted to him?
Has he previously been easily persuadable and fickle in his attention? Have you had to fight for his attention? Has he ignored you in public in favour of people who interest him more?

I think for this question it's important whether some of your insecurity is due to his behaviour, or if it's all on you.
posted by Omnomnom at 5:38 AM on November 9, 2016 [7 favorites]

I am engaged and my boyfriend is smarter than me, makes 3 or 4 times what I do, he has a career I don't, I have mental health issues, he doesn't. My boyfriend wouldn't leave me for anyone. I'm his best friend and his favorite person. He wouldn't even consider someone else. Talk to your fiancé about your feelings. If he's going to be your husband, you should be able to talk to him about your anxieties. If he's right for you, he will put your mind at ease. I do agree with others. Talk to someone about how you're feeling. I have previously had haunting issues with jealousy and insecurity and it was terrible. You can move on from that and be a happier person. It takes time and work.
posted by shesbenevolent at 8:40 AM on November 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

Would you leave your fiancé for a more handsome/confident/well-connected man? If so, you're pretty shallow. Do you think your fiancé is really that shallow? If so, why are you marrying him?
posted by LauraJ at 3:13 PM on November 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

« Older What options aren't we seeing?   |   How much to pay someone to post to company... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.