I’m sure that we have all had this moment regardless of how secure we feel in our relationship.
“I shouldn’t say it, I shouldn’t say it, I shouldn’t say it.”
“Who are you texting?” The question bursts out and even though I’m trying to sound as casual and sweet as possible, I know deep down that my question is coming off as jealous regardless of the tone of my voice.
We are all guilty at times of being paranoid in our relationship but we have to get paranoia under control as it can take hold of us and cause us to sabotage ourselves.
As a survivor of not only abusive relationships but ones with extreme infidelity, I’ve had to work extra hard to not let all of my paranoid thoughts come out toward my partner.
Doubt naturally creeps in at times but this is how I’ve worked through it the paranoia I’ve had throughout my relationship.
#1. I resist the urge to blow up my partner’s phone
I’m the kind of person that feels like I should update my partner when I’m out and about.
My partner, on the other hand, is not that kind of person and I’ve had to restructure my behavior.
There are times that I’m extremely tempted to text him when he is out with friends but I remind myself that I trust him and the only reason I want to blow him up is because of me.
Luckily my partner is aware of how much I tend to worry and he is fabulous at sending me updates without me even asking for them.
#2. I’ve started to identify the root of my worry
When I first started dating my partner I realized that I was absolutely paranoid even though he had done absolutely nothing to make me distrust him.
I began journaling my thoughts and feelings whenever the paranoia would arise and it became apparent that my distrust stemmed from as early as my childhood.
Due to being left by both my parents and other family members on various occasions, I have abandonment issues to the max. As much as I can hide it on the surface, it’s something that I have to deal with even after we have been dating for over three years.
Facing my fears and accepting them has made it easier to heal. Now and then the fear will surface but it’s much more manageable now that I know exactly why I’m feeling the way I feel.
#3. I don’t make plans just because he has them
A year or so ago my partner and I were driving and he mentioned that he was thinking about flying to see one of his friends in California for the weekend.
“Fine, then I’m going to Washington to see my friends.”
I said the words without thinking because for some reason I felt absolutely panicked at the thought of my partner being off having fun while I was stuck at home alone.
“Where did that come from?” My partner looked at me and I looked down at my hands, ashamed at my outburst.
“I don’t know.”
At that moment I realized that I had to face my fears of being alone. Now, instead of trying to fill up my calendar when he leaves, I focus on my feelings and if I want to stay home, I stay home.
#4. I try to communicate my feelings to my partner
A couple of years ago my partner was out at a work event. He ended up going out with his colleagues afterward and didn’t let me know what was going on.
I texted him and he responded but by the time he got back to me, it was too late… I had completely spiraled.
He came home and I was up and obviously frantic. Understandably he was completely confused as to why I was so upset but the reality is that my reaction had nothing to do with him… it had everything to do with my previous relationships.
At that exact moment I didn’t want to explain but the next day I told my partner the truth. In the past, I had an emotionally abusive partner who would go out for days at a time and not tell me where he was. This resulted in my paranoia which hadn’t existed previously
Luckily, my partner has been extremely understanding and loving throughout it all. Most of us struggle with paranoia in our relationships. I believe that it’s normal, but communicating and having a strategy, can make life easier for both partners.