I’ve been with my partner for a few years, and on the surface, everything seems fine. We communicate well, share similar interests, and have a strong emotional connection. However, there’s this nagging feeling that creeps up whenever my partner interacts with other people, especially when it’s someone of the opposite sex. It’s not just a casual discomfort; it’s a deep-seated sense of insecurity and fear.
I haven’t had the best success with relationships in the past but I don’t know if it’s that I don’t trust him or I’m just jealous.
I am sorry to hear that your relationship has been marred by fears and doubts. It is normal to feel jealousy at times, but it seems as though there is something much deeper going on. Are the specters of past loves haunting your current relationship? Or could it be that your gut may be trying to ward you off imminent danger? Head, heart and gut are at odds with one another, throwing punches as each one is firmly standing its ground, yet confusing you and making you question yourself in the process. Who should you pay attention to? Well let’s try and find out.
Since you mentioned that you have not had the best success with relationships in the past, I assume that you might have got your heart broken a few times. Am I on the right track? I am also deducing from your particular choice of words that you may have even felt abandoned or rejected by previous partners. Perhaps they made you feel as though you were not good enough. When we carry these particular wounds, the slightest threat of being discarded can feel like the shadow of death – scary and unsafe. When we love someone, the threat becomes greater, potentially leading to overwhelming possessiveness, jealousy and/or control. We might get triggered when seeing our partner interacting with other individuals, as we are being transported back in time and reliving past hurts all over again. It then becomes difficult to draw a line between the past and the present.
It is important to process traumas or negative life experiences that may have impacted us, so that they don’t branch out into other areas of our lives. How did you feel when your other relationships ended? Sit with the feelings, have compassion towards your past self and give her the reassurance that she needs. Perhaps you could journal, or visualise yourself consoling your former self and reassuring her of her worth.
Now, you have mentioned that you and your partner communicate well and that you connect on an emotional level. This is fantastic, as both are essential ingredients for a healthy, functioning relationship. However, you have not stated how long you have been together. Building trust and safety within a relationship takes time. Have you asked yourself whether you feel that he is meeting your needs? Is there anything else he could do to help build the trust? (E.g. is he reliable? Does he do what he said he’s going to do? Is he honest? Does he take accountability for his actions? Does he show care and understanding in a consistent manner? See the resource linked below). If you cannot identify any areas of improvement, then it’s a sign that you may be letting the gremlins in your mind run wild and create chaos and confusion for yourself. In order to soothe them, you need to focus on healing from the past. Of course, if there are certain behaviours that may be damaging the foundation of your relationship, I would also suggest that you have a conversation with your partner and share your concerns.
It is okay to enter a relationship with baggage, but don’t hide it under the bed or in a cupboard – take the time to unpack. It’ll be worth it.
For more information/tips please click here or alternatively you may want to consider seeking for professional help.
I wish you all the best.
Dear Dania is for informational purposes only, Always seek the advice of a mental-health professional, or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. We may edit your letter for length and/or clarity.
*The author’s identifying details have been changed in order to protect their privacy.