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Personal relationship anxiety

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hi all,

I'm in a long term, long distance relationship. My girlfriend lives roughly 300 miles away and we try and see each other for a period of a couple of weeks every couple of months.

Prior to last thursday I was having no issues whatsoever. On the morning of the thursday I had a breakdown on my way to work. I was driving but luckily the roads are quiet so I was able to pull into a layby and freak out for a bit.

Obviously this was discussed with my girlfriend and I spent a long time on the phone, both of us crying and me finally realising the extent of our issues. I was able to see that I hadn't been as attentive to her needs as she needs me to be, and resolved to sort myself out and be the best I can for her.

However, since then I'm so anxious about our relationship. I'm falling into the horrid web of needing reassurance, then worrying that this is pushing her away, and then needing reassurance that I'm not. It's awful, and I can't get it to stop. And then I start feeling jealous about her friendship with another guy which I know is totally unfair.

She is coming to visit me in a couple of days, and this will give us chance to talk about our issues and hopefully come to some kind of resolution.

It may be worth mentioning that she suffers from terrible anxiety and has had issues in her past that all contributed to this. Now it feels like the tables have turned as its ME with all the problems and stress.

Any advice would be received gratefully.


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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi MB88 ,

    Welcome to the boards :wave:

    When you say you had a "breakdown", what do you mean exactly? How did you feel? Was it like a panic/anxiety attack? Have you ever had this type of breakdown before?

    Do you think you can try to pinpoint somehow what was going through your mind at that exact moment? Sometimes making a list of what your thought process was at that moment, can really help understand why it triggers such a feeling.

    It does seem like something is going on within this relationship. Long distance relationships are hard of course, and it's really good that you seem to communicate well with each other. Do you think this anxiety you are feeling since the chat you had is some kind of pressure you feel? Or do you think its completely connected with the distance?

    Talking to her again when you see her is a good idea. Speaking out all your feelings (and her hers) can help you both with anxieties you may have and perhaps deal with things differently. Have a look also at our website Madly in love that looks at love and mental health.

    Do let us know how it goes *hug*
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi Christele,

    Thanks for the welcome :)

    I think I was just thinking and thinking about the relationship ending, and it got on top of me. I recognise that allowing this to happen isn't ideal, I shouldn't put anything ahead of my own mental health. I think for the first time my faith in the relationship was totally shaken, and maybe I've got too attached or used this relationship as a foundation for my life, due to this deep seated insecurities were brought to the fore and the awful little voice we all have in our heads just couldn't be reasoned with.

    Earlier I felt better, I had been doing some fairly intensive physical activity and I was so worn out that everything seemed ok again. It was like I just couldn't be bothered to be anxious and it was such a nice feeling. However in the last hour it has slowly creeped back in.

    I don't understand what's going on with me, its such an alien feeling. I'm so worried about pushing her away.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The word is "Flesh"in all honesty our flesh gets in the way of our relationships because we want what we want and this creates our anxiety
    If we control the flesh we kill the want and stop the anxiety.
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    Danny!Danny! Deactivated Posts: 560 Incredible Poster
    Hi MB88

    Sorry you're having such a hard time, it's really good that you're searching for reasons and ways forward. I was just reading your thread and had a few thoughts from what you said..

    Long distance relationships can be really hard, so I think it's important not to underestimate the strain that your practical situation could put on both of you.

    From what you say, it sounds like you might have switched from a situation where you felt like she was the one really struggling and you were looking out for her, to feeling that not only are you now the one struggling, but that your support hasn't been enough for her.

    It's not surprising that you feel anxious where there's been such a big change. I obviously don't know how your relationship works in practice, but it's important to make sure that you're both able to spend some time supporting the other person, but also having plenty of time that isn't about support.

    You say that you think you might have ended up using this relationship as a foundation for your life. That does make sense with what you describe. Obviously you care very much about her, and your relationship is really important to you. But it's important to find a way to be comfortable in yourself as well. Having other things that are meaningful to you, and other things that make you feel good about yourself, are really important. The more other things that you have in your life, the less awful the idea of the relationship ending should feel.

    The reassurance vicious circle is a tough one. Reassurance can be addictive, and like other addictions, going back to reassurance doesn't fix the underlying issues. It might really help to step back and control your urge to be reassured. This could have two positive effects. One, although it's difficult, you can only learn to survive without the reassurance by giving yourself that space to deal with it for yourself, and with the support of other people apart from your girlfriend. Two, often, the more we push for reassurance, the more the other person steps back. By stepping back, you might find that you get more reassurances given freely by her, which might well feel more meaningful.

    I hope that helps, keep speaking here.
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