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Struggling to trust because of a past relationship...

Dear My love

"I have been with my boyfriend just short of a year, but i have always had anxiety over trusting a person in a relationship because i don't want the feeling of stupidity and heartbreak when there words of 'trust' turn out to be lies and betrayal.
This has happened to me before; my ex... telling me he loves me but actually everyday for months was messaging, flirting, complimenting, you name it! other girls behind my back. This made me feel worthless and end up being controlling and toxic in the relationship, and now in my current relationship.
My boyfriend; he's the sort of guy who is up to trying anything, kind to everyone he speaks to, likes to spend his spare time watching reviews of games and tagging me in tiktoks and then telling me to go check out what he's tagged me in. I bloody love him. There's so much more i could say why i love him. But he's never really been good at using his own words to tell me why he loves me, its not that he's shy or stubborn, he just simply struggles to know how and what to say. At first this brought back the feelings of 'i'm not good enough', i opened up to him about this and he said he will try to be more open about how he feels about me. He now does this in his own quirky way :)
Recently i opened up to him of how im struggling to trust him when it comes to him speaking to his own friends which are female. In the past, he has made silly little mistakes when speaking to them...

Friend 1: I saw a message from him telling her he misses her and cant wait to give her a cuddle... this was very hard on me, maybe its the way it was worded or maybe because at the time he wasn't saying nice things to me. Oh yeah i struggle with jealousy too, ugh i have no confidence in myself and i guess i look for it in him.

Friend 2: On one occasion she had asked him to come round to hers and binge watch harry potter together. She lives on her own and is friends with his ex who he has issues with. This isn’t a good idea in my opinion as well as the fact i don't think its acceptable when you have a partner, but then ik lots of other people do this and its not a problem. i guess that brings it back to jealousy and mistrust on my behalf :(
Friend 2 also randomly messages him, very inconsistently, to talk about university and that he should come visit her and meet her friends. Once their conversations finish they will just return each others faces over snapchat chats, no context at all. I don't understand this at all, so there's my brain thinking 'why does she get the effort and attention when he doesn't give me it' oop... is that jealousy i see?
Our first valentines together... my boyfriend was poorly and i was looking after him during the early hours of the morning, for him to then receive a message from Friend 2 saying happy valentines. I already had my suspicions about her and thi8s was just a lovely treat! Didn't even get to say it to him first, i probably just sound so pathetic.

Friend 3: Not even a friend, just a woman he worked with for a few weeks. Messaged her telling her he missed her and wished she was at work. JEALOUSY once again, its so draining, why do i even care? Also adding her on social media, liking her basically naked photos, why? He says he doesn't know why and he doesn't think anything of it when he likes those sort of pictures. So does my body not mean anything then? Do i not turn you on? Am i not flattering? What's wrong with me? I'm ugly, i'm fat, i'm not skinny and tanned like this girl. Do you love me like you say you do? Why don't you show it? Its easy to show interest in another girls body, so why not mine? Am i not good enough? What am i doing wrong? And on and on and on...

These are all silly little mistakes and inconveniences but they drag me down so much, i drag myself down, i depend on something that im dragging down with me. I dont want to be like this anymore. "

I'm so sorry my love, i want to do better.


  • BrookeeBrookee Posts: 1,327 Wise Owl
    Hey @LilMaia
    It sounds like you've had a lot of traumatic experiences and difficulties in past relationships. It's understandable to be worried and to feel jealous or envious when you've dealt with so much. I feel like if you feel comfortable, having this conversation with your boyfriend may be beneficial for , communication really is key, particularly when you're struggling with trust. You deserve to feel like you're getting the attention you deserve and need. Everyone's needs are different and your boundaries are really important in relationships. You should always feel safe and valued in your relationships. You and your wellbeing are the biggest priorities here. If you feel comfortable, I would try and have an open and honest conversation with him about what's upsetting you and why, and see how he responds. You deserve to feel supported and loved and appreciated for who you are, you matter always.

    Sending you lots of love, and thank you for reaching out to us! <3
  • AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 1,666 Extreme Poster
    Heya @LilMaia , welcome to The Mix! :)

    I can tell you've given this a lot of thought and it's really insightful how you are able to think about how your own experiences influence how you view things in your current relationship. This just shows you thoughtful of a person you are <3

    Wanting to gain clarity in your relationship and the actions of your partner is definitely not an odd thing, especially when you are being so continually aware of how your own emotions are impacting each situation that you've described.

    All the questions you've asked are beyond valid, to wish to know why your boyfriend is sending and receiving messages is such a tough one because you deserve reassurance that he is happy with you and that he is not looking towards others, yet it sounds like you feel his actions aren't making you feel reassured. Wanting to get rid of those awful feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem makes so much sense and you definitely deserve to feel certain and secure in your relationship.

    I think it's so brave that you have been able to share with us your anxieties and worries about what you mean to your boyfriend and to feel valued by him is not an odd request. I know you've been really strong in trying to have convos about what he means when he does things such as liking posts. This is an awesome first step. I wonder how you would feel about trying to write out your thoughts and emotions, similarly to how you have here and opening up a big convo about what kind of things make you feel safe and reassured in your relationship? Talking is hopefully the best shot at reducing the suffering and confusion you're in.

    I really do hope that you can find some peace in this situation, as you deserve to feel comfy all the time in your relationships <3 huge hugs xxx
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  • LilMaiaLilMaia Posts: 2 Newbie
    These responses <3 I didn't even imagine support such as this. Thank you for giving me your time x

    This discussion was brought up after having spoken to my boyfriend about my issues with trust, jealousy, confidence etc. and reliving these experiences with him. I'm glad to say i am and we are very comfortable to talk about our emotions with each other.
    We spoke about how he feels pressure whenever he speaks to anyone that is female; this has come from my anxiety and low self esteem.
    We spoke about how i turn down his compliments most of the time; this comes from my low self esteem.
    We spoke about how there can be a fine line between flirting and being nice, and what things are acceptable.
    There is lots that came from these conversations and i'm happy with how they turned out in the end, but i struggle with myself. I'm my own worst enemy.
    Conversations like these leave me feeling dull and i dwell and rethink and relive moments, i try so much to think of another persons perspective.
    I guess i'm stubborn, i get this from a family member; through my teenage years we never got along very well. This was hard because i wanted them for comfort, reassurance, a role model, simply love sometimes. Yet i was always the one trying to come to turns with 'why do they act like this towards me?', 'why am i the one telling them what's right or wrong?', 'i'm embarrassed of you', 'why is what i'm doing not good enough for you?'. I had constant reminders that what i did was wrong to the person i just wanted to be accepted by, always trying to do things perfectly. Anyway this is a whole different story, its funny how they connect.
    I work in childcare, ive done a lot of studying about social, emotional and physical development in a child's early life. These years are what creates you as a person, its other factors of your environment, social groups, and lifestyle that impact it along the way. Sometimes i hate how aware i am of why i feel a certain ways and what the issues are to begin with, because i struggle to move on from this stage. For example; my boyfriend sometimes doesn't know how to compliment me so he just doesn't, so i ask him why he doesn't and i explain to him how it would make me feel if he did. So he attempts and he tries all the time now but silly me declines them 'most of the time'. I want to be able to say thankyou, or acknowledge them in a way. But that's something i don't know how to because i don't agree with what is being said about myself. Low self esteem; im stuck, i wish i knew how to learn to love myself, they always say you cant love someone before yourself but i just role my eyes until i actually hurt the person who's showing me love. I hate that im a ware of this. I just dont know how to love myself.

    "Im so sorry my love, i want to do better" … I can give the best advice to people and it shows that what i tell them works for them but i just don't seem to take my own advise and i tell myself what i do, what i am is wrong. And i'm always feeling stuck on how i feel to get to how i want to feel.
  • AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 1,666 Extreme Poster
    That is absolutely no worries at all, you deserve so much support, truly. Knowing how to cope and process all of these feeling is a pretty impossible task, so you should never be faced with doing it alone, so thank you for being here to talk with us =)

    I can tell how insightful and introspective you are, especially in the way that your career has influenced how you are able to navigate your own perspectives in your personal relationships. Whilst that is cool, it must certainly be a burden at times, when you are always so hyper-aware of what a given feeling means and where it comes from. I think you make such true points, that our early experiences really affect how we see things and experience this life, given this, it's no wonder that being told that you weren't doing things right and not feeling enough love leaves you feeling so uncertain of kind and caring compliments from your boyfriend. Coming to accept that people's words of kindness are sincere and fully intended without malice can be really scary and difficult, especially when it completely contradicts how you've lived your life so far. I'd say you should try really hard to give yourself space and time to accept positive words and try to not feel guilt when you don't 'believe' them to be true. I wonder, are there any types of compliments you find easier to accept? For example, I find compliments on things to do with work easier to take because it feels slightly removed from 'my true self'. <3

    I really do love that you two are able to be so open and truthful with one another, including those more complex and challenges convos about self-esteem and the notion of how to respect each others' boundaries. I reckon these are issues lots of couples, understandably, avoid, so huge well done on that front :) I know that despite these awesome and fruitful convos, you are left feeling rubbish when you're still having to contend with your own emotions, so I am curious, what do you think your ideal world would look like? (no pressure on answering this, it's a pretty huge question!) Huge hugs as always <3 xxxx
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