Anxiety about my relationship with my boyfriend
recently, about a little over four or five months ago I met this guy. When we first met there was automatically a spark there. We had so much in common. Like hobbies and favourite albums and bands.
I have met his family and his family really like me. He has told his friends about me and they say “you sound like you really love this girl and think very highly of her.”
he has even written a song about me. And people, close friends have told me he isn’t the type just to show affection just to anyone.
however, there are some doubts for me.
when we have disagreements he can get aggressive and start shouting. NEVER has he ever physically abused me. He will say things and then realise later on he has done wrong.
recently, he said he wanted to break up because he thought I deserved better and he was frustrated with himself. And then he wanted another chance to really show me that he can change his aggressive behaviour. He told me that because I’m working on my anxiety he thinks he can better himself for me. He told me that he was so upset and felt so guilty about the way he treated me this specific time.
I have set a boundary and told him that I will not accept or tolerate any aggressive behaviour anymore. He said he wants to really try to prove to me that he really does care about me.
99% of the time, he is very supportive and understanding. However he is dealing with his own frustrations and issues, like everyone and he admitted that was no excuse for treating me in such a way.
For your information : he has NEVER belittled me or called me a ‘slut’ or a ‘whore’ or even picked on my body or anything like that.
when we are together and we have a disagreement he usually tries to remove himself from the situation too by going outside or going into another room to let the mood cool down. Typically, when I’m anxious he reassures me and tries to bring me back into a more rational perspective. Because I have the tendency to overthink so often about EVERYTHING.
he always likes to talk about me to close friends and tell them how much he appreciates me.
Is he genuine or is he just trying to mess with my mind?
Also our relationship has been based purely off communication too.
we stay with each other and I see him in real life but he lives an hour away from me. So we talk and text each other every single day.
He also says things like “we can get through this.”
I told him I didn’t like when he picked on my mistakes when we have disagreements and he even admitted that was unfair and it must of made me feel very crappy about myself.
he said he is just as guilty for making mistakes too.
he is very attentive about things I say. He remembers things I like etc.
Relationships can be really challenging, especially in the early stages when you're still getting to know each other, and your relationship is still young. To respond to your question about whether this person is genuine - no-one can possibly answer that, unfortunately. It will reveal itself in time.
My thoughts are that different people behave differently during disagreements, and we have to decide for ourselves what we deem acceptable. I grew up with parents that shouted, so I'm a shouter, and it didn't occur to me until it was pointed out that this isn't necessarily the norm. Not a justification, just an explanation. That being said, we can all try to work on ourselves for the better. You're trying to work on your anxiety. He's said he's going to work on his behaviour. So, I guess, do you want to give him an opportunity to prove himself? And if so - what would be the deal breaker for you?
Happy to talk more. Katy
thank you for your response.
i have been doing research with articles that particularly talk about how to create a clean slate in a relationship and start again. I sent him an article and told him to look over some of the advice.
we also both agreed to writing a list of boundaries that we can both work on.
I really do want to give him one last opportunity to prove to me that he is genuine. because there is still feelings for me.
a deal breaker for me ; one deal breaker would be if he started becoming more aggressive and started picking on me and telling me I couldn’t hang out with people I love in my life. If he became possessive and controlling then I would definitely put my foot down because I’m the type of person who wants a career and a fulfilling life. I am still very young though.
He tried to ring me but my phone was turned off and I was unable to answer his call. He then messaged me yesterday saying he wanted to call it quits because he didn’t think he was right for me. And I agreed because I don’t want people to stay in a situation where they feel they are not good enough or happy. I also thought maybe we should call it quits if we no longer want to work on this relationship.
he then told me to ring him because he wanted to talk about it.
And then fifteen or so minutes later he messaged me saying ‘please give me another chance. What can I do to prove to you that I really do care about you. And I want to be better.’ And he claims I’m doing so well with my anxiety and he wants to be better with his depression.
And we keep telling each other ‘we can get through this’
he says I bring energy and brightness into his life and he loves having me around.
does he want to be with me or is he just trying to use me to make him feel better about himself?
If he doesn’t take my ideas into consideration and really make an effort then I will call it a day. I really do care about him. And I want to be there to show him that there is more to life than being alone and feeling like the world is against you. But I will trust the universe. What is meant for me will stay. What isn’t meant for me will leave me.
I will take it day by day. It does worry me that I’m not experiencing the real world ‘properly’ or I am wasting my time. But I think I’m just overthinking and just scared about what may occur in the future.
thank you for hearing me out.
People can be so confusing! It is really hard to say and I can hear that you're really confused about the whole situation, and it sounds like you're feeling quite uncertain about your place in this relationship.
One thing I've come to increasingly realise in the past year is that we often take people at their word, when they don't even know what they're feeling or thinking. It takes a lot of introspection, self-understanding and experience to be able to clearly articulate what we want and need in life. Most of the time we just fudge it day by day and hope things go more right than they do wrong.
Which is all to say that there's a lot of trust that goes into building a relationship with someone and when this trust is shaken, as it sounds like your trust in him has been, the relationship can get rocky very quickly.
Something else that really stuck out to me in your posts was that you mentioned you both repeat 'we can get through this'. It takes me back to my own arguments with my ex. At the time, it felt positive that we were both committed to getting through the problem, and most of the time we did. We eventually called it quits when the question wasn't whether we could get through or not, but whether we wanted to. I think two people can get through most relationship troubles if they want to. But it often takes a bit more time, especially alone time, to decide whether you actually want to or not.
Not sure if that is helpful or not, but I hope it helps you feel like maybe you aren't overthinking things at all, because it is actually really complicated and scary.
Hello PsychedelicFur, what does intrigue me is when you say ' just scared about what may occur in the future' is exactly what can and probably will happen in the future.
Two people in the honeymoon phase change later on into the relationship, emotions of sadness are shown out in the open, rather going to a room to yourself, but your partner feels guilty and wants to be sympathetic, but as soon as they begin to say 'please give me another chance', then doubts may begin to appear, because much later on, the blame won't be placed on himself rather it's said to you, that's where a problem can start.
Sure it might happen to all of us, but we are able to overcome this when it doesn't, then there are concerns, only because it may escalate.
How many times can a person say 'you bring energy and brightness into his life' without genuinely showing or actually meaning it?
A list of boundaries can certainly be established if they are realistic, but when you know they will be broken, the trust in this relationship will be difficult to determine.
Sounds like you have set some good solid boundaries for yourself while maintaining an open mind when it comes to his ability to evolve. He's lucky to have you as a guide in his life.
With you striving to evolve beyond your anxiety, you would already be familiar with some of the things that make a difference in getting there, such as
- being conscious of your triggers
- why these factors trigger you
- what mental/physical emotions you're being triggered to feel or experience
- trying to recognise the early signs of an emotional challenge and managing (through ways that work) to stop an escalation
You could ask, having considered this list, how does he make his way through such considerations, working on achieving higher consciousness like with what you are doing? While you're working hard to accept the challenges that come with reform, is he simply keeping his fingers crossed and hoping for the best when it comes to not being triggered?
While I imagine you spend some time wondering where your anxiety comes from (how or from where it originates), does he spend time wondering where his anger comes from? Is it frustration based, is it intolerance based or is it based on an inability to express himself any other way, under certain circumstances? Could it involve learned/conditioned behaviour, behaviour he witnessed in one or both of his parents, growing up? I imagine you also wonder where the anger comes from. Personally, I've found that if I don't know where certain emotional reactions or feelings stem from, I can't reform myself through and beyond them.
Through his relationship with you, he has the opportunity to reform himself into the person he wishes to be. Two questions, 'How desperately does he want to change?' and 'Is he willing to put in the hard work in getting to know or understand himself better?' Maybe he sees in you that person who has a unique ability to raise others. He sees that special light in you. Is the Universe challenging you to raise him? Of course, you should not have to tolerate what is ongoing intolerable behaviour. That boundary setting is so important. You want to be looking after that special light in you. Don't let anyone dim it.
I just wanted to say hello . I am so pleased you chose to post here and talk about your anxiety..
I am glad people have given you thoughtful suggestions .
I like the way you write and are trying to work out how your relationship works.
I am much older than you and relationships still perplex me.