Constantly think my partner is cheating.
Hey everyone, I was just looking to get abit of advice from some people who may have had a similar issue to me and my partner. I am diagnosed bipolar since 18 however I’m now 27 and currently being reviewed as it would appear I might have bpd. I have been in a relationship since January this year so relatively new and have struggled the last 4 weeks. My brain is constantly telling me my partner is doing the wrong thing... when she goes out I think she is cheating... when she’s on her phone I think she’s talking to other women and in response to this thought I am treating her like she is guilty. This has taken a toll on her and our relationship. I don’t know how to stop the thoughts overpowering my rational side and I don’t know how to see things from her perspective. I have explained the place that these feelings come from but she has told me I am wearing her down. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if anyone else in a relationship has had a similar problem with these obsessional thoughts around their partner and infidelity but I can’t seem to shake them and I clearly can’t continue to question or treat her like she’s guilty. So I’m looking for any kind of advice on what I can do to help the situation or what I can say to her to make her understand or what I am doing wrong and how I can stop. So whatever advice anyone has for me would be much appreciated because I really love her and I really don’t want my mental health to ruin this relationship.
Thanks for your post and for reaching out to us. I'm sorry that you're struggling with this; it sounds like it's so hard for both you and your partner.
I understand what it's like to think that your partner is cheating on you, and I know the feeling of when even though you get that reassurance that niggling feeling won't settle. I think it's because underneath those fears of having our partner cheat on us is a big fear of what happens if they were. If your partner or my partner were cheating, it wouldn't mean that we would potentially be alone. That, for some people, can be terrifying. Especially for people with BPD as in BPD it's really common to have those fears and worries.
Does this post resonate with you at all? If you've ever thought about seeing a therapist this is something they can help you with too.
I agree with Romantic_thi3f. Reflecting on what is driving this fear will help to give some perspective. Is it a fear of not being good enough? Of being left alone?
Is it purely a projection of your feelings or has she done things that give you a legitimate reason to believe that she could be cheating? Have you discussed boundaries and expectations together?
Thanks guys for your responses... RT, I do struggle a lot with the fear of losing her. It’s another constant worry for me. I feel like since being in this relationship I have lost some amount of self worth and I feel like if things in my relationship are not good then I can’t function. Which sounds really toxic but we actually really love each other. I do see a therapist I just would love to know if anyone has had these issues in a relationship and I guess if there is hope for us to be able to work things out. Miss benthos... there has been mistakes made on both sides throughout the relationship when it comes to honesty not in regards to cheating just in small details. There isn’t anything that she has done that would suggest she has cheated. We have discussed expectations and things like that but I am constantly getting the I play my mental health card too much from her. I’m made to feel guilty about having these thoughts and although I know it’s not fair on her I can’t control the thoughts continuing in my head. So I’m just at the point of not knowing what to do. I’m also finding it hard to sympathise with her as my head will tell me she is lying or putting on a show. Im at a complete loss as to what to do with the relationship.
I'm glad to hear back from you. It sounds like you know that underneath all of these thoughts are some big fears and I think that alone is really important - being able to 'move past it' is first acknowledging why it's there. It also means that these thoughts about her cheating aren't really about her at all - they're about you and those nagging feelings. While you may not be able to control the thoughts in your head, you can control your relationship with them and what you do with them.
and yes, I have been there. To begin with I was certain that he was cheating on me, and then I was certain that I was 'too much' and he was going to change his mind about being in a relationship and all of a sudden want to pack up and go. The most that he can do (and your partner can do) is reassure us, but the rest is up to us. For me, I had to sit there in those awful feelings of 'what if', and eventually knowing that if it all hit the fan, I would eventually find a way to cope. I also had to trust in my partner, working to believe what they said - mindfulness was a really big tool for this. I still get these nagging feelings every now and then, but I manage them better and they are not as intense.
Please know that while it's understandable that you feel guilty, there's nothing to feel guilty about. It's not your fault that you're having these thoughts. It's just that your brain is trying to protect you, and that's totally okay.