Self esteem issues impacting my relationship

Postby roxparty » Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:37 pm

Hey everyone, I'm new on here and just looking for some general advice I think and someone to talk to.

I'm engaged to a wonderful man, and usually we have a fantastic relationship. We've been together for two years. The first seven months were long distance and I moved 250 miles to be with him (he has a child from a previous relationship so it was naturally me that moved and thats okay).

However, I'm still feeling quite unsettled in the new town and quite frequently return to my friends and family (about once a month for a weekend). I get quite lonely otherwise as I miss my close friendships and the phone doesn't quite feel the same.

So just after NYE, due to work being crazy etc I hadn't been down to visit my friends and family for about 3 months which is a long time for me, and I started to get a bit down at home and it caused some strain in my relationship with my partner. I have a tendency to withdraw into myself when I'm sad/lonely and for about 2 weeks we barely spoke, just watched telly together in the evenings and back to work the next day. I visited everyone last weekend and came home feeling refreshed and ready to make things better with my beau. So, Monday I decided to drop in for ten minutes as he is an army cadet officer on Monday nights and I know where we always goes for dinner so I thought it would be nice to surprise him for a quick bite to eat as otherwise we wouldn't see each other. As I drove up, I saw that there was another woman on the back of his motorbike that he hadn't told me about. He saw me drive past, and instead of being mature and talking to them I panicked and drove off like a bat out of hell, instantly jumping to the conclusion he was being unfaithful, or at the very least being dishonest.

We ended up having this massive argument for about 2 hours after he got home. He said he was hurt that I would immediately think he was cheating and he was innocently giving someone a lift to cadets who was going to walk the 40min journey otherwise. He didn't tell me because he genuinely didn't think it was a big deal but I got really upset about it.

I'm in counselling for my low self esteem issues etc but its really put a wall between us, because of how I reacted and I was pissed off he didn't mention it to me beforehand - I felt like he was purposefully hiding it from me. He said he will give her a lift whenever she needs one, but due to my issues I'm instantly worried and jealous. In my head, I'm seeing this lift growing into potentially something more.

I haven't quite got down to the reasons for my low self esteem but really wish I could just get over it and be a normal trusting partner. I intensely dislike myself right now :(

Sorry for the long post.. just wanted to get it out there and it always helps to see stuff written down to help process.

Thanks for reading.
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Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:01 pm

What is his career? He is going to be an officer in the army?
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Postby Livetowin » Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:35 pm

Understanding how to communicate with your partner is a crucial tool in determining how well the two of you can grow and work things out together. Being a person who is married to someone who use to have problematic trust issues born from insecurities, I can tell right off the bat where the issue is here.

When a person chooses to be with someone (especially someone battling insecurities), they have to be aware of their actions in that relationship that might impact the perception of intent. Simple communication about what the two of you do when you’re not together should remedy much of those conflicts. But when your partner picks and chooses the merits of what he wants to share, well… he is definitely poking the bear here.

Giving an occasional lift for a female officer/soldier may not (on the surface) sound like a big deal. But it also doesn’t take two brain cells to see how such an event can EASILY get taken out of context if he does not bother to tell you he is doing this. He needs to understand his miscommunication fosters mistrust more than the action involved here. Now if he told you and you decided to give him heat about it anyway, then you would own the problem. But that didn’t happen here.

When two people commit to one another, there’s a bit of tailoring that goes into effect to illustrate that bond. Communicating what you are doing should not be treated like a ball and chain requirement. That is common respect so if something happens, the other knows where you are at so you can be reached. It’s as simple as that. If someone feels the “burden” of that or takes exception like too much is being asked of them, then there’s a underlying issue of commitment in play here.
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Postby calvinTO » Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:01 am

Dealing with your own esteem issues is a really, really tough thing. It's perfectly natural to want to understand that everything and everyone around you is stable so that you can heal and feel safe.

But as for your boyfriend giving another military person a ride -- well, no, that isn't your business. If anything, his offer to this other military person sounds fine to me. What a kind man he is.

Note that I've avoided using gender in the last sentences. That is because there is nothing wrong with a man giving a woman (or another man) a ride. Nothing. If your boyfriend says it was aboveboard -- and he doesn't have to justify it in the first place -- then you need to let it go. (His statement that he would do it again suggests to me that he is telling it exactly like it is.)

I realize that this might not be something you want to hear. But he is a separate person from you, and in your lives you will both interact with others. To imagine that he must first have to clear with you simple things such as giving someone a ride on his bike is ludicrous, in that context. You write that you are "seeing this lift growing into potentially something more." Yes, YOU are; he isn't. So it's up to you to deal with it, and that means letting it go.

I'm sorry you're hurting from this. No doubt if I were in your shoes I might entertain the same thoughts. And it's difficult to be away from one's support group. However, you need to move on from this if you are to have a successful relationship, one that includes honesty and acceptance. It is your choice to accept his explanation (which he didn't have to justify in the first place) or not. He made his case -- your move.

Let us know what happens.

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Postby Livetowin » Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:46 am

Just for clarification (since I do not want the latest comments taking what I said out of context), communicating what you are doing is in NO WAY "seeking permission". This man established that he was (and will continue to be) giving her a lift when she needs it. This is not a situation where someone asked him for a one-time lift and it was suggested he needed to seek your opinion (or permission) first. I did not say that.

If your partner is going to establish a pattern of conduct with another female when he's been with you for over five years, he absolutely should be informing you that he is doing this. Telling you about it is not asking your permission. It's recognizing and respecting you as an individual in the relationship. It's not like he bumped into her at the grocery and he needs to say he talked to a female. No one is asking him to be on a leash. Again, this is him doing something FOR her and he has established he WILL to do it whenever she requests it. YES. That is a pattern of conduct and YES he should tell you he is doing it.

No you are not married, but that has NOTHING to do with being committed to someone and most of all being TRANSPARENT. If you have to edit how your day was, then clearly you are thinking it could be a big deal. So if he deems it a nonevent then talk about it as such. Him not telling you he is doing this is WHY it became what it is.
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Postby wonkymirror » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:23 pm

Hi Roxparty,

I can completely understand where you are coming from as I am a very jealous person, in part due to my insecurities and in part due to mild depression and anxiety. I know its a pop psych cliche but have you been cheated on in the past? I know this can exacerbate feelings of jealousy in otherwise healthy relationships.
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