Irrational fear?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-03-2013
Irrational fear?
Tue, 09-03-2013 - 7:50pm


I've been seeing a guy for almost two years. Probably for the past 8 months or so have been really off and on. Last summer I spent a lot of time hanging out with gy friends, (watching movies, going to ball games, out to eat, etc) which is something I've always done. My guy expressed dislike for it, but I continued anyway, because I was thinking, "No one is going to control me.", and I also didn't bring it up a lot of the time, just did it. I finally put myself in his shoes and thought, if he was doing the same, I wouldn't like it. So I stopped. Part of the problem is that a little over a year ago, he was under the impression that I was cheating, (which I wasn't), so he went out and slept with someone else. It actually didn't end up happening, (he couldn't maintain his arousal) but the intent was there. Since then, whenever we've fought, he's walked away a few times. We have continued to try and work stuff out, but we each have that nagging fear that the other is going to go out and find someone else.

I'm already in counseling, (for self esteem issues and an abusive ex husband) so this is the stuff I'm, bringing up. My question is, has anyone else gone through this sort of thing? If so, how did you handle it? How do I get over this fear that he MIGHT leave, and just enjoy what we have? It's frustrating both of us.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2014
Wed, 07-23-2014 - 10:13am

Percy, I've struggled with self esteem issues my whole life and I've been in and out of one bad relationship after another, even went to counseling (multiple times) to try to resolve my issues. It wasn't until my current husband, because he loved enough to tell me the truth so I would get the help I really needed in order for us to have a successful life together.  I'm telling you this because I didn't accept his truth very well because I have too have a very irrational fear and it has affected my thinking and my behaviors pretty much my whole life. So instead of me seeing that he loved me and wanted me to get help so we could have a successful marriage and happy life together I thoght of it has his way of insulting me and just wanting me to feel inferior and his was of playing on my insecurites, etc. That's just of my irrational thinking. Anyway, to make a very long story short I have wore him out and quite possibly driven his off at least emotionally at this point. He's still in our home and occationally may show a sign of affection but it's rare.  It wasn't until I thought I had lost him for real that the reality hit me and I knew I had to do something different, I had to change something in what I was doing, how I was thinking, something had to change!!!!  I began to pray A LOT!!! I also did A LOT of research and I had been tracking my moods, my exercise, my periods, etc. and kept a journal. So I began to review these things and put together patterns and researched signs and sypmtons only to discover that I had much more than just low self esteem. Obviously I can't diagnosis myself and I don't recommend anyone do that, but this was a good starting point. I was able to find a Dr. that specialized in the area's that I "thought' I might need help in. Some of the areas I was right and some I was not but the point is I was at least educated enough to know I needed help. I can't fix my issues on my own but they can be fixed I only wish I had done it sooner before my husband had checked out on us emotionally. I hope and pray it's not too late. I'm telling you this because 1) you're not married yet so now is the time to work on YOU before committing to anyone else and I would suggest to him he do the same.  My husband wasn't without fault, but had I dealt with my irrational thinking prior to committing to our marriage our relationship would be different for sure. Which brings me to reason # 2) With you both having unresolved fears and possibly other issues you're bound to hit a brick wall with each other at some point if you don't get a handle on them now. If you're right for each other then you'll wait for one another before committing to anyone else or even each other. I've learning the hard way that commiting emotionally is so different than committing physically. I know that may sound obvious but once I started researching it they meant different things to me.      Learn what it is that is really causing the fear and if it really is the previous relationship/s than find out how to get rid of the fear (Cognitive Behaviorial Therapy may be an option for you) before getting into another relationship. If you don't rid yourself of the fear then you may find yourself ruining a truly good relationship (as I have) because of your own irrational fear and irrational thinking! Please don't let that happen to you.  

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 2:49pm
It is hard to let go of past abuse issues, so continue with the counseling. You may also want to seek some kind of spiritual guidance. I found that I had to be very open with now DH about such things. He then became more sensitive to things (i.e. Call when going to be late, etc.) He didn't necessarily change what he did, but he was more aware of my feelings. Then he knew I wasn't being a nag, my fears were based off my own, very real experiences. Our new guy is not our X. But it can be hard, I know. Your BF may have similar issues. Be honest with each other with out making it about right or wrong. Good luck! Serenity CL making a second marriage work
Avatar for lizmvr
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2001
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 8:14am

I think you have to make a decision to stop the disquieting fearful thoughts and then actively work to stop them. If you can't do that, then maybe this isn't the right time for a relationship with this guy. Back and forth or on and off relationships can be detrimental to your self esteem--I know as I've been through that, too. What has your therapist recommended?

It's also not just you in this relationship. If he can't get past his fears of you cheating, then it's still not going to be a happy stress free union, no matter what you do.

You might want to consider an amount of time you will give this to work out, maybe something like another month, but if it's not improved enough in that time, then leave this relationship because you both deserve better.


Clinical Research Associate