Or, as Anisa Easterbrook’s dad says, “Don’t put your umbrella up before it rains”.
BY ANISA EASTERBROOK
Paranoia or jealousy in relationships can be a nightmare for everyone involved. The majority of us will have experienced it at least once in our lives with a partner. It can consume your every thought and send you insane. Sometimes the paranoia can occur for no apparent reason and can consume or overtake your relationship. The fear of losing someone you love is normal to an extent, especially at the start of a relationship where you are both still getting to know each other and have perhaps not built the bridges of trust which develop gradually.
But if these feelings of jealousy and paranoia are present throughout the relationship, it can drive your partner away and even cause the relationship to end. I’ve been in enough relationships now to know where my weaknesses are – I’m possessive, easily jealous and over-protective.
This combo has, in the past, led to a lot of problems with partners and with social media and apps like Snapchat it’s easy to crack over the smallest things.
I’ve attacked and interrogated partners over a bloody Instagram ‘like’ and found myself saying things like – WHO IS THAT BOY MATT AND WHY IS HE LIKING YOUR SELFIE?
The ironic thing is, being paranoid about your partner leaving can be exactly what drives them to leave you in the first place. I ended up making one girl feel trapped and helpless. No matter how much they reassured me I’d always find myself waiting for them to slip up or be unfaithful. This was of course of no fault of their own and all down to my own insecurities.
I’ve learnt the hard way how to control my emotions and if you’ve ever found yourself feeling the same way I have, here’s some advice which helped me to overcome it.
1. Identify what it is that’s making you feel this way. Don’t look at what your partner is doing but rather look at what it is in yourself which is making you so unhappy. For me, I discovered that it was down to a partner treating me badly in the past. It left me feeling unworthy of a good relationship and I found myself constantly comparing my new girlfriend to the BAD EX. We’ve all got one. But having a bad experience is no excuse to start arguments for no reason. In a new relationship, you’ve got to forget the past and start fresh. Embrace the new relationship as a new relationship and don’t carry feelings of resentment or bitterness into it.
2. Keep yourself busy. Whatever you do, do not sit at home waiting for your partner to come home or text you. If you’re paranoid about your relationship and doing nothing, your mind will wander and you’ll end up Facebook-stalking the crap out of them and looking for reasons to confirm your paranoia. Surround yourself with close friends (or dogs, because they solve everything) and go out more. Your girlfriend should be part of your life not your whole life.
3. Live in the present. At the end of the day, your partner is with you because she wants to be with you. Stop worrying about the future and the past otherwise it’ll destroy moments together today. I figured that I may as well take each day as it comes because you never know what’s coming round the corner, whatever precautions you take. In my dad’s words “Don’t put your umbrella up before it starts raining”.
4. Communication is key. Talk to your girlfriend about what you’re feeling and why. And I mean talk, not argue. If you’re anything like me then sometimes your emotions or “passion” gets the better of you and you end up raising your voice for no reason or saying things you regret in the moment. Simple solution to this – go old school and write it all down in a letter. This allows you to think about exactly what you want to say in a rational manner. Once you’ve done this remember to LISTEN to what she has to say back. Do not interrupt, take her feelings into consideration because you could be causing as much harm to her as you are to yourself.
5. Lastly – and this applies to all situations – if you find yourself in such a state of panic that you feel like you might have an actual melt-down, think about what is worrying you. Then think about the worst possible outcome of the situation, whatever that may be and then simply overcome it in your mind. So for me, at the time, the worst possible outcome of what I was worrying about was my partner cheating on me and leaving. I thought about this for a while, had a minor heart attack and then overcame it. If that did happen then she would not have been right for me anyway, so stop thinking about the what ifs and just LIVE. I swear by this piece of advice, it has helped me with just about every obstacle I have ever faced in life. Whatever you are worrying about (hopefully) won’t kill you and life will go on.