Relationship Anxiety

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

June of 2010 I met this very wonderful woman and I was at the end of my marriage and she was in a bad relationship. I owned my house and lived with my wife at the time and she as well lived with her boyfriend and they bought a house together. We started seeing each other and yes we both know it was not morally correct at the time but we could not fight our feelings. Since then I have gotten divorced and I kept the house and I’m living alone with my son. She is still living in the same house as him but in separate bedrooms (she says) I trust her on that. She doesn’t want to leave because she put everything into that house to make it her own, that includes all painting and decorating, he did nothing. Let me not forget that they have been together for four years and he has really lowered her self-esteem to the point she thinks she fat and ugly. Which she is not ugly but she has gained a few pounds from living with him which she accounts to being from stress. She says they don’t have a relationship and he has been recently seeing other women. When she is with me it feels like natural ecstasy we are both so happy and content we make each other feel amazing (and the sex is out of this world for both of us). But when she isn’t with me she’s either working or at the house that they share. Only a few weeks ago she was staying with me while she was sick which was amazing, I would get her anything she needed make her food run her back and fourth to the doctor and what not. But since she’s gotten healthy again she has since gone back to work and she is staying at the joint house they bought together. It is literally killing me, I mean if I don’t get to talk to her or see her I feel like I have cold and worm waves rushing through my body, shallow breathing, if I sit still I just want to come unglued all my mind does is race about her and what she’s doing and when I’m going to see her again. Now take into account that we are going on two years dating serious now. So it’s not like its puppy love or a fresh relationship, we are both very comfortable around each other. Now today she worked till 1:30pm and when she got done she called me which was great, but she told me she’s going home to eat then go to her friends for some girl time. Girl time? I need girl time too I need to see her hold her. She has to work for 23 days straight so I literally will not get to spend any real time with her. So instead of coming to see me whom she used to do she is going to go to her girl friends house to visit which in fact she’s just a previous coworker that she used to work with only about a month ago. She had gone home to her home town for thanksgiving to spend time with her mom and not once did she call me, I barely got many texts from her, I feel like I’m being ignored and I feel like I’m only there when she needs something, we have talked many times and expressed our feelings and up until recently she was very defensive about the situation of living in the same house with her ex. I just don’t know what is wrong with me I have these feelings of emptiness and anger and bitterness and shallow breathing and sadness; I could drop down and cry any minute. I don’t feel that it is depression because I’m not depressed I’m about to crawl out of my skin right now because again another weekend passes and I don’t get to see her. Do I go to my doctor and explain to him that I feel I have anxiety or am I just stupid for loving someone so much and wanted to spend so much time with them and that I give her 110% of everything heart mind and soul, I cry for her. I think to just wrap it up I feel kind like I’m an egg in a shell in a microwave I’m about ready to explode any minute, the longer I’m in there with out her the worse the feelings are.

A: Your powerful descriptions point toward developing more personal interests in your own life rather than being in orbit around your girlfriend. Her lack of genuine availability, and her living arrangement doesn’t seem to show that her attitude or situation is going to change anytime soon. My strong recommendation is to develop more of a life for yourself and not be so dependent on her for your well-being.

If you want your relationship to have any longevity to it there cannot be such dependence on the other person. Many of the things mature couples that are happy display is mutual vulnerability with each other. They also are able to celebrate each other’s life achievements from independent activities like work, or hobbies, or sports. I do not hear these things in your relationship. By developing yourself you have a very good chance of advancing the relationship.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Dec 2011

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2011). Relationship Anxiety. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/12/09/relationship-anxiety/