How can I prevent my insecurities/inferiority complex from causing nonexistent issues with my GF?

Im paranoid my gf has been unfaithful, due to my calls/texts being ignored often. We have been together a year and see each other at least a few times a week, and I do not think she would be unfaithful. Im almost positive that I am just projecting my own issues on to the relationship, with being dissatisfied at work. I also went out with single friends a few weeks ago and found myself flirting with others and missing single life, so maybe the guilt of that is getting to my head.
Asked by T
Answered
11/29/2021

Hi T,

It sounds like you have already done some self-exploration and realized that there may be some projection happening, which is wonderful! You sound like a person who has the good emotional intelligence to be able to recognize that. You and your girlfriend have been in a committed relationship for an extended period of time. Sometimes the mere knowledge that things are getting more serious or moving to the next level can trigger insecurities and feelings of fear about losing the person whom you have become so close to. Has anything changed in the communication patterns that make you think she is ignoring you or is this the same amount of text and calls you have typically shared?

It is possible she may be feeling MORE secure in your relationship after a year and feel that you inherently understand that she is not ignoring you if she does not answer right away. It sounds like this would be a great conversation to bring up in a non-threatening or defensive way and let her know that it bothers you and makes you feel ignored when she is not responding. Using “I” statements is a highly effective way to communicate this to her without blaming or pointing fingers. For example, “I feel hurt when I text or call you and there is no response, and it feels that I am not important enough to answer.” If you are comfortable enough to share the insecurities you are feeling, you could say “I feel scared that something might have happened when I don’t hear back in a timely manner.” Avoid using “you” in your sentences as much as possible to avoid her defensive response.

It is probably also a good time to set some ground rules on how much communication is wanted by both of you so neither person feels crowded or ignored. Maybe she will say it’s hard to answer during work hours because her phone has to be in her locker or that she doesn’t like to talk on the phone every day. There are many plausible explanations, but instead of speculating, it would be much better to have this conversation and hear from her.

You mentioned feeling dissatisfied with work, which can also easily leak into your relationship if you are not careful. Work dissatisfaction can lead to rumination, anxiety, higher stress levels, irritability, etc. that can affect your partner if you’re not managing those feelings well. Make sure that you are engaging in self-care practices while you’re dealing with your work issues, like getting enough sleep, hydrating, eating well, and exercising, as well as using coping skills that help you feel better. Those could be watching a show, taking a walk, cooking, playing with a pet, hanging out with friends, etc. If your work situation does not improve, it may make sense to find something that brings you more happiness (or less stress).

As for the feelings you are having with worrying about your partner’s faithfulness, it could very well be a projection of your own guilt from flirting with other people and fantasizing about single life. Just because you were doing that during your time away from her does not mean she is doing that or that she even wants to be. What do you miss about being single? What would you have to gain/lose by being single again? Is it possible that this goes along with the original thought that you might be feeling a little trapped or scared about the relationship getting too serious after a year? These are important conversations to have with yourself or a trusted person. It is often the case that the “grass looks greener on the other side” when you feel a lack of control over your life. It’s possible this lack of control and agency be coming from your work situation. I would recommend generating a list of pros and cons about staying in your relationship versus being single again. What does your girlfriend bring to your life and what are you sacrificing by being in a relationship?

 

Hope this has been helpful! Good luck to you in working through your situation.

Sincerely,

Katherine

(M.Ed, LPC)