I'm way too attached to my girlfriend, I hate it and need it stop. - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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I'm way too attached to my girlfriend, I hate it and need it stop.


Hi, thanks in advance for reading this.

I have a major problem brewing right now and its that I've become extremely attached to my girlfriend and its killing me. We see each other 3-4 times a week, she lives 4 miles away.. Shes attached to me as well but probably in a normal way, thats not the case with me. Nonetheless I've been with girls I've seen once a week and felt completely content but this girl I feel miserable when I'm away from her.

Let me give you another example, it was last week. She always texts me when she makes it to work to let me know that she made it and is safe. I do the same thing. But this one day last week I didn't receive a text from her and I couldn't even function at work. I was worried, I felt unloved, I just had a ton of horrible thoughts. I was literally feeling ill all because I didnt receive a text from her. Seriously what the hell, right?

More examples are I get really sad when I know we're gonna be away from each other 2-3 days. She went on a vacation to the Midwest and was gone for a week and I dreaded it. I'm becoming too dependent on her and too attached..

I need some advice on what I can do to not be so overly attached and still continue to be with her. Cause I love this girl and have good intentions but living like this is becoming unbearable.

I hope I'm not alone here.
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 11:25 AM
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How long have you been seeing each other for? It might just be like a honeymoon period and it will pass. does she know about it?

If you're not part of the freaks, you're part of the boredom.


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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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I should of mentioned that, intended too.

We've been seeing each other for 9 months. The unhealthy attachment feelings didn't REALLY start til about 3 months ago and it seems like it increases with time.

She sort of knows about it, I haven't discussed the true extent of my attachment issues. I have mentioned that it seems like I miss her a lot more than she misses me when we're not together. She says we just express ourselves differently.
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 02:02 PM
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Have you been mistreated or let down by past friends or girlfriends? That can feed insecurity and obsession.

Is there any objective reason to doubt her commitment or is it just anxiety?

When people are inconsistent or forget to call as usual, it flares up my GAD and I get the same symptoms. It's really uncomfortable. I reckon it's largely due to having all one's eggs in one or two baskets. It would severely disrupt life if I lost my friend or something significant changed about our relationship. I know it'd create a severe, maybe dangerous, grief reaction - of course I'm going to worry at relatively small signs.

The trick is to get into the habit of not dwelling or predicting the future and especially suspending judgment. Learn to tolerate the unknown by continually telling yourself there's no evidence for your specific fears even though you don't feel that's true - there are various alternative explanations as to why someone doesn't call or express themselves a certain way. Accept time will have to pass before knowing what's happened and suspend reaching conclusions till then. Think the objective thoughts even when feeling really bad. With practise the brain can eventually be rewired to focus mostly on those thoughts and not imagine catastrophies in detail. It reduces the distress.

While doing this make your behaviours consistent with not worrying, even though it's not the case - refrain from checking and re-checking. Behave exactly as normal as though nothing's wrong. This reduces the symptoms. It takes time to alter the brain though. When with her, also refrain from excessive seeking of reassurance. The checking behaviours can become addictive and you'll never feel satisfied. I've been doing the above the last few days in particular during a tough situation. It's prevented a serious episode.
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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I don't doubt her commitment.. Shes fine, she treats me great. I'm doubting my sanity and I dont want to mess this up.

One thing you hit on the nose is reassurance. I'm always needing constant reassurance from her and I don't even understand why. It feels like its become habitual. How do I break the habit? any ideas?

I really appreciate your advice.
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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 11:33 PM
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I turned away a girl from me because of how attached to her i got. It wasn't pretty. She said she just gets board of guys really quick(nice eh?) Honestly i think having good communication is a must. Tell her how you're feeling. And get her to tell you how she feels too. Lay it out on the table once in awhile. Not to often though. This will create trust. You have to be content with her answers or or going to get nowhere. Basically like odd_one_out said you have to live in the moment and not dwell on the past or the future because its unknowable. If in the present you have no reason to doubt your relationship then just relax and enjoy it. That's kinda my little bit of advice. Although I think odd_one_out hit the nail on the head for you. That's probably the best advice. im going to listen to that advice next time im in a relationship. I fall for girls really hard and i just end up getting hurt in the end.

He has caused me to stumble, but I will always get back up stronger than I ever was before.
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 02:46 AM
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Originally Posted by gabe9 View Post
I'm always needing constant reassurance from her and I don't even understand why. It feels like its become habitual. How do I break the habit? any ideas?
The evidence-based methods suggest gradually reducing seeking reassurance - it might be too hard to quit it suddenly. It takes some discipline but start by maybe reducing it by half.

The reassurances will never satisfy and only feed the problem, maintaining a feedback loop involving behaviour (doing the asking), thought (realising no reassurance can satisfy you 100%), feeling (getting anxious as a result of the remaining uncertainty), and back to behaviour (seeking more reassurance to reduce the anxiety). It's all part of the anxiety disorder pattern - healthier to quit it.
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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by odd_one_out View Post
The evidence-based methods suggest gradually reducing seeking reassurance - it might be too hard to quit it suddenly. It takes some discipline but start by maybe reducing it by half.

The reassurances will never satisfy and only feed the problem, maintaining a feedback loop involving behaviour (doing the asking), thought (realising no reassurance can satisfy you 100%), feeling (getting anxious as a result of the remaining uncertainty), and back to behaviour (seeking more reassurance to reduce the anxiety). It's all part of the anxiety disorder pattern - healthier to quit it.

Wow that really is the pattern I go through. That is the EXACT order my mind works when I need reassurances or something answered. You hit it on the nail.


Guess I'm really not alone here.. I've tried to reduce it, it eats at me and causes me anxiety and makes it hard for me to concentrate. I'm going to try really hard to stop this. I'm confident I can reduce this by a lot.

I swear talking about it helps, whenever I read a reply about this I start feeling better about it.
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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odd one out,

you seem like a very smart individual. Another problem I have in this relationship is having bad thoughts.. It constant.

I think of the things she did in the past, guys she has had sex with etc. It gets me jealous and I'm always thinking about it. Its very strange. I want to let go of the past but its like my mind dwells on it and its become habitual to think about it off and on all day..

Is there any hope for me?
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 12:42 PM
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There is always hope! Its all in your head and you're the one who controls that. You just cant let yourself think about that kind of stuff. The past doesnt matter anymore. Only the present. Speaking from experience I tend to dwell on the past a lot and it has brought nothing but sadness and regret. But we have to ask ourselves, will thinking about the past of ourselves or other people make us feel good or help us in the present or future? Everytime you start to have those thoughts you have to acknowledge that you're having it and then force yourself to stop it. It may take a few times but after awhile you wont even think about it anymore! Just keep repeating in your head, what good will thinking about what she did in the past do for me? And then tell yourself that she likes you now.

Its your time to shine now man. She is with you and you get to make her happy. No other guy gets that privilege but you.

He has caused me to stumble, but I will always get back up stronger than I ever was before.
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post #11 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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So true, no good happens from thinking of the past. It causes nothing but problems..

One time her and I were having a very nice lunch out and my thoughts were eating me up alive and I had to question her about something in her past. It messed up our lunch out and I hated myself for it. I need for things like this to never happen again.


you're right moon, sadness and regret. I get sad thinking about it, then I regret the actions of either bringing it up to my girlfriend or having it mess up a good time. Sadness then regret. I always regret it.

I've been trying for some time pooch, nothing works. I have my good days and my bad but these thoughts arise periodically. I need to live IN THE MOMENT and not let past issues ruin present issues..

easier said then done.

I really appreciate your post pooch.. It gave me a boost.
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post #12 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 01:16 PM
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No problem man. I have done the exact same thing. It can be hard when we feel insecure and then your madly in love with someone. Ive been using the talking to myself in my mind thing for a few other areas of my social anxiety. Like telling yourself that everything is fine. Or stopping myself from thinking and dwelling on certain things. I liken it to learning to play an instrument. At first you suck and sound horrible! But if you keep doing it and practicing the skills develop and then you're really good! If you stop doing it because it doesn't work right away you wont get anywhere.

The key with your thoughts Is to get into the habit of realizing your thinking about bad stuff that bothers you. You just have to do that. For example anybody out there, even married people,would say that if they imagined their GF or wife in the past having sex with other men that this would seriously bother them. Were just not meant to think about that. And we can overcome it if we do.

By the way the last part of my name is poosh, your one letter off. Im not a dog lol :P Its from my fav TV show called doctor who! Its so epic haha. But its all good

He has caused me to stumble, but I will always get back up stronger than I ever was before.
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post #13 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 01:18 PM
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Oh and your right! All this is easier said then done. But all good things in life require work and a little hardship. But it makes it so satisfying in the end when you accomplish it.

He has caused me to stumble, but I will always get back up stronger than I ever was before.
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post #14 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gabe9 View Post
Another problem I have in this relationship is having bad thoughts.. It constant.

I think of the things she did in the past, guys she has had sex with etc. It gets me jealous and I'm always thinking about it. Its very strange. I want to let go of the past but its like my mind dwells on it and its become habitual to think about it off and on all day..
Do all those thoughts revolve around what she did sexually? Does she still have contact with any ex's that set off the thoughts? Do any of the thoughts and feelings revolve around insecurities about yourself in that department? Jealousy arises from insecurity.

I'd break down all the thoughts, maybe writing them, to see exactly what comprises the jealousy.

If you make the thoughts explicit, you'll likely find a train of thought with each one based on the previous.

For instance the thoughts I get when my friend is late (which is unusual) go as follows

Maybe she's calling that person again --> Maybe she's being persuaded to move there after all --> If that happens she'll start putting the lover first --> I'll be sitting alone every evening --> I'll start going insane --> People always abandon and lie that they won't - I'll never trust again --> I'll get old and die alone

It gets out of hand. The above is replete with baseless assumptions. For all I know, she's just busy or caught in traffic. There's no reason to doubt her word she won't abandon me - she's already put me before a lover before.

Examining each one objectively gives some insight into the problem. It can be done as it occurs until habitual. It saved my backside this week. In the past I'd have had a serious episode after what happened (not related to the above example), upsetting those around me at the same time.
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post #15 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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No thats the thing, she has no baggage at all!!! I will never meet another woman who has less baggage.. No ex bf's still around, no kids, nothing....

I dont think they revolve around insecurities about myself, maybe they do but I don't think so..


Thoughts I have are really irrational man.

Like thinking about what she did with other guys. Thinking about details and getting jealous thinking she treated those guys as good as me. Really strange thoughts, I've never had these thoughts before.
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post #16 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 04:18 PM
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^ Those particular intrusive thoughts appear more OCD-related. It's worth getting that checked out if it's very persistent.

Their bizarre nature might in itself be generating anxiety. If that's the case there are methods where you can learn to observe them as they happen without acting on them or pushing them away. That reduces their power. Try to accept they're happening and don't try to force yourself to not think them - just observe and notice how they're irrational, generated by anxiety.
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post #17 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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I've always thought I had levels of OCD.. What do I do about odd?
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post #18 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 05:24 PM
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^ You'd have to get an assessment to confirm or rule that out, or any other conditions. There are various treatment options.
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post #19 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 01:20 PM
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Hi guys your posts have been very interesting, and i am currently going through the same things with my girlfriend. i constantly feel she is bored of me, or is talking to one of her exes, or that she will leave me on the fly. very hard to deal with everyday but i am working through it. i know my insecurity will drive her away if i dont get it under control soon.

Anyways you said you thought you may have OCD, but look into this is as well.

Im starting to think my behavior has progressed beyond my social anxiety and might be part of a a dependent personality disorder. i dont know much about it but if you look up the symptoms it involves much of these same thoughts,
such as:
-fear of rejection
-fear of abandoment in relationships
-inferiority complex
-etc

just look it up and tell me what you think. its very new to me as well.
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post #20 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 02:26 PM
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I think that I am going through the same exact thing as you and aaronnn are with my boyfriend. I have been through this before with previous boyfriends and when things ended it seemed like the end of the world. My advice would be to always prepare yourself for the event that she might brake up with you. This is what I do. I always have a feeling like my boyfriend is going to break up with me so that if it does happen it won't come as much of a surprise and I will be prepared for it.
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