Lost, Lack of Trust, Insecure, and I don’t know why.

I’ve been in a relationship with my girlfriend for the past (almost) 2 years. I’m 28 and she’s 25 this year. Like all relationships, we have had our fair share of ups and downs, but we’ve always managed to talk about things. We’re both adventurous people, and every time we travelled, we’ve aimed to do something adventurous together.

Throughout the relationship, I’ve not been controlling and have never made a fuss when she hangs out with her guy friends. On the other hand, she used to be quite affected whenever I hung out with my female friends, and especially affected when it’s my ex-girlfriend. Nonetheless, regardless of whether we quarrel over it or not, we managed to resolve it.

The one thing that I haven’t been able to join her in is diving as I have not picked up that skill yet. I was supposed to learn it earlier this year in March, but due to a change in jobs, I was not able to. However, I will definitely learn it next year and it’s something we’ve talked about. She has been saying that she’d go ahead for diving and doesn’t want to wait for me, to which I’ve always said she should.

Recently, she went for a dive trip with another female friend, and made a lot of new friends during the trip. Ever since the trip, she’s been hanging out with these new friends a lot and have done some activities with them that’s not diving-related.

I’m not sure if it’s just me being insecure and crazy, or if something has changed in her. The past couple of weeks has been difficult for us, she’s been saying I’m suddenly become more controlling, while I’ve been saying that something has changed in her. We had a long talk the other day to resolve issues, but at the end of the day, sometimes something still triggers me and I don’t feel like I can trust her as much as I once used to.

I don’t know why but I keep feeling that her feelings for me has changed, although she insists otherwise. There’s just a lot of little subtleties that hit me really hard. Recently I feel like I’m always the backup. She tires herself out with activities on the weekdays, and spends the weekends with me sleeping at my place. It’s like I’m a safe home for her to return to, but not the fun go-to person.

At the moment, here’s the situation:
– She’s still somewhat honest, she does tell where she’s going and who she’s going with. I said “somewhat” because she always seems to not tell the full story.
– She seems very close to this new group of friends, and for the first time I am uncomfortable.
– I am having issues trusting her, although I can’t exactly pinpoint why.
– I don’t know if I should walk away and give her the “freedom” she so desires. I really love her, see a future with her, and don’t want to wrong her. I really want to believe that love should be free, but it’s hard when there’s a lack of trust.
– I don’t understand why she can’t see that after our recent issues, it takes a bit of time to rebuild things. She’s acting like nothing ever happened. On the other hand, I may be too sensitive.
– I have been sacrificing all my travel time for her, and it’s sad because she’s not doing the same. I know I’m being selfish but I feel left out.
– It’s getting increasingly hard to talk about issues with her because it’s beginning to feel like that’s all we’re talking about recently.

Thank you for reading this :).

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10 thoughts on “Lost, Lack of Trust, Insecure, and I don’t know why.

  1. Dennis Hong says:

    [Well, this is kind of a tough one, so I’m just going to give you my random thoughts here, because I’m not sure how else to present them at this point:

    When someone makes a new group of friends, I think it’s natural to be excited about that and constantly be wanting to hang out with them. So that, in itself, I don’t believe is a big deal.

    At the same time, since this group revolves around an activity that you’re not a part of, I get that that puts you in a tough spot. She has something new and exciting in her life, but you don’t, and that makes you feel left out.

    To me then, this comes down to a matter of trust: Do you trust her to spend time with friends apart from you?

    Clearly you don’t, but it also sounds like there’s an underlying jealousy/trust issue here, and her new friends are only bringing this to light.

    At the same time, given what you’ve described, I have no idea why you think you need to walk away from the relationship at this point. Did she say that she wanted to be apart? Because if she’s saying that you’ve become kind of controlling, and you respond by thinking you need to break up… yeah, dude, I think you’re being kind of a drama queen.

    Without knowing any more details about the kinds of issues you’ve been experiencing, my instinct right now is to side with her. I think you’re feeling left out and jealous (which is totally natural), but I also get the impression you’re making more of a fuss than you need to be. Unless you have some *tangible* clues that she’s outright lying to you, or cheating on you, I think you just have to let it go.

    After all, I’m not sure what you expect by the “full story.” Do you want the details of everything she does while she’s away from you? She tells you where she’s going and what she’s going to be doing, right? Why do you feel like she’s leaving stuff out, and why does this mean you can’t trust her? Please feel free to clarify on that if you think it will help, because I’m just not seeing any tangible reasons for the mistrust here, aside from the fact that she just seems excited to hang out with a new group of friends.

    Ultimately, I think you need to pinpoint why you don’t trust her. Without that, there’s no way to tell whether this is a legitimate concern, or if it’s all in your head.

    • Calamansi says:

      [Hi Dennis,

      Thank you for your honest reply. You’re definitely right, I feel like I’m being a drama queen and being insecure and all. The “good” news is I haven’t said anything here to her since we had the talk and have been writing them down in private. I think ever since the talk (and also because of how I’m feeling), there’s been a bit of a gap/wound between us too.

      “To me then, this comes down to a matter of trust: Do you trust her to spend time with friends apart from you?” | You raise some points which I’ve asked myself, I’m not sure what could have cause this sudden lack of trust/insecurity, as I wasn’t like this previously in this relationship.

      “I think you’re feeling left out and jealous (which is totally natural), but I also get the impression you’re making more of a fuss than you need to be.” | Right on. How do I get through this? I’m trying to just learn to accept this feeling and let it pass but find it very difficult

      “Please feel free to clarify on that if you think it will help, because I’m just not seeing any tangible reasons for the mistrust here, aside from the fact that she just seems excited to hang out with a new group of friends.” | One of the key things I identified was that she tends to spend all the weekends with me, which is great. The bad is, almost half of the time, or more, is spent with her falling asleep at my place. Recently, an issue that she’s mentioned is that a lot of our time is now spend with either my family or her family and that we should spend more alone time together, which I definitely agree. However, one problem is that due to her hanging out late on the weekdays, even when we do have some alone time together on the weekends, she falls asleep at my place. This is an issue which I tried talking about with her before but her point-of-view is that she’s already giving me all her weekend time, so what’s the issue?

      On the whole, I think it’s how timely (or untimely) things happened. It’s not so much of I don’t trust her, but more of I don’t trust that I’m as important to her as I thought.

      Some of the recurring themes we have in our relationship:
      – For almost every single issue we’ve had, I always have to be the one to bring it up.
      – We’re both very temperamental, but I’m a lot faster to apologize

      Thanks again for your response.

    • Dennis Hong says:

      [Yeah, it sounds like you two definitely have some issues you need to uncover. You keep referring to the talk. Communication is definitely important, but if you’re bringing up problems that she’s not agreeing with (i.e., the part where you think you’re not a priority to her, but she says she’s spending every weekend with you), then I think that’s only going to push her away. So keep that in mind.

      Without knowing the full details of the conversation, my suggestion — if you choose to bring this up again — is to frame it in terms of how this whole situation affects you. Don’t accuse her of doing anything. Don’t say, “Well, you’re spending all your time with your friends, and you’re making them a priority over me, and we should be spending more time together, blah blah blah,” because that’s when you start to sound controlling.

      Instead, explain how her actions make you feel: “When you spend all week with your friends, and then only come over on the weekends to fall asleep, that makes me feel like I’m not that important to you. I know you don’t think it’s a big issue, but I do miss spending (awake) time with you, so I’m hoping maybe we can meet halfway on this somehow.”

      That can make the difference between expressing your feelings and sounding like you’re trying to control someone.

      Ultimately, though, this is the underlying problem I’m sensing now, and it goes beyond the level of trust you have or don’t have in her right now:

      You say that you’re always the one to bring up the issues. That tells me that there’s a huge disconnect here between you and her. At this point, my guess is that she either 1) is the type of person who hates confrontation and will try to avoid serious discussions at all costs, or 2) simply doesn’t see the same issues in your relationship that you’re seeing.

      I think that’s what you need to figure out. I think the suggestions I gave you above can apply to either scenario, but how the conversation goes — and how much you push it — is really going to depend on whether she’s 1 or 2.

  2. Calamansi says:

    [Hi Dennis,

    Again, thank you for your advice, it’s very helpful. I actually think the issue is a mix of 1) and 2). Generally I’ll be the one to raise a conversation, and she doesn’t really like confrontation. However, she would usually soften eventually and we will be able to have a good chat. In this case, I think 2) is the larger piece as we’re clearly not seeing along the same lines.

    For now, I’m just going to try and let go. The past 2 weeks have been nothing but issues after issues, and I think the right thing to do is to let it go and enjoy each other’s company for now. I’m hoping that eventually:

    1) I’ll realize and feel stupid because it’s all in my head OR
    2) We’re both calm and over it enough to talk about things

    I’ll be travelling alone this weekend with a bunch of friends, so it’s kind of a good way to take some time off from each other. We’ll be going on a trip together next weekend, I’m hoping that I can find it in me to stay calm and loving during that trip and just enjoy it first, before we eventually talk about it (after the trip).

    If anything, I’ve learnt that my patience, love and kindness is severely lacking. Regardless of whether it’s her issue or not, it’s my issue and something I need to work on.

    Thanks again Dennis, I hope to be able to update this thread with good news in weeks to come.

    • Dennis Hong says:

      [You bet! Yeah, if she’s spending time with a new group of friends, I think you can see this as your time to hang out with your own friends, too, so I think your travels this weekend are a good thing.

      Good luck, and let us know how it all goes!

  3. Calamansi says:

    [Hi Dennis,

    Thank you. Things seem to be better now, I can definitely see that she’s making an effort to message me more. However, I do think that that’s taking a toll on her and I can feel the frustration from time to time, especially when we get on a phone call. It was never my intention to have her message me more.

    I’ve been reflecting on what it is exactly that triggers me, and I think I’ve narrowed it down to:
    – While we message, she has a tendency to skip the questions I ask (doesn’t even have to be a serious question, sometimes it’s a fun one too), so I always feel that she doesn’t read my messages properly OR that she’s avoiding something. What is a good way to bring this up?
    – I feel that she still has her guard up and isn’t telling me about it. Maybe she isn’t aware, or maybe it’s all in my head.

    Below is something I addressed to her (but i haven’t and probably won’t give it to her):

    I feel a growing emotional gap between us, and I don’t know what I can do. I have been worried about you and us recently and want to know what I can do to help. I know it takes time for the relationship to heal and improve. I want to walk alongside you on this journey. At the moment, I feel that we’re walking two separate paths.

    I’ve been confused by your behaviour recently. On one hand, I know that you’ve been trying to message me more. Thank you. I was surprised and happy to hear the other day when you actually raised that we didn’t kiss and hug before I left for the flight. It’s been so long since you expressed your emotions. I also enjoy our times spent together physically. I love holding your hands, hugging you, and just being close to you physically.

    On the other hand, our conversation over the phone always results in some frustration. Somehow I’ll feel that you’re in a bad mood, and part of every conversation is always trying to resolve that. I understand that sometimes you’re very tired, but I don’t understand why that frustration seem to always be directed at me. Also, perhaps I’m over-thinking, but nothing about us seems to be posted online anymore. I’m guilty of that myself. I sometimes don’t want to post because for some reason I’m afraid that I’d be seen as forcing/trying too hard.

    I know my recent actions have not been impressive, and nothing I say can undo that. Can you let me know if something has been upsetting you?

    • Dennis Hong says:

      [Yeah, I don’t recommend sending that to her. I think it’s way too intense, and here’s why….

      The way you’re describing her totally reminds me of a few girls I’ve dated in the past. You also remind me of myself when I was younger, so there’s that, too. 🙂

      Anyway, these girls were a bit more flighty, whereas I was more intense in conversation. Sometimes, I would try to engage them in a serious topic, and they just couldn’t — or didn’t want to — focus on a single thing. My conversation style was deep conversation, and theirs was a more ADD-ish let’s-talk-about-whatever-comes-up. Or they just didn’t like talking about serious things, period. As such, I often felt like they weren’t all that interested in what I had to say.

      When I finally figured out that that’s just who they were, I learned to accept that they did care about me, but expressed it in their own ways.

      I wonder if that’s what you’re experiencing at this point. You’re very aware of your own feelings (and that’s a good thing), but you also have this sense that because you are aware, you understand how to properly express your love for someone. As such, you want your girlfriend to be more expressive.

      At the same time, I think you have understand that you *can’t* change her to be more like you. That’s not how relationships work. If she’s just not an emotive person, you continuing to push her to be more emotive is only going to drive her away.

      So, you just have to accept her for who she is. If she’s silent and not very responsive, don’t take it as a personal slight that she’s mad at you. If you ask if she’s frustrated about something, and she says no, then *accept* that and let it go. Or if you ask her about something, and she doesn’t answer, just move on and don’t take it personally. If it means enough, you can always ask her again later.

      The more you explain the situation, the more I think you’re reading way too much into her actions. I know this sounds kinda harsh, but I really do think you just have to learn to chill out a bit. 🙂

    • Dennis Hong says:

      [Oh, and one more thing, please don’t be that couple that *needs* to post shit online in order to affirm their love for each other. 🙂

  4. Calamansi says:

    [Thanks again Dennis. I feel like what you’re saying actually. I’m very intense and tend to focus on a single conversation at any one time too.

    Good point on the “posting stuff online”. I usually don’t care about that, it’s just how things have seen so coincidental so far that I find myself nitpicking at everything. I should really take a chill pill.

    Just today, she actually asked what’s my itinerary for the day (since I’m currently overseas), which is nice. However, when I asked her back, she said that she didn’t want to tell me initially but since I asked she said she’s actually going for some rock climbing course today with her friends. Initially I was also supposed to do it with her and her friends, but since she’s been doing this activity on a weekly basis recently she felt that it’d be important to get certified quickly. Anyway, she also mentioned that she was planning to do it with me again. Either way I thanked her for telling me the truth and also mentioned that she shouldn’t have tried to hide it from me.

    The conversation itself was fairly light-hearted. But it got me thinking:
    – Did she ask me so I’d ask her back?
    – What’s the underlying issue that’s causing her to want to hide it in the first place?

    Thanks again Dennis 🙂

    By the way, when on mobile, I can’t seem to use the actual reply box. It falls out of the screen.

    • Dennis Hong says:

      [Yeah, I know we still have some bugs we need to fix on this site. 🙂

      First off, she did answer you when you asked what she was doing this weekend, so remember that. She made no attempt to hide it from you. She just chose not to bring it up. In fact, I think her comment about not wanting to tell you is a subtle dig at how she knows *exactly* how you’re going to react.

      Let me explain….

      To me, it’s obvious why she didn’t want to mention her plans: She knows that you’ve been jealous of these friends, and she figures it’s only going to create more drama if she says anything. Given the way you’ve responded in the past, I think you’re creating your own self-fulfilling prophecy here:

      You can’t help feeling jealous and not trusting her, so you keep wanting to discuss things with her. But, she sees no problem on her end, so your continuing attempts to hash things out only make her *not* want to tell you anything.

      Again, the more you push her to talk, the more you’re only going to make her not want to talk to you at all.

      Now, I will give you the caveat that if you do in fact have tangible reason to suspect that you *shouldn’t* trust her, then absolutely, you should be talking to her about that. But the more you describe the situation, the more I suspect it’s in fact your actions that are causing her to want to hide things from you, thereby reinforcing your lack of trust.

      Oh, and remember what I said last time? STOP TELLING HER WHAT SHE NEEDS TO DO. Stop with the “you shouldn’t have tried to hide it from me” bullshit. It’s condescending and insulting, and now you’re just being an ass about it. She doesn’t owe you an explanation. She doesn’t *need* to tell you anything. It’s *her* life, and if you trust her, then you’ll trust her to tell you what she wants to tell you.

      Even you thanking her for telling the truth is coming from a place of self-righteousness. It sounds like the mom “thanking” her five-year-old for admitting that he broke the vase, when she knows all along he did it. And I’m starting to suspect most of the conversations you try to initiate with her are coming from this dynamic of you-know-better and she-needs-to-improve.

      I know you’re aware of your own feelings, but I think you’re doing a really shitty job of seeing the situation from her side at this point. So try reversing the roles: You’ve got a new group of friends you’re excited to hang out with, and you’re not doing anything even remotely close to cheating on your girlfriend. Now, how would you feel if she’s constantly wanting to talk to you about how she doesn’t trust you, and chiding you for not telling her every little detail about what you’re doing with your new friends?

      Do you see how obnoxious that’s going to get, and how it’s only going to make you shut down?

      Again, let it go. Stop questioning her. And stop telling her what she needs to do. That’s what it means to trust someone. And if you do this, at some point, you’ll finally be able to talk about each other’s plans from a place of genuine curiosity, rather than jealousy and mistrust.

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