"Stories" from the Collective (YOU)

My Doubts and Insecurities

by Heather

I am in a great relationship with a GREAT man, and yet I cannot let go of his past - the past he spent with his wife, and the past that existed after her and before me. Why not? Why do I feel so insecure? Looking for online relationship advice specifically after some reading recommendations...

QUESTION: I love him, he loves me, so why do I feel so insecure?...

MORE FROM Heather...

Thanks for taking time to consider answering my concerns. Bit of background - I am 47 and divorced for 3 years. (I left that marriage of 19 yrs. due to abuse). I met a fantastic guy in March of this year. He was recently out of a marriage of 24 years. We connected right away. Life is so very good with him... most of the times. He is very smart, caring and affectionate. Love that about him!

Recently, however, I feel as though I have been having some insecurities as our relationship grows and deepens. And I wonder if it is my issues that are causing doubts and concerns.

I have NEVER had a connection with someone as I have with him. It is almost too perfect and it scares me. I am fearful of getting hurt - although he expresses how much he loves me, cares for me - and it is truly evident. What bothers me? Two big things (big to me, but not to him):

  1. He still lives in his matrimonial home with his 2 boys. There is quite a bit of stuff that is still hers. It has been over a year now since she left him. I have been going to his place more frequently.

    We decided to organize the kitchen. Lots of her stuff! He had nothing to do with the kitchen during their time together. Moving and touching her stuff really affected me!

    The same deal when we put up the Christmas tree later that day. All her writing on the boxes. I did not like that at all.

    Then I found a card he had given her to reconcile their relationship. It was a very overwhelming day! He noticed my "quietness". I expressed my concerns. He told me not to worry that he wanted it to be "our" stuff.

    One great quality is his ability to communicate with me. He is adamant that that part of his life is over, he has found true love with me. Still it really bothers me.

  2. Another issue that I feel I have is the fact that comments have been made about his past relationships. Is this insecurity on my part and how do I get over it?

    For example, he has told me about his "first" date after his split. How she would not go out with him and the extent of what he did to try to get her to go out with him! It was over the top. I almost feel jealous? Not sure why?

    Another incident was a conversation of attraction. He mentioned that he was attracted to a girl because she had lots of money....yes she was very cute....a bit too young. Nothing transpired - one date and she would not go out with him again. So then I start to think... I am not rich. Then I doubt my attraction!

    He has asked me to be his "life partner". Marriage was not good to him, a wife was not good to him and not what he wanted in a long term relationship. Basically what I read is that he will never get married again.

    Do I want this? Yes it would be nice, but not a must. I feel so very deeply for him - and understand his concerns due to his past relationship with his ex for 24 years. They existed under one roof but did nothing together. He nor his boys have seen or heard from her in over a year.

I am a very fit and attractive individual - or so I am told. He tells me I could have anyone I want and he feels lucky to have me. His status of a Dr. sometimes scares me as people are drawn to people simply due to status quo.

I am on the other side of the fence - in fact, I reluctantly dated him through friends simply because of his position, fearing I could not "live" up to standards. He is not your typical doctor. - very down to earth - not pretentious in any way. One would never know off hand that he is a surgeon until you ask him what he does. He does not flaunt or brag.

I really wish I could get over his "past". I am almost envious of his wife. Here is a woman who he states he now realizes he was not truly in love with... yet he married her.

He tells me he has found true love with me... but will never marry? Would consider me his life partner, but not his wife? I think of all the experiences he has had with his ex and feel she is so fortunate to have shared that with him. Things I never will. Is this selfish on my part? Some days I feel as if I should step back but cannot - will that change anything? Likely not.

Sorry about the length of the message. I hope to hear from you with some guidance and or suggestions. I would be open to recommendations for reading material that may help solidify my relationship with someone I truly love!



Overcome Your Insecurities: Here's How!


Comments for My Doubts and Insecurities

Don't settle for less than what you want
by: Paula Renaye


Wow, you have a lot of twists and turns in your story, most of which I can relate to personally in one way or many--and on both sides of the fence, yours and his. My heart goes out to you!

It's hard to not take it personally when someone who has been married says he loves you but won't ever get married again. I know! It seems to be a common refrain these days from both genders. So many of us have had really bad experiences with marriage--we had to chew our legs off to get out of the trap--that we don't want to do it again. We've learned the hard way that "forever" is only "until."

The problem is that some people really want--and don't feel emotionally safe without--the level of commitment that marriage represents. There are two factors in a marriage: the legal institution and the emotional commitment. Oddly, people will stay trapped because of the former long after the latter went out the window, living without the emotional connection and adding to the negative connotations associated with marriage.

The thing is, if he says he doesn't want to get marriage again, you have to believe him. You also have to be honest with yourself about what YOU really want--a Life Partner or a Husband. It sounds like you want the full meal deal, and reading between the lines, I'm guessing that means you'll hang in there, hoping he changes his mind and eventually marries you. It could happen, but how much of your life and heart are you willing to bet on it?

You've got to have some serious talks with surgeon-guy. I know, it's scary, and you feel like you'll blow the whole deal if you do. Well, you may. But if speaking your truth in order to get clarity and emotional safety in the relationship freaks him out, better to know now, because you'll get the same reaction down the road on your other needs.

Now, all that said, I have to ask if you're in love with him or the idea of him. The doctor thing turns you on and intimidates you all at the same time. Why?

Also, I have to point out that, based on what you say, he may not be truly over his ex. And where is she anyway? Is he waiting for her to come back? Does he want to keep his options open just in case? If he's really committed to you, is he willing to make his home your home together-- meaning ex's stuff needs to go? Yes, there are children involved and that has to be honored, but the goal here is to build a healthy relationship with honest communication and mutual consideration, respect, trust and commitment.

Bottom line, if it feels like something is wrong, it is--address it NOW. These things don't ever automatically and miraculously resolve themselves. You have to take action.

Only you know if you are getting what you want out of the deal. Be honest with yourself and be strong. Get clear on what you really want and don't settle for anything less--ever!

Live Your Joy!

Paula Renaye

Everyday is a new start
by: Vikki

I have had a similar experience of observing the past of a partner and feeling very unnerved. I also experienced emotional reactions & fears & found it difficult to avoid putting two and two together and not developing doubts. I even had the kitchen things to deal with and the previous love interests that were pursued passionately!

I think it is important to stay in this moment as much as you can. Meditation and relaxation techniques are helpful to create a space of being in the now and keeping things authentic and present. Also practise focusing on the good things that are happening in your relationship. Perhaps writing down your doubts in a diary and unravelling where they may be coming from may help as well as writing down the good things to balance the worries.

Perhaps seek some professional support to explore the issues around trust that may be plaguing you. If you have come from an abusive relationship in the past, it's only natural that your alert buttons are switched on & your natural protective mechanisms are trying to prevent any future harm. (I too was on alert.)

Perhaps you can discuss these things with him & actively work together to resolve your doubts and insecurities. Ultimately, I feel it does come down to you being able to disperse them within yourself. Maybe it is a choice to not feed them in the end. But a certain amount of clarity and understanding is needed to be able to do that! Considering all that you have been through & what you have written it sounds quite feasible for these feelings and thoughts to arise. This is probably quite a common situation for us mature people with histories to deal with. And past traumas that we are trying to avoid repeating!

There is an art to being able to move forward isn't there? And making "everyday a new start".

Professional support may be a helpful tool to nip things in the bud as they arise. Also to help you explore what you are observing and how it may impact on you.

His ex-wife does sound strange, to have disappeared so abruptly. Do you know or understand anything about that?

Acknowledge what is arising and seek help, which is what you are doing here and obviously attempting to find solutions. So that is great.

Any Buddhist writings I find helpful, as they tend to deal with our emotions in general, not so much specific events or situations, simply that we have them and deal with them daily, no matter what is happening in our lives!

Recognising their source and nature and learning how to deal with them, live with them and find peace is a valuable skill. Keeping some time and energy for your own issues nurturing yourself and realising that even when you are in a "partnership" you still have individual work to do to find peace and happiness.I can't offer much, but I can say I empathize.

All the best.

My Opinion
by: Sandy

It's difficult for me to tell you what to do. But I've found that one must learn to trust their intuition. Love, for me, must feel good. Yes, no one is perfect. But to feel jealousy and to be reminded of other women's past would be disturbing to me.

It sounds like to me (based on what I'm reading) that he hasn't quite gotten over the women in his past.

I think both of you have trust issues. My experience is that if you don't truly trust one another, before marriage, getting married doesn't help things to get better.

I think both of you need to go to counseling together; I sense you have the same issues (trust of partners). Also, he seems to be tied to his past. I know everyone is different. But my experience has been that even in the best of times, when one wants to build their own identity, it is usually reflected in their "style". What I see is a man who still lives under the shadow of his ex and other women.

The other issue is that you seem to feel "inferior" to him because of education. That is something you two need to talk about (preferably with counseling). It's interesting he can talk about "externals" (how you look) but that is not enough to solidify a relationship.

I think if he really loves you, he will work with you to overcome these issues for himself and for you as well.

Good luck on your journey.

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