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My name is Jane. This is the story of my anxious boyfriend. Let's call him Kurt. Kurt seemed like my dream guy. We had a very swift start to our relationship and I thought I would marry him one day. We met on an app called Whisper and we hit it off right away. Our relationship began right after my senior year of high school in the summer of 2017. We had similar likes and dislikes including Disney, technology and ideas for the future we had planned to spend together. Everything changed when I started college. I moved 400 miles away from where he lived and we went through our day to day texting, calling, and keeping each other informed. VERY informed. When I didn't tell him certain details or forgot to mention them to him, he would get peeved and ask me, "Well, why didn't you tell me before?" I almost always had no answer to that question. I had either forgotten to tell him or knew that if I did tell him certain details, he would become even more angry with me.
I was with him for a year and a half and some days were better than others. He would be wary of any new friend especially if it was a boy and if I ever spent large amounts of time with someone that wasn't him or didn't tell him where, when and who I was with. He would be suspicious of me. I can understand his trust issues, because all of his previous relationships had either ended with them cheating or breaking his heart in other ways. I made excuses for him. "He's just anxious because of his past relationships and given enough time, he will love and trust me enough." "He may get angry about things like that, but lying makes things worse and I can't control how he feels." "I know he loves me and I love him, but he just was hurt so many times it's hard for him to see the truth"
Little did I know, this was eating away at my self-esteem, confidence, and energy. Waking up every day worrying if you would have enough time to text them "good morning" because you were so tired you had to snooze your alarm five times doesn't sound healthy from an outside view, but while in the relationship, I never truly realized how drained I felt while taking to him. He would call me almost every night with conversations like this.
"How were classes today"
"They were fine. How was work?"
"Good. Just fine? Anything interesting happen?"
"Yeah, I had lunch with Nick and the guys"
"I thought you weren't gonna hang out with them anymore?"
"I never said that. I know you're anxious about him, but that shouldn't mean I can't hang out with them. I told you that you have nothing to worry about"
"If you cared about my anxiety, you wouldn't do things like that. So what else did you do? Who else did you see today?"
At this point, I can feel my own anxieties flare and rear their ugly head. Every time he dug for answers, I closed myself off a bit until he dug hard enough for me to crack.
"I had lunch with Abby and Tyler. That was fun."
"When was that? You didn't tell me about that. Why didn't you text me when you were heading to lunch then?"
"I just lost track of time I guess. You know I have lunch at the same time everyday."
"Well I still like a heads up when you're going somewhere and you're not gonna text me anymore."
"Yeah I know. I've been trying to work on it. I'm sorry."
"Just try to be more consistent with that, ok?"
"I know Kurt, I'm sorry."
"It's alright. I love you"
"Aren't you gonna say it back?"
He always had a massive flare up when I didn't say or text back that I loved him.
"I love you too."
Most of the time, those words felt forced. It wasn't until I opened up a bit more to my counselor that she noticed some abusive and manipulative tendencies. Again, I made excuses for him and convinced myself it was on and I just needed to wait it out 'till I was married and lived with him, then he wouldn't have these anxieties. Looking back, I never really realized how much dread I felt telling myself to just wait out the bad parts of my relationship. I had some friends tell me how bad he was but again, I made excuses. I made so many excuses.
It wasn't until November of 2018 that I met someone to help me. I met a boy named John and changed the way I viewed my relationship. He asked me about how I felt, how I reacted to his anxious thoughts and reactions, and even shared the story of the anxious relationship he was in only a few months before. "I was only in my relationship for six months before realizing how much of a toll it was taking on me. I can't believe you've powered through for a year and a half." His face showed nothing but worry and pain. He made me thing about how I felt rather than worrying so much about Kurt.
It only took me a few hours of talking to John to realize I would be happier, mentally and physically healthier, if I ended things with Kurt. In the process of opening up about Kurt, John and I bonded in a way I had never experienced before. We could be honest with each other about all past, present, and future thoughts without worry or fear and after only a few days, we kissed before leaving for Thanksgiving break. I was going to end things with Kurt over the break and John told me before he left, "I was only the catalyst of your confidence. It's always been inside of you."
That was the push I needed. He was the push I needed. Even if I had no interest in dating him or seeing him more than a friend, he cared more about me than my current relationship and decided to share his knowledge and pull me out of the rut I had been in for far too long.
If you or someone you know is in a relationship that is consistently rocky and it seems excuses are being made and you feel less than happy all the time, there is a problem. Please find a friend or get help from a counselor, friend or family member or someone who cares enough to show you that you don't have to "wait it out" to be happy. You should want to be in a relationship and if you don't feel that way anymore, it may be time for a new start.