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Jan 11, 2012
As most of you know, I was left after 7 years for an 18 year old last April. I am over my ex and the entire situation. I have been in a new relationship for about 5 months. As much as I am over my ex and do not miss him in the least, I have some residual insecurities from my last relationship and the things he did to me. I am very insecure about my looks, my intelligence and my ability to teach. I am very quick to assume people think I am not good at anything. I feel I have something to prove with the talents I have. If someone does not notice my talents, I feel like I am no good at them. I feel like these things are or have already affected my current relationship...

My boyfriend does very sweet things for me and I feel liked and appreciated, but he is awful at expressing his feelings. He is awful at expressing how important I am to him (he said these exact words, so at least he recognizes it). He is awful at telling me I look nice. He is so awful at these things, they usually come out incredibly awkward. This is what he said about my hair the other day, "Your hair looks nice today, it looks flat". Basically I deduced that it looked "flat" because I wore my bangs down, across my forehead. His compliment meant to be nice, but really I just laughed inside because it came out so awkward. Part of his awkwardness is what makes him charming to me. However, I crave attention and being told I am pretty, attractive, etc. Usually I just take what little I get or I am pathetic and hint at compliments. If I say, "I feel fat" in hopes to hear, "You are not fat" he says, "You are not fat and I am not doing this insecurity thing today" or, "You are not fat and I am tired of you thinking you are". He is already frustrated with my insecurities. That is not a good thing.

Next, if he is nice to our other female co-workers, I am incredibly quick to be suspicious. I just keep being reminded of what my ex did. He has been pretty chummy with this staff member of mine. She is young and pretty and fit, but not the brightest girl. He is like 14 years older than her, but being too young didn't stop my ex, so why would it stop him? I know this sounds irrational, but I almost text him, "So, you are so and so were pretty chummy today". What stopped me was coming here and venting.

We have talked about cheating and he says he has never been cheated on and he has never cheated. He says he would never do that, but my ex said the same can I learn to trust and to build up my self-esteem? How can I get him to express his feelings to me so that I can feel less insecure about us?
Re: Insecurity
Jan 11, 2012
Hi there,

Ooh, boy. I know what this feels like and, to tell you the truth, I'm in the same boat as you. I have constant issues of insecurities, which I think stem back from childhood and my longest relationship. I was with my ex, M, for 3 years when he cheated on me with a 17 year old, who lied and told him she was 21 - she looked it, and she definitely did NOT act like a 17 year old. I found this out by reading a text on his phone, which then I realized that he had been calling that number quite often. After calling him out on it, he admitted that him and her had been emailing a lot (she lived in the States, we lived in Canada, but we were about an hour's drive apart). They had sexy emails where they would vividly describe what they would do to each other and, at one point, had planned to meet at a motel to do whatever it was they wanted to do. I was devastated. An emotional affair is just as bad as a physical affair. I was young and naive, thinking I was in love, and I took him back after he begged me to. But after that, I just turned into a shell of who I used to be. I was angry all the time, sad, irrational. I verbally abused him and, at times, physically - I would slap, kick, push, and shove. I didn't trust him; I was suspicious of everyone he talked to on the phone, told him he couldn't have myspace or facebook (which were big back then), especially because that was how they met. In the back of my mind, I felt he deserved it. It wasn't until a few years later that I realized I hated who I became. I broke up with him and felt more free than I ever had in my life.

I ended up getting involved with a man from work, N, who I thought really liked me and whom I really, extremely liked. We saw each other for 3 months, hung out all the time, texted, fooled around, the usual... Then, one day it stopped. I was heartbroken. I contacted him a few months later, where he tried to have sex with me and, since I hadn't seen him in months, was appalled at his actions. I obviously didn't give in stopped talking to him altogether. I ran into him again 6 months after, where he tried to kiss me and I pulled away. Again, I was shocked. But, after being so heartbroken and still pining after him, I gave into texting conversations. After two weeks, I received a phone call from his GIRLFRIEND, who had moved all the way from Japan to be with him. She accused me of being a slut, a homewrecker. She began texting me saying that, if I didn't tell her exactly what kind of relationship N and I had, she would kill herself. Suffice to say, I cut myself off immediately and was disgusted by the entire situation.

I dated around after that, but never felt fully trusting of anyone. I began to date S, my boss's best friend, whom I had met at a Christmas party. Things were going very well, until one day, he left his Facebook open. Normally, I wouldn't look at these things, but being paranoid and scared, I checked it. I had found that he had messaged one of his exes telling her that she was "The One" and he missed her. That relationship did not end well.

I began to be scared of commitment because I thought that any guy I ended up with would eventually cheat on me. So, I did something I wasn't proud of: I cheated. I ended up kissing two people while with someone. It did not feel good. I'm not going to lie and say I'm perfect; I'm just as big of an idiot as some people I have met throughout my life.

I'm currently with someone, whom I have been dating for almost 2 years. My insecurity has gotten the better of me a lot and he's been pretty patient with it. However, he is the charming, sociable type and I was having a hard time dealing with it. We argued a lot and broke up for a bit over the Summer. During that time, I had started getting over my issues by focusing on myself and what I liked. Taking time out of my day to take care of myself made me more confident in myself. I created a regular exercise routine; I scheduled "me"-time, where I would read books in a coffee shop; I cleaned/organized whatever it was I had promised myself I would do months ago; I made more time for my friends whom I ignored while I was dating; I started doing things that I was scared of, like hiking up an entire mountain - TWICE. I also started a new job that I really loved (I'm a teacher, so prepping took up quite a bit of my time). I found the more attention I gave myself, the less I cared about what my boyfriend thought of me.

Obviously, I'm still a bit insecure - that stuff doesn't disappear right away - especially since last Monday, my boyfriend was dumb enough to accidentally leave me a voice mail where him and his friends were discussing how "fucking smoking hot" this chick at the restaurant was; he was the dumbo that instigated the entire conversation as per the VM. I was SO insulted! It took two days, but I'm starting to get over it because a) guys look at girls, just like I look at guys and find them attractive - that doesn't mean I or they would do anything, b) I have to trust who I'm with, and c) I realize I have no power over someone who may or may not cheat on me; at the end of the day, their cheating isn't about me, it's entirely about them and their issues. IT DOES NOT CHANGE HOW GREAT OF A PERSON YOU ARE.

I'm slowly changing, but I'm getting there. I don't know if this helped, but I wanted you to know that you're not alone. It's gonna be a long journey, but we can do this together. :)

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