Dear Barb – Constant Need for Reassurance Takes a Toll

Dear Barb:

I’ve been involved with a woman for the past six months. We are both in our mid-thirties and are divorced. We really connected and got along fantastic at the beginning. In fact, I thought everything was going well until a few months ago when she seemed to become very insecure and had doubts about whether our relationship could work.

It seems no matter how much I try to reassure her that everything is fine, she continues to have doubts. We have already broken up once but were able to reconcile. I love this woman very much but I don’t know how to handle her constant doubts. I don’t want to end this relationship, but I’m not sure how to make things better. Hope you can help.

Ken

Hi, Ken. Thanks for writing. You definitely have a challenging situation, but because you are hanging in there I’m sure this can be worked out.

First of all, do you know anything about your girlfriend’s past? Has she had some difficult relationships, maybe some betrayals that could be triggering these insecurities and doubts? You said you are both divorced. Do you know the details of her previous marriage? Perhaps her parents or other family members are divorced, thus causing her to lose faith in the longevity of relationships. You indicated that these insecurities have only arisen in the last few months. Perhaps as the relationship is becoming more serious she is growing fearful that something may happen to cause it to end.

Many events can prompt insecurities in relationships. As well, something in your behaviour could be triggering her doubts without you even realizing it. You mentioned that you are reassuring her but her misgivings continue. Have you sat down together to discuss the nature of her doubts? Does she have fears about your ability to be loyal and faithful to her? It is very important that you discover the basis of the doubts in order to discuss and resolve them.

This task may be more than the two of you can handle alone. Since you really love this woman and want this relationship to succeed I would suggest you both see a professional counsellor.

Many couples seek counselling before entering marriage, as it is better to find out early if you can resolve problems prior to entering into a more permanent living arrangement or a marriage.

Good luck, Ken. I hope I was helpful.

Email your questions to voice@voicemagazine.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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