“I’m feeling uncertain and having doubts about my relationship.”
If you have said or thought these words, you aren’t alone…we all doubt our relationship sometimes. It comes on as a sudden fear or uncertainty around your relationship with your partner.
It is completely unavoidable, and is usually not a bad sign.
Doubts can be scary when they first come up, and they typically come up right around the time when the “high” of falling in love is first meeting the truth that you and your partner might not actually be “made for each other.”
That you are in fact, two separate and individual people.
That you may not love, or even like everything about them. (Trigger uncertainty)
Your doubt could also mean that you and your partner are about to move into another stage in your relationship where differences get worked on, and growth happens.
Unless you let that doubt get the better of you.
So why do you doubt the ones you love?
Doubt is a normal reaction to change and is common when a relationship graduates to moving in together, travelling, marriage, children etc.
If you are having these doubts, talk to your partner…you will usually find they are feeling the same way.
Doubt can also come from a stress response which can be your brains way of preparing yourself for new challenges.
“What if I don’t like their friends that much?” “I am uncertain about the way they manage their finances.” “What if I’m still attracted to other people?” “Are we really a match sexually?”
These doubts are issues that change over time and are often only half of the story.
Your doubts can also arise from your partners actions and behaviors towards you, and sometimes they are even your own issues in disguise.
You and your relationship can grow from these doubts too but only if you recognize and face them.
If you are having doubts in your relationship, take some time for yourself and figure out what it is you are actually doubting.
Are you uncertain about the relationship, yourself, your partner, the next step…or something completely unrelated?
No matter what doubts, fears and worries you have; If you don’t talk about them, they can’t get addressed and fixed.
When it comes to relationships, one of fear’s favorite places to hide is in doubt, especially the fear of intimacy.
If every step towards commitment has your doubts rising significantly…it might be time to think about what it is that you are actually scared of.
If you do fear intimacy your doubts may actually be your subconscious pushing your loved one away.
Past experiences also leave us with doubts. Sometimes we think we are doubting our partner when in reality we are making assumptions based on our past experience and past partners rather than facts.
It is rarely “doubt” that is the real issue in your relationship. It’s lack of communication.
You cannot let things go unaddressed because you are afraid to bring them up to your partner, you will build a wall of resentment and uncertainty in the middle of your relationship.
Each unaddressed issue and doubt as one brick, until eventually the wall between you is so tall and thick it may never come down.
If you have doubts and fears that you feel you can’t talk about with your partner, I want you to think about why?
Do you fear upsetting them? (Why? Have they overreacted in the past? Did a past partner overreact?)
Do you not know how to navigate conflict, or do you not trust each other enough to be vulnerable? What makes you uncertain?
Are you a people pleaser?
These are issues worth looking at, either alone or with a coach.
Doubts are healthy, so long as they don’t take you over…so how can you keep your doubts from taking control?
Steer clear of talking about your doubts with the wrong people.
Often our doubts are just normal, every day anxieties and fears…but when we talk about them too much with the wrong people (ex. A parent who doesn’t like your partner or a jealous “friend”) those doubts can turn into real issues. Try to figure out your doubts by yourself first, then with someone you truly trust or a professional.
Balance your doubts with equal focus on what is working.
Your brain is naturally wired to see the negative things, and the more negative things you look for the more you will find. Sometimes you are so focused on doubting something negative you can miss the fact that many of the other aspects of your relationship are great.
Try spending a few minutes each day going against the uncertainty by thinking of 3-5 things that are working or make a list that you can check regularly to remind yourself of all the ways your relationship does work, and how your partner is just what you need.
But what if your doubt is more serious in nature?
It is really important to understand the difference between your “garden-variety” relationship doubts and red flag doubts.
Big questions about how you are being treated can be much more serious than uncertainty and can also be a sign that you are in a mentally, emotionally or physically abusive relationship.
Red Flag doubts may sound like this;
- “She makes negative comments about me that make me feel awful”
- “I doubt his intentions when he won’t let me see my friends.”
- “She pushed me last night and it was the second time”
- “It hurts so badly and makes me doubt myself when he refuses to tell me where he goes at night.”
- “She makes fun of me when I’m naked”
- “He guilt trips me when I spend time with my family”
- “She didn’t tell me she was seeing other men so I doubt her”
- “He grabs my arm so hard it hurts”
- “When I tell her not to come over she does anyway, I doubt she has respect for me.”
If any of these doubts sound familiar at all, please talk to someone you trust; A good friend, A support hotline, or talk to a Counselor or Coach who can help you understand what you are dealing with and what you need to do to be safe.
Doubts like these can indicate a potentially abusive situation and are centered around the other person’s actions and behaviors.
These are a sign of disrespect, control, betrayal, and overstepping personal boundaries.
You deserve better now. You are worthy now.
The relationship of your dreams is possible, let me help you.