Well where do I start? I'm a 2nd-year college kid going to a very tough school and I always have a pretty big workload (though surprisingly, that isn't the main part of my stress, of course it is the cause of SOME stress), but always manage to get things done. The main part of my stress, I feel, is because of my girlfriend and our long-distance (over 1000 miles) relationship. Don't get me wrong, we love each other 100% and tell each other that many times a day. Everything seems to work out perfectly fine. From an outside point of view, you'd think everything was as good as it could get being this far away. However, the problem is with me mentally. I always tend to worry excessively and stress out about things and those things cause big problems with my stomach that are, to say the least, VERY annoying.
Some of the things in our relationship that cause me to worry and freak out (always to myself. I don't tell her too often when she's doing something that makes me feel paranoid or uneasy because I feel these things are normal things, and I shouldn't be worrying about them) are things such as her hanging out with other guys (I don't want to be that kind of boyfriend, and I know its all completely harmless), going to parties (she's in a sorority and both from my experiences here at school and from what she tells me, I know a LOT of fraternity guys are just looking for some action) and drinking (she's not a drinker. she's never been drunk that I know of and when she does "drink", it's maybe half a mixed drink or maybe half a wine cooler).
Now if I were someone on the outside looking at this, I'd think it all to be completely normal, so why do I freak out about things like this? I know I have an issue with 100% trust as in the past (over the past 5-6 years), she's gotten together with me only to end it abruptly, so I'm sure you can understand that it's hard for me to let my guard down, even though this time we've been together for almost 8 months and it's been absolutely perfect and we're both certain that we're going to spend the rest of our lives together. Anyway, that's not the issue. The issue is that she can do normal things and I over analyze them in my head think about all the "what if"s of a situation...all the bad possibilities. I always think "what if she gets so upset with being so far away from me and not being able to kiss anyone that she gives in and goes and misses this other guy? what if she can't wait until we see each other again to have sex that she decides to get drunk and go hook up with another guy? what if she just wants to have more fun so she goes off with random guys?".
Now the silly part is, I KNOW she isn't the type of girl to do things like that. I've known her intimately for 6 years. I know what kind of a girl she is and I know that it would be WAY abnormal for her to do anything like that. On top of that, she's told me before that I can trust her and as much as I think I believe her and I tell myself I believe her, why do is till have these thoughts? Why do I have to over analyze these situations and make myself so paranoid, scared and/or worried that I get sick to my stomach (I have a very sensitive stomach, I'm temporarily on a Zantac medicine to lower my stomach acid because it's been making me sick so often recently...probably as a result of this stress)?
I always tell myself that I'm being ridiculous and that she loves me and would never do anything like that to me and reminding myself about all the amazing things she says to me. I try to block out these bad thoughts with thoughts of the awesome times we have together when we are together, but it just doesn't work. This seems to be completely mental because if I were an outside, like I said, I would think I'm being completely ridiculous. But these thoughts and constant paranoia and worrying make me sick to my stomach and make me feel terrible, sometimes to the point of throwing up.
There are a few other issues that compound my social stress that make me feel bad as well, and add these all together, and you can imagine my stomach is RARELY in good shape anymore, and it affects my everyday life. What are my options here? I would appreciate any opinions, feedback, tips and/or advice that anyone has to offer. Again, I know I need to try not to think about these things...and I try that, but just can't. Why do I torture myself like this by making up worst-case scenarios in my head and then dwelling on those?
Hey toask, do you think you live in the moment and get involved in what you are doing and enjoy it? It also sounds to me as though you are an anxious person and your mind just needs to grab some thoughts and dwell on them to try to calm you.
Reading this post felt like reading the story of my relationship with my boyfriend. He and I aren't quite as far apart as you and your girlfriend are, but we're still 6 1/2 hours apart and don't see each other any more than once every month, sometimes less.
My boyfriend is pretty much exactly like you are, the only difference being that he and I talk openly about how he feels. His preference would be that I don't hang out with any guys ever, but clearly we both know that that isn't realistic and he always says that he doesn't want to be "that guy".
He and I have been together for just over a year and we're very happy together, completely in love and we talk as often as possible (multiple times throughout the day). He's gotten better about it, but I don't think that he would have been able to if he hadn't talked to me about what was bothering him. I'm completely shy and would never ever cheat on him, I don't drink often (and when I do it's about the same amount as your girlfriend) and it would be totally out of character for me to ever do anything to hurt him.
In my opinion, the way that he (and possibly you) feels is because of the distance between us. He always thinks of the "what if"s even if he knows they're crazy and it stresses him out to no end. Now, having focused on him, I'll also say that I overanalyze things and worry about the "what if"s as well. I'm constantly worried that he would get frustrated with the distance and not being able to see me often and he would just find some other girl to replace me for a night or whatever, even though I know that he wouldn't.
What keeps me from driving myself completely crazy over this (and I have stressed myself out in the past to being physically ill) is talking openly about it with him. I can easily say to him "You going out with these girls makes me kind of uncomfortable but I still want you to do it because it's normal and you deserve to have fun". This makes him so much more sensitive to my feelings and he'll openly discuss how his night was and what he did while he was out. My advice would be to talk to your girlfriend. I'm not going to lie and tell you that he and I don't sometimes get fruustrated with each other over this, but long-distance relationships are never easy and we just try to respect how the other feels.
Sorry that this got so long, I just found it interesting how similar our situations are. I hope that you can work it out because I've been where you are and it's no fun.
Wow, reading that really put some good light on my situation. It's comforting to know that I'm not as crazy as I think I am and I'm not the only one going through this. Deep down I knew I really just needed to bring it up to her and talk about it and that's what I did tonight, and after our several-hour conversation (not ALL about this issue), I feel SO much better.
She knows about my stomach being so messed up all the time, especially recently, and so I brought up the conversation by asking if she's ever uncomfortable when I go hang out with girls (which is all the time, ironically at a school with only 30% females), and she said no (and I believe her), and asked if I feel uncomfortable when she hangs out with guys. I told her how I usually feel (it's not the guy group she hangs out with from time to time, its the frat parties) and she didn't have any idea all this was going through my mind. She said a lot of things to calm my fears and asked what she can do so that I won't feel this way. I told her that everything she's doing is normal and it's myself that needs to change, but hearing her reassure me like that helps a lot, so she said anytime I'm feeling like that, talk to her and she'll tell me exactly what's going on and that she'd never even consider doing anything that could possibly make me mad or hurt me, which really hit deep.
Anyway, thanks for the advice, it helped a lot and I feel much better after reading that and after talking to her.