You start interpreting his actions as signs that he is going to leave you: a text that he didn’t answer right away, an evening where you sensed something was just “off” with him, a suspicion—unfounded but present nonetheless—that he might be seeing another woman.
Does this anxiety and paranoia sound familiar? Do you recognize this pattern in yourself?
If so, know that you can be helped.
Let us learn how to stop being paranoid in a relationship.
What causes insecurity in a relationship?
Anxiety and relationships are intertwined
There are moments when these go hand in hand.
But most people sail through these moments, dealing with anxiety using positive self-messages, good communication techniques, and reaching out for professional help if they sense it is needed.
On the other side are those of us who exhibit extreme anxiety in our relationships, both love relationships as well as professional ones.
Why is it that some people can manage these moments of paranoia and anxiety, and others remain stuck in a self-defeating pattern?
Your past can dictate your future choices
So much of your past will dictate how you react in the future.
If you experienced trauma in a previous relationship, or in your childhood, and you haven’t done the tough but necessary psychological work to free yourself from the effects of this trauma, it is likely you will carry this over to future relationships.
It is difficult, nearly impossible, to overcome trust issues if you don’t deal with them head-on.
It would be normal for you to exhibit trust issues in subsequent relationships because you lived for years with someone you thought was trustworthy but who turned out to be living a double life.
How do you move forward now?
How to fix trust issues in a relationship
If you are experiencing trust issues in a current relationship, the first step in managing this is to open the communication channel with your partner.
You need to see if you are merely being paranoid, based on a previous relationship experience, or if there is truly something going on.
So sit down with your partner and have a frank talk.
Share with him what you are feeling: that you are dealing with paranoia and need to know if there is any basis for this feeling.
Overcoming paranoia, trust issues and insecurity in relationships
Ideally, the honest conversation you will have with your partner will show you that there is no reason to be paranoid.
But that may not be enough to get rid of your paranoia—remember, trust issues, paranoia and feeling insecure in a relationship are all part of emotional baggage that you have been carrying around for a long time.
This is where working on changing that response will be critical in helping you establish healthy, happy connections.
Feeling insecure is one of your “go-to” emotions
Recognize that this speaks more about you than about your relationship.
Being aware of this part of your personality is the first step in overcoming trust issues and getting rid of paranoia.
This awareness helps you realize that unhealthy emotion is internally-driven, and not externally-provoked.
Seek professional help
Trained therapists can help you explore the roots of these behaviors and help you begin to fix trust issues in a relationship.
Working with a mental health expert in a safe and trusting space can be beneficial in overcoming these relationship-handicapping behaviors.
You can learn how to replace the paranoia, insecurity and trust issues with more positive and loving thoughts, repeating these thoughts over and again until you feel calmer and able to let go of the unhealthy emotions.
Focus on the present
Focus on the present without viewing it through the lens of the past.
It is possible to retrain the way our brain thinks, so that when a negative thought comes along, we become aware of how it feels for a moment, and then learn to let it go.
To overcome insecurity in your relationships, it is helpful to learn to stop the reflex where you automatically refer back to any past unhealthy relationships which have nothing to do with what you are presently living.
Each connection you have in your life is its own entity, fresh and new.
To stop being paranoid, practice self-care
At the root of paranoia, insecurity and trust issues is a low sense of self-worth.
When low self-worth is present, we risk becoming convinced that we do not deserve good things happening in our lives, or that we are not worthy of being in a relationship with our partner.
Our relationship trust issues begin to take a toll on the relationship and the very thing we feared—abandonment—happens due to our behaviors.
By taking the time to build your own sense of value, worthiness, and self-esteem, you can put a stop to being paranoid and insecure in your relationship.
What a freeing feeling it is to be in a relationship where you have a firm grasp on your own worthiness!
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.