Diagnosing Relationship Paranoia And Moving Past It
Are you constantly worried that your partner is cheating and do you track their behavior in order to catch them? If so, there's a chance your relationship is seriously struggling. And it might be the fault of your relationship paranoia. This problem can quickly destroy a relationship, and it needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
What Is Relationship Paranoia?
Relationship paranoia is the persistent belief that your loved one is hiding something from you or behaving in a malevolent way. It is a sub-set of paranoia, which is a persistent and sometimes life-long pattern of suspicious beliefs. There is a major difference between typical relationship suspicions and full-blown paranoia. If you're paranoid, you likely believe your loved one is:
- Cheating on you
- Stealing money
- Working against you
- Trying to deliberately hurt you
If you're being truly paranoid, you feel this way even if your loved one shows no signs of being malevolent. You may hold grudges against them for perceived slights or find hidden meanings or threats in small behaviors.
Symptoms You Are Being Paranoid
If you are suspicious of your loved one and are worried it's paranoia, it's best to take a step back and examine your behavior in an honest way. Ask yourself if you've ever done any of the following things:
- Believing they are lying about their behavior
- Following them to work
- Calling them frequently to gauge where they are
- Checking their social media sites for signs of "flirting" with other people
- Looking through their texts or phone calls
Now ask yourself what is causing these behaviors and your suspicions. Did you hear your loved one talking on the phone to somebody in a suspicious way? Have you caught them in compromising positions? Or are you simply obsessing over something that isn't real?
Even if your loved one is behaving in a manner that indicates infidelity, it's best to avoid being paranoid about it. Following them around and snooping is an invasion of their privacy that they won't appreciate and which will only drive them further from you.
Talking About Your Fears
So what do you do if you can't get your suspicions or paranoia about infidelity out of your mind? Try to talk yourself out of it: it's possible. All you have to do is remind yourself that they love you, that nothing is happening, and that they have their own life to live outside of your relationship.
However, if you just can't talk yourself out of it, you need to sit down and talk with them about it. This is going to be very hard for both of you, but it's best to just clear the air and look for clear answers. Avoid accusatory language, but be honest about how you feel.
And if you believe that your paranoia goes beyond relationship concerns, you need to get treated for it as soon as possible. There are a variety of treatments, such as behavior adjustment and medicine-based treatments (such as anti-anxiety medicines) that can help calm your mind.
For more information, contact Sharon O'Connell, MA or a similar professional.