Have you ever noticed that we ladies seem to worry in relationships a lot more than the guys do? I used to take this as a sign that the guy (at the time, it was X) didn't care as much as I did. I mean, worrying is sign of love, right? Right?!
I have learned that might not be totally accurate.
First - people care in different ways. Not everyone is wired to worry. It certainly doesn't mean that the relationship isn't important, or that they are not invested. Honestly, just because you don't notice the worry doesn't even mean it isn't there - some people are just calm, even-tempered, and don't show concern.
Second - worry (especially my sort of worry) isn't always rational or healthy. It has more to do with my own past and my own need to control things than it does my feelings for my person. It may feel like it's because I love him - which I do - but the worry is not a sign of that love.
I have come to realize that my anxiety and insecurity play tricks with my head and heart. They convince me I have a reason to be scared. They make me believe I am about to lose something or someone, or am about to be left behind. They tell me I'm not good enough, not smart enough, not successful enough, not thin enough. Over and over, they repeat, "You're not enough," until I finally believe.
I'm learning to fight back. I'm learning to coach myself; to remember all the ways I am good enough - even better than good enough in a lot of ways.
It's not easy. It's a fight every single day. Combating negative thoughts with positive reminders takes a lot of energy. Sometimes all the energy I have. But it's worth it; the alternative is to give up the thing that is the most important to me.
I learned as a little kid I wasn't worthy of being loved. The lesson was reinforced as a young adult when I started dating. As I got older, and even when I was married, I didn't realize that those lessons had settled in my brain and taken up permanent residence. I thought I was over it after my divorce - but then I realized I wasn't.
I knew getting back into a relationship would bring back all the insecurities and worry. I also knew the only way to avoid them was to avoid the relationship. Which means the anxiety and insecurities win. That is unacceptable.
So I fight. So far, I'm winning.