Paranoia over your romantic partner's potential to cheat is actually rooted in your own insecurities, suggests relationship coach Rachael Lay in her article "Why Worrying About Your Partner Cheating is Pointless." These insecurities can manifest in various behaviors, from sneaking peeks at your partner's text messages to overly emotional reactions whenever your partner talks to someone else you deem a threat. Not only are your worries a waste of mental energy, but they might also begin to make your partner feel controlled. This can damage the very relationship you're so stressed about protecting. Several strategies can help you keep your paranoia under control.
Turn to Self-Assurance
Stop feeding your desire for constant reassurance, says Lay. Reassurance can come in many forms, from reading your partner's emails for suspicious messages to constant verbal demands that your partner express his love more often. This kind of reassurance becomes an unhealthy addiction. However, you can replace it with self-assurance. Habitually tell yourself that you are worth loving, and that your partner should see no reason to leave your side. These confident words can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, boosting your partner's attraction to you.
Put Away Measuring Sticks
In your worries, you have probably labeled certain people as threats to your relationship. For example, perhaps Jenn, who is slightly thinner than you, seems like a likely candidate to steal your boyfriend. Or maybe Jim is both handsome and the center of attention at parties. End your comparisons with others. You don't have to measure up to them, says Lay, you just have to believe that your partner chose you for a reason. Replace the time you spend making comparisons with time you can spend on self-improvement. Take up new hobbies, set new fitness goals or face your fears.
Ground Yourself in the Present
Don't allow your thoughts to drift to what might happen or what has happened. Instead, focus on the present, suggests relationship coaches Susie and Otto Collins in their article, "Are You Worried Your Partner Will Cheat...Again?" Deep breathing techniques can help you regain your focus when your thoughts drift. You might also have a particular song or mental image that can ease you into the present.
Accept Your Lack of Control
Despite your obsessions, you won't find a healthy way to fully prevent your partner from cheating, suggests Lay. You can spend time trying to control her social network, but ultimately, this path will fade your partner's feelings for you. Instead, accept that love and life are unpredictable. If a problem does arise, and you have reason to believe your partner is cheating, don't be naive, warns Lay. Have a mature conversation with your partner to address your concerns.
Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as Synonym.com and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.