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BPD - Intrusive thoughts and jealousy in a relationship

I'm new to these forums. I really need some advice or guidance to how I should go about this. I have Generalised Anxiety Disorder and depression, I'm not sure if this is related to my condition but I have been experiencing intrusive thoughts and overwhelming jealousy in my relationship recently, for irrational reasons.

UPDATE: I have been diagnosed with BPD by a mental health professional and currently in treatment.  

I have an amazing partner, he loves and cares for me very much and has been so supportive helping me to find treatment and help for my mental health condition. I am very lucky to have him and we have always had an amazing level of trust, honesty and openness between us. I used to be so confident, I would talk about my bisexuality with him, we would talk about other girls together, nothing would ever bother me since I was so confident and loved myself enough to understand that it was purely being sexually experimental, not that he wanted other girls, etc. We had the best relationship, and we still do, as we are extremely close and tell each other everything. I have no reason to doubt him as we share everything with each other. I have never been an overly jealous type either as I always believed in honesty and openness is key to a healthy relationship. But I no longer feel like myself. I am nothing like that anymore, and the change scares me.

Recently however, I have found that my self-esteem has plummeted and I find myself constantly comparing myself to girls on Instagram and social media, hating the way I look and being constantly jealousy about him even LOOKING at other girls. I freak out and want to hurt myself because I feel worthless. It's so bad. I have intrusive thoughts about him wanting other girls, when an attractive girl walks past I freak out and get so jealous. These intrusive thoughts are so bad that they give me the urge to self-harm again and even suicidal thoughts, although I have no active intention of doing that. It is so horrible. I constantly start fights with him and get angry because in my head I have convinced myself that he doesn't want me and is hiding so much from me, maybe talking to other girls or chasing them secretly and hiding it from me. This is all irrational as he loves me very much and we want to spend the rest of our lives together. I hate suffering like this with these thoughts. 

I really need some advice on how to cope with these, because it is unbearable to feel this way. Is this a result of my condition? Has anyone had a similar experience? 


Re: Intrusive thoughts and jealousy in a relationship

Hey @blissfulhope,

Welcome to the RO community! We are a space which welcomes people with open arms, so I am glad you found us. 

It sounds like you're going through a really rough situation regarding your feelings of jealousy about your boyfriend, and how they are inappropriate as you've said your boyfriend very much loves you. Often our own insecurities can make us feel unstable or uncomfortable even when there is no reason for that to occur. 

I think it's really good that you have some insight into your feelings and that you are able to tell that they are not actually about your boyfriend, but more about how you are feeling about yourself, and how that projects on to your partner. A lot of the time when it comes to these feelings, the best thing to do is not fight them, but rather to let them in, acknowledge that they are just a thought and not actually true, and then just let them go. You could also try writing down in a journal every time you feel jealous why you do, and then on the opposite side of the page, you can write why that feeling isn't appropriate. (This can often be a useful strategy for any overwhelming or inappropriate emotions like anger or sadness!).

As for the anger, bickering and thoughts of hurting yourself, it's important for us to again recognise that these are just thoughts, and then take some time out to protect or distract yourself. This could be anything from drawing to taking a bath, or just asking your boyfriend for a quiet hug. We actually have a massive list of self care, distractions, and tips right here! 

 

I think it's most important to realise that you have ownership over your feelings, and you decide in the end how you are going to react to them. Hope this was helpful!! 

Sending my support Smiley Happy Heart Heart

Re: Intrusive thoughts and jealousy in a relationship

Hi @blissfulhope
It sounds like a very challenging time, I can understand that those thoughts about your boyfriend and about yourself can be really confronting Smiley Sad
Have you seen a professional about these feelings?
I agree with what @Andrea-RO has said, you are showing so much insight into how you are feeling. That is a really good ability to have.
In terms of the comparing to social media I completely get you, platforms like Instagram can be so hard because we see other girls portrayed in 'perfect' ways. You sound like a really awesome person though! I know it can be so hard when we compare ourselves.
Here for you Heart

Re: Intrusive thoughts and jealousy in a relationship

Hi @Andrea-RO, thank you very much for your response and your welcome. I really appreciate it. I've managed to gain a better insight about my own feelings and thoughts after talking about this with my psychologist. I'm slowly getting better at understanding that these are just thoughts and haven't had any urges to cause harm to myself or any rage episodes which is a big step forward for me. Understanding the difference between just thoughts and real, rational jealousy has helped me a lot. The self care tips list is also very helpful and I will be trying out those as well Smiley Happy Thank you so much for your support 😊😊❤️❤️

Re: Intrusive thoughts and jealousy in a relationship

Hi @missep,

I saw a psychologist and told her about these feelings, amongst the depression/anxiety which has been debilitating for me lately and she identified these as traits of BPD. Knowing that this horrible state I have been in actually has a name is kind of a relief. It has been really hard to deal with. I deleted Instagram last week because I felt the urge to hurt myself again and I stepped up and said, no way am I letting this get to me! So I deleted, and I feel amazing without it in my life. I feel much better. You sound really awesome too and I really appreciate your response very much!! Thank you for your kind words. ❤️😊

Re: Intrusive thoughts and jealousy in a relationship

that's amazing @blissfulhope, that you took such huge steps for yourself! deleting Instagram sounds like a really self-empowering move and i really admire the way you decided to remove something that added toxicity to your life Heart definitely not the easiest thing to do!

so glad having a name you can use to identify what's being going on for you lately is giving you comfort, it sounds like the uncertainty as to why things had suddenly changed was really overwhelming, even in addition to the rush of doubt in your thoughts in the first place Heart how's it all sitting for you now?

Re: Intrusive thoughts and jealousy in a relationship

@blissfulhope you are amazing. I am so proud of you after reading your response. 

Firstly because you have been able to speak to your psychologist about whats going on and also for being able to acknowledge the identification of BPD traits as a positive step towards being able to gain clarity around your feelings. Sometimes being told you display traits of other disorders can be really hard to come to terms with and you have really taken that in your stride. Did your psych give you tips on how to manage BPD traits?

 

Secondly, deleting instagram was a great step to take! It can be a harmful platform for everyone's self esteem when we compare ourselves to everyone else's highlight reel but being able to identify it as a negative trigger and remove that from your life is an awesome step to take! and is a display of you implementing some self care too. 

 

You are being so strong at the moment! Keep us updated with how things are going for you Smiley Happy

Re: Intrusive thoughts and jealousy in a relationship

Hi @blissfulhope I'm glad that you're feeling relieved after the appointment. Instagram pictures and comments tend to make me feel really insecure too, so I don't have my own account. I think it's important to remember that a lot of people doctor their images and portray themselves as having a life that's not really truthful. People also tend to post the positive stuff, not about the hard times they're experiencing, so sometimes it can feel really isolating when you don't know anyone who's going through similar things. I see a lot of people my age posting photos of holidays for example, and it makes me feel sad that because of my family's current situation, I can't do the same. But I try to remember that what I am going through can happen to anyone at any time. I think with your situation, similar issues can affect anyone too. I'm glad you're feeling better now that you've deleted it. Smiley Happy

I think it would be a good idea to name positive things about your boyfriend when you have thoughts of jealousy, or things that would contradict those thoughts. I think everyone has made good points.

Re: Intrusive thoughts and jealousy in a relationship

thank you so much @ecla34, it has been over a week since I deleted it and I honestly feel like I removed so much toxicity. I feel so much better without it and intend to keep it that way for a long time. Heart 
i've been seeing the psychologist that my GP referred me to and she has been fantastic so far in helping me to understand my diagnosis and have an understanding of my conditions, it feels like a sort of clarity for me as before I was just constantly suffering, and not understanding why. It has helped me a lot knowing that these intrusive thoughts, anger and intense emotions are part of my BPD, and I have been learning some strategies to manage the urge to self-harm, etc. I was so reluctant to ever get help but I am so glad I did, I know it will be a long journey but I feel positive that I have the right support around me to get through this Heart

Re: Intrusive thoughts and jealousy in a relationship

Hi @blissfulhope! I'm really happy to hear that you're feeling a lot better. I'm glad that things are going well with the psychologist and that you like her. Hopefully with the support of the people around you and the psychologist, plus the effort you put into the sessions, you can learn strategies to reduce the impact of your negative thoughts and emotions on your life. Smiley Happy I'm sure the problem will eventually get 'smaller' if that makes sense. It sounds like you have a really positive outlook! That's a beautiful thing to have.