There's scared, and there's scared.
Getting into -- heck, being in -- a relationship is scary. What if s/he
says no? What if s/he decides s/he doesn't like you? What if you play your cards
wrong or "don't listen" or "ask too much" or "don't
spend enough time" or...eek, so many possible wrong turns! In a way, it's
-- aaaaaalmost -- scarier to be in a relationship than it is to be single: scared
you won't find anyone vs. scared you'll lose or mess up this precious thing
you're so lucky to have found.
That, my dears, is stage fright. The nerves that turn into do-my-best energy...with
a willing and supportive cast/crew/crowd. The butterflies that co-exist with
confidence, that flit around all the otherwise solidly great times and conversations
and vibes you share.
But see, stage fright is not FEARfear. As in: Fear that something really bad
will actually happen, and it will be your fault.
"He gets mad so easily, I am almost afraid to talk to him." --
Fear of failing to live up to impossible standards.
"I fear losing him every day because I am not his perfect (i.e. virgin)
girl." -- Confused
Fear that you will get hurt.
"I really don't feel safe in my own house." -- Jon
"She has a problem with anger control, and has hit him twice."
"Nothing I do is right. He's hit me several times -- grabbed my arm,
pushed me against the wall, forcing me into sex." -- Eleanore
Especially if you leave.
"Two weekends ago I told him for the 30th time that I want out. I soon
found myself pinned to the floor by my hair being told that if I leave, there
will be connections of his coming for not just me, but for my mother too."
Or that your loved one will hurt him/herself.
"The last time we broke up I said something along the lines of not getting
back together and he lost it. Ranted and raved and threw about suicide threats.
Yes, I wanted him back, but I felt rather pressured to be with him again...save
his life or some such. Like, I'm the only one keeping him afloat and if I
mess up and he drowns it's all my fault." -- Frazzled
You guys: your relationship is supposed to be where you do feel safe.
Where you go in order to feel safe. Where it's safe for you to just be yourself.
Where someone's making sure you wear your helmet.
And bottom line: you can tell all these differences. You can. That's why people
like Becky up and write in the first place. It's just
that no matter what your gut might be hinting at inside, it's hard to step outside
of yourself for a "Wait, is this normal?" perspective. Especially
because getting used to the way things are is one of the ways your defense system
deals with the way things are. So is not wanting to admit that anything's off
in the first place. So let's summarize.
Checklists: What are the signs of healthy/unhealthy relationships?