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November 23, 2017

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Friday, July 14, 2017

I’ve been engaged for two years but I’ve kept my OCD a secret from my fiancé

By Andrea Bonoir
The Washington Post

I have been engaged for two years. I’m struggling with a lot of anxiety and OCD-like behaviours and have been seeing a psychologist for a few months. I did not tell my fiancé, and I’m not really sure why. I feel like I am keeping a big secret from him and now it is too late to just bring it up naturally. I don’t want it to become a big deal. Any advice?

Presumably, this will be the first of many difficult, awkward or nausea-inducing conversations in a happy, lifelong marriage — so take heart. You can emerge stronger from this than before, and it’s great practice for communicating the not-so-peachy things that might emerge over decades together.

Be respectful and open, and explain that what you didn’t want to become a thing has become exactly that, because of momentary, initial avoidance that you can’t even explain. The more you can search yourself about whether there’s a part of you that’s ashamed of your challenges with anxiety, or the fact that you’re seeing a therapist, or that you should need help in general, the better you can be able to level with your fiancé.

A co-worker and I have been friends for a long time and are moving in a romantic direction. We have good chemistry but I keep thinking he’s not good-looking enough for me. I feel like my friends will judge me as “settling.” My previous boyfriends have all been conventionally good-looking. I am a little embarrassed that he is not hotter, and I’m not sure how to get over it.

I often help people follow their heads rather than their hearts, but your heart needs to tell your head to simmer down. You like this guy, there’s chemistry and you have a long friendship. It’s the romance jackpot! Let yourself feel, and when you get caught up in the thinking, pay attention to exactly why the “hot or not” calculus bothers you.

These people whose judgment you’re so concerned about: Are they shallow? Are they stand-ins for your own secret belief that your worth is measured by how symmetrical your mate’s face is? Is there a dynamic of wanting people to be jealous? Do you have baggage with your own attractiveness? The more you understand, the more you can combat it and enjoy.

@drandreabonior

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