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How to Get Over Anxiety and Insecurity Caused by Memories of Betrayal Print E-mail



I am brand new to this site, and found it quite useful, but there is still some advice I would like.

I'm a young male, age 17, and I am currently engaged to another 17 year old woman/girl (I don't know what section to classify her in). I know it is early but it is something we planned for a while now. My issues are bot with her though.

I have been having periodic remembrances of past relationships. I have been cheated on multiple times and they decide to bump into my head at inconvenient times. I have actually caught myself looking for reasons that my current fiancé would cheat on me. Deep down I know she wouldn't, but that doesn't keep the thoughts from arising. She had to move away for a few months and I have been having the issues more and more as time goes on while we are apart. Any advice on how to relax and rid myself of the anxiety would help.

Thank you.


The goal of this website is to give support to people who are facing problems in their relationship related to cheating, abuse and narcissism. I am living in Europe and English is not my native language, I wish you will excuse me if I make some grammatical errors. I decided to write in English because I wish to reach as many people as I can around the world.


Dear Friend,

Thank you for your email. I am glad you found this website and decided to write to me. It is very natural to fear getting hurt after being cheated on in your past relationships. I am glad that instead of allowing your past experiences influence your life in a negative way, you are instead trying to understand and cope with your emotions, aiming to learn how to deal with them. This shows you are very smart and mature, and hence not too young at all to be engaged. There are many people who are much older than you and who are unable to cope as well as you with similar situation (being cheated on in the past and then forced to spend time apart from their partner). I am glad that instead of waiting to see what happens, you decided to act before your negative feelings might cause some damage to your relationship.

First of all let me say this: It is perfectly normal to have periodic remembrances related to your past relationships. In fact it would be quite strange if you did not have such feelings. You said that your current girlfriend does not strike you as the kind of a person who would betray your trust, and yet you are unable to trust her fully. It is good that you are able to distinguish between the emotions that are caused by your girlfriends personality and the emotions that are caused by your past experiences.

You did not mention if your girlfriend is aware of your past negative experiences. If you have a trusting relationship with her, I recommend you to share your feelings with her instead of letting emotions build up in your mind (perhaps you have already discussed this matter with her). If you decide to discuss with your girlfriend, try to present the case in such a way that she does not get the feeling that you see her as the type of a person who could cheat (because obviously you do not see her that way; however it is easy to give a wrong impression in this kind of a delicate matter and if your girlfriend gets a feeling that you see her as someone who is capable of cheating, she might feel quite sad and even insulted).

So be sure that your girlfriend understands that your feelings have nothing to do with her, but that they are caused by your past negative experiences and the reason you wanted to let her know about them is because you do not want those feelings to complicate your relationship with her. It is very important that if you choose to discuss this matter with her, you make it absolutely clear to her that you do not perceive her as the type of a person who could cheat. You said in your letter that you know deep down that she is not that type, so make sure she knows this.

I know the anxious feeling you are experiencing when you think about the possibility of your girlfriend cheating on you. That feeling is partially caused by the fear of losing your girlfriend and getting hurt again. The main thing is not to allow the neuronal networks in your brain that are related to these fearful thoughts become too strong. Please read more about this topic from here: Controlling the Emotions. You might also find this article helpful: Recovering from anxiety and depression after experiencing traumatic events in a relationship.

Emotional conditioning

Consider the following example: If your girlfriend cheats on you with a man who has a certain kind of a car and you find out about the betrayal, whenever you see a similar car you feel a sting of pain, because the car reminds you of your girlfriend's betrayal. You feel the pain, because in your brain those two things are "associated" (this is a form of conditioning).

In similar fashion, your past negative experiences related to betrayal have lowered your "tolerance threshold" to certain kind of stimuli that would otherwise not make you feel uncomfortable at all. Your girlfriend is away and when you think about possible scenarios that can lead to her betraying you, you feel anxious. It helps you to relax if you tell yourself that what you are feeling is a physiological reaction to a certain kind of a situation, in similar way as you feel pain if you hit your toe.

Try to observe your anxious feeling as an outsider, instead of allowing it to consume you. Try to locate the source of the feeling: Is it the strongest in your stomach, your chest, your head? What happens if you breath in deeply when the feeling comes: Does the feeling remain the same, does it become more intense, or perhaps weakens just a bit? If you observe the feeling like this as an outsider, you learn to recognize different aspects of it and eventually you learn to control it.

If the unlikely scenario takes place and your girlfriend ends up cheating on you, you know that it did not happen because of anything that you did; you could not have done anything differently. Do not blame yourself for what happened in your previous relationships. You did not deserve to be betrayed, you simply were unlucky to end up together with wrong people.

You said you are now 17 years old. Based on this, I imagine that the girls you have dated before have been quite young when you were together with them. Teenage years are often stormy time and emotional states can change fast, and for this reason faithfulness is not always self-evident in teenage relationships. The targets of attraction can change rapidly and in the middle of emotional storm teens are not always able to take other people's emotions into account (as most parents of teenagers with temper know). When teens grow up they often become more responsible and are able to take the emotions of people around them better into account.

Do not think that you were betrayed in your past relationships because you did something wrong. Your girlfriends were most likely just slightly immature and not ready for a committed relationship. You are now together with a girl who has not cheated on you and who cares for you enough to be engaged to marry you. You also said that deep down you know she is not the kind of a person who would cheat on you. Trust your gut feeling, it is most likely correct.

If you feel anxious, remind yourself how well things are in your life; many people wish to be engaged to someone they love and to be able to plan a future together. You have found that special person and she clearly feels the same way about you, otherwise she would not be engaged to you. If you feel anxious, remind yourself of these precious things and the points mentioned in these two articles: Controlling the emotions and Recovering from anxiety and depression after experiencing traumatic events in a relationship. As time goes by and you see that your girlfriend does not do anything to betray your trust, the negative memories will start to fade to the background and you are eventually able to trust her fully without worries.

Please feel free to write to me anytime you wish.

Warm hug,


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Comments (11)
  • CONFUSED  - hmmmm??
    so like many of you I have a similiar story. I met my BF 3 months into his nasty divorce. They were together for almost 20 years. She made him leave one day and he wasn't allowed back.I picked him up when he was down, I provided for him, I put up with a ridiculous amount of BS because I thought I would be his rock and one day if I ever needed him he would be there. Then 2 years into our relationship things got very rocky. He was drinking alot partying alot and I just had enough. I made him leaving expecting he would be begging me back. That didn't happen. I was so so so depressed and thought my world would crash. But, it didn't and we ended up getting back together after about 3 months. I went on a date with someone 1 time and he went crazy!! He was so angry and told me I was a cheater every single day for a year. I now just found out that he had been seeing his ex wife the entire time we were apart, when he was trying to "find himself". Is it crazy that I understand he was confused and that the reason he did it was to get closure and answers?? I just feel so betrayed, I could have forgiven maybe a one night stand with no emotion but an affair??? And I don't want her to win. He said he broke it off with her because he realized that he truly loved me and wanted to make it work with me, I am just torn!
  • Anonymous
    Married to "wusband" for 25 yrs and was wife number 3. After returning from vacation, he decides he wants to play around with skanks on dating web sites so he told me wanted a divorce. He was so excited he got on the phone immediately with his nasty male friends to let them know he was now free! He was so happy you wouldve thought he won the lotto or something! He couldn't even make it to our divorce hrg bcuz he was in AZ with skank no. 1.....unfrickinbelievable! I hate him so much for what he has done! I hope he rots in hell!
  • no name needed  - great poem....
    question why do are you upset with the female? calling her a whore....you don't know the lies he told to her.....some females don't care if your in a active relationship....and race doesn't matter either....whores are black and white, brown too.....lol....once you know better you'll do better....keep up with the poems.....express yourself!!!
  • Sofia  - poem to my cheating boyfriend that I dumped after
    The hurt will never go away
    I will just try to live with it day by day
    I will never heal
    And you bastard did not think it was a big deal
    I was traded in for a black whore
    Did you think I could take it any more
    Just about an affair every year
    How much more can a woman bear
    Secrets, lies and deception
    You thought I would make an exception
    I was so stupid to think you loved me
    When all you did was abuse and use me
    You and your whore are pure evil in every way
    Trying to ruin my entire family every day
    But I will come out of this stronger
    And will not suffer from your abuse any longer
    The most disgusting and dishonest person I have ever known
    You have no heart and not a good bone
    I am the third woman you have ruined her life
    And you think you deserve a wife
    You are the scum of scum
    And nothing but a bum
    A dishonest, disgusting, conman
  • Anonymous
    Great poem!
  • Tanjoy  - He lied to his ex and now I'm hearing the same wor
    I remember listening to him on the phone with his then wife, telling her that he would be home soon, that he was still doing business and once it was all done he would be on his way. I should have grabbed a brain then, you see, he told me that he and his wife were separated and that he only went home to look after his child while she was out of town working and that they were doing this living together but in different rooms until their money situation straightened out. So, okay, I understand that, money is tight for all. Well weeks, then months, and soon a year and a half, he is still telling me the same story, but, now he insists he has a mortgage broker and he is getting everything settled for them.
    Soon enough she moves, taking their child and all seem good, and looks like he was telling me the truth. Then, a private investigator that I had worked for gave me much needed information. He had lied from the beginning and till the day I walked out of his life. He was coming home to his wife playing the ever so faithful, loving husband, going for dinners and dancing, and yes, they were having sex daily, 4 to 6 hours while he was at home with her. The PI, was able to find all their emails back and forth to each other and emails to others that he had written to other women.
    After much combing of the house I came upon some very discriminating video's of the both of them. The video's prove that they did indeed have a marriage until the end, but, now knowing that it was her that found him to be having extramarital affairs, she ended the relationship and so he then needed someone that had money to help him live his life for he has absolutely no work ethics at all. So, after finding he had lied from the beginning of our relationship along lying to his now ex, his is the most deceitful, lying piece of crap I have ever come across. I am told he is a spitten image of his mom, she too sleeps with anything, lies, cheats, takes men for their money, apple doesn't fall far from the tree. So before leaving this low life, I gathered enough crap, copies of his video's and pictures he thought he was clever in hiding, have them all. Karma is a bi--h, and one day it will hit him so hard he won't know what to do. Oh and if you think that the video's are of them just having plain ole sex, nope, something other than mister ole cheater was in the room with them...doggy lay for a bone, yep, you guessed it, so out the door I went, I truly hope they get back together, personally, they belong with each other, two very, very sick demented deviants.
  • Charise  - sounds like mine
    Boy or boy, does he have a brother, sounds like the same crap I went through...no morals, no conscience, it's all about him. I later found out he had been married 3 times and that he stays until the money runs out. I never let him know what money I had or how much I made. Soon enough he was wondering if I could lend him some bucks and that he would pay me back very soon. Tested him, lent him $250, I repeatedly asked for the money saying I needed it for this or that, and guess what no money returned as of yet. Also found out he was still with his wife, but telling me he was leaving her, had to get his money situation in line, he too, was playing games, she claims she had no idea that they were getting a divorce until she actually heard it from a friend of theirs.
    He says they fought, she was always yelling and swearing and slapping him across the face when ever she didn't get it her way. Well, after being with jerk face for while I think they were both probably to blame, for I have heard her and she is a nut case, and does swear worse than any trucker but he too is a nut bar, goes right off the handle and rages like mad. As for her. she is bi-polar or something mentally wrong with her. But truth be known, they too deserve one another, and I hope those maniacs get back together, because descent folk don't deserve to e paired with either one of them. They are truly meant to be with each other.
    Sorry that people, good people get caught up in demented scum as them. Only wish names were able to be printed for the sake of protecting all others from crossing their paths.
    I have moved on, not going to settle anymore, nor take someone's trash.

  • Gentle soul  - Getting over a cheating husband
    I have been having a feeling he is cheating on me since he changed towards me, getting edge at every discussions. He became forgetful and most times preoccupied with other thoughts! However his phones were a no go area and even the children cannot play with it. Eventually I read through his bb messages and found out about the affair. Saw phone calls and all sort. He became angry but it didn't deter me.now he has apologized but am finding it difficult to trust him any longer . Also though our relationship has taken a leap in d forward ladder but I feel unsecured and inappropriate in all my dealings with him. This is affecting my self esteem.
  • Kelly  - My boyfriend cheated
    I met my boyfriend in Australia last year and fell madly in live with him, he was so sweet and caring, constantly giving me compliments and declaring his love for me. I went back to the UK to spend Christmas with my family and was constantly singing his praises to everyone I met, I was so loved up!
    When I returned back to Australia early this year, I couldn't wait to see him again and after 2 months of only seeing each other on Skype I thought it would've been magical.
    I stayed at his place one night and decided to check my Facebook on his laptop, however, when I did this his Facebook was logged in, without realising it was his I clicked onto the messages to see sexual messages to several other women, saying what he wished he could do to them and asking them if they had Skype...this was very upsetting for me, I don't know why he couldn't say those things to me?!
    After talking to him about it I decided to let it go, I was overseas and the women were from far away places, so nothing could've come from It anyway. We shared another night together and the next morning I looked at the messages on his phone (as obviously I would be feeling a lack of trust, and hoping to find nice messages about me) I found messages to another woman, saying "how's your p***y". Clearly he had had sex with this person. I woke him up and confronted him...and he just left and went home.
    Letter on I went to gather my things from his house hoping for an explanation, and he explained that he went to visit this prostitute.
    I really don't know how to take that...he purposefully went out of his way to cheat on me and even paid for it!!!
    Although my heart had been broken I still feel immense love for this person and we are trying to work through it, the thing is these women were all older women (the phrase cougar makes me feel sick). And being only 24 I feel like if older women are his fantasy, why is he with me?
    I am getting over it but I feel a bit let down by his lack of effort to help me recover, he has been going through some depression issues of his own, but he caused me this hurt and I need something, some kind of confirmation from him that he is over his fettish and I want him to never look at another woman again, I am open to watching porn as a couple but I never want him to watch porn on his own...an I being completely unreasonable? What do I say to him to get him to help me get over this?
  • Lola  - In a relationship with a man who has cheated and f
    I have been in a very short relationship with a man who has not been honest with me from day one. I'm 26 and my boyfriend is 20 when we first met he said he was older but I found his Id and found out his age. Overtime I grew to love and care about him so age wasn't a issue. Overtime he lied to me and had a relationship with another girl that he proclaimed was ended. I got pregnant and he came back to be by my side because we broke up briefly and he moved back to his hometown. He got back and I loved him more than ever for that and stepping up being a dad. Still being insecure I went through his phone numerous times only to find several girls he has flirted with and giving them the impression that he wants a relationship with each girl. When I confront him he says they don't mean anything to him and its just something he needs to grow out of, I'm very much in love with him but I'm no longer happy. And trust wise there's 0% . I happy with our new baby and thought things would be better but it's all the same. Does this even sound like I should try to work this relationship out or end it? I want to be normal again and be happy with my relationship
  • Vero  - Sounds like mine
    Im sorry. Does he tell you that you are crazy for going throuigh his phone? That he does that to test you? Does he denie it to your face even when you are showing him all the proof?

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