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I need to change my thinking, my attitude. How can I make myself into a better person?

Tagged as: Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (31 March 2015) 3 Answers - (Newest, 2 April 2015)
A female Australia age 30-35, anonymous writes:

I'm 32 years old and have a horrible personality it seems.

I'm one of the most kindhearted people you'd ever meet, always put others before myself (I'm in the medical field actually) but I have such a negative hateful attitude.

I want to change but I don't know how to begin. I used to be married, for over 10 years, to a man who had a horrible attitude, absolutely horrible. He was always yelling and negative. Nothing was good enough. He got upset over the most trivial things, like forgetting to put the lid back on the toothpaste and having one dirty spoon in the sink (yes, i'm serious, one). If it wasn't washed he'd storm in the kitchen, wash it and put it away.

He behaved as if everything was always the end of the world.

I know that being with him has somewhat moulded me into the crappy person I am today.

I wasn't like this when I met him. It's changed my personality drastically. Just being married to him I had to always be on the defense and ready to argue if he woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

He also had no sense of humor. Being around him, in the same room, was so draining and negative. We've been divorced 5 years now. By the way, there was never any infidelity so I don't really understand where my trust issues come from.

Anyway...

1) I'm jealous, needy and try to be controlling in relationships now. I constantly feel threatened by other women, ALL women, (even women that I knew my ex partner (not husband, my ex bf) wouldn't be attracted to) and always question their motives.

If my ex added a woman on fb/mentioned another female I thought there was some hidden meaning behind it such as he's secretly wanting to be with her and they're messing around behind my back. If him and a female looked at each other for too long, then that must mean they knew each other and have hooked up at some point. I get so jealous and insecure sometimes that when my ex asked me to go in a store with him I wouldn't. I'd sit in the car while he went in by himself, this way I don't see all the other women around that are better than me. Sometimes he wouldn't even go in a store he wanted to go in because I would sit in the car.

2) I find it impossible to trust. I question every move. I constantly thought my partner was out to screw me over. I felt like he was always trying to play me for a fool. Example; he mentioned a country song one time that he liked. I instantly went into defense mode and asked him where he heard that song at (he doesn't like country) and he said his friends (a couple) were listening to it one day. I was constantly trying to let him know that I knew what was up so he couldn't pull the wool over my eyes. I'm always thinking the worst. It was a constant battle of trying to "prove" what I thought was right so he didn't think I was stupid enough to believe what he actually told me. If I could catch him in a lie before he even told me one, it kept me from looking like a fool. This is so stupid, I can tell when I read it back to myself.

3) I'm always negative. I'm so insecure that I often criticize other people (women), his ex's (constantly) and complain about everything. I come across as if I'm better than everyone else, but I know I'm not. My ex often wanted to get photos done with me but I refused because I don't feel pretty enough. My personality is the reason we're no longer together. He couldn't handle it anymore. Our BU shed the light on my issues. I seem to be a terrible person.

4) I get moody at the drop of a hat. If I'm too hot, or too cold. One time I lost my favorite lipstick while out with my ex and I went batshit crazy because of it. I even accused him of stealing it and giving it to another woman. He told me how stupid that was. I checked my purse 10x and nothing. I woke up the next day and there it was, in my purse. I have episodes like this a lot.

There's just really nothing that makes me happy nor that I enjoy. I'm constantly over-thinking, assuming, and being negative. I didn't act like I appreciated half the shit my ex did for me, even though deep inside it was what I really wanted from him.

He'd cook me dinner and plan a nice romantic night and I'd ruin it later over him picking the wrong movie to watch, or something else just as stupid. He didn't hold me the right way, or long enough, the movie had too much cleavage in it, the lights were on, they were off. There's always something negative. I never seem to see the positive in anything or enjoy the moment for what it is. I'm just so sick of it. I want to become a better person but I feel hopeless.

I need to change my thinking, my attitude. Advice or thoughts please?

View related questions: divorce, his ex, infidelity, insecure, jealous, my ex

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 April 2015):

Well you are acknowledging it which is good. Sounds like you need to 'calm the f*** down' which is what was once said to me! There has already been good advice given about CBT etc

I also would have gone batshit crazy over the lipstick, although I wouldn't have accused my partner of giving it to another woman, I would have thought someone had taken it, because it couldn't possibly be me not looking properly!

I did take medication before for anxiety/OCD and I can get very negative and get irate about trivial things.

The best thing for me has been to indulge in some hobby or something I enjoy, alone and just calm down and lift my mood.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (31 March 2015):

Honeypie agony auntI'd start with going to your doctor. Have you hormone levels checked. And I'd have a talk about depression with him/her as well. Because those massive moods-wings you mention can be due to depression.

I think the GOOD thing is you KNOW your behavior is "off" the charts and not in a good way.

I think your EX could have suffered from OCD, of some kind. The "ONE" spoon at the sink being such a big deal. Most people with OCD aren't aware that it's NOT normal to freak out over "ONE" spoon. But OCD is at times rather irrational. NOW, I'm not saying that he had a GOOD excuse for his behavior, I'm just pointing it out.

YOU seem to have taken on some of the obsessive compulsive behavior traits. Like "going batshit" crazy OVER a lipstick. Sounds a LOT like the ex-husband and the spoon... SO, I think a GOOD therapist and some Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) might be a good start.... CBT is a form of treatment that focuses on examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. It can also help you with tools in how to deal with these episodes.

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A male reader, Xearo Trinidad and Tobago +, writes (31 March 2015):

It goes without saying that I don't need to point out the things you are/were doing qualifies as wrong. I think some professional help is a good start. Ten years of a bad marriage and 5 years of left over hate for him and yourself would be a hard thing to overcome. A lot of people would consider your behaviour abusive and no one in this world deserves such a thing, including your past self in your old marriage.

In your post it seems like you need validation (whether good or bad) from others. You don't see your own value because you are addicted to using extreme emotions. You don't love yourself anymore and you have to learn to love yourself before you can love others. I think doing positive hobbies and finding things to like/love will give your mind the time and focus it needs to heal itself. You don't have to jump into something drastic, just start from small and work your way up.

Most importantly, you are going to have to do this for yourself without much help from others. So no dating for a while. When you can learn to forgive your ex husband and ultimately, come to forgive yourself, then this would be a huge milestone for yourself. I think a lot of other aunts can give some more specific advice because they have encountered people of similar habits. I think the fact that you do want to change and you can see your mistakes is probably, the key factor needed for your change to happen. I don't think it will be easy, but I believe you can do it.

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