How to Overcome Doubt in a Relationship

You and your partner may be blissfully happy before doubt enters the picture. Then, you start to worry if you’re really a good match for one another. Is your partner interested in someone else? If you don’t resolve relationship doubts, they can ruin everything. Tackle your doubts by first going to the source— your partner— and seeking out the reassurance you long for.

EditGetting Reassurance
Communicate your fears. Bottling up your feelings may actually allow the doubt to fester. Let it go by talking about it with your partner. Be candid with them and come out and say what’s bugging you.[1]
You might say, “We never have conversations about the future and it makes me doubt your feelings for me.”

Ask your partner for reassurance. After sharing your fears, ask your partner for support and reassurance. You might want them to remind you how much they love you, or you might want a show of affection, like a hug and a kiss.[2]
You might ask something like, “I need to hear that I’m your top priority. Can you tell me please?”

Be cautious of too much reassurance-seeking as it can make you appear clingy to your partner.

Work together to devise solutions. Determine what about your partner’s behavior causes you to feel doubt. Then, put your heads together and figure out ways to work through it.[3]
For instance, if you feel doubt because your partner keeps putting off important conversations about the future, have a candid talk about that and find a middle ground.

If doubt rears its head after a nasty fight, try going to couples therapy and learning better conflict resolution skills.

Talk to each other about how you like to share and receive love. For example, some people like to do things for the person they love to show how they feel, while others like to shower their partner with compliments and declarations of love. Since it’s normal for people to have a different “love language,” it’s important to know how both of you show love so that there aren’t misunderstandings.

Prioritize quality time. Doubt can creep in when couples go through inevitable droughts of quality time and affection. Making more time for bonding and intimacy can help those doubts fade away.[4]
Compare your schedules and pinpoint a few days or nights per week that you can spend time together one-on-one.

Make the most of quality time by silencing your phones and letting others know it’s couple time.

Give feedback about your partner’s efforts. As your partner tries to modify their behavior and make you feel more secure in the relationship, show appreciation for their progress. Speak up when you see them trying— say, “I noticed you made an effort to call me back as soon as you could. Thanks, babe.”[5]
Express gratitude when your partner does something that makes you feel reassured without you asking. For example, “I appreciated that you texted me when you were going to be late. It reassured me that you’d still make it and that I am important to you.”

EditProblem-Solving Your Doubts
Reframe triggering situations that lead to doubt. Notice which situations tend to amplify your doubt. Then, challenge your thoughts about the situation by trying to view it in another way.[6]
For instance, if your doubt grows when your partner fails to pick up a phone call, reframe it: they might be in a meeting or taking a shower. A missed phone call doesn’t necessarily mean they are up to no good.

Practice thought-stopping when worries pop up. Doubt can interfere with your life and sap your focus and productivity. Mentally tell yourself to “Stop!” the train of thought and distract yourself with an engaging activity.[7]
Read a book, knit a sweater, or go for a run.

Question whether there is evidence that supports strong doubts. If a particular doubt is constantly bothering you, it could be your instinct signaling “trouble.” Before you take any action, however, look for evidence.[8]
Maybe your doubts grew after seeing your partner flirting with another person. Can you find any other examples that made you feel uneasy about your partner’s “wandering eye?”

Decide if your doubts are deal-breakers. Some doubt in a relationship is completely normal, but if your doubts stem from frequent lying, cheating, manipulation, or unreliability on behalf of your partner, this may be a sign that you should leave the relationship.[9]
Healthy relationships don’t involve undue control, deception, infidelity or abuse.

Doubts may also be deal-breakers if you have them because your partner doesn’t support your values. If they can’t respect what’s most important to you, then it may not be the best relationship for you.

Talk through your doubts with a therapist. If you’re unsure about how to move forward with your relationship doubts, consult with a relationship therapist. This professional can help you tease out what’s at the core of your doubts and determine if they are healthy or pointing to a problem.[10]
You may choose to see a therapist on your own first before bringing your partner to a session.

Ask your family doctor or human resources rep for a referral to see a therapist in your network.

EditThinking More Positively
Identify what makes you worthy outside of your relationship. Make a list of all the reasons you’re a great person that have nothing to do with being a part of a couple. Maybe you’re super smart, athletic, compassionate about animals, or a talented cook.[11]
If your self-worth is heavily connected to the health of your relationship, you could experience doubt even during common challenges. You can battle this by building up your self-esteem.

Use mindfulness to sit with uncertainty. Feeling afraid or unsure isn’t great, but some doubt is normal and even healthy. Start a mindfulness practice to help you learn to embrace or at least tolerate the uncertainty in your relationship and your life.[12]
When these feelings arise, notice them but let them be. Take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Don’t try to change the thoughts or act on them. Just sit with them.

Perform mindfulness daily and you’ll start to feel more in control and less bothered by these worrisome doubts.

Stay away from negative or critical people. The opinions of co-workers, friends, and family can lead you to have doubts about your relationship. If a person only ever has negative things to say about your partner or your relationship, take a step back.[13]
Sometimes, your loved ones may offer advice that is well-meaning, but biased or self-serving. Reflect on how you feel with your partner and what you see in their behavior before allowing others’ perspectives to feed your doubt.

Be wary of taking advice or discussing your relationship with people who are overly judgmental or critical. Choose open-minded and supportive confidantes.

Drop “should” and “must” from your vocabulary. If your language regarding your relationship is rigid, you’re more likely to try to push against uncertainty. When you remove these terms from your vocabulary, you can feel more flexible and open-minded about your relationship.[14]
For example, if you think, “He should answer the phone whenever I call,” you may be inadvertently making yourself angry if your partner is busy when you call.

Don’t say “She must be spending Saturday with someone else” simply because your girlfriend didn’t try to make plans with you.

EditTalking to Your Partner
WH.shared.addScrollLoadItem(‘5ca026295c2f8’)Ways to Approach Your Partner about Relationship Doubts
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Today in History for 30th March 2019

Historical Events

1422 – Ketsugan, Zen teacher, performs exorcisms to free aizoji temple
1883 – 45th Grand National: Austrian breeder, owner Count Karel Kinsky rides Zoedone to 10 length win; only 10 starters, the smallest GN field in history; first winning jockey from outside Britain and Ireland
1943 – British 1st army recaptures Sejenane
1970 – Soap opera “Somerset” premieres
1992 – Man accidentally backs in A’s Jose Canseco’s $225,000 Lamborghini
1993 – “Redwood Curtain” opens at Brooks Atkinson Theater NYC for 40 performances

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Famous Birthdays

1830 – Auguste Tolbecque, composer
1892 – Erhard Milch, German field marshal (d. 1972)
1930 – Rolf Harris, Australian/British cartoonist and entertainer, born in Bassendean, Western Australia
1950 – Eugene Bowen, composer (Wonder’s Edge)
1959 – Daniel Seifried, Canadia Tour golfer (1981 Thunder Bay), born in Kitchener, Ontario
1978 – Chris Paterson, Scottish rugby player and coach, born in Edinburgh, Scotland

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1886 – Joseph-Alfred Mousseau, French Canadian politician (b. 1838)
1960 – Fritz Klimsch, German sculptor/painter, dies at 90
1966 – Newbold Morris, American politician (b. 1902)
1981 – Dewitt Wallace, US founder (Reader’s Digest), dies at 91
2004 – Hubert Gregg, British broadcaster (b. 1914)
2005 – Emil Dimitrov, Bulgarian singer (b. 1940)

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How to Test Essential Oils for Purity

Essential oils are growing in popularity due to their pleasant scents and various household uses. However, the purity of the essential oil is important for making sure it is as effective as possible. To verify that your essential oils are high quality, it is important that you learn the signs of a good essential oil and test the oils out for yourself.

EditChecking Before You Buy
Compare the prices of the essential oils. Some flowers or plants that essential oils are derived from require a larger quantity to create one drop of oil. For roses, it takes almost 60 roses to make one drop of oil, and this should be reflected in the price of the oil. An unusually low price is normally a sign that the oil is diluted in some way, making it less pure.[1]
If all of the oils from a particular brand are the same price, it is usually indicative of less pure oils. You could expect to have a range of prices from $20 for a more abundant oil, such as lavender, all the way up to $80 for an oil that is harder to make, such as rose.

Ask your supplier about the purity of their oils and the distilling process. Try to buy from a supplier who distills their own oils, or deals directly with a distiller who does. Suppliers should be willing to provide you with a sample (maybe for a small fee) before encouraging you to buy larger quantities. This shows that they are confident in their product and believe that if you try it you will buy.[2]

Search for oil by the specific name of the plant it is derived from. Being able to read the label and identify the plant makeup of the oil is the first step to buying a quality oil. The general rule of thumb is to purchase by the Latin name, which can be found by searching online for the plant, as this is normally the most specific.[3]
For example, many customers purchase lavandula oil, also known as lavender, because of its calming effects. A common mistake is purchasing lavender oil instead, which has the opposite effect and will make the user more alert.

Check the packaging for a purity statement. There should be a statement on the packaging of the oil that says “100% Pure” or something similar to this claim. If there is not, it has likely been mixed or adulterated with some other substance.[4]

EditTesting the Oils
Select an oil to test and get a piece of blank paper. You can test your oil at home with just these 2 items. Make sure you cover your work surface with wax paper or tin foil to protect it from any oil that might bleed through the paper. [5]

Place one drop of the oil on the paper. If your oil doesn’t have a dropper with it or a cap that allows this, you can use the eraser side of a pencil. Just dip the eraser into the bottle and let the oil drip onto the paper from there, or gently touch the eraser to the paper to get the oil to transfer.[6]
If you’re testing multiple oils, it might help to label each one so you remember where it is on the paper.

Allow the oil to dry completely. This will normally take about 30-45 minutes depending on how much oil you have on the paper. Check after 30 minutes, and if there’s still some liquid on the paper, allow another 15 minutes to dry.[7]

Check the places where you dropped the oil for a leftover ring of oil or grease. If there is a ring present, that means that the oil has likely been diluted with another substance and is less pure. If you can’t see a ring, try touching the paper with your finger lightly. If it’s completely dry and you don’t feel any oil or grease on your finger, your oil is likely pure and high quality.[8]
Some oils that are darker in color will leave a slight tint, but the paper should not be oily or greasy once completely dry. Oils such as sandalwood, patchouli, and German chamomile will leave a tint but not an oily ring.

Send your oils to a lab for testing if you will be using them for professional reasons. For aromatherapists and naturopaths, it might be worthwhile to send oils to a lab for chemical testing. This will ensure that the chemical makeup of the oil is indeed pure and what is labelled on the bottle.[9]
The two means of testing are Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry. These tests are often performed together in a lab, and will show whether there are any “adulterants” in the oil.[10]

Essential oils should never be ingested unless you are under the care of a trained professional.

If you are doing home testing on your oils, make sure you’re working in a space that is well-ventilated to prevent overwhelming or unpleasant scents.

If you’re unsure about the quality of an essential oil, hold off on buying it until you are able to verify that it is pure.

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