Are You Afraid of Relationship Success?

Many people fear relationship failure. We fear that when we open ourselves up to other people, they will hurt us, and we will lose out on love. Fear of failure can hold us back and prevent us from being our best selves. It limits us by causing anxiety and fostering a pessimistic attitude about the future. Fear of relationship failure is something I know well. Many times, even in the most blissful moments, there is a lingering thought in the back of my head that my relationship may not work out, and that it will all come crashing down around me.

But I’ve gotten to thinking that as strong as my fear of relationship failure can be, I also have an equally strong, counterbalancing fear of success. Although I’m currently in a satisfying relationship of two years, what will that relationship look like in five, ten, or fifteen years?  What if I get everything I’ve always dreamed of? Would I even know what it felt like to be happy and have no reservations, doubts, or fears? It would feel uncomfortable to have a “perfect” relationship. Of course, no such thing exists, but how strange would it feel to be at peace and perfectly content in a relationship? To have complete faith that my partner has my best interests at heart? Wouldn’t it be a little unnerving?

For many people, including daughters of divorce and women dealing with their own divorces, pain is what we know. Conflict is what’s comfortable. Dealing with an unavailable man is in our wheelhouse. A man who wants nothing more than to be with us and make our happiness his top priority is alien. If you can relate to fearing relationship success, I ask you to consider the following: Know that no relationship is conflict free, but you are worthy of having a relationship that makes you happy. If you aren’t there yet, embrace where you are now. What is it that holds you back from achieving a satisfying relationship? And once you have it, what will you do when you get there?

Tracy Clifford

Do you fear achieving relationship success? What are some of the obstacles you’ve faced on your journey? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Be sure to order my new book “Daughters of Divorce: Overcome the Legacy of Your Parents’ Breakup and Enjoy a Happy, Long-Lasting Relationship.”


4 Responses to “Are You Afraid of Relationship Success?”

  1. David says:

    Yes I was afraid of relationship failure from the beginning, due to my dysfunctional family history. My marriage is over now, as feared. How does knowing how screwed up I am, help me? How is that going to change with the next woman I meet? If anything I am worse now.

    • Terry says:

      Hi David, Self-awareness is important but only the first step in change.I recommend counseling to help you gain insight into your past and how to avoid repeating patterns. It takes time to heal from a breakup or divorce so be patient with yourself. Regards, Terry

  2. Agnieszka says:

    What I think, is that the key to success is to work on yourself first. Start to love, respect and care about yourself. Get help with councillor to work things out, even set your priorities different way than before. Get an insight for our needs and problems. Because we’re worth it. Because we want to be happy, and to be happy we have to start from within!
    I’m after divorce, after few destructible relationships but once I realized that I was trying to get someone to fix instead of fixing myself first, it never worked out! And I was only self-harming myself with desperation of being alone.
    Now, I’m taking it easy. Dating someone mature, with similar interests and values but looking optimistic into future. Open communication, honesty and affection. I feel happy! And you know what? From time to time I have those nagging questions like: is this really going to work out? Doesn’t it feel too good to be true? No. I say to myself,it feels great. The way it should be. I’m aware now, I trust my instincts. If something goes wrong I will feel it!

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