I'm just not good at relationships in general. I have been with my husband since I was 18 years old, so I'm far from experienced.
At what? Being in relationship? Obviously you have a strong runner in the married one. You do fine.
I'm used to being completely open and honest with no secrets.
Sounds like a sane plan.
I'm not comfortable enough in our relationship yet to ask for reassurance when I need it, because I don't want to be needy and insecure, although I am happy to give it to him when he needs it.
You make no sense because you are in a fluster. Calm down, breathe, BREATHE. Then?
Consider flipping this around in this order. It is not "because I don't want to be needy and insecure." You ARE feeling that. You are that right now. Put that FIRST.
1 "I AM feeling needy and insecure."
We cannot help what we feel when we feel it. We don't even get to choose when to feel it. It just is. Emotional weather. Rain is rain, wind is wind. Emotion is emotion. We DO get to choose how to behave in response. You can choose to REACT to emotion or ACT WITH INTENT. What did you pick?
2) So far you have chosen to stay silent.
How's that working for relieving your insecure emotions? Nope. Not good solution. Conclusion? "To feel better, I need reassurance from my new partner." So what is problem in getting reassurance then?
3) "I do not feel comfortable enough in our relationship yet" to do that.
Spit it out. You GET comfortable by DOING. Speak up. Can you do that? Sure you can. Why? Because you are used to being completely open and honest with no secrets.
That isn't a bad way to be. It's a good way. And I think you feel extra weird because you aren't doing it here. Get on with doing it.
In my world?
It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to the relationship to know and state your wants, needs, limits. Your partner has the RIGHT to clear communication. Own your end of the sticks, please. He cannot mind reader you. Speak up.
4) "I don't feel secure enough; what if I ask him for what I want, and it makes him uncomfortable?"
So he has some emotional weather. So what? Rain is rain. Wind is wind. Emotion is emotion. Let it blow on through. We're all grown ups. Felt many kinds of things before. You hold your own bag, he holds his.
His responsibility to YOU is to report his internal weather because YOU have the right to clear communication. So you tell him you expect him to know and state his wants, needs and limits so you can learn about him. But you are not a mind reader. Speak up, dude!
That's why this is dating
. With older partners you can usually get it in the ballpark by taking a stab in the dark because they are older partners and you know the whole arena. With new partners, you have to be given the tour of the floorplan. Get on with the tour.
It will help you BOTH grow more comfortable and feel better too.
And I just don't know how to deal with my feelings of jealousy and fear of being dumped. Those are very negative emotions and I don't want them in my life.
Emotion is emotion, hon. Are you planning to be dead? I joke just to try to get you to laugh because you seem down. But I'm serious about this part -- Emotion is just Life Stuff. It doesn't have to be the end of the world, esp when we do not get to choose when we feel what we feel! We only get to choose how to respond to the emotion -- chose to react or act.
What are these fears speaking to then? Where you think "OMG! What if I get dumped!" and you go on a chain reaction of what-iffing yourself to a tizz? Is it just new rship jitters? That he's into kink and you are not? So? Do you have to be joined at the hip?
That you don't know how things work here yet with him and emotional things or conflict resolution? Is your new partner shirking on his reporting? Are you having to mindreader?
Is it that you might feel yucky someday? Have you never in your life felt yucky? It's can be hard to feel, but a broken heart still keeps on beating. World still turns. Why miss on out on savoring the yummy today for uncertainty in future that is not here? What if you have yummy in future and missed today's yummy for nothing!?
Is it something else this fear is speaking to? What?
Some partners are for life, some for a reason, some for a season. I was very heartbroken when my OSO faded from my life, even if it WAS a great way to fade and really gracefully and I could not have asked for a better ending. That man taught me grace, class. He had style, and he had the ability for compersion in spades.
But because it was fresh wound, I hurt. That is not unreasonable to expect in such a time even if it was the RIGHT THING to happen then. That I learned from my DH. "I am upset. I do not find this unreasonable to feel at this time. I love you. I do not love THIS. And we will deal." He has a capacity for clear emotional management that I admire and continue to learn from.
In time, I healed. OSO has become a lovely experience and memory, which I'm glad I took the risk for and look back on fondly. My heart grew then, and remains full from having enjoyed that. He was a good man. I am grateful our paths in Life crossed for a few years.
But I believe all relationships come with a clock attached just as John Cleese puts it. My DH? We're counting on decades here and one day that too will end. I hope when one of us dies, and hopefully dies in peace in elder years, and we're prepared. Nobody can ask for a smoother end of a marriage than that. An older friend just lost her DH in older years and they were a fantastic couple. She's handling it well, and he passed peacefully. I envy this, I hope our own story plays out similar.
So... what's the freakout over breaking up or things coming to an end? If you are worried that it could end UGLY -- well, make an agreement for how you prefer it to end when it ends. Talk to your partner to assuage your worries. Take the bull by the horns.
Worrying when you could be talking and sorting it out and moving on to the feeling better place instead makes no sense. Why stay at the worry place?
And worrying excessively is like praying for what you do NOT want.
Takes a toll on mental health/stess levels.
Hang in there! But the choice to stay silent is not working for ya, so just try another tack and be OK with yourself being a learner of this new person. It is a new relationship and agree to assume good intent with each other as you learn the ride. Everyone falls off a bike several times before they get the hang of it, right? BREATHE.
You ARE good at relationships. See that husband person? You just haven't played ball in a new arena for a while. No big. You DO know how to play ball.
So... play ball!