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I (24M) am constantly going back and forth about my relationship with my girlfriend (26F), and am not sure what feelings are real


Dec. 01, 2019

So my girlfriend and I have been together for about three years now, and have been living together for the past year. I love her, and objectively we are a pretty great match for each other. This being said, I've been running into the problem for the past year of going back and forth with how happy I am with our relationship. I know everyone occasionally has doubts about their relationship, but what I'm talking about is a bit more extreme.
The feelings I'm attempting to describe here are difficult to articulate, but for the most part it boils down to this: some days I am excited to wake up next to her, I'm obsessed with her, and I can't wait to be married and plan our future together. Other days, I'll spend the entire day focusing about every minuscule issue in our relationship, I'll fantasize about starting over and being with someone else, and I won't be able to get the thought out of my head that our relationship was a mistake to begin with.
Now, I know what you're probably thinking. If I'm having all these negative thoughts about my relationship, I should just break up with my girlfriend. I've tried this. Long story short, about a year and a half ago my negative thoughts and doubts about our relationship reached the tipping point, and decided to act on them and end the relationship. At the time I was sure I was going the right thing. We went our separate ways for the better part of a month and each saw other people, however this ended with me becoming extremely depressed, missing her terribly, having anxiety attacks, and crying myself to sleep on the floor of my apartment regularly. I professed my mistake and begged for her back, and somehow we ended up getting back together and moving in together.
Now that we've been back together for a year, the negative thoughts about our relationship are back, and I just don't know how to handle it. I thought they were real before, but it turns out acting on them was a huge mistake - or was it? Should I have just stuck it out? I've been in and out of a serious relationship before and didn't experience this at all. I don't know why I had a borderline mental breakdown when we were apart. Like I said, a lot of the time I am excited about our relationship and future too, but when the doubts come, they push everything good away. Some nights I come home and am just not happy. Sometimes we'll get in arguments and I'll go to bed hating her guts, only to wake up the next morning feeling refreshed, grateful for her, confident in our relationship, and looking forward to the future.
These feelings are starting to make me feel extremely trapped, and honestly insane, and I don't know how to distinguish which of these polar opposite feelings are how I actually feel. I'm just lost trying to navigate this.
TL;DR; : I keep going back and forth between extremes about how I feel about my relationship. I don't know which emotions are real and what I really want, and it's causing me to panic.
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