Our minds are odd. They have a tendency to self-sabotage, and plant seeds of doubt. They keep us up at night by reminding us of the pressures we face the next day. They introduce unfounded anxieties. They arbitrarily remind us of our most embarrassing moments while we’re in the shower. It’s incredibly counterproductive considering our brain is also the means by which our body fundamentally regulates itself. It’d be like a conductor wanting to make sure a train gets to the station on time while simultaneously running into the engine room swinging a hammer around. That’s the double standard of our own brain.
So it’s no surprise that guys can have some incredibly intrusive thoughts crawl their way across the wrinkles of their brain. If we calm the hell down we can quickly dismiss them, but even the most secure dude has probably worried about these things. It’s not you, it's just that we have an asshole for a brain.
1. You’re cheating on him and everyone knows it but him and you all laugh about it.
What makes this pretty irrational idea such an emotional gut punch isn’t just the idea that you’re cheating on him. It’s the idea that you’re cheating on him and he’s oblivious to it even though it’s so obvious. In his wildest nightmare, you’ve betrayed him and meanwhile, as he walks down the street, people discreetly chortle and whisper offensive names. No one wants to be the guy people discreetly chortle at.
2. Secretly, you find the sex horrible.
Sex is like cooking. Even if you’re terrible at it, people usually don't have the heart to tell you. They just sort of… put up with it to be nice. What if instead of being great at sex, he’s secretly awful and you and everyone he’s ever slept with have lied to him? This is a great thought for his brain to bring up for consideration just as he’s falling asleep.
3. You are a sleeper agent/monster/alien/cyborg/Gone Girl psychopath.
Basically, whatever horror movie he’s watching at the time. Is this plausible, let alone likely? Absolutely not. But what if? Maybe it’s best for him to keep his head on a swivel just in case you’re up to no good.
4. Your family hates him.
Your friends hate him. Also maybe his friends and family hate him. Why would anyone hang out with someone they hate? Of course this is a wildly unfounded fear. Unless… everyone did it out of pity. Then it would kind of make sense. Not a lot of sense. But enough sense to make him laugh way harder than he needs to at your parent's jokes to suck up juuuuust a little.
5. As great as your relationship is now, it’ll eventually crash and burn.
Out of all these irrational fears, this one is the most theoretically plausible. Of course your relationship will either end very happily or with you two breaking up. But that’s also like thinking your crossing the street ends one of two ways: either you make it to the other side or you get hit by a car. It might be technically correct, but you can’t constantly be thinking of that.
6. You think he’s a deadbeat.
This one could wind up stemming from some very real concerns that he isn’t as successful as he wants to be. If he thinks that, what do YOU think?
7. What if you murder him?
It’s not so much that he’s done anything to warrant being murdered. It’s just that, you know, if you two were sleeping in bed next to each other and you decided to wake up and murder the shit out of him you probably could. He trusts you and that makes him vulnerable.
8. What if he isn’t cheating on you, but a series of gaffes and coincidences convinces you he is?
This sounds more like the plot of a romantic comedy than real life. It also probably requires you to have a threateningly handsome and successful ex that’s still in love with you and maybe also a zany pair of future in-laws.
9. You are kidnapped.
Alternatively, he is kidnapped. How do you even deal with this shit? What does he do? How long is an appropriate wait time before moving on? What if he gets out only to find out you’ve moved on? What if he doesn’t get closure? If he seems distracted on your next vacation abroad—where most kidnappings seem to occur in movies—this is why.
10. His brain is slowly driving him insane with all these intrusive thoughts.
This one is probably worth worrying about.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.