I admit: No energy left to help spouse with anxiety

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songsofhope
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/22/2010 3:38 PM (GMT -7)   
My husband has anxiety. We have been married for five years. I cannot share this with anyone. Who would really understand. They'd blame him or me. It is really hard having anxiety I know. But, what I also know is that the spouse should not let his anxiety get to the point where it is abusive. I love my husband and really want to help. He has been recieveing treatment all his life and I try and make sure that he sees his doctor regularly. But now, I feel as if I am getting weaker and weaker. I have to be the active listener, the one who is not allowed to vent (but he feels free to vent any time). I cannot talk with my friends or family about this either. I am going to make a long overdue appointment for myself with the psychologist. I hope he can help me cope with the problems I am having due to my spouses anxiety. He is not able to work. And just when I thought he could he came across really evil people at his work place who thought scheming was cool and did not treat him well.

Ever since that incident he has been really hard on me. It has been over a month. Normally my husband is usually uptight and there will be temper fits from time to time.

He has made it clear that he does not want me to tell him my problems. I have to always smile but not too much. If I am happy that upsets him too. He does not want me to vent according to him.(Although I don't talk too much. Luckily I am not because he loves talking all the time) But, he vents none stop all the time starting from the day we have gotten married. If there is nothing to upset him he will find something on the news to make him unhappy. Sometimes I think he is just hiding behind all the negativity in life. It's like he is afraid to be happy.

If we ever have a dispute (of course we cannot have any. His anxiety sky rockets and for days I have to calm him down or put up with his bad behavior towards me)
or anything as simple as asking him to put the lid on the toothpaste it will blow out of proportion. He'll wave off anything I say by simply blaming me, my psychology, my family, an illness, a trouble I have , blaming me for not being that knowledgeable. His usual lines are " Don't sweat the small stuff", "Is there anything wrong at work? You're cranky." "You had a terrible father. Accept it, you did." "That's the way it goes." If that doesn't work he'll start to yell. And if that doesn't work he'll blame everything going bad in his life, if not it will come down to blaming his poor childhood. Among while these things are happening if he hasn't lied down turned his but, covered his head with a blanket and depressingly pretending to sleep.

There are so many things that he has made me suffer. I know it is his anxiety but, well, the spouse has to talk too. Now I am sitting down to write, but, I am so overwhelmed that I have lost the words and only am left with this burning feeling in my chest and a fear of what is going to happen next knowing that I do not have any power left to take it anymore.

I know my husband is a very good person who loves to help people but at this point I am the one who needs help and support. For this reason I have joined this forum in the hope of finding people who knows what it is like to live with a spouse with anxiety. I do feel a bit selfish by complaining about this but, I guess anxiety does take a toll on the spouse without anxiety too... leaving them sad, upset, bitter and depressed.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/22/2010 4:15 PM (GMT -7)   
songsofhope,

I am sorry you are going through this and I feel it is time to put your own health first. If your husband has had anxiety all his life is there a reason why the topic is taboo with talking to your families about his problems. You are not to blame for his mental health issues.

From your post your husband sounds to me like a very negative person. A negative person makes you feel like your always to blame, it is always your fault and nothing you do is ever right.

Most likely after many years of living with his behavior you feel guilty, upset, emotionally drained and confused. You may even feel like your completely useless or incomptent.

Please remember you are not the cause of his anxiety or his perception of the world around him. You need to make sure you take care of yourself and if this means you leave for awhile until he gets help and he understands that you cannot live with this constant strain on you then that may be a choice you will have to make.

If he is not able to work what does he use to explain to everyone else what is going on? Verbally abusing you on a daily basis is not acceptable.

The next time he starts venting tell him your not open for "Venting" right now and take yourself out of the situation. 5 years of living under these conditions is enough. He needs help but he must make his own choice to seek help.

You need to love yourself and know that you are a good person...........do look for a therapist for you.

Gentle Hugs,

Kitt

MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 6/22/2010 4:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I want to be very clear that his behavior toward you is not ok. I think that seeing a psych to help you deal with all of this is a good idea. Illness and relationships are very difficult sometimes, but you never have to put up with abuse.
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janetlee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1986
   Posted 6/24/2010 12:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Songs,
let me tell you something absolutely true. NO ONE has the right to act the way your husband is doing towards you. "Anxiety" doesn't give one a real excuse to treat others shabbily! Years ago, when I was first starting down the hard road of anxiety & depression, things were extremely difficult for me. My parents (I've always lived at home) were clueless for the most part. Dad would look at me with a sad perplexed expression sometimes, but mostly kept to the background. Mom was worried and scared, felt helpless, and sometimes said harsh things to me, because she felt angry at having nothing she could do to "make it all better", like mothers feel they're supposed to be able to do. There were many many times that I would've liked to end my life, I felt so BAD. The anxiety was constant and seemed unrelenting. I didn't see any light at the end of the tunnel...BUT...I still had my common sense. I still had love and concern for others and their feelings. The fact was, we were ALL going through a bad time because of my problems. So it was NOT all about ME. I remember one night early on in my illness. I was so anxious that I couldn't sleep a wink all night long. Every time I thought of how we were going into town the next morning, I'd feel panicky and didn't know if I'd be able to do it. On the ride into town (we lived in the country), I had a major panic attack. Dad asked if I wanted to go back home. Thankfully, I managed to persevere and we went onward. We got to the Sunday meeting and all my friends were there and natuarlly they'd come up to speak to me. I wanted to tell them that I couldn't talk. I wanted them to go away, but I smiled and said hello. I asked them how they were doing, while admitting that I felt unwell myself. The meeting lasted 2 hours and I felt like I was in a haze, like looking through a soft-focus lens. That was a real test for me. nonetheless, I was still polite. I was still thoughtful of others' feelings. When mom would occassionally hurt my feelings with her assumptions and thoughtless words, I kept in mind that she just didn't KNOW. She couldn't really fully understand. I'm not saying I was a saint. I did vent my feelings about her remarks sometimes.
Anyway, what it all boils down to is that anxiety and even depression (I had major depression AND anxiety together) does not give anyone the right to treat others bad. It does not give one the right to make out like another person's feelings have no merit. SOoooooooooo, your husband is being a jerk. He needs to wise up! Please do go to a therapist or counselor to help you know better how to handle yourself with him. Life is hard enough without having to walk on eggshells all the time!
Your hubby sounds like an "emotional vampire". Google it and you'll see what I mean. Here's one place to look: http://lisakifttherapy.com/mental-health/the-mental-health-place-a-mental-health-blog/five-emotional-vampires-and-how-to-combat-them-by-judith-orloff-md/

take care and feel free to vent here any time!
jl
 


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/24/2010 6:04 AM (GMT -7)   
songsofhope

I hope you read the posts written here by JL and Navy and that you know we are reaching out to help you. You have our support so please stick with us for your own wellbeing.

Gentle Hugs,

Kitt

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 6/24/2010 8:01 AM (GMT -7)   
yes..plz do come bk and read the posts
i was emotionally abused by daughters father for so long it realy hit my sense of self worth
you need to get out of that situation
verbal abuse n physical abuse are deal breakers
the scars might heal from physical abuse but i still carry the emotional abuse scars

do keep us posted please n i wish you the best
you do not deserve this imho
huggs 'lyn
                 Co Mod for... CROHNS..ANXIETY/ PANIC.....ALZHEIMERS
        DX.. a/p ....crohns ...fibro... pyoderma gangrenosum..seizures....deaf
            meds..lyrica..pentasa...valproic acid..ativan...diazepam....t 3 s prn
                  Help HEALING WELL...DONATE...www.HealingWell.com
                        WE CAN N WILL GET THRU THIS TOGETHER
                                                   LYN                       


songsofhope
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/24/2010 9:23 AM (GMT -7)   
I actually did write a reply as soon as I read the posts but unfortunately it got lost :( (My appologies) The site wanted me to sign in again and the reply I wrote was no longer there. Actually if you asked me if I wanted to go to the dentist instead I would say I would prefer that. I never actually knew that it would be this hard writing about someone I love dearly.

It's like having Jeckyll and Hyde. When things are not going the way he likes it in life, even if it is a simple obstacle, his anxiety and depression sky rockets and then he starts blaming me. Maybe in a twisted way I am guilty of his problems. He is living in my country. He is far away from home. For a person with anxiety this is a huge step. (he did work in several countries though. So this is not the first time for him living abroad) I do not like him using the "I came all the way from my home country to be with you" card all the time though. I try and put myself in his shoes. Yes, it is hard, yet, I know I will never fully understand how it really does feel to live in a foreign country with anxiety. Somehow my husband thinks that all the negative behaviours he comes across in my country towards him is because he is a foreigner. Yes, some may be but a lot of times it has nothing to do with it. I guess he is and has been quite sensitive. So I do try and understand his situation. That is another reason why I have been so understanding towards him. (He has trouble focussing on the positive things in life. There are very nice people here too. Somehow everything controversial and negative draws his attention.) (I also have been after him to learn the language so it would make his life easier but he is not showing any effort to do so. He just took a beginners course and did not continue)

Although I had made it quite clear that I wanted to settle down in my hometown before we got married, I still offered him to work abroad if we got a good job offer because I knew he wanted it so much. This is one huge step for me. Knowing his anxiety I fear it might not work out and we might be jumping from one country to another. Let alone me giving up my job and pension here in my hometown.

What Janetlee said about my husband being an "emotional vampire" might be true. I did read the article and it is hard to admit and breaks my heart into pieces but I think it is true. There are many signs I have read there that he is one and even right now as I am writing about it my mind and heart is fighting against it to not believe in it. I guess you never really want to accept the fact that the one you really love can be this way. Plus, I know he loves doing charity work and helping people. I've seen all the nice things he has done for people and how much he loves nature. So it does make it even harder accepting the fact of "why?" he is like this towards me.

Like Stkitt said I do feel guilty, upset, drained and confused. I also feel incompetent sometimes. As if there is something more I can do. If only I did not feel drained all the time. He isn't the only reason of course for me to feel tired. My work is challenging. I am a teacher dealing with poor kids who desperately need my help. It is challenging, yet very rewarding. So I guess I have double trouble. wink

Mmnavy and Howlncat you are right about that nothing in this world could justify emotional abuse, but, still I am hoping that this too shall pass . I want to believe in that cause he is a very good person at the same time. I don't know. I am quite confused.

It has helped me more than I can say to know that I am not alone. To know there are people out there who do understand and care. It feels as if I was all alone in the mist and I finally saw some sunshine. It really did give me that extra boost seeing all those posts and today when I saw how you did reach out to me in such a heartfealt way. Thank you so much. God Bless for helping me smile once more.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/24/2010 11:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello again,

I am glad you have come back and I know how difficult this is for you. Please remember you cannot control another person's emotions so do not take on guilt as that is a wasted emotion.

Emotional abuse is a form of brainwashing. It tends to reinforce negative emotions and self-perceptions that you may already have within yourself. When your own irrational thoughts are reinforced, it turns the world on its ear. Up is down and right is wrong, so that you come to believe what your husband is confronting you with every day.

You posted your husband is prone to fits of anger. This is his means of cowering you , to make you feel you have committed some grave error or lapse of judgment. Once again, this is an attempt to control the you.
You have to realize that this is actually childish behavior, no matter how threatening it is. Your husband is throwing a tantrum, the way a child might. You also need to understand there is never justification for this, that nothing you may have done justifies his anger. You are a good person and worthy of happiness and a loving relationship.

It is not too much to ask that your husband respect you. Respect is the foundation of a healthy relationship. Respect is an essential component of “true love”. No person is going to agree with every opinion or action you take; but respecting your actions and opinions is essential.

There is a book you may want to look for:
Why Does He Do That?
Inside the minds of Angry & Controlling Men
By: Lundy Bancroft

My first husband was emotionally abusive to the point that everything that went wrong in his whole world was my fault - even his Father dying of lung cancer. I lasted 7 years and then took my 3 children and walked away. I had to in order to save my own sanity ~ I felt like a loser for a long time but through therapy and continued hard work I manage my self esteem and know I am a good person too.

I have a awesome husband now and we just celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary.

I wish you peace.

Kitt

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 6/25/2010 10:28 AM (GMT -7)   
KITT
you could not hv said it better imho
cats dad was same way
he would even check phone to siee who called
he constantly put me down n called me names ii cannot post here'
i like you decided i had enough n did not want her growiing op thnking its okay to treat ppl that way
he dd get physial one time
after that i waited til he went to work..pktg a few things n left

never to go bk
he died a lonely man but know u hv ppl hear that truly do get it n care
keep posting plz


                 Co Mod for... CROHNS..ANXIETY/ PANIC.....ALZHEIMERS
        DX.. a/p ....crohns ...fibro... pyoderma gangrenosum..seizures....deaf
            meds..lyrica..pentasa...valproic acid..ativan...diazepam....t 3 s prn
                  Help HEALING WELL...DONATE...www.HealingWell.com
                        WE CAN N WILL GET THRU THIS TOGETHER
                                                   LYN                       

Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 6/25/2010 11:31:56 AM (GMT-6)


Chimo
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/14/2014 10:37 AM (GMT -7)   
i know these things which you write of. i am experiencing the same. for 10 years or more trying to figure her problem out but really at a loss. its killing me(hopefully making me stronger?)

mike

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 24638
   Posted 12/14/2014 11:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello and welcome.

I am sorry to hear that your wife has been struggling for so long...and that your role of supporter is taking its toll on you.

It is indeed difficult for both sides!

I hope that you found some comfort in this thread...

...let us know how we can be of support to you and you wife, as this is a place of care and understanding.

We have great Resources as well that could be helpful to you both. Find them at the top of the main page.

Post with us anytime for sharing. Since this is an older thread, please consider making a new one of you own...so more members can welcome you

Best wishes for you both!

Scaredy Cat
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Chimo
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/19/2014 5:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you.
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