How to force the issue.

How did you come to get help?
Did you hit bottom? - 60.0%
Did someone intervene gently? - 40.0%
Did someone intervene forcefully? - 0.0%
Did you find someone like you and come out together? - 0.0%

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/20/2008 5:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello all. I am running into some trouble, and I came here looking for someone with the same kind of trouble...
My wife and I love each other very much, but we have been having problems for about 2 years now. She has powerful anxiety around certain stimulis. We live in a country foreign to both of us, where we met and have been for five years, her work is a looney bin full of workaholics, and she has issues with people that share her faith.
Needless to say, her reactions to the things around her are also an issue, and they have been troubling me since just before we got married. After two years of trying every nice thing I can do, I am at my ropes end. The day before she goes back to work, for instance, she tends to get highly anxious, until some mispoken word, or careless blip on my part sets her off into a self fulfilling prophecy of victimhood. I grew up in an abusive household, and I have seen this pattern many a time, but instead of physical violence, it ends up with emotional and verbal abuse, rings thrown around, eventual burnout, and lots of self-loathing and "I'm sorry" for a week, until her anxiety overwhelms her again, and then rinse and repeat.
These things go in cycles, and go from a weekly to a monthly to a daily basis, but the bottom line is that I want her to get help. She is Asian, and has some real prejudices about anything approaching the word crazy. I am tired of perpetuating this cycle though, and short of tearing up my life and moving to wherever it is she thinks everything will be ok, (already did that once,) right now I am stuck in a place were victimhood precludes her from the duty to try to change herself to make life easier.
At the risk of my marriage, I am considering somehow trying to force the issue. I just don't know what or how to do it. I have lots of books she can read from my past issues, and a psychologist she could use, but she basically refuses. Do I try an ultimatum? Do I try to bring in her parents or some friends to help? Do I just keep going through this week after week, and try to be patient, until she gets there on her own? I am lost and hopeful.

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42609
   Posted 10/20/2008 7:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bel,

Welcome to HealingWell.

This sounds so difficult. She definately needs to talk to somebody. Is there anyway that you could not react to her abusiveness. Just ignore it and tell her gently that she needs help? I know that she sounds like she gets explosive, like you have to walk on egg shells around her. ONly she can help herself, but maybe you could push the books towards her, and keep mentioning the counseling. This is a touchy situation. She is in denial.

Can you talk to your psycologist? Maybe he/she could give you some tips on what to do also. At least help you through this difficult situation.

Best wishes for a wonderful day,

Hugs, Karen..
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/20/2008 9:55 AM (GMT -6)   

Good Morning Begarath

Welcome to HealingWell.  This is Kitt.

I am sorry you are having problems.  IMHO I feel your wife and you might both benefit from counseling, together or indivudual.

You posted "She is Asian, and has some real prejudices about anything approaching the word crazy."  Please throw out the word crazy..........and use the word you see, anxiety.   Many people still feel any mental disorder means your " crazy"  Not true.  But it does sound like both of you need some help through a difficult time. Convience her that she is not crazy nor is anyone else with anxiety.

I am sure you will get some wonderful advice here on HW.  Stay with us and Welcome again.



Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~* *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/20/2008 6:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Karen and Kitt, thanks so much for your replies.
I personally went through addiction recovery about 5 years ago, and so I find the word crazy a bit silly. I can't see how anyone isn't a little bit crazy. I think it is one of those quirky beautiful things about us. Before she lost control of her emotions and life, I would say she thought the same way I do.
I was alone in a very rural area of this country, and there was no help available. I largely made it through with research and autotherapy. Hence, it took me a lot longer to recover. I usually talk about counseling as a way to help stay sane, or a way to help make sure that she has the reactions she wants to have. I have tried the word anxiety, as well, but she has a blaming mentality that disallows self-reflective words and replaces them with what "they" do. Similarly, any mention of psych. counselors, or books immediately sets off a nuclear sized defensive reaction to the concept that it is her that is "crazy."

After some particularly distasteful behavior, which she regretted, she has let me lay it out for her that she needs to get help a few times and seemed almost ready to do it, but that usually fades. This back and forth is a part of my frustration.

I think I will take your advice, and go on my own. My own mental/spiritual health is threatened, and I can't be of much use if I get depressed in the process.

I guess the key is the denial. It eats at her self respect, and it frustrates me. I can't seem to break through the denial, and I am getting more and more tempted to use a sledge hammer, so to speak. That would mean something like an ultimatum, etc. I love my wife, though, and forceing her to face herself would make her suffer intensely, hate me to some degree and may neither work nor help...

Any experience with strong cases of denial?
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