Anxiety post follow up question — Mama's boy or Anxiety suffering?

posted 3 years ago in Waiting
Post # 3
Member
1169 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I don’t really understand why it’s wrong for him to hang out with his mom. It may not be how you do things, but it’s not necessarily bad. I would say I have an entirely healthy relationship with my mom. I’m a grown up and I handle my own life, but I hang out with her regularly. It’s not uncommon for her to come over and watch TV with me, especially while my FI is out of town. Maybe he’s just using the spare time to spend time with his folks. Maybe he just genuinely likes spending time with them. As long as he’s not choosing his parents over spending time with you, I don’t see the issue. 

 

I get why it bothers you if it’s not your way of doing things. I’m sure my FI thinks I’m super weird for seeing my mom so often, but he’s gotten used to it. 

 

Post # 4
Member
362 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@MissRuthie:  Don’t worry about him eating with them every day when you were gone. A LOT of guys will eat at home when their girlfriend is away lol I have a friend who owns a house, but lives alone, and he almost constantly eats at his mom’s. I’m sure if he had a gf, he would still eat at his mom when she is not home. My 50 year old uncle still does that when his wife is not home haha (he goes to eat at his mom’s). 🙂

About the panic, as someone who use to panic easily (and still do sometimes), I think (and that is MY opinion) that when he tells you he is fine, that doesn’t mean fine like a “normal” person… I think he means he feels better, which is different. He could still feel more at ease if someone is with him and certainly won’t refuse if his mom offers to come over and watch TV.

Now I totally understand how you feel, and I am sure it would bother me too… I am just explaining how I see his behaviour. But he really, really needs to learn to manage his panic. I worked a LOT on my own panic issues, and I am much better at controlling it now, but he HAS to act on it, because if he lets the panic attacks take over, it will only get worse as he gets older. I found that reading on the topic and seeing a professional can help. But I got a lot of help too from friends and older friends who use to have the same problem or still had it. I didn’t take medication though, as it is not for me, and I think they just mask the underlying cause. Get him to talk a lot about it, find out why he panics like that, and maybe he will open up and manage his panic better. 

Good luck, it is not easy, I know!

Post # 5
Member
2687 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Ketchum, ID

@MissRuthie:  I don’t know if I’d necessarily call it clingyness, maybe he just is close with his mother. I’m extremely close my father. He’s my best friend, and my entire world. Whenever we’re in the same town (I’m in college atm), I always hang out with him. I don’t care if it’s going shopping, watching a movie, just watching TV together, or just talking. I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all to have a close relationship with parents, and if someone ever tried to tell me that me hanging out with my dad was clingy and annoying, they’d be dropped from my life instantly. No one, not even my boyfriend, is more important to me than my dad. 

Post # 6
Member
1169 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@mrspinesol:  I’m the same way as you. My mom is my #1 :p I’ve always been very upfront with my FI that my family will always come first. Luckily for him, he will very soon be my family 😉 

Post # 7
Member
2687 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Ketchum, ID

@MsMonkey:  I just read my comment to my boyfriend. I said “what do you think about my dad being number one?” “I don’t care” lol. 

Post # 8
Member
2687 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Ketchum, ID

@MsMonkey:  It’s very obvious, within 5 minutes of meeting me, that I’m ridiculously close to my dad. My credit card is a picture of him and I, lol. 

Post # 9
Member
3476 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@mrspinesol:  Do you think you’ll still feel this way if/after you get married?  And have kids?  I can see parents being very important, but just seems to me at some point your spouse is supposed to be number one.  I guess if your bf doesn’t care it works for you guys, so I shouldn’t ask, but…

OP, I think it’s possible he’s not 100% ok even though he says he is.  I can see this is really frustrating and I don’t know if I’d be able to deal with the situation (I have issues with my DH not being an adult about chores and that bugs me enough).  But I’d chalk this up as something not to stress about if you are gone, and to only get worried about a mama boy if he does this too while you are there.

Post # 10
Member
2630 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@MissRuthie:  Perhaps hanging out so much with his parents does allow him to go about his daily business when you’re not around. You even say his ability to stay at the apartment by himself is an improvement. That’s great! He’s had to live with his anxiety for longer than y’all have been together, and he probably has a good sense of how to keep it under control. As for it bothering you, I would suggest that you keep that to yourself because, really, what good can be done by sharing it with him? You’d just be giving him something to feel anxious about.

He has an illness, and it’s not something he can just magically “man up” to cure or something. I understand that it’s frustrating for you, but I am willing to bet it is a worse experience for him whenever he has a panic attack. Rather than letting negative and, honestly, disrespectful emotions build inside of you, why not pick up some literature on anxiety disorders and be an advocate for your boyfriend instead? It can only help strengthen the relationship. 

FTR, I suffer from depression and anxiety, and this kind of attitude is something I’ve had to deal with from family and friends.

Post # 12
Member
2630 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@MissRuthie:  I didn’t think you were saying that you don’t want him to spend time with his family. I’ll rephrase…I think he’s spending so much time with them to keep the anxiety at bay. If we weren’t talking about an anxiety disorder but, for example, his inability to keep himself entertained, then I would agree with you that he’s using them as a crutch.

However, since it is a disorder that he can’t really train himself to fully improve upon. IMO, I think he’s got a great coping mechanism, which is proven by his ability to stay by himself at the apartment at night. That’s huge if he’s not normally that good with it. 

As far as discussing your feelings on the matter…well, I just don’t think it would be helpful. My ExH used to talk to me about how I should try harder to control my depression or keep my anxiety in check. He thought he was using kind words and/or a supportive attitude, but it just made me feel even worse about my “failure” at being the person he wanted me to be. Instead of framing the conversation as how you feel about him spending so time with his parents (or really anyone else if he has any friends you feel he might be leaning on for the same reasons), you could ask him what about that time is so helpful for him. As you comment, make sure to stick to “I” statements like, “I was just concerned that you might be depending on them too much to control the anxiety. I want to know if there’s anything I could do to provide the same kind of support from a distance.” 

Post # 13
Member
193 posts
Blushing bee

@MissRuthie:  I don’t usually comment as I am more of a lurker but I just want to pipe up for this. I have been with my SO for 5 years and he has generalized anxiety disorder. Only within the past year has he really improved. Any way, I do sort of understand where you’re coming from. I don’t think you’re a terrible person. Helping him cope can be frustrating at times and when it was worse, I definitely felt like I had to almost ‘baby’ him. I get that. However, just because he is currently ‘okay’ doesn’t mean he suddenly doesn’t need his coping mechanisms. View it more as a preventative. My family live interstate and when I would visit them by myself, SO would almost always go into one of his ‘down’ periods, becuase he was by himself for so long. I would actually ask his family to visit him while I was gone. I wish he had the foresight your SO does, to surround himself with other people so that it doesn’t get to that stage in the first place. Truly, I understand how difficult it is to deal with all the time and I think one of the biggest struggles is lack of understanding. I would encourage you to try and put yourself in his shoes a bit more. You say you’d understand if he was currently anxious but he’s fine. The truth is, with an anxiety disorder, it’s never really all that ‘fine’. You just have better days than others and part of that is by preventing your triggers. If he recognises that being alone is a trigger, than all the better for taking steps to prevent it. It may not sound like it, but this is a really really good step. My SO used to not recognise his triggers at all and I would actually know what would set him off before he did. He has gradually become more aware and was able to predict his moods better and thus better avoid or cope with potential stressors. SO still has bad days but much much more rarely and he is better able now to cope with daily stress. In the past year, the only times he has had anxiety has been over things that most people would kind of find stressful. It can get better! Has your SO sought any type of help?

Post # 14
Member
2687 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Ketchum, ID

@MissRuthie:  I didn’t say that’s what you think, but it did slightly come off that way, especially when you said you want him to “CUT THE CORD!”. Anxiety is something you won’t ever be able to fully and truly help him with. Anxiety is not something you can mentally get rid of all together, it is a chemical imbalance. You can help him by letting him know you’re there for him, and that he’s healthy and he’s not going to die alone. However, it takes many years of hard work (including therapy and medicine sometimes) to get anxiety under control, and if it’s a true chemical imbalance anxiety, it will probably never go away. 

 

I just don’t see how him hanging out with his mom is something to be upset about. Since when did becoming a man mean that you don’t hang out with your mom? You’re out of town, what does it matter what he does? Maybe he was bored, or maybe he truly was having some anxiety, and needed someone there with him. Either way, his relationship with his mom seems fairly healthy, and like nothing you should be all mad about. 

Post # 15
Member
2687 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Ketchum, ID

@outofideas:  +1 

this is really great. Unfortunately, and I don’t mean to be rude, I don’t think OP should be with her SO if shdries starting to feel like she doesn’t want to deal with his anxiety. Unfortunately, it will probably be something he deals with for the rest of his life. 

Post # 16
Member
2687 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Ketchum, ID

@kay01:  it won’t change when I get married. My boyfriend is very important to me, more so than almost everyone else, including people in my family. However, my dad will always be number one. That might change with kids, but I’m still undecided whether I will have kids or not. My mom has been absent from my life since I was 3, when she started doing drugs. She’s in and out, but when she’s in, it’s always bad. My dad sacrificed everything to raise me as a single father, and it’s been just the 2 of us for 20 years. So yes, my dad is extremely important to me, and no, my boyfriend will never be in that same spot or position. Do I love him? Absolutely, but not like my dad. 

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