Post # 1
I was diagnosed with GAD last year. It explains a lot. But I’m stuck in this rut that I can’t get out of and it will end our relationship if I don’t snap out of it.
It came to a head yesterday when I tried talking to FI about some things that were bothering me because he asked why I seemed upset – those things were that he doesn’t want to wear a ring when we get married, and that I was thinking about the past (issues with ex, I posted about it before – my mind always goes to the ex when I’m mad at him). His response was to shut down, not talk to me, and watch ESPN. I became upset that he wouldn’t talk about the ring issue and he knew it. He tried changing the subject multiple times. He acted like he didn’t have a care in the world, while I sat there, staring at the ground because my mind was racing.
I ended up in tears and he hugged me. I told him how it made me feel to be ignored, and he said he “just gets frustrated” and that’s why he doesn’t talk. I said I feel like I’m alone in all of this sometimes, which he said he does too. He asked what he could do when I feel anxious, and I said tell me you love me and it’s going to be okay. His response was “I’ve told you a billion times that I love you.”
I struggle so bad with GAD. I get stuck in the past and think about the things he did. My mind always jumps to the worst case scenario. I snap easily. I ruminate and it’s so self-destructive but it feels like I can’t stop; my mind is a runaway train. Ruminating makes me angry at him because I focus only on the bad. But he hasn’t done anything bad in a year and a half, so why can’t I just forgive him and get over it?? Therapy isn’t an option right now so I’m gonna read some books on anxiety. Since he asked what he can do to help, I wrote out a list last night of things he can do (force me back to the present, reassure me, etc.). We’ll see how that goes. I’m scared of losing him.
Post # 3
Your GAD sounds really bad. I have it too, but mine is situational. Are you on medication?
Post # 4
I’ve been having really bad anxiety over the last several months related to my job circumstances. A couple weeks ago it escalated to multiple panic attacks a week and I went to the doctor. I got put on zoloft and I’m feeling so much better. It gave me the boost I needed to get out of the anxiety rut and start feeling more like my normal self. I know you said therapy isn’t an option right now, but are you able to go to the doctor?
Post # 5
I can’t be on medication right now. I might be able to in a few months.
Post # 6
I haven’t been diagnosed with GAD, but I have been in your shoes. I had some anxiety in college and a few years following, but it flared up drastically once I got in engaged. At least once a month, I would get into a slump, freak out about my relationship with SO and panic about the future. “Is he the right person for me? Will his habit always annoy me? Will this marriage last?…”
I mentioned my anxiety to SO at least twice. The first time he tried to be my voice of reason and talk me out of it. The second time, he became really worried about all the concerns I had about our future.
My anxiety was destroying our five year relationship. Therapy really wasn’t an option for me either, so I turned to the internet for support. The best thoughtful question I found was, “Do you love him when you are not in a state of anxiety?” My answer was yes and I always turn to that thought when I feel anxious about our future.
Although, it sounds like your anxiety might be triggered by something different, you could still use the same thought process. So, ask yourself in a healthy state of mind, “Does it still bother me that SO will not wear a ring after the wedding? Will the past always be a problem?”
If your answer is yes, then you guys need to have a conversation about it when you are not anxious. But if you realize it is just the anxiety talking, try to talk yourself out of it. Redirect your thoughts.
I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.
Post # 7
@newcitylights: I was never diagnosed with GAD but your situation sounds like my situation several years ago. I saw a therapist for a bit which only helped somewhat but didn’t help when I was sitting alone freaking the hell out. Here are two things that helped:
Journal – every day I recorded my feelings. If I was feeling off, I would write down whatever factors might have contributed that day. It helped me to understand my triggers so I could recognize them and not feel so helpless.
TIME – I made this caps because it’s the most important and nothing can replace it. What you don’t mention in your post is how long you’ve been with FI. We waited until I was entirely stable before FI proposed. It took several years. By the time we’re married we will have been together 8 years. It took me a lot of time to get over past issues (with him and other exes), to identify and accept my insecurities and move past them. If he had proposed four years ago I’d probably have been in your shoes.
Best of luck.. I hope it gets better. Find someone to talk to to help you work through your issues, and try to journal to get a better picture of your triggers so you can tackle them head on. HUGS!
Post # 9
I’ve had pretty bad anxiety for about 6 years. It was probably at it’s worst when SO and I started dating. SO has also dealt with anxiety though, so he really helped me cope and was my strength and shoulder.
Whenever I’m feeling anxious, I tell my SO and he’s very open to talking about it and being supportive. Just make sure your FI knows what exactly you’re dealing with. Do your best to be vocal with him.
When you’re able to see a therapist, I’d recommend it.
I think it’s important to work with your FI and find out how to work together to work through your anxiety
Post # 10
@mrschmura: That mantra is so helpful and true! When I’m not anxious, I love him and feel normal.
@sanjessica: We’ll be together 3 years in October. With all the issues we’re having now, we should have waited to get engaged. Of course, my impatient butt pitched the idea of getting engaged. We still have a year and a half til the wedding so I’m hoping I can get past it by then. I’ve put a lot of money down on deposits already (I know, bad reason to go through with it).
I will try journaling. My triggers seem to be driving in the car – I’m not occupied and that’s where my mind goes. Coming home…our house was/is a source of heartache since they lived there together and we’re going to move eventually. Or seeing places they went together. Or being mad at him for something unrelated, then my mind goes back to the ex.
Post # 11
I have GAD and am not medicated currently, but I’m giving serious thought to it. I really do feel for you. It’s hard when you find something to fixate on and your SO cannot understand why you won’t (can’t) just drop it.
Post # 12
I don’t really have any helpful advice as i’ve also been struggling with some pretty bad anxiety over the past year. I too have a lot of relationship-based anxiety, so I completely understand your situation.. I just don’t any advice for what to do. BUT, if you ever need to talk to someone who’s going through the same thing, feel free to PM me.
Post # 13
I looked through a few of your previous posts to see if I couldn’t figure out some of what you were referring to, with “he hasn’t done anything bad in a year and a half” and whatever the angle with the ex is. I’m not sure I really got all the info that would have been necessary, but just let me say this:
Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that just because you have GAD means that you’re responsible for all the problems in the relationship, whatever those problems might be. Nothing you described in the conversation/non-conversation above that was so frustrating seems overwhelmingly connected to GAD — there are lots of women who perseverate on their SO’s exes who don’t have any kind of diagnosis. Now, an inability for you to be consoled or to come to some sort of resolution through that conversation might be indicative of your GAD struggles, but him stonewalling you so that you can’t even HAVE that conversation is all on him.
The point about how you feel when you’re not in a state of anxiety is wonderful, appropriate and true. But you’re going to have to manage the GAD for the rest of your life (presumably and hopefully keeping it at bay for long periods!) and so your relationship is going to have to be able to survive the anxious periods too.
It would probably be good for you guys both to see a counselor, in addition to whatever help you’re getting/will be getting for the GAD. It’s tough to be in a relationship with someone who has these challenges, and he could probably use someone to talk to as well!
Post # 14
That post is the only one I could find that gave the most details. We were seeing a counselor together and she decided that while we were both contributing to the issues, it was mostly my problem. So she wanted to see me individually. She didn’t give me solutions though, so I stopped seeing her.
Post # 15
A therapist is not there to give you solutions. They are there to help YOU figure it out. There is no magic coping mechanism. Everyone has their own way of working through their challenges. A therapist is there to discuss how you’re dealing with it, how other people are reacting to it and to help guide you towards the right path for yourself. If you are expecting a therapist or medication to be your solution, you are mistaken. They can both help significantly, but the actual solution only comes from you.
Post # 16
@MariContrary: I get what you’re saying, but this therapist would tell me to just “stop doing that” when I told her about the ruminating/intrusive thoughts. That just plain doesn’t work for anxiety. Tell me how to stop doing that. If it was as simple as just stopping the behavior, I wouldn’t need to see someone in the first place.