(Closed) FI has social anxiety

posted 4 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
2612 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI

My father never danced at my parents wedding. No social anxiety or other issues he just does NOT dance. Period. He also refused to wear a tuxedo and opted for suit instead. Would my mother have loved for him to dance at the wedding? Sure. Did she want him to be miserable on their wedding day? No. So he didn’t dance and she had a great time out on the dance floor with the girls and danced with other family members.

Everyone has things that make them extremely uncomfortable. I think if he is willing to do the first dance just try and be happy with that and the fact you’re marrying the man you love.

I get some mild social anxiety and I don’t like to go around telling people about it. Even my FI. He can usually tell when a situation is making me uncomfortable but I try and get through it best I can most of the time. I get very anxious meeting new people so it helps me if FI is introducing me to a large group of friends if he tells me about them first and stays close by me for the first moments until I relax and settle in with everyone.

I really don’t think most people will notice if you’re not dancing all night with your husband. I have been to many weddings where the bride ends up dancing a lot in a group of all girls! It is not uncommon. Many men get tired of dancing and/or don’t want to dance all night long. See if he will maybe do a couple other slow dances with you  – these tend to be easier on guys.

Just make sure to enjoy the night. If your FI doesn’t dance with you all night make sure you take some dancing breaks to rest your feet and get in some quality time.




Post # 4
602 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

@bridgetdarling:  I have social anxiety and we are having problems just planning things out so I dont have a breakdown. He may just not like to dance or he may not like that everyone will be watching him closely on that day. You would really have to know why he doesnt like to dance to see why he doesnt like it. I personally dont like people giving me hugs, touching me in general or standing behind me. He may just have a small reason that is amplified when dancing comes up or he just hates it.

Post # 5
450 posts
Helper bee

I used to have social anxiety disorder.  It was pretty bad in high school, but I’ve made a full recovery.

I’m curious about the fact that he can’t take medication for it.  I don’t know about all sorts of drug abuse, but are SSRIs something that one can actually abuse?  Could he get any ‘high’ off of them or something?

Anyway, I want to share my own experiences involving dates and dancing.  When I was in high school, I got invited to the prom, which was in itself kind of horrifying.  I wanted to go, though, and for some reason I felt some sort of obligation because I was asked, so I went.

I’m telling you, that prom was such a nightmare for me.

It was partially because I was anxious about the guy and dissecting in my mind everything I was doing wrong and how he must think me so awkward and lame.  It was also partially the dancing.  I all but refused to go on the dance floor.  In the end, I got out on the floor with him for the final slow dance, but it was so awkward.  I was tense and such a mess.  I can’t imagine he enjoyed the dance much, haha.

I always feel so bad for my younger self (and for him!) when I think back to that prom.  I’d hate to think anyone would think of their wedding the way I remember prom.

The thing is, the fears he has for going out and dancing are very real.  I don’t think it’s an excuse not to do something he wants to do.  That doesn’t mean that he can’t do something about it, even without medication.  The trick is to help him slowly adjust to being comfortable dancing by introducing him to ‘safe,’ non judgmental dancing environments.  Eventually, he may be able to prove to himself that dancing isn’t so bad.  He already knows that any fears he has regarding them are irrational, but it is hard to fully accept it.

Maybe you can start trying to dance with him at home until he comes to find that it isn’t scary.  Then introduce him to some sort of dancing in public, but if you do this I’d personally recommend giving him an ‘exit card.’  Let him know that you can leave when he gets too uncomfortable.

I was always afraid of social parties, so my best friend (bless her) would have me subtly let her know if it got to be too much for me.  Then, she’d make up a reason why she had to leave, and since she was my ride I had to go, too.  Since the reason to leave didn’t really have anything to do with me, and we could leave as soon as I needed to, it didn’t draw attention to me and was an easy exit.  Eventually, I felt safer knowing I had that safe exit, and so I was able to push my own boundaries, always knowing I could leave.

Maybe you could implement a system kind of like that while he is adapting to dancing.

However… if he is not up for working on this, I really don’t think there is much you can do.  People with anxieties can go into fight-or-flight responses, and unless they are willing to work on their fears I don’t think it will work.

Post # 6
2566 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Both me and my Fi have mild to severe anxiety issues and one of the reasons we’re having a private DW with just us is because neither of us likes being the center of attention.  The morning of his practice wedding (haha) he had to go get a massage just to relax.

I say don’t force him to do anything he does not want to.  Perhaps you can try breathing/relaxation exercises leading up to the wedding to try and calm his nerves. 

Post # 8
129 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Both me and FI have anxiety issues. His is more social and mine is more general. I LOVE to dance, in fact it helps my anxiety. Sadly he is wanting to do the same as your FI,he will do the first dance and nothing else. I don’t think anyone will notice so I’m not worried about it. Anxiety is hard to understand but we both have made huge improvements with acupuncture and proper diet and supplementation. FI takes GABA, which acts on the brain just like Valium but with no side effects and no dependency. I have found B vitamins to be a life saver 🙂

Post # 9
928 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Honestly, the night goes by so fast it won’t be a problem. We did our first dance, danced to the last song played, and maybe one other song in between…too busy chatting w/ guests, taking pics, and trying to taste some of the wedding food lol! Push for the first dance because that is really special & one of the few moments you have to talk “alone” as weird as that sounds. Otherwise I wouldn’t push him if he’s uncomfortable, last thing you want to do is fight at your wedding!

Post # 10
1193 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@bridgetdarling:  I have social anxiety.  I would never be able to have a large wedding and do a first dance type of thing.  Nor would my husband ask me to.  I don’t think anyone is going to notice who you dance with that night.  You’ll be making your rounds, other people will be bumping into people they haven’t seen in awhile.  I wouldn’t worry much about how it looks.

Post # 12
3 posts

This is your FI’s wedding too, why would you want to force him to do something that makes him so terribly uncomfortable you’ve already had two big fights about it?

See if he’ll compromise on the first dance and then leave him be. You can spend the evening dancing with your girl friends. 

Post # 13
125 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Hi…. Such a dear issue to me.  Yes, my fiancé has an anxiety disorder and social anxiety…. He never abused alcohol but medications…. And is currently not taking anything for the anxiety now. It’s so hard. But I consider it a huge blessing to love him and to be trusted by him and it’s huge that he feels safe around me.  Yes, this means we don’t go to everything…. We don’t eat out a lot…. Things get canceled because he just can’t do it. Other days, he’s fine. 

For our wedding, we are basically eloping (just us and my 3 teenage sons)…. We will have a family dinner on a later date with our parents and all our siblings and their families. No dancing.  No speeches. I don’t want him to have to do anything that will cause a panic attack or anything like that. I feel over time, he’ll get better, but I know it’ll be slow. 

I equate it with any other kind of illness. If my FI was recovering from a serious physical illness, I wouldn’t make him do anything on his wedding day that would compromise his health.  Don’t know if that makes sense…. 

Hang in there…. And keep being the strong support that you are…. 

Post # 14
170 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I don’t understand why your FI can’t take anxiety medication–sure there are drugs like xanax that are addictive but there are plenty of other anti-anxiety medications that he could take that are not addictive at all–he should really go to a psychiatrist and describe his concerns

Post # 15
1193 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@bridgetdarling:  It really varies from person to person.  There are lots of social situations I’m perfectly fine in.  Big parties, like receptions, are the big thing for me.  I’ve given speeches in front of classes and things like that before and would be bothered far more about dancing in public with a bunch of eyes on me, because I’d feel scrutinized.  

Post # 16
3421 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I may be insensitive but I say “JUST DANCE THEN!” No one is going to be stopping YOU from dancing. Let him pout and see you having a ball. That is what I will be doing.

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