Finally told BF that I have anxiety issues- He says I'm just making it up

posted 3 years ago in Relationships
Post # 31
11179 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

veleniza :  

You have a fight which leaves you hurting and in tears and your bf does . . . nothing.  Again, no empathy.

He doesn’t score extra points for taking you to the doctor and tending to you when you had a knee injury.  That is expected of people in relationships, it’s not above and beyond.  He didn’t give you a kidney.

This is meant to alarm you:  stay very, very clear of people who lack a capacity for empathy.  They can and will do tremendous damage to other people.  They are personality disordered.  They do not change.  They are very often abusive.

They honestly cannot put themselves in your shoes and get a sense of how you feel.  Thus, they tend to do and say hurtful things.  They don’t have much in the way of conscience, though many can fake it.

Some of them get good at mimicking normal emotions.  They are especially treacherous because they seem so normal.

Honey, this guy breaking up with you would be best case scenario.

Post # 33
85 posts
Worker bee

veleniza :  Hi there, my heart really feels for you because this sounds exactly like me about 8 months ago. I had alllllll the same sympotoms and life was so hard to bare with even just the most simple tasks because of my paralyzing anxiety. I promise you I’m not some crazy bible thumper but I just want you to know for me, the one thing that helped the most was a book and sermon series from Joyce Meyer called “Battlefield of the Mind.” Anxiety IS a battlefied and learning tools to deal with it head on in any given situation alleviates much of the pain. I discovered this book in conjecture with a 4 year relationship ending when I got my final answer that marriage was NEVER on our horizon. We dated from all of 23-27. 4 years of my twenties and winding up 100% single at 27 was terrifying but looking back, it’s the best thing that ever happened to me because I’ve been freed from the chains of a toxic relationship, so much of my anxiety stemmed from a peace and comfort that was never fully there in the relationship and although that must be found from within, sharing your life with someone so intimately does begin to affect you when they can’t be fully, emotionally available to you. Check out Joyce Meyer YouTube sermons on “Battlefield of the Mind” and best of luck to you!

Post # 35
7669 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

veleniza :  Wow ,I am so sorry. I have to revise my original opinion, which was too optimistic, in light of his continuing horrible reaction, and also this:

“We had situations in the past where we had a fight and I cried a lot afterwards and he would just ignore it and not do anything about it. It makes me think like the only way he liks me is when I’m happy and bubbly (which I am most of the time).”

This is just awful, and shows that his callous behavior is not a one-off, not just a result of his surprise at you opening up to him about your anxiety…but rather it’s a pattern with him. Unfortunately I don’t think there is much hope for this relationship. If he doesn’t end it, I think you should. I know there are great things about this guy and you feel “safe” when he holds your hand, but do you feel safe right now? Do you feel secure? You need a partner who will make you feel safe and secure not just in your good moments but also when you’re struggling.

My heart hurts for you because I’m afraid this experience will make you believe that you can never open up to a man again about your mental health issues, or you’ll get dumped. Bee, please understand this is far from the truth. So many bees on here suffer from anxiety, depression, etc., and have found wonderful loving partners who support them.

My own partner has an anxiety problem and has been in therapy for over a decade, and also takes medication. He told me about it very early on in our relationship. He casually mentioned something about his shrink in the course of a light hearted convo about something unrelated. Though his tone was casual, I could tell this was a big deal for him, opening up to me about his anxiety. I was surprised because he didn’t seem like the stereotypical “anxious” person (which I now understand is not even a thing), but I just calmly asked him some questions about it and then we moved on.

Later on, he confessed to me that he was terrified to tell me about it. Worried I couldn’t handle it and would leave him. But you know what, his anxiety has never been an issue in our relationship. Why? Because he takes responsibility for it and is proactive in managing it…just like you seem to be. He is in therapy, takes his medication, and doesn’t lean on me like a crutch…doesn’t expect me to be his personal therapist.

My point is, you are a mature, responsible person who is doing what you need to do for your own mental health. It’s your bf’s loss that he’s going to let one piece of information (that you have anxiety) outweigh all that he knows about you from your many years together as a couple. He’s being a coward. But let him be. You can and will find someone who will treat you exactly the same as before after learning about your struggle with anxiety.

Post # 36
943 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

As someone who has dealt with anxiety for pretty much my entire life (debilitating at times) and has dated people who think it’s BS, GET OUT OF THAT RELATIONSHIP. Having a supportive partner is SO important when you deal with anxiety or depression. My husband gets it, and always does whatever he can to make me feel better when I’m going through a rough patch.  You deserve better!

Post # 37
505 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018 - Vineyard Lake

I know this is not what you want to hear but I feel he has done you a HUGE favor by showing you his true colors. He is showing you exactly the type of person he is. Belive him! It doesn’t make him an all around terrible person but he is obviously not the right person for you.

There are men out there that will do their best to understand & learn about what you are going through. I know because I have found a great guy that would move heaven & earth to make me feel safe & show me just how much he cares….& you will to!

You deserve so much more! You reacted based off of his poor reaction! There is nothing worse than making yourself that vulnerable & then being treated that way!! You didn’t tell him because deep down you knew how he would react. 

Also just because you have anxiety it does not mean you shouldn’t have children in the future. I have generalized anxiety as well as social anxiety. I also have a wonderful 9 year old son. Just continue with your therapist, take your meds & learn as much as you can about your anxiety & you’ll be just fine! Everyone has their own issues, you are not alone!

Good luck bee! ((Hugs))

Post # 39
469 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

Your boyfriend’s behavior is not your fault.  Depression and anxiety are illnesses, just like knee injuries and infections.  I’m not sure how he can be so dumb about mental illness in this day and age when there is SO much information out there, but somehow he has become a 30 something who is incredibly ignorant about mental illness. As someone who also suffers from depression and anxiety, and has had unsupportive partners like your SO in the past, my advice is this: your guy either needs to be willing to learn about mental illness and develop empathy, or you’ll need to end it with him.  No matter how much better you are doing overall, life will hit you with stress from time to time, and you’ll have anxiety episodes in the future.  If he continues to say it’s “all in your head” or refuses to support you, there is 0% chance the relationship will work out. I think going to a couples therapist together would help tremendously.  He obviously doesn’t believe you or trust you with regards to your anxiety, so hearing about it from a third objective party could make it “real” instead of imaginary to him.  He can learn to develop empathy, and learn how to support you when you’re having an anxiety or depressive episode (because he clearly has no idea what to do now, and says all the wrong things).

Stop blaming yourself for the current conflict between you and your boyfriend.  It’s not your fault. He is the problem, not you.  If he can’t develop empathy and become a supportive partner to you, then you’re fundamentally incompatible, and you need to find a person who does have those qualities for a successful relationship.  It would be like a recovering alcoholic dating someone who wants to drink liquor in front of her all the time, and refuses to adapt his behavior to keep her healthy…it just won’t work.  If he can’t adapt to becoming the partner you need, then chuck him to the curb.  There are PLENTY of people out there who sensitive and understanding about mental illness.  If anything, I’d say your SO is the exception rather than the rule when it comes to awareness about depression and anxiety.  I’m pretty shocked that anyone his age other than Tom Cruise could be so idiotic and clueless about depression and anxiety, to be honest.

Post # 40
9459 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

if he had cancer, and you told him “It’s all in your head, you just need to feel better and you’ll be better!” and he responded by getting really upset (even if it were inappropriately so) and you responded to that saying “why couldn’t you just accept my opinion on cancer?!”–would you say that YOU ruined the relationship or HE did?

That’s right..

You getting violent with the walls was certainly a sub-optimal reaction, I won’t sugar coat it.  But you’re confusing being upset that something is broken with breaking the thing.

Post # 41
7669 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

He’s sounding more and more like an asshole with every update you post. I love that he’s making your anxiety issue all about HIM and his feelings.

You know what, even if he doesn’t think anxiety is “real” (which is stupid, but fine, some people aren’t educated about it), it’s still unacceptable for him to treat you so callously when you’re clearly upset and struggling. If I see that my partner is hurting, my instinct is to comfort him–no matter what the issue is–and try to get him to help me understand why he feels that way…not to go sleep on the couch because i don’t like it when he’s not happy go lucky. 

blargh…i think this is a DTMF situation bee.

Post # 42
56 posts
Worker bee

veleniza :  this is in response to one of your updates- you said that he told you that it’s hard to get things through to you and I’m going to agree a little. In each of your updates, you keep calling yourself an idiot or mentioning that you feel bad, or that he will break up with you because you hit the wall. You’re not internalizing what almost everyone has said that this fight, and your reaction are due to his lack of empathy. It is HIS fault. You have anxiety, and this is life- sometimes you will react out of line but as a partner, he has to understand and stay by your side. Your reaction was not so bad to warrant a break up. You do not deserve being treated the way you are. 

You have many years ahead of you, and if he gets bent out of shape over this than your future with him will be very rocky. You will always have to hide and cover up your anxiety and that will break you in the end. Find a partner who will take care of you when you are physically sick AND mentally exhausted, or be alone and take care of yourself. Continue therapy regardless if you stay with your boyfriend and learn to feel mentally healthy even if he is not in your life. 

He is right- you two cannot support a child. Not because of you, but because he would not be there to support you in times of need. I’m sorry that this is happening to you but you need to have a serious talk about his lack of empathy, and break up with him. Don’t sit here in self pity saying “woe is me, I hit a wall”. 

Post # 43
2681 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California

Honestly, if the situation was reversed and your SO had hit the wall in a fit of rage (anxiety-induced or otherwise), bees would be begging you to leave! With that said though, I do feel sorry for you because he isn’t showing empathy or support. I would let the dust settle and revisit this in a couple days. Can you imagine your SO revealing that they have a mental illness and then having them lose their shit within a matter of hours?? It’s a lot to take in and it will take a lot to learn on his part. I don’t know, I see both sides here and I can practically feel your pain through these so posts. I wish you all the best, whether or not your SO decides to stick by your side.

Post # 44
1606 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Can we describe that fight in another way? You were triggered and emotional. You got into a bad head space which is a symptom of your illness (I call it my crazy brain taking over). You had a bad reaction but overall followed what you were taught by your counsellor, including hitting an inanimate object and doing breathing exercises. You were able to calm yourself down. You recognized that your reaction wasn’t great, you owned it and you apologized for it. 

I call this a win. Honestly, your actions sound like a huge improvement over what you say they have been. Yes, of course there’s still work to be done on trying to calm yourself before hitting the wall, but please don’t beat yourself up for this. 

Your boyfriends reaction on the other hand is crap. Complete crap. He is the one who should be grovelling to you to make things better, not the other way around. If you want to give him a chance to educate himself more about anxiety and mental illness, fine. But you deserve someone who will support you and be there for you, regardless of what kind of illness you have. 

Post # 45
1606 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Oh, and his comments about not having kids? That made me want to cry. My ex used to react to my mental illness much like yours is doing. He’d make me think that if I could just “control” it better our relationship would be ok. The real issue was that he was unwilling to recognize that it was an actual struggle and learn more about how to support me. He also used to say things like that I wouldn’t be a good mom and we couldn’t have kids. It broke my heart to hear that and is still a bit of a trigger for me. 

Only you can decide if you want and are able to have kids. Maybe you will decide against it. But anxiety and any other mental illness is absolutely definitely not a reason to eliminate that all together. Anxiety or not, you would still be a wonderful mom and your kids would be so loved. 

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