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Anxiety: deal or run away?

(4 Posts)
rememberthetime Mon 11-Jul-16 20:19:16

I have found myself dealing with mild(maybe a bit worse than that...), but incapacitating anxiety over the last few years. It stemmed initially from my controlling husband who made life a bit of a misery. I was constantly on edge and egg shell walking. This was made worse by previous abusive relationships, childhood issues. You name it really.

Now though things have changed a bit. My husband had 2 years of counselling and treatment and is much improved. He isn't perfect, but I have to admit I have trouble working out if his behaviour now is normal or not. I suspect I overreact quite a bit to what is very normal behaviour. There is no controlling at all any more - and i am sure of that. but there is is some underlying stuff he still needs to get better at.

My problem is that the anxiety is only getting worse even though he is getting better. I am focusing a lot on his previous behaviour and can't see his changes. We are struggling with communication because i am fearful of speaking my mind. The simplest of action from him causes me full days of not being able to cope - physical symptoms including rapid heartbeat and diarrhoea. I can't work or think straight. it really affects my life, my sleep and my overall mood.

Is the answer to anxiety to run away from the source - even if that source no longer does the things that caused the anxiety in the first place. I feel like we have to build a brand new relationship, but i am incapable because that takes full and open communication, which I just can't cope with.

Even his voice will set me off, a raised eyebrow, driving a little fast, slamming a door (even accidentally), sending text messages at odd times, phone calls. All of these normal things become full of anxiety for me when he does them and often when other people do.

I have had 2 years of counselling myself and have increased my confidence hugely - but the anxiety persists. I don't know how to make it less of an issue in our marriage.

At other times we are really happy and can share things and I do love him and appreciate the work he did to improve - but all it takes is the slightest imperceptible change in the tone of his voice or look on his face and I am filled with fear. These moments happen so randomly that I can't talk myself out of it. I become convinced he is going to act in the same ways he used to (shouting, belittling me and generally being a controlling arse).

Is our marriage over and should i move on to protect myself or can I get over this?

OfficiallyUnofficial Mon 11-Jul-16 20:41:58

Run away.

I came to the thread to say "battle on" because I thought it was about running away from your anxiety/life to cope with anxiety. Which is what DH has done with dire consequences.

However even from ^ that perspective I say run away. There is a reason for your anxiety, he was controlling and emotionally abusive, all kudos he has "improved" but you don't feel safe and you can't get that trust back. Your anxiety is real and based on fact, it's not worth the rest of your life being half ok, sort of ok sometimes, generally actually quite crap just to keep this relationship.

He can use his new found niceness on another relationship, you can be free of fear. Leave.

rememberthetime Mon 11-Jul-16 20:48:20

Thank you. This is the answer I have come to many times - but I worry that I will just have all the same issues, just on my own. At least now I have some form of support - as odd as that may seem.

Yes, he was truly controlling and horrible - but not all the time (you know the score on the abuse cycles). But I can honestly say he is so so much better and i should be having the time of my life. he is now the partner i should always have had - but I don't trust him. I want to trust him.

OfficiallyUnofficial Tue 12-Jul-16 00:58:57

How long has he been the perfect new man for? Do you think that part of the problem is that this is yet another cycle?

Trust is innate, you don't feel safe, it seems to me your issues will be less without him, not more. Perhaps you can't see the possibility of a better life but it surely can't be worse.

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