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Dating someone with severe anxiety

(10 Posts)
seren09 Tue 16-Dec-14 13:16:19

Hi everyone!

I'm pretty new to this forum. It looks great and I can't wait to explore it a little more.

I would just like to get some words of advice off you lovely people.

I've been with my partner now for 6 months or so. I can honestly say that hand on heart, he is the one for me. I get that soppy feeling when I see him. He makes me happy. And I can say that I see a future with him.

However, he worries. I know it is natural for a human to worry. I mean, I worry over any thing and everything. My partner, however, takes worrying to a whole different level. I know that he has been incredibly badly hurt in the past (as have I) but he seems to have tainted me in the same light as the others and is adamant that I am going to hurt him and leave him and every single day, reassurance needs to be given to him. I know for a fact that I don't want to leave, that I have found the one for me. However, I'm starting to worry that his worrying is taking over and is shadowing what is something really special between us.

What more can I say or do to reassure him? I'm starting to really feel the pressure now and I point blank refuse to give up on him because to me, he is definitely worth fighting for!

Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!


pinkfrocks Tue 16-Dec-14 13:27:05

It's not just worry though is it- it's deep seated insecurity about breaking up.

Ironically this type of neediness can be what kills a relationship.

It pushes the other person away and annoys them. As it is you!

Has he had much time between being hurt and meeting you? or are you a rebound?

In terms of practical advice you need to talk to him calmly - not in a needy moment- and explain that his insecurity is very counter productive. No one knows how they might feel in 6 months or 6 years- your feelings may change and so may his. This is the risk we all take when we enter a relationship. The only way to avoid this is to stay single and out of a relationship.

If he starts talking about it then I think you'd be right to ignore responding and just come back with a stock response like 'I've said all I am going to on that one. What should we have for dinner tonight?' so that he does not get reinforcement/ attention from you for his neediness.

Longer term I'd advise he has counselling - he needs to accept that relationships come with risks not guarantees. If he can't accept risk, he should stay out of a relationship.

seren09 Tue 16-Dec-14 13:33:47

Thank you very much for your reply.

He has been single a while before meeting me.

I have sat him down and told him that this worrying is something that needs to be worked on however, I don't expect it to go over night.

And I have also used the tactic of ignoring some of the responses that he gives me and depending on the situation it usually works, however, I do get thrown 'shall we just end it' or 'do you want to leave me' which I sometimes feel as a threat?

I think counselling would be a good thing for him. I think he even suggested it himself so may be a possibility to take it further.

He's also obsessed with my past? I left my ex partner for a variety of different reasons, and he thinks I'm capable of doing exactly the same thing to him which deep down, really hurts.

ditzzy Tue 16-Dec-14 13:43:07

Hi Seren,

I'm in a great place with my DP at the moment, but he has suffered from severe anxiety (has also had major depression in the past) too, so I know exactly where you're coming from.

I don't know the answers either, but in my case he is definitely worth fighting for and three years on I think he's finally getting the idea that not only am I worth him fighting for but that we're actually fighting for the same thing.

The one thing I do which I think helps is to acknowledge that the anxiety is ok. It's ok (and completely normal) to feel anxious about how the relationship is progressing and whether I'm going to run off with someone else (as his ex did) or I'm in any way not happy with him (I was miserable with my xH for years before I left). By not critisising the anxiety, but seeing the postive side of it (ie it must be great if he's worried about losing it) it kind of takes the sting out of an attack.

Likewise if he gets over-emotional about any random subject, instead of ask why, or telling him he's over-reacting, I agree that it's an emotional subject (to be honest it usually is) and embrace the idea that he's a sensitive chap in touch with his emotions.

Seems to work for us (in combination with a few prescription meds - although less than there used to be).

Hope that helps

GoatsDoRoam Tue 16-Dec-14 13:47:21

every single day, reassurance needs to be given to him.
What more can I say or do to reassure him?

It is not your job to reassure him. I repeat: it is not your job. This is his issue, and his to handle. You cannot fix this: no amount of reassurance from you will have any impact. It's like trying to pour water into a bucket with a hole in it: until he fixes the hole in his bucket, the water you pour in will just leak out and his bucket will remain just as empty as before.

You sound incredibly upbeat. Just look at the first couple sentences in your OP we're you're being super-cheery and positive for us. I imagine that your incredible reserves of positivity are what is keeping you in this tricky relationship, because someone of lesser positivity than you would have walked by now. But you too may see your joy sucked dry by a man who refuses to be reassured.

It's his choice whether to trust and believe in you, or not. His choice. Does he understand that? Ask him: does he prefer to hang on to his anxiety, or to his girlfriend?

There is help for him to deal with his trust issues, if he wants it. Yes it will be hard and the change will not happen overnight, but the realisation that this is his issue, and the action of seeking therapy, need to come from him, if he wants to give your relationship a chance.

pinkfrocks Tue 16-Dec-14 13:47:58

Is he someone who has a self destruct button too? His comments about should we end it seem to pre-empt your doing just that- as if he is testing you- and wants to be the one to dump rather than be dumped.

Does he have low self esteem too?

I'm sorry but long term these types of behaviours would really annoy me because neediness like this in a man can be off-putting.

seren09 Tue 16-Dec-14 14:43:18

Again thank you for your replies.

I guess I am incredibly positive about the whole situation and maybe possibly a bit naive in thinking I can fix things. I know deep down that only he can sort himself out and I think he knows that he's his own worst enemy and after an argument yesterday (I lost my patience and flipped my shit with him maybe not really the best thing for me to do I admit) but (fingers crossed) I think the penny may have dropped this morning.

He does have incredibly low self esteem which I guess has something to do with all this.

I will keep you all posted.

CogitOIOIO Tue 16-Dec-14 14:47:17

If this is a relationship of just six months standing I think you are WAY too invested. This stage is meant to be a fun process of getting to know each other, not taking on some mammoth MH project. Whatever is going on in his past or present the net effect is that he is monopolising your time and you're not even all that happy.

I occasionally get slated for suggesting people with disorders like depression, anxiety, 'anger issues', 'trust issues' and similar do not make good potential partners. His problems are his to resolve, not his girlfriend's responsibility.

pinkfrocks Tue 16-Dec-14 14:58:22

It will pain you to read this but honestly, said in kindness, he is not- as they say- 'in a good place' or ready for a meaningful and committed relationship.

I know you won't do this but my advice would be to walk away - and suggest he comes back if and when he's healed through psychotherapy. Or reduce the dating to casual, now & then contact.

FinallyHere Tue 16-Dec-14 15:41:03


Wot pinkfrock said. Now, before you get more involved.

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