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Im ruining things(20 Posts)
We're do I start? 37 and married 1 month to a wonderful, caring and loving man. I have a good career, with a high income, am attractive and have lots of friends. I feel so stupid that my issues are taking over my life.
I have a history of 4 broken engagements, all of these relationships were Affected by my controlling nature. My controlling issues were always part of the reason the relationship ended. Essentially as soon as my partner went to socialise without me, I became anxious and panic stricken and rows ensued. Even making plans myself did not stop these feelings. I had psychotherapy for 2 years and also had relationship counselling for 6+ months.
On my own I'm ok - I feel lonely, but would not just get into a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship. When relationships start, my partners have always been very keen and willing to make me the centre of their world and even if they do socialise without me, I am fine. Once things get serious, I am anxiety riddled at separate socialising. No partner had been unfaithful (that I'm aware of ), although I have had 2 relationships were my partner was abusive.
Moving onto my husband- he is a true gentleman, with a kind heart. I made him aware that I struggled with him doing things without me, but he didn't seem to worry too much. He doesn't go out more than once every few weeks, but when he does I get wound up, anxious and invariably make both of our lifes hell. He seemed to think that when we married I would relax and I think I bought into that.....sadly that is not the case. He is away with work to night at a boozy party and won't be home until Saturday night and I am panic stricken. I actually feel angry that he doesn't want to be with me just after our marriage. I know I am being unreasonable, but the feelings are real and I literally have chest tightness, tears and feel on edge. I am going to ruin what I have and I am doing exactly what I have done before.
I have explored these issues at length in counselling and therapy, but it has never really made a difference. I do not know what to do. I certainly can see that I was an only child and grew up with an overprotective mother, who had a marriage were my parents did everything together and never really socialised apart. I think part of me feels envious of my mum, that my dad gave her that, but knowing that doesn't seem to help with the issue.
There is part of me thinks I would be best on my own and that I inevitably ruin all relationships.
Please help as I feel utter despair.
I think you need a GP/medical assistance of some sort, whether that is giving counselling a go again or something else. You're right, you will ruin things unless you seek help to address these feelings.
Have you considered CBT? I think it might help you find some ways to cope when you start to panic that your H is away. It is not focussed on the "why" of the fear/phobia, but on how you can control your response when it does happen. (As you are obviously aware that the fear is irrational and you cannot expect your H to never socialise - and in fact that wouldn't be helpful anyway as he'd just be reinforcing your phobia.)
Yes have had CBT and also tried mindfulness. I spoke with GP in the past abs they simply suggested counselling. I work in the medical profession and know that no tablet will solve this. I feel trapped. At times I would nearly rather I wasn't with my partner, simply to avoid these feelings.
Is there something specific which has happened in the past when you were left alone, which you envisage happening again? Or to put it another way, do you have a specific "thing" that you imagine happening when your partner is out on their own? EG partner cheating, partner getting in an accident, you having an accident at home and nobody there to help, etc.
I'm unaware if something like this exists, but have you checked out if there's some sort of support group or counselling or whatnot for perpetrators of domestic abuse? Because essentially, this is what this could lead to. In the sense that you could become very controlling if your husband allows it. There must be some preventative work that can be done on things like this.
Try CBT again and also purchase the book "CBT for Dummies", that helped me with anxiety issues in the past.
I appreciate you're doing everything you can to help this and I applaud you for that. It must be really difficult for you, but even more so for your partner. You will eventually become a burden to him.
I think some counselling around early childhood will help. My best friend is VERY much like you and she was an only child too - her parents pandered to her every need, were then whenever she wanted them to be, took her wherever she wanted etc. and now she struggles not being the centre of somebody's world 100%.
CBT will not work for this, I almost guarantee it -- and neither will any therapy with a basis in the present.
OP, has any of your therapy been 'depth therapy', i.e. psychodynamic/basis in the past? If not, then I would suggest that is where you start. Anything else will simply be scratching the surface of a pattern that feels primal to me.
Yes I've had 2 years of psychodynamic psychotherapy.
How bad was it before the wedding? You know on a rational level it is utterly unacceptable to be like this, which makes me think you must be able to change, given the correct support.
And did you start to get to the bottom of the fears there? Did you feel any progress was made?
It certainly allowed me to thing through why I feel like this, but it never really made a difference on reducing these feelings. Yes I can see why I feel like that, but the feelings still come and are every bit as overwhelming. Things were exactly like this before we got married. The only difference is that I think my husband thought the security of marriage would make me move on. It lost definitely hasn't. If he wants to do anything I feel it is his way of getting away from me and it feels like he doesn't care- I know this is irrational, but I can't hold onto the rational thoughts, no matter how hard I try.
Do you have enough of your own life? Do you have hobbies/friends of your own? Are you occupied enough with things that don’t involve him? He is your husband and should be your best friend and your favourite person to spend time with, but both of you need to have a life and friends/hobbies/interests away from each other.
I know how you feel to some extent as I am a little like you and do sometimes get in a grump/ paranoid OH is cheating/ going off me etc if he goes out and does things without me, but I guess I manage to stop/ have a word with myself before it gets too heated.
I’m not really sure what you can do tbh, but you need to realise that people aren’t possessions. He is with you because he chooses to be. He has made one of the ultimate commitments to you by marrying you. Would it help if perhaps you sat down with him and drew a sort of schedule if you like on how many times a month you both do things without each other and (if poss to do in advance) work out what days/nights they are so that you can prepare yourself a little and make plans yourself? That is pretty extreme but may help.
He will sometimes do things without you, just like you will him. It’s Normal The world won’t end, it’ll keep spinning and your marriage will continue.
You say you're medical? Do you get symptoms of autonomic arousal at these times? Have you spoken to your GP about using propranolol at these times? Often if you can reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety you can get enough headspace to actually use your CBT.
I've tried and several other meds. Yes a lot of autonomic symptoms, but the worst is the constant thoughts. It's unbearable. Always has been.
Did your mother always give you the message that a couple must stick together at all costs. Do you remember your mother insisting your dad was there at back at a very young age? You may have made an inner vow even at a very young age that you and your husband would never be apart. So even though logically you know it's totally fine to go off on his own your whole being is reacting against it as you have locked yourself into that. Your mom and dad always being together is not normal and not a good role model. Maybe you need to accept that they were wrong and that there was something very deep rooted there that you have taken on board. I'm sure you addressed all that in psychotherapy but you are still building their relationship as something perfect which it wasn't.
Have you tried acceptance and commitment therapy? (ACT) I have anxiety and panic attacks and you sound anxious like me. I was so bad I couldn't get on buses and would panic. I would panic at health issues, people staring at mr, couldn't do certain things on my own. It's a brilliant therapy. I got 21 sessions free from nhs. Contact your local pct for mental health or ask your gp. I've read many a time about people who have tried the talking therapy and cbt several times and it's not worked for them but ACT has. There is also a great book on it called happiness trap that my counsellor gave me. X if you need any more info pm me.
I can't recommend hypnotherapy enough for anxiety issues. I've had various different kinds of counselling over the years, but the game changer for me was hypnotherapy. Expensive, but honestly the best money i've ever spent.
I really would recommend trying it.
did anti-anxietu meds not work short-term, OP? If you haven't tried, they should take the edge off while you are doing (e.g.) hypnotherapy as suggested above.
It's a fear of abandonment and also possibly trust issues (learned from parents that you can only trust a partner who's there all the time), it's all very tough to shift. Personally I find a concept of being hypnotised scary (I think if you like being in control, you would feel the same!) but I often hear about it being helpful.
I used to be quite similar and tried umpteen therapies. It sounds like you have good insight into your issues. I honestly cannot recommend fluoxitine enough (Prozac). I also stopped drinking alcohol and read a lot of Wayne Dyer. But the anti depressants changed my life. It a like I am exactly the same person but my reactions and emotions are now like that of a normal person - proportionate and reasonable. I truly believe it was a chemical imbalance. I still take a small dose of meds and these feelings and extreme emotional responses are not an issue anymore.
I can sympathise with you to a point as I used to get really worked up when my DH went on rare nights out.
I know this stems from a unfortunate accident involving him and receiving a phone call saying he'd been hurt. All was thankfully fine but my nerves were shattered. After years of tears, nausea, sleepless nights and arguments every time the poor bugger wanted to go out I realised that if I carried on I would loose him anyway.
The more he went out the more I got used to it and now (despite the occasional wobble) we both enjoy healthy separate social lives, and have been abroad for weekends away with friends etc.
Maybe you need to let him go, and when he returns unscathed and relaxed after a good night, you will slowly become more comfortable with it all. Perhaps he could phone/text you at a time so it breaks the night up abit. At first, agree a time he will be home by or pick him up so you still have some control. All these things made me feel better. It's really awful I know- but you must be driving your husband nuts
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