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To think that “It won’t happen” isn’t an acceptable response to my anxiety?

(115 Posts)

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LetThereBeCupcakes Mon 09-Nov-15 07:28:42

Was going to name change for this but can’t remember my password so sod it. Might have to go undercover later. Apologies but this is going to be long.

DH and I had a massive argument yesterday. Our driveway slopes gently down towards the road. It’s not a huge incline – but enough that if you left the handbrake off the car it would roll slowly down. We have been using the driveway to store our caravan (a sore point – DH promised when he bought it 2 years ago he’d put it into storage but never did). Finally he sorted out somewhere to store it and planned to take it down yesterday afternoon. He asked me to help him move it off the driveway, so I went out with him. He couldn’t back the car up to the caravan because our neighbour had parked her (beloved, pride and joy) car directly opposite our drive. She wasn’t in so we couldn’t ask her to move it. The road isn’t very wide so it meant we had to pull the carvan down the drive, turning it as we went to avoid her car. There was about 6 inches wiggle room, so all very tight. Remember the drive is on a slope. I have hopermobility, and am generally clumsy and not very confident in my abilities (physically). I said to DH “What if I can’t hold it [the caravan] and we hit the car?” He responded “it won’t”.

DH has form for brushing any of my worries under the carpet. His way of dealing with anything is “oh, it’ll never happen”. He will never make an effort to reduce the chance of something happen / plan for a problem because he’s convinced it’ll never happen. So I said it made me feel really bad when he didn’t at least acknowledge my fears. So he said “well what do you WANT me to say?” Clearly getting annoyed with me. I thought for a bit and suggested that I would like him to make an effort to show he’s thought about what I’ve said, and made some practical suggestions. Or at least not become annoyed when I told him I was worried about something. He responded with “Fine, we’ll leave it then.” And stormed into the house, slamming doors and throwing things as he went (toddler DS sitting on the sofa and watching all the time). I followed him and and asked him to “listen for a moment” as I was going to say we can still do it I’d just like some reassurance, but he refused to speak to me. I suspect this was because actually he realised it was a risky thing to try but would never admit it.

So I sat down with DS, feeling generally shit about myself. A few minutes later I heard the door go. I knew he had to sort out his van for work so didn’t think much of it. Decided to get some fresh air so stuck DS in his buggy and took the dogs for a walk. When I got outside I saw that he’d moved the caravan alone and had taken it away. Bloody stupid. If he’d slipped he could’ve been seriously hurt (or worse) and I wouldn’t have even known he was there. Even more annoying is that he could clearly hold the weight of the caravan so presumably only wanted me to help guide it? But because he wouldn’t bloody talk to me I had no way of knowing that.

A little bit of background: Life is very stressful at the moment, my dog is dying of cancer and has to go outside to the toilet every 2-3 hours, so I’m up 3 or 4 times every night to let him out. So exhausted. We’ve just had his parents over for the weekend which is always stressful (they are lovely but DH acts like a spoilt teenager when around his family). So I’m possibly not in the best frame of mind anyway.

So this morning, he’s acting like nothing’s happened. But I’m refusing to back down on this and I want an apology. Usually when we argue I’m the one to back down. So AIBU? Or does he need to apologise?

ArmchairTraveller Mon 09-Nov-15 07:35:04

Do you approach every problem with a host of 'What if' questions?
It sounds like he got irritated with your wittering, lost his temper and went inside, you followed still fussing and he then decided to do the whole thing himself without your help.
Which is exactly how my parents would have handled that situation.
I'd let it go, what exactly do you want him to apologise for, and are you offering an apology in turn?

ArmchairTraveller Mon 09-Nov-15 07:35:50

You both sound rather immature and need to work on your communication skills.

Ledkr Mon 09-Nov-15 07:41:32

God what hard work!
In sorry you are havibg a stressful time but don't add to it by practically inventing scenarios!

Enjolrass Mon 09-Nov-15 07:43:13

You both sound stressed.

You sound very anxious, he sounds fed up.

My suffers with anxiety and I can say that hearing someone turning everything into a big deal is exhausting. Everything never just gets done, the whole 'how this could go wrong' has to be played out before. I get through it and not lose my temper by reminding myself that it's worse for mum to actually live like that. However I am not a saint and have lost my temper before. Especially when I lived with her.

Are you getting help for your anxiety?maybe this is somethings you can pursue together?

You both need to communicate better.

Penfold007 Mon 09-Nov-15 07:46:34

I think you are a bit U. His reply to your question was pretty standard when you are both busy doing a job. You sound very risk adverse and anxious, perhaps seeking some help with your anxiety would help..

Moohoomeltdown Mon 09-Nov-15 07:48:35

It sounds like one of those situations where you were both stressed out and needed the other to behave a certain way but tensions got the better of you both.

I can see your side but I can also see his but that doesnt excuse him "throwing his toys out the pram". Slamming and throwing in front of a toddler isn't great behaviour for them to imitate.

ywbu to state your concerns during the move. His reaction was U. Probably should have waited until the neighbours car had gone. Or spoken to him before you went out to say, look I'm not confident etc etc then he might not have been so annoyed.

Let it pass? Shit day, move on?

WizardOfToss Mon 09-Nov-15 08:07:25

I'm sorry you're having a shitty time. I think you both sound very fed up. Whilst in an ideal world your DH could have reassured you, your anxiety sounds a bit excessive and perhaps he'd just had enough and wanted to get it done - although it doesn't excuse the tantrum, very childish.

Are you getting help for your anxiety?

AllOfTheCoffee Mon 09-Nov-15 08:14:42

Can you use puppy pads for the dog? Getting more sleep might help.

Tbf anxiety is so far out of my range of thinking that I do struggle when confronted with anxious people. I just cannot fathom their way of thinking.

Living with someone with anxiety would frustrate me beyond measure, so I can see why your DH had a tantrum (although I am not excusing his behaviour, he should not have behaved that way)

It especially grates on me when people are anxious about something that has already happened. He moved the caravan. No harm was done. Move on.

I hope you are able to find the help you need to overcome your anxiety.

felicityiguessso Mon 09-Nov-15 08:15:02

I have anxiety so I understand where you're coming from OP and I probably would have thought the same, but I also know how frustrating it is to deal with someone with anxiety (colleague with anxiety).

It's really hard to second-guess the logic of a person with anxiety as the condition itself means that you're not always thinking logically; risk is over-represented in your mind. He must be frustrated with and quite stifled by the what-ifs. I know it's easier to say this than do it but try to get help for it as life will be better for you both.

Fairenuff Mon 09-Nov-15 08:16:22

I would let this one go for now. He has heard you, he is just too ingorant to acknowledge what you said but it will have sunk in. However, I wouldn't have his parents to stay if he behaves like a child in their presence. (Maybe that's his own anxiety coming out?)

MythicalKings Mon 09-Nov-15 08:16:47

I do think you are being a bit U. You can't approach every task with "what if's?" It's exhausting.

DaggerEyes Mon 09-Nov-15 08:18:23

I refuse to do any jobs with my dh until he has explained it, properly, with diagrams if I still don't see what his grand plan is. Mine, like yours, will not just tell me what needs doing! He shouts me outside, barks a two word 'command' at me and gets shitty if I do what I think he wants, not what he imagined I would do.

gamerwidow Mon 09-Nov-15 08:20:52

I sympathise because I have anxiety too but your dh taking on board your anxiety will not help you. I know how horrible it feels when your anxious fears are brushed away but in my experience having someone acknowledge them ends up making them worse not better.

SoMuchToBits Mon 09-Nov-15 08:21:57

I think actually that checking how this was going to work, when the drive is on a slope, there's not much room, and you aren't confident about your physical strength was perfectly reasonable. But maybe the way you put it wasn't ideal. "What if I can't hold it and we hit the car?" Sounds a bit like you are expecting disaster. If you had said something like "Can I just check how we're going to do this, as I'm not confident I can hold the weight of the caravan?", you may have received a better response.

However, I also think "It won't happen" is a very dismissive response from him, and doesn't explain anything. If your dh had said "It won't happen, because I can hold the weight of the caravan myself, and I just need you to guide it", that would have been a lot better, and you probably would have been fine with that response and agreed to continue.

I also think that the strop he had was totally unnecessary.

But it sounds like mostly a bit of a lack of communication on both sides to me.

Only1scoop Mon 09-Nov-15 08:22:43

Sounds like he just wanted to get on with it and you were just dithering about.

You've obviously been moaning about it being there. Now it's gone.

Job done.

LetThereBeCupcakes Mon 09-Nov-15 08:25:15

OK, points taken, but a few answers.
Armchair. No, I don’t approach every problem with a host of “what if’s”. Only ones where I’m genuinely concerned that something might go wrong (in this case, our caravan rolling into neighbour's car). I’m not sure how expressing my concern can be construed as “wittering”, TBH?
Communication is a MASSIVE issue – I will acknowldge that. We tried counselling with our vicar but he wouldn’t speak for the entire session. Just looked at his lap.
I might have been unlcear in my original OP – we weren’t actually moving the caravan when the conversation started. I was inside, DH came in and asked if I could “give him a hand” – I didn’t know what with so went out and he said he wanted to move the caravan. I then said I wasn’t sure I was strong enough to support the weight of it rolling down hill and was worried we’d hit the neighbours car.

I’m not overly anxious, I don’t think. If I’m worried about anything I rarely mention it as he wouldn’t listen anyway. The only time I would raise it would be if I had a genuine concern – like this case. Trying to think back to the last time we had a major blow up about “my anxiety” and I think it was in 2012, when I was a day overdue with DS, heavy snow / ice on the ground and DH wanted me to take our two big labs for a walk – I was worried they’d pull on their leads (as they do) and I’d slip. He stormed off then, too. Prior to that I probably told him I was worried about things more frequently, but I learned my lesson on that one. The big bust up before that was when he wanted to quit his job and go self employed and I was worried about it being a struggle financially. Again, he said “it won’t”, didn’t make any plans (save up a bit first or anything) and we’re now in £15,000 worth of debt.
Dagger yes, mine does that exactly! He once called me outside and said “we need to move this” before picking up a 6ft square wooden wendy house – I hadn’t even got my shoes on before he picked up one side and then started shouting at me! No indication of where we were going with it or anything. I rushed out to pick up the other side but then moved the wrong way… again he went off in strop.
Out of interest, would most people be strong enough to have done that? I realise I’m not physically very competent due to my hypermobility / general clumsiness… I can usually help pull the caravan on the flat but if it builds up speed would struggle to stop it.
SoMuch yes I’d have prefered to be a bit more detailed but he was already taking off the handbrake as I walked out so I had to be quick!
Scoop he’s been moaning about it being there as much as I have – in fact it will benefit him more to have it gone than it will me because he’ll now be able to secure his work’s van and load / unload it easily.

Pythonesque Mon 09-Nov-15 08:25:25

Sounds a bit like my husband. Can't imagine the "what ifs" and overreacts when you try to discuss them. And thinks that any question about "should we do it this way" equates to "i think we shouldn't do it at all", and then wonders why you are cross and tries to make it all your fault?

My latest is that he's now questioning stuff over a decision that we made a few months ago, that I thought he was making too quickly without reviewing enough information, and tried to say, can we wait a bit or at least need to go through a few more things first ...

I'm not sure that you are inordinately overanxious from your descriptions. But somehow your husband needs to get the message that proper consideration of your worries IS appropriate but doesn't necessarily need to take very long. After all, in this case 1 minute considering whether there was a risk of you needing to take the weight of the caravan, and how to avoid it, would have done it and you could have got on with the job together I suspect.

You sound like you may be going down a similar path to us where effective communication shuts down. We need to get some help to sort this out, you may need external help too. Can I encourage you to use your "not backing down" instincts in the direction of "I feel we don't communicate effectively and I insist we do something to improve things" ? Good luck.

peggyundercrackers Mon 09-Nov-15 08:27:44

Sorry but you were bu. Sounds like your DH was just wanting to get on and get the job done. You should trust what he tells you.

LetThereBeCupcakes Mon 09-Nov-15 08:28:21

Sorry for dodgy formatting, I copied and pasted from word and forgot to preview.

SoupDragon Mon 09-Nov-15 08:29:15

So he said “well what do you WANT me to say?”

Think about this question. What did you want him to say? Is there actually anything he could have said that would have calmed your anxiety?

I’m refusing to back down on this and I want an apology

I think you are unreasonable here. It smacks of sulking.

SoupDragon Mon 09-Nov-15 08:29:51

What do you usually do to reduce your anxiety?

SoupDragon Mon 09-Nov-15 08:30:55

and I'm sorry about your dog. It must be incredibly stressful and exhausting. flowers

Only1scoop Mon 09-Nov-15 08:32:21

I think I'd let this go to be honest.

AllOfTheCoffee Mon 09-Nov-15 08:34:28

I'd be able to move a 6ft wendy house, I don't think I am that unusual.

I prefer to move heavy things alone though because other people, in general (with the exception of DC1 and my Dad) just cannot follow instructions when asked to help move something (yes, mother, I am looking at you) which annoys me, so I just do it myself and struggle.

I do normally tell people where we are moving things to though, they just then lift things up when they should be turning them around and turn them around when they should be lifting them up.

I'm sure the problem is with me not other people, given that so many people are unable to see what I mean when I want something moving, but that makes it no less frustrating at the time and my mind is incapable of what ifs. It just does not work that way.

Is your relationship good otherwise? You don't sound very happy.

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