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Wedding- social anxiety, hand hold needed

(17 Posts)
justagirl25 Sun 23-Oct-16 21:34:16

DP suffers from quite severe social anxiety, he doesn't like people being near him (for example he hates shops and all the hustle and bustle). He also hates anyone knowing his business and tries to avoid anything of a personal nature at all costs. Please be assured he is a wonderful man and father- it's not an arrogance thing or a horrible one he genuinely feels very uncomfortable being in the presence of a lot of people or talking about anything specifically personal to himself.

To myself and our DC he is comfortable and happy and fun and we love him very much.

We are due to get married in about 18months and as per his social anxiety (I also do not like being a public spectacle but do not have an actual anxiety disorder) we are only having us, DC and witnesses (only because we legally have too).

He had never wanted to get married and only is doing it because he knows he wants to 'stay with me forever' and knows I would like very much to get married (his words not mine).

He told me tonight that he knows he will need a few beers to get through the wedding (again just us in the town hall nothing big) as he said thinking about the wedding makes him feel like he is having a stroke (again, his words not mine).

My question is- is this normal? Obviously that question can only be answered by anyone who can relate to their DP or themselves actually having social anxiety to this degree. I just don't know how I feel about marrying a man who describes marrying me to having a stroke sad

He says he loves me and never wants to leave me and I believe him but, can't help but wish he was actually excited about marrying me rather than how he says he actually feels sad sorry for the long post think I just need a bit of a hand hold blush

WildDigestive Sun 23-Oct-16 21:43:15

Well, I was very reluctant to marry my long term partner - not out of any love or commitment, I simply didn't want to marry, and I finally did only because there was a pressing practical reason, plus he had always desperately wanted to. It was just us and our witnesses, but he said afterwards he'd thought I mightn't show up because he knew I didn't really want to get married.

Which is a long way of saying that (a) you can't make someone enthusiastic but (b) that doesn't necessarily indicate any lack of love.

MatildaTheCat Sun 23-Oct-16 21:56:46

Gosh, that must make life very difficult for him. The wedding is clearly what is making him anxious rather than the marriage so the stroke analogy is unfortunate but not a reflection of you!

Since it is anothe 18 months away there are a couple of options. Bring it forward to ASAP. This contains the anxiety to as little as possible. Or leave it as it is but talk about the boring details as much as possible until it is no longer even interesting, let alone worrying. That's a bit soulless but there are only so many discussions you can have about the various benefits of grey socks vs navy and paper napkins vs cloth before the whole subject is no longer an anxiety though possibly rather tedious.

I hope you find a way.

Myusernameismyusername Sun 23-Oct-16 22:08:30

Well social anxiety of this level isn't really normal - would he get help for this?
He sounds lovely but this can't be a pleasant struggle for any of you

justagirl25 Sun 23-Oct-16 22:12:41

Thanks blush I honestly love him so much he is such a wonderful man and most of the time I love the way he is as if anything it makes us closer! (Him wanting to spend all of his time with me and the kids for example) It just hurt a bit when I can see him not enjoying the thought of our wedding. Yes you're right it's the wedding he's anxious over not the marriage part, am currently very pregnant so maybe I'm just being overly sensitive tonight smile should feel honoured he even asked me in the first place! Thanks ladies x

Wolfiefan Sun 23-Oct-16 22:16:33

I really would encourage him to seek help. It's great to spend time together as a family but can't be healthy as your kids grow up. What about when they are invited to parties or want to have one of their own?

LellyMcKelly Sun 23-Oct-16 22:38:56

Why not just pop down to the registry office, fill in the forms, and do it asap after you get the go ahead? It can be done in 20 minutes and then you can be married.

Borisrules Sun 23-Oct-16 23:03:30

Agree with all of the above.
It's not the wedding that makes the marriage..... it's the marriage and this has the makings of a good one! 😊
Do it as quickly and as simply as possible.
Is there something he would love to do that you could organise as a honeymoon?

justagirl25 Mon 24-Oct-16 07:43:32

I have encouraged him to seek help before but i think he doesn't see it as an issue like I do, he thinks it's managed by just avoiding as best he can that which makes him uncomfortable- if I push any further we end up arguing or it's a stalemate. I don't want to push him too hard or force him to do anything that upsets him. The only thing I'd say is there are exceptions to it, for example I said he didn't like shops because of the hustle and bustle- however he adores live music and shows and the people there don't bother him at all! Surely a theatres busier than a shop grin and with DC he adores them so much he's never had an issue when it's something to do with them eg going to school/parties/other kids/other parents. smile He is so great to be honest rereading this makes me feel sad I shouldn't complain at all there are plenty of women who have abusive or horrid partners but mines a gem I'm just being overly precious I think sad also the wedding is as small as it can be smile it's in the town hall as our registry office is in a particularly grim area where we live- and it's just the legal requirements and then our DC will be looked after by my family whilst my then DH and I go for a quiet meal smile which sounds perfect to me anyway although we had a fair bit of upset from others thinking we were weird to not do a 'proper' wedding and invite them hmm but that's another story!

Thanks again for all your replies they've been very kind and helpful flowers

Costacoffeeplease Mon 24-Oct-16 07:53:17

So he's ok with crowds when it's something he wants to do?

Wolfiefan Mon 24-Oct-16 08:23:56

I agree with Costa. It now doesn't sound like social anxiety at all. Just an excuse to get out of stuff he doesn't want to do.

Dozer Mon 24-Oct-16 08:26:11

As PPs say you can sort out the paperwork and get married anytime, with or without the DC present.

If his MH is that poor it will be negatively affecting his employment and all of you in the family: really important that he seeks help.

justagirl25 Mon 24-Oct-16 09:05:26

I must have misspoken as you seem to think he's something he's not costa & wolfie I just meant he knows he has to sacrifice his comfortability a little if it's something he wants badly enough. Don't we all? It's all about give and take isn't it? Hence why it's not a problem if yeah it's something he wants to do, or if it's DC or even the fact he asked me to marry him in the first place? He loves me enough to not want to deprive me of an event I want- in this case a marriage. Who doesn't want to share the same surname as their kids? Anyway the irony being that in defending him I've answered my own thread smile dozer it doesn't affect work I guess because it's not personal- his career is doing great and he supports us all very well. Anyway this wasn't a witch hunt it was just me wanting some friendly words and I've had them so thanks everyone for your comments flowers

Costacoffeeplease Mon 24-Oct-16 09:13:08

of it's something he wants badly enough

yes - something he wants, there it is

ImperialBlether Mon 24-Oct-16 09:19:22

I think if anyone feels under so much stress they feel they might have a stroke, then they need help. That's the sort of stress you associate with your child being desperately ill in hospital or being charged with murder when you're innocent.

What do you think your life will be like when your children are older if he suffers from this much stress now? What would he be like if they went abroad with their friends? Or emigrated? What if neither child lives near you when they're older - would you have any friends to the house?

I do find it suspicious he's not anxious when he's doing something he really likes, tbh.

Other than that I'd suggest he saw a doctor if his anxiety meant he felt he was about to have a stroke.

pocketsaviour Mon 24-Oct-16 09:46:37

I really sympathise with your DP - I felt very similarly about my wedding. Sadly I wasn't assertive enough to insist on a private wedding, which in hindsight would have been much less stressful, as "I can't let my family down" hmm

I spent the preceding weeks in a state of high anxiety. Of the day itself everything is pretty much a hazy fog until after we'd left the reception. There were less than 30 people there and I knew all of them really well. I would say it was one of the most stressful days I've ever experienced and I certainly didn't enjoy it. When people talk about enjoying their wedding day I always make a hmm face because I really can't conceive of such a thing. To me it was just something I had to endure in order to be married.

Social anxiety isn't logical. I also hate shopping but love gigs. I can handle going out in very small groups (max 4) but really, really struggle at parties and avoid them as much as possible. I only go to ones where I feel I "owe" the person who's invited me.

But I can stand up at work in front of 100-odd people and give a presentation, no problem. I know, it makes no sense.

I agree with PPs that if it's possible to bring the date forward, you should. Less time for him to stress himself out about it.

Dozer Mon 24-Oct-16 17:14:18

But his MH seems to be affecting you and the DC.

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