New member looking for support

Hi everyone, I'm so glad I stumbled on this online community. I'm hoping to find someone that's going through something similar to me. My boyfriend struggles with anxiety. I love him dearly and I do my very best to be there for him, be patient with him, be caring and loving towards him, but a lot of the time it feels like it's not enough. I feel like I have to walk on eggshells around him, watching everything I say and how I say it so that I don't trigger an anxiety attack. And I can't be truthful about how I feel because that'll just make him feel guilty and anxious that I'm going to leave him. I have no intention of breaking up with him. I want to help him. I know we could conquer this thing together, but sometimes it gets so hard I just wanna scream and shake him until his anxiety falls out of him. And then I get angry but I know it isn't his fault. I try placing the blame on his anxiety and that does help sometimes, but I can only stay calm and level headed for so long until I snap again. It doesn't help that 75% of his anxious thoughts have to do with me. He's scared I'm going to leave him, that I'm not happy with him, that I'm going to cheat on him, that someone better is going to come along (without anxiety) and that I will choose him instead. It's difficult to maintain calm, cool, and collected when you feel like you're being attacked every day.

Anyone else have similar experiences or advice?

3 Replies

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  • I can understand where you're coming from 100%. My wife has to deal with my anxiety and panic. We've been together for 6 years and married for 6 months, she never really knew me when my anxiety was super bad. However unfortunate timing about a month after we got married I landed in the ER with my most severe panic attack in 10 years of dealing with it. These past 4-5 months have been extremely rough on us. And I feel like a failure, guilty, not good enough for her, feel she deserves better etc. however I know we're fine and she's there for me for anything and every thing. You need to get your feelings out to someone or it will eat you alive. I made my wife tell me multiple times exactly how she felt and she felt bad afterwards because it upset me. However it made her feel better and that's what I care about.

  • Hi, towards the end of this post I realised that it sounded just like myself. Due to things my partner has done in the past, I am now incredibly paranoid and anxious. I have never been this way before, but due to previous issues in the relationship this is how I've turned out. I love him dearly and I know he loves me too, he's done absolutely everything I've asked and has been nothing but loyal to me since. However, my anxiety and paranoia are still there and I feel it always will be. The only thing I can do is advice you to support him, remind him how you feel, and remember that actions speak louder than words. It has taken my partner a long time to prove himself, but he has done it, and he continues to do so. We both have to fight this battle in my mind but we will get there together. I know my partner struggles with the way I am and hates it when I bring up the past just because I'm having a bad day and feeling particularly anxious, but he has stuck by me no matter what. Make sure your boyfriend knows how you feel, knows that things aren't his fault and knows that you don't blame him for anything. One of the worst feelings is feeling guilty for the way I feel, even though deep down I know there is a valid reason. It's a long, hard process, but eventually we will get there.

  • Whew! Take a breath. You sound like you're the one with anxiety at the moment. :)

    This a rather long reply to your post. So sit back calmly and get comfortable. From my experience with my husband, I am making some observations and share what we do.

    It can very tough to live with someone when you feel like your walking on egg shells....Eventually, you probably will leave if the two of you don't change some behaviors. It is very off balanced and selfish of him if he thinks it is ok to have his panic attacks when you try to talk with him, and expect you to watch and hear him during those attacks.

    And you may need to stop enabling his attitude about that. You are not his "whipping boy", and you are not his nurse or caregiver.

    When he is calm, let him know when he reacts to you like that, you can't take it and will be back when he calms down.

    Try talking to him about how you feel, and if that sets him off, get the heck out of the house and do something for yourself. Just let him know you'll be back after he calms down.

    I don't know an answer to solving your relationship but can share how my spouse and I live with my anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.

    First, I do have monthly appointments with my neuropsychiatrist. Sometimes my husband sits in the session, particularly if I've had a difficult time anytime during the month. He and I discuss what we are going to focus on before we have those few minutes with a professional.

    Second, I take the medications prescribed, as they are prescribed, and I keep a notebook and write the time I eat, what I eat and when I take my medication each day. Also, note the time when anxiety or panic may have hit me and what was happening.

    Three, we keep my medication locked up in a safe place away from regular bathroom type meds, such as aspirin, etc. It also prevents the temptation from trying to see if an additional dose will help, and prevents the disappearance of the meds if someone visits or there are workmen in the house. (Each day we use an inexpensive pill holder that has five compartments ) .

    Four, we do talk to each other. Even if it might upset either one of us for awhile. Over the years, we have learned to ask "Are we ok?" to one another if one of us is concerned that something is bothering the other.

    Five, I tell him I love him, he tells me the same.

    Six, he makes sure I know he's there for me if things are really bad....like when he calls the psychiatrist or goes to the therapy sessions with me. And, he knows I'll do the same...like listening when he is upset or bothered by something.

    Seven, if I am anxious and he really can't do anything about it, he gives some space and time by myself to pace, walk the dog, or scream into a pillow, etc. until I can calm down a bit.

    And so on, and so on.

    You have a difficult situation, and it is never going to be easy. I hope some of what I have written is of help. Hopefully in spite of his fear of you leaving him permanently, he will learn he's wearing you down and the two of you need to talk about what you will do about that.

    Your in my thoughts and my heart. Take care of yourself. Iff you need to vent again on this forum, please don't hesitate. We're here for you and your boyfriend.

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