Relationship Anxiety

I am a 61 year old widower (My wife died in January this year), I have had support through Cruse Bereavement Care and this has brought me back from the misery of grief. I have met a lady at Cruse who lost her husband 4 years ago after being together for forty years. I like this lady very much she is supportive and caring. However the anxiety issues I have suffered from for over 45 years are causing me big issues within this friendship. This lady only wants friends and not a relationship, the other night she went out with another guy and won't tell me who he is. I understand that I have no hold over this lady and she can see who she wants when she wants to. We went out together today and I had a a lot of issues with eating and feeling nauseous. I came home and still feel the same. I can''t sleep, can't eat, feel tearful and dreadfully guilty. I have made tremendous progress since losing my wife but feel now I am slipping back into the black hole of depression and all that brings with it. I do not want to drive this lady away I value her friendship more than anything but I fear my lack of control of my anxiety will destroy it. I am awaiting help through CBT but fear I will mess things up before I can get the therapy. Does anyone else have anxiety issues around relationships and if so what control methods can be used to control the effects of the anxiety and help me accept the situation as it is. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as this is making me feel quite unwell. Sorry it's a long post.

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9 Replies

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  • Look up hypnosis downloads by uncommon knowlegde... They do downloads on insecurity in relationships...this helped me :-)

  • Thank you for your reply, I will have a look at that.

  • Hello Laverdasf1000, I want to say how sorry I am in the passing of your wife. I am glad that Bereavement Care has given you hope that there is a life for you again. I'm assuming this woman you met has had time to grieve and find out who she is w/o her spouse. I would also assume she doesn't suffer from anxiety. I can only imagine 45 years of your living with anxiety can bring up some relationship issues. Anxiety can be a very needy disorder. You are in a different place than this woman. She seems to have made up her mind what she is looking for down the road which may be different from what you want or need.

    It sounds like you are latching on to her because you like her but also because you don't want to be alone. As you said, she has every right to see who she wants to see. To have as many friends as she feels necessary. Friends are her way of surrounding herself with purpose.

    You have stated the answer and that is to accept the situation the way it is. You cannot control her decisions but you can control the way you react to them. Look for the positives in her being your friend. Having a relationship doesn't guarantee happiness or less anxiety. Accept who she is and embrace the time you have together. Jealousy can ignite anxiety two fold. Let it be what it is. Enjoy the time you have together. What will be will be. Nobody knows what the future holds and that is why we must live in the present moment. It's all we really have. Laverdasf, don't waste extra energy that only feeds into your anxiety. You have been blessed with someone you not only like but is caring and supportive. Most people don't have that. My best to you.

  • Hello Agora1, Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my post and your kind words. I know what you are saying is right. I have known this lady for about 4 months and I think in my more clear thinking periods I understand where she is in her journey through her grief. Her husband is still very much in her mind and not long passes before she mentions him. I accept this and feel pleased she feels she can talk about him in my company. I take things too seriously and this feeds the problem. Already this very nice lady has picked up on this but just says if it's the way I am then that is it. I am fed up with being the way I am, that is why over the last 45 years I have tried various things to get some relief. Unfortunately nothing has given me the control I want for this incredibly debilitating and much misunderstood condition. On Friday at midnight I was in such a state I was crying my eyes out over this friendship and her going out with this other guy. What a waste of effort, if only I could put that much effort into feeling well and getting on with my life. I still felt very upset yesterday morning and in desperation called the Samaritans. I couldn't believe that I had got myself so upset that I had to call them before going out for the day with a very good friend. I did feel better after the call and we had a very enjoyable day at the Dinosaur event at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. I did have a great deal of stomach discomfort throughout the day and had great difficulty eating. This to me is the worst part of it, not being able to eat properly and feeling nauseous. The lady thinks men should always eat a lot and wanted me to take half her hot dog which I declined and she said 'Oh Andrew' not sure quite what that meant if anything. I have been told by my Cruse Counsellor just to think to myself 'So what', if I don't want to eat don't.

    I changed my medication from Duloxetine to Fluoxetine, about a month ago but I think it is making things worse. I may put it to the doctor that I try coming off all medication and just use relaxation and CBT techniques I will give it some thought. Sorry this has gone on a lot I find I can't talk about this issue in few words. Thank you again for your kind words and I will make every effort to take them on board as they make complete sense. All best wishes to you. laverdasf1000.

  • I'm sorry for the loss of your wife and it's not very long ago so you are bound to be feeling very anxious about how your life has changed. The lady you like is much further down the road than you are. Anxiety makes u want to control everything so that nothing else can go wrong. You need to take some more time for things to settle before you make any major decisions about your life. If you really like this lady then I suggest you remain friends and tell her that you do struggle to eat when you feel anxious and that your current world is very new and that you are looking at ways to manage your anxiety

    Regards

  • Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post and your kindness regarding the loss of my wife. It has been a very difficult time for me as you can imagine and only now 5 months down the road am I beginning to come to terms with it. I thought that meeting this lady at the Cruse group would help me, it has greatly but in other ways has made me feel a lot worse. I am having great trouble with her going out with other men friends. I have no right to feel this way so basically it is another form of self torture that I can do without. The fact she won't tell me who the chap is really bugs me and I don't understand why. As I said in my post she would tell me if I knew him but what difference does that make? I understand that remaining friends is the best thing to do but at the moment I really feel ill with this, the pain in my stomach is quite bad and I am debating whether it is worth it. There are no days out or outings with this lady arranged on a one to one basis at the moment, we have a group outing tomorrow and a group boat trip on the 15th so I am not sure what to do. I may just suggest we meet together and see what happens if she is not too keen on the idea I will just let it go and get myself back on track.

    Sorry my reply is a bit lengtty but I can never seem to explain my situation any other way.

    Regards

  • I understand completely what you are saying and how you are feeling. I would go on the group outings and try to enjoy them. This lady does not have to tell you what she is up to as you are friends and not a couple. When your life is thrown into chaos and everything has changed it's a very scary time and we tend to cling to any life raft available and try to control everything . You may be coming across as too needy for this lady and she is probably not equipped to deal with it. I think you need to concentrate on yourself and finding a new sense of normality. I understand the stomach problems as I have been there, if you don't speak with your mouth then your body will speak for you. Maybe you could have some one to one bereavement counselling? I also think it may be way to soon for you to be looking for another exclusive relationship as you need to take the time to grieve properly and to find the way you need to move forward with your new life

    Regards

    Karen

  • Thank you for your reply. I have been having Bereavement Counselling for a number of weeks. It has helped me a lot particularly in the early months when the grief appeared to be sending me nearly insane. I was supposed to have my last session with the counsellor yesterday but when I explained what was happening in my mind with this ladies friendship she wants to see me again in 2 weeks. I was quite shocked when she said it was best to sever all ties with this lady, no texts, no phone calls and definitely no 1 to 1 meetings. I was on a group outing yesterday and the lady I like was there. I felt pretty awful thinking about what the counsellor had said and did not speak that much to her although I did not make it obvious I was avoiding her. I am very apprehensive about the next text all call, I am not sure what to say but will not contact her. I will just wait and see what happens. I have sent her a lot of texts over the last few weeks and spent a lot of time on the phone with her. I guess she may find the silence odd or may be pleased for the peace and quiet lol.

    I won't put you on the spot and ask if you think the counsellor is right that would not be fair. But I would appreciate your further thoughts on the situation I find myself in.

    Thank you again,

    Regards laverdasf1000

  • Hi

    I can't comment on what the bereavement counsellor advised you to do as I'm not a professional in a counselling capacity and don't know all the facts. It seems to me that you have been relying very heavily on this lady, which is understandable under the circumstances but you need to concentrate on yourself and let the grieving process follow its course. I was told that you should never make any major life changes or commitments for at least 12 months after a bereavement and looking back that was excellent advice. I personally feel that you should leave this lady alone and wait to see what happens if she contacts you and take it from there.

    Regards

    Karen

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