Anxiety Support
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My partner cant accept my phobia's, should I leave him ?

I have a phobia of cats and dogs, I have done all my life. I have been with my patner for 6 years and now in the last 2 years, my phobia is really getting to him. He says he cant deal with my phobia, as it restricts the places that we can go (mainly the park, beach and people's houses with pets) We get on really well and apart from the phobia our relationship is good. However last month he nearly left me, cos he couldnt handle the restrictions on our life with my phobia. I have explained to him that I cant help it and for everything we cant do we will do something better.

It doesnt help that his mum, just doesnt understand any type of mental disorder and has told him, that he should find someone else, as appartently "im a nice person" but my phobia is just too much to deal with.

I have now an opprtunity to see someone who says he can cure me and as much as I want to belive that I can be cured, ive tried loads of things to get rid of the phobia, over 25 years, nothing has worked. I hope this man can cure me, but I feel sick knowing that if this doesnt work, my partner has said he will most probably leave me.

What should I do ? Should I just walk away now? Or wait till Nov to see this man and then see what happens?

11 Replies

Hello Louise, first of all I thought there is no condition for love, honestly I don't think it is that major to have a phobia from cats/dogs, if you want to visit people with pets they should lock their pets in a room until you go. if he wants to walk on the beach let him walk by himself, don't understand what is the big fuss about!!! when i was very young my dad forced me to go someone's door to give them something, i was so scared as I knew they had a dog (i was like 12 years old) knocked the door and i can hear the dog barking, i almost wet myself, then when they opened the door the dog run after me as i started to run and if they didn't catch him on time he almost bite me, since then I couldn't get near any dog, but i did get over some of my phobia by time, like i love a golden retriever but can't bare aggressive dogs, and cats gives me the creep. what I would say give this man a chance, don;t know who he is and why he can't see you before November?? make sure you do your research to see if this man is genuine and how he will make you overcome your phobia?? give your relationship a chance, but from the way you are talking you seemed not that bothered, do you still love him?? by the way mums always very protective over their kids, even if you are the perfect housewife she will always finds something wrong with you. at the end it is a private decision and you need to make it, just evaluate everything and how much he means to you and if you can live without him or with him for life!!


Hi, thanks for taking the time to get back to me. Your are so right about the beach and people locking up there pets. Its very hard though, his sister can't bear the thought of putting his cats in another room, even for 15mins! His mum keeps going on too... I know I will never win against his mum. The man I am seeing in Nov is well known and its just a long waiting list to see him. Thanks again, you have answered the things i was thinking x


HI LOUISE you have been together a long time i would wait to see if this person can help you i dont have a phobia about dogs but i dont think they should be on the beach or off the lead in public park it is not safe i used to run in the morning around park but stopped now too many dogs running loose and i did not feel safe and i dont mean small dogs there should be more restrictions i am on your side here x hope you sort it x


Thanks for getting back to me. I too belive that all dogs should be on leads, and they should have "leash free zones " like in America. I think I will wait to see this man but its hard cos I feel like my future is going to be based on if this man cures me x



I agree with rouri and milo.hopefully this man in November will help you.your boyfriend should give time and a chance!you ve been together for 6 years and u should get through this hard time together!I know it can be hard for partners but if he loves u should be supportive eventually!best wishes


Hi Louise,

I hope you get on well in November.

Unfortuantely, nobody can really answer the "should you leave him?" question, as it is really up to you.

I was lucky enough to work with an incredible person that suffered from pigeon phobia (I'm a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist). We only spent one session in the room, the rest was in, as they put it, 'the real world'. Our real world was George Square, initially a terrifying place, but together we spent time not only talking about their fears and beliefs but watching the behaviour of the pigeons. Watching pigeons was something they had never done before as all their energy and thoughts were invested in what was going to happen, rather than what was actually happening.

Together we explored this new world and ventured closer to the pigeons, as well as letting the pigeons come closer to us. We practised walking across the square in a straight line without deviating, gradually getting closer and closer to the pigeons. Standing still and watching them move around us, all the time we were discussing thoughts and examining whether they were actual facts, or just opinions. By the end of our time together we were sitting on benches feeding the pigeons, in fact we had a picnic in the square sitting on the grass surrounded by pigeons. We were able to spend time in more enclosed spaces (train stations) were pigeons wandered freely and they notice a massive reduction in their anxiety (phobia) around the pigeons.

Since we parted ways I have received photos from them surrounded by pigeons in Trafalgar Square and a temple in Nepal which they described as having a carpet of pigeons.

We were able to achieve this together (an I emphasise the word together) at a pace of their choosing. Each time we met we moved up their 'ladder of fear' and nibbled away at the anxiety. It is possible to overcome your phobia, but make sure you do it at your pace, you are the most important person in the therapeutic relationship.

Good luck


Hi thank you for taking the time to write. I have tried CBT and got better, but ive never been cured. I think it is fantastic that you have beaten your phobia!! Well done !!!! x


HI louise8, im totally discusted in your partner and his mother!!!!!! i have a saying that goes "if someone cant accept you at your worst then they dont deserve you at your best", his mother needs to cut the apron strings and mind her own bloody business and if he has not got the back bone to stand by you then its not love and its not worth keeping.......god i almost wish i could shout at him and his mother for you, i hate single minded people that wright people off cos they have too small a mind to understand or even try to. you need to get better for you and only you!!!!!!! dont take no crap!!!!!


also would be a really good idea to print these off and show him........and his mother!


Thanks for getting back to me sam, yeah I know what you mean. Trust me I have though of all the horrible things I want to say to his mum,!! I have tried speaking to her on the phone, but she came up with stupid things! I am seriously considering getting her round to mine, for a long chat! Your right they both need to accept me for who I am. I am also tempted to show her this emails!! Its great to get advice from people that dont know you, to prove to her... she is the one with the problem! I still havent decided if its "lack of education" or dame right "stupidty"


please let me know how it goes. i know this sounds really horrible of me but i hope they both have a panic attack!!!!


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