By Shae Hansen
Having a spouse with anxiety has definitely been a learning experience. I didn’t have very much experience with anxiety before I met my husband. In the beginning of our relationship I wasn’t very understanding. There were things that he would worry about that seemed incredibly insignificant to me. I would tell him to just not think about it.
I’ve come a long way since then. I’ve learned a lot in the two and a half years we’ve been married. I’m glad that I’ve been able to come to understand him more than I used to.
Helping my spouse with anxiety
Here are some things that I’ve discovered about having a spouse with anxiety:
• They can’t just stop thinking about the things that they are worried about
Apparently, I am blessed with the ability to distract my mind with other things when I am worried about something. My husband however, can’t do this. When he is worried about something I try to sit down with him and go over the best course of action to solve whatever it is that he is worried about. I usually write it down because he will usually forget the course of action and start worrying about it again. If he is worrying about something that we have no control over, I usually try to distract him with a fun game, a night out, an enjoyable book, etc. Because he has a tough time distracting himself, I usually try to do it.
• Depression often comes along with anxiety
During the first couple of months of our marriage, we had quite a few big fights. I couldn’t understand why he was acting the way he was. All of the fights were about us not having enough money for something that he wanted (like internet, an Xbox, a better place to live, a better job, better phones), and they all ended in him threatening to kill himself. I couldn’t understand what was happening. I made a doctor’s appointment for him and he was able to get on some anti-depressants. The rages that happened almost every night went away.
• Job hopping
My husband has a very hard time holding down a job. I believe this is due to a mixture of depression and anxiety. The grass always seems greener in a different job but always ends up as dead. My husband’s anxiety comes into play with jobs when he has to remember things a lot or when there is a lot of responsibility put on him. He has a tough time remembering things and when he is put on the spot, he forgets even more. When there is a great deal of responsibility put on him, he becomes so afraid of failure that he gets in his own way.
• The fear of failure
During the past two years I have noticed that my husband has a great fear of failure. This fear is so immense that he will not even try things he is afraid he will fail. This is something that I’ve been helping him work on. One thing in particular that he has a very hard time with when it comes to possible failure is jobs. As mentioned above, my husband has a history of job hopping.
Anxiety is not something that someone has to just deal with though. There are ways of helping people who have anxiety. One way is going to see a counsellor. My husband visits his counsellor every two weeks, and has shown significant improvement with his anxiety. She helps him work on things he’d like to improve. Another thing is medication. The last thing I’ve noticed that helps him is meditation. When my husband meditates he is more relaxed and positive.
Those three resources combined have a powerful effect on individuals with anxiety. I’ve noticed very positive results in my husband. He is so much happier and definitely more positive about life! It’s definitely not easy having a spouse with anxiety but I love every second of being married to my sweet husband.
Thanks so much for reading! I hope this post helped!
Reproduced with permission, originally posted on A Shade of Shamrock