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Author Topic: Help with spouse anxiety about child  (Read 153 times)

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Offline Reader8

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Help with spouse anxiety about child
« on: April 19, 2014, 09:09:25 PM »
I've been married 20 years to a great man who has had a long battle with anxiety, panic attacks, ocd and, although it's undiagnosed, I suspect depression. He is quite aware and proactive; meds, has been in treatment, lots of exercise etc. But lately I am at my wit's end. We have a teenage son who does well in school, has a great girlfriend, is social and is a terrific athlete. But my husband obsesses about everything about our son and is so anxious about him (and in a very negative way). As soon as our son got serious with his girlfriend my husband kept saying how terrible and heartbroken our son will be when they split up. Every A in a class my husband worries will turn into a B. He checks the online grades every day and gets very angry and frustrated with me because I don't check. And now our son is in his spring sport and my husband overanalyzes each game before, during and after. Our son is off to a slow start and my husband's a wreck. I can't sit with him at games because I feel his tension and I dread the drive home. My husband keeps this away from our son - I think - but his anxiety is making me feel anxious and upset. His negativity is overwhelming me. He angrily rejects all my attempts to be positive or to put things in perspective. He says he's just worried about our son's feelings and he can't handle seeing him sad or disappointed. I get that but I feel like I'm drowning in the negativity because my husband makes such a strong case for why everything is terrible that I end up lying awake at night worrying about our son. I would so appreciate any insight or advice on how to help my husband or help myself. Thanks so much!
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Offline unknownghost

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Re: Help with spouse anxiety about child
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 03:19:02 AM »
It sounds like you're sort of a shield for your son, having to deal with your husband's diatribes on your own. Was there a point where your husband's anxiety started to become overwhelming? Have you point blank told him how difficult it is to always have to listen to this never ending deluge of negativity, and never be able to turn the conversation back to the positive?
I think the only thing I could suggest would be to tell him, when he starts in on worrying about your son, that you simply can't listen to him about it, and then walk away. I imagine this would make him angry, but you don't owe it to him to listen to this kind of thing in excess, especially since it's hurting you.
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Offline tinam7

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Re: Help with spouse anxiety about child
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2014, 09:16:47 AM »
Your husband needs prof. help, maybe even medication. Unattended he is not only hurting your relationship but your son's well being.

Appeal to his love for your son and you to agree to go for the help he needs. Be gentle, calm in approaching him, but try it if for no other reason than the son you both love.
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Offline Reader8

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Re: Help with spouse anxiety about child
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2014, 07:46:21 PM »
Thank you both - excellent advice. I did talk to him and explained how difficult this is for me to handle. He was kind of resistent at first but when he saw how much this is upsetting me he got it. We worked out some limits and I have walked out of the room when he's started in on the negativity. I think we've made some progress and I felt like he understood my concerns. He has had years of treatment and takes antianxiety meds so he's pretty self aware. I think this particular issue with our son was a blind spot and talking it through helped. It will probably always be an issue but we're in a better place than we were a few weeks ago.
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