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Author Topic: Boyfriend of a girl with anxiety  (Read 79 times)

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Offline Shellduck_21

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Boyfriend of a girl with anxiety
« on: July 12, 2014, 05:24:28 PM »
Hello everyone,

I'm new here, and I need a safe place to vent.  I'm not the one who suffers from anxiety, but my girlfriend does.  We were best friends for 3 years, but that whole time we were always more than just friends.  For a year now we've officially been a couple.  Right when we got together I finished school with my Master's degree and took a job in another state.  For a while my girlfriend and I were apart by almost 3 hours, and as she doesn't drive (due to her anxiety) it was up to me to drive back-and-forth whenever we wanted to see each other.  Before I took the job we had plans to move in together so we could be close, and last April we did.

This was a big step for her.  She's 22 years old, and has never left home before.  Her parents both have anxiety and her dad is a drug addict.  Her mom has to be the one to take care of paying the bills, doing all the phone calls, and shouldering all the responsibility in the relationship and covering-up for dad's behavior, and both my girlfriend and I see how tiring that is for the mom and how resentful she is.  My girlfriend wasn't happy growing up, but that was what was familiar to her and so giving that up was hard.  Even though she has a college degree she's never worked more than part-time in retail.  She had to quit that job to be with me.

We've always been really happy together and have done lots of great things.  We've had amazing dates to amusement parks, fancy restaurants, state parks.  Since getting together we went on two vacations, one to Florida and a road trip to four major U.S. cities.  We have the same interests, and we love spending time together.  We have the same values and the same life goals.  This is the person I want to marry, and she wants to marry me.  Everything for us is compatible, but lately living with her anxiety has been a serious challenge.  She's been unemployed since April.  She had some cash reserves but now they're almost all gone.  I've been taking care of 100% of the bills in our house and it's draining, because I've had emergencies that have popped up.  She did manage to get a part-time retail position, but that's only going to cover her student loans and leave me still to carry the burden of paying all the bills.  When all our bills are paid I'm left with only a couple hundred bucks, and that mostly has to go to paying down the credit card debt I've accumulated trying to take care of all our financial needs.  I make a decent salary but it's not enough for two people to live comfortably on, and we need another income but she's too anxious to apply for jobs at her own skill level.

I'm worried cause this is getting exhausting for me.  We went into this relationship thinking we'd be equals, and right now it doesn't feel that way.  I knew she wouldn't have a job that paid as well as mine, but I need her to do something that's going bring in enough money to help with household bills.  I'm getting resentful because I'm working hard at a full-time job and I come home and she's on the couch watching television.  I work so hard every day just to make ends meet, and I love her but I don't feel like she's pulling her own weight in this relationship.

I'm tired of living this way.  This is creating a lot of anxiety for me.  I love this girl and she means so much to me, and if weren't for our financial situation I'd have to say things would be amazing.  I try talking to her about what a burden this creates on me.  We have all these dreams about being together and traveling the world, but I'm growing resentful of the person I love because of her anxiety.  Lately I've been thinking of wanting to leave the relationship, but I don't want to do that because I know I'd regret it.

I know that moving away from home has been hard for her, and I tell her how much I appreciate her doing so.  She left behind everything, just for me.  She's been brave with learning how to drive and for the past couple weeks we've gone driving together for half-an-hour every-other night.  She's done so many things and I tell her she's the bravest person I know because even though she has all these fears she's able to face them.  I wish she would just be more proactive in finding a job that made some money so I don't feel burdened to be the sole income earner for our house.

I'm sorry if this focuses too much on the negative, and I'm sorry if it makes me look like a bad person.  I just need somewhere to vent because I have no place to go.  I love my girlfriend but I feel trapped by her anxiety, and I don't know what to do.  I'm growing to resent someone I love quickly, and I want it to stop.

Signed,

Shellduck
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Offline AfternoonRose

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Re: Boyfriend of a girl with anxiety
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2014, 09:37:29 PM »
and I'm sorry if it makes me look like a bad person.

It does not make you look like a bad person, and you certainly are not a bad person. I can tell how caring and how willing to help you are.

I understand the burden of a person with anxiety, and I know how absolutely HARD it is to maintain even the most normal of work routines, and how the mere thought of having to go out there and do something can be so frightening and debilitating.

But I think you are right in wishing that she would do her part. Deciding to be in a relationship with someone means making a promise to take care of one's self so that we can keep helping and taking care of the other.

But this woman gave up on herself. Anxiety is a real problem, and if it is starting to seriously burden the man who loves her, then I think it's come to a point where it should be adressed through professional help. I think both of you need it. Ask her if she would be willing to try it, to help with her condition. After all, she should want to improve, right? If not through professional help, then any other way she can help your couple, even if just a little bit, as you said, to alleviate the burden you have on your shoulders alone, if she does it, if she tries, it will show that she is willing to help both of you and that she is taking concrete steps toward making your relationship and your future better. Let her know that small steps are okay and that you are there to support her. I am convinced that she loves you very much and that she will want to help. She sounds like an amazing and loving person too, so I can not imagine the guilt she feels knowing you have to work for everything to support both of you. I mean, you two sound amazing and so strong together, you should be able to discuss it openly and find a solution together for the long term.

As long as her anxiety is NOT greater than her love for you, as long as it is not greater than her willingness to help and than her wish to improve herself and to accomplish something out of life with the education she has... then you two will be fine.

But if she asks for a man to take care of everything for her, then you know you are not that man. There is a difference between not wanting to help, and not being able but still trying to.

So, talk about it with her. Don't be afraid to ask for help. I believe you two are strong enough to find a way.

Good luck with it, you two deserve the best.
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