Advice for girlfriend of anxiety sufferer - HELP! Anxiety is taking it's tole on the relationship.
Anxiety of another person can make life difficult for yourself.
I’m a 25-year-old lesbian and have been with my girlfriend for about 11 months. She suffers from anxiety and it is taking a huge toll on our relationship. I am desperately in need of some advice, if not to improve our situation then to get out of the relationship once and for all. She and I got together not long after she and her ex had broken up. Right from the beginning it was one big drama after another other. It started with her deciding to give her ex another shot, despite claiming she loved me and wanted to be with me. She insisted she merely felt ‘obliged’ to do so because they had been together for two-and-a-half years. For the next few months, she went back and forth between her ex and me, breaking up with me a dozen or so times (but each time only ever lasting a day or two). Once her ex finally gave up, my girlfriend and I entered into an exclusive relationship. Since then I have become her sole support person. She has very few close friends and her relationship with her parents is strained; she more or less refuses to talk to them about her or our problems. The pressure on me to support her emotionally and be the one to build her confidence up and make her feel secure (on a daily basis) is mounting. I have my own, albeit minor, anxiety and depression, so I find it very difficult to tend to her needs all the time. Her mood swings are extreme; she’ll go from saying she loves me more than she’s ever loved anyone to accusing me of being a liar and a manipulator. She’s ultra suspicious of all of my friends, despite my efforts to convince her there is nothing to worry about. I’ve never given her any reason to be untrustworthy. About two months ago, she cheated on me with a man. Since then, things have gone downhill in a big way. Instead of her trying to make it up to me or proving her love for me (like she said she would when I agreed to give her another chance), she has become hypercritical of me and is emotionally abusing me more than ever. We fight constantly and she says really hurtful, abusive things that stick with me. She blames our fights on me because sometimes I take time out (she says I stonewall her), but she starts virtually all of them. We never seem to properly address the issues that trigger the fighting in the first place, only the issues she has with the ways I defend myself during the fight. For instance, she calls me names to the point where I cry, and then she gets angry at me for ‘manipulating’ her with my crying. She’s also very controlling. She gives me a hard time about how much I drink, but I barely drink now that I’m with her. Also about what I wear, how I talk to other people, etc. She even admitted she has a hard time enjoying herself while we’re out in public because she is so concerned about other people looking at me/checking me out. When I talk to her about her anxiety, she says she’s going to counselling and therefore doing something about it so I should stop worrying about it. But I swear it’s only getting worse. I should probably also mention that she constantly sets me up to fail. She has super high expectations and doesn’t express them to me until after it’s too late and I have ‘failed’ at something. I’ve told her I can’t live up to her expectations all of the time and she admits they are too high, but doesn’t do anything differently afterwards. If I don’t text/call/email her for a couple of hours, even if I’m cooking dinner or cleaning the house (we don’t live together), she will get angry. She accuses me of doing nothing for the relationship, putting in no effort, which makes me even more upset because I feel like I do SO MUCH to keep us going.
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