Advice for girlfriend of anxiety sufferer - HELP!

by RAA
(New Zealand)

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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Jan 07, 2013
She seems abusive
by: Anonymous

My husband suffers from anxiety and at one point at told him he had to see someone or the relationship is over. He has continued from about the past seven years to get help but I still need to pressure him to do it. He has improved.

However your girlfriend does not sound just anxious-she sounds abusive. I can't help but wonder if it is wise to stay in that kind of relationship.

Jun 04, 2014
Emotional abuse
by: Anonymous

I am honestly in a very very similar situation and I know that that is emotional abuse.
While you may feel like you're giving up, you need to break up with her not only for yourself but also for her.
She needs to realise that her behaviour is not only completely unacceptable but will not lead to a happier or worthwhile relationship.
Breaking up with her and giving her non-judgemental but honest reasons for it will ultimately be the best solution.
Work on keeping yourself safe and happy and surrounding yourself with friends and family.
Maybe make sure she has support but do NOT continue to communicate/be her sole support

Jun 09, 2014
I understand
by: Anonymous

I am in almost the same situation. Met this great girl last June and started dating last September knowing that she had anxiety issues. She has broken it off more times than I can count, but I love her and keep fighting for her. We have always gotten back together. We live 2 hours from each other. I like to think I am a pretty strong person but feel helpless in this situation. She has criticized my choice of clothes, my friends, how I like to talk with people and even the fact that I am creative with art. She had a 'normal' family, who unfortunately did not treat her well and judged her for her choices. Also, others in her past used and abused her which has left her suspicious of my motives. She uses alcohol to cope when she gets stressed, which I do have a problem with. Not that she drinks, just the large amount. She gets in her head too much, which is very common for people with anxiety. Then her fears become reality, at least in her mind and she goes into a tail spin and breaks up with me. Over the past 3 months she has grown so much in her thinking about what she really wants in life and so I thought things were just going great, even deciding to quit smoking. We have talked in the past about moving in together at the end of the summer. We were pacing ourselves and spending as much time together as our schedules would allow. Yesterday, out of the blue she got upset on the phone and broke it off saying she did not want any of this and we were through. This time is different for me and I am not sure if I have done the right or wrong thing. Told her I understand she is stressed but that she needs to do what is right for her. Reminded her that I was always supportive of her and never judgemental and that I will always love her. Told her I hope things work out for her. I was so hurt by what she had said that I felt that was the best thing to say. In the past I had done a little convincing and a lot of begging and now have decided not to do that anymore. It hurts so bad. She has to figure out what she needs, also understand that people have feelings. I want her to rethink and come back to me. I know this does not answer your question but maybe let you know that you are not alone. I guess I am looking for answers too!!

Dec 18, 2014
by: Yeti

Well the best remedy that you can give your girl friend during such a situation is to give her a tight hug and a kiss on her fore head. Comfort her till she finds peace and make her know that she is not alone to face it.

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