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2 Bumps

How do I deal with my boyfriend's anxiety?

Please take me seriously. I'm not a troll; I'm going Anon because this is a personal issue to put on the Internet.

My boyfriend has an anxiety disorder for which he takes a prescription medication every day. Mostly I've managed to deal with it, and be there for him. But lately, it seems like he uses his panic attacks, either on purpose or not knowing what he's doing, I'm not sure, to get his way. If I bring up serious issues in our relationship or try to make changes, he freaks out and says he can't handle everything. He cries and hyperventilates and is hard to roust out of bed. He says work and kids and errands and everything are too much, and I can't add more to his plate.

Yesterday, our daughter got really smart-mouthed with him. He swatted her on the bottom over her jeans, which I didn't have a problem with, but he did it way harder than I would have. She cried for about ten minutes, instead of the usual two or three if she gets a swat from me, which hardly ever happens. I told my boyfriend, when our daughter wasn't around, that swatting her in anger was unacceptable, period. Not the swat, but the intensity of it. At first, he said fine, he wouldn't raise a hand or a voice ever, and I could parent our daughter by myself. That pissed me off, and I told him if he was going to be that way, he could live somewhere else because I expected a partner in the family, not a whiner. He apologized and said it wouldn't happen again, but I got the feeling he didn't agree with me; he just wanted to shut me up. Our daughter was okay, I checked and she was just a little red on the butt, no bruise or anything.

But then this morning, my boyfriend had another anxiety attack because his life was too much to handle, and now we've added relationship counseling and it's jus more than he can do. God help me, I didn't feel any compassion for him. Our daughter was really worried, and gave him a teddy bear to hold and her favorite race car to play with, saying that would make him feel better. I was angry that he melted down in front of her, and I just wanted to smack him and tell him to get his s**t together. I'm not a mean person, but damn! I've wanted to separate from him, but I feel trapped because if I mention that, he goes Chernobyl on me, as in nuclear meltdown. I was on the brink of leaving recently, but he freaked out and I stayed.

What can I do? I'm tired of walking on eggshells. I'm tired of putting up with unfairness in the relationship just so he won't go panicky on me. But if I try to rectify anything, I end up taking care of him, and it's not worth it. Has anybody been there? What can I do?


Asked by Anonymous at 1:21 PM on Feb. 11, 2013 in Relationships

This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • I have two thoughts here: One is that either his anxiety meds aren't working or he has something more than just anxiety going on. The other is that he knows he can work you with this, and is going to milk it for all it's worth. The problem is, it's impossible (for me, anyway, with this limited info) to know which one is true.

    If you feel the same (not sure which one is true), then I think my suggestion would be to tell him he needs to see his doctor. He needs to talk to his doctor to find out why his meds aren't working properly. One of two things will happen here: he'll go and the dr will work with him to get him on effective meds. Or he'll refuse to go, and that would tell me he's milking it. And that would be grounds, for me, to tell him it's time to shape up and help me steer our relationship and raise our child or get out and let me do it alone, without his crap.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 1:32 PM on Feb. 11, 2013

  • Your DD shouldn't have to parent her own father. I know you love him but, I don't see how the situation is any good for you or your child.

    Answer by 3libras at 1:41 PM on Feb. 11, 2013

  • This is a mental disorder. If the patient will not call or does not realize how bad his/her behavior is then anyone can simply call for an appointment to arrange a meeting for the patient with the Dr. therefore enabling the Dr. to adjust the medications if necessary. I am really glad I don't have to call you for an appointment with that attitude. You must really be an asset to the Dr. you work for. Geez give some people a little authority, it really goes to their head. Bye Anon!


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 1:50 PM on Feb. 11, 2013

  • Call his Dr. & see if his meds can be adjusted.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 1:32 PM on Feb. 11, 2013

  • Do not let his anxiaty stop you from leaving him. Get your stuff together and just leave. This is his anxiaty problem not yours.

    Answer by louise2 at 1:34 PM on Feb. 11, 2013

  • I don't think a person can call another person's doctor and ask to have his meds adjusted. I think that's between the boyfriend and his doctor. Not sound advice at all. Privacy act would intervene anyway.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:37 PM on Feb. 11, 2013

  • OK anon, my Sister did it for her DH. Know it all dont cha!!

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 1:38 PM on Feb. 11, 2013

  • I agree with 3libras. There is being loving and supportive and then this. I'd tell him kindly to see his doctor ASAP and get the meds adjusted. Go with him and describe what is going on to the doctor. If after the adjustment, he's still acting out, I'd really consider leaving him. He is not functioning. Maybe if he moves back in with his parents he can collect his life again? I'm not sure but it's not healthy for any of you. : (

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 1:48 PM on Feb. 11, 2013

  • Ms. Know It All Anon should also keep in mind that if the boyfriend listed the OP as someone authorized, the doctor can talk to her. There are very simple, legal ways around that, and if Anon doesn't know that, the she better educate herself quickly, because if she worked in my doctor's office and I got that attitude from her, her boss would get an earful from me.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 2:46 PM on Feb. 11, 2013

  • OP is not married to her boyfriend. I work in a doctor's office. She wouldn't get past the nurse by calling to ask if his doctor would adjust the meds. It doesn't work that way.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:43 PM on Feb. 11, 2013