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Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / Female supportive partner of anxiety sufferer seeks online help and advice!

Topic: Female supportive partner of anxiety sufferer seeks online help and advice!

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. bubbly_
    bubbly_ avatar
    9 posts
    8 May 2018
    Hey everyone, i'm new to this online forum thing but thought i'd give this a go as i'm finding to hard to talk to my partner and love of my love (aka anxiety sufferer) regarding any of this. We are middle aged (eeek), although only been together for 2 years. Currently live as de facto with my 3 children from a previous marriage. Although no relationship is perfect, (and lets face it, I'm perfectly aware this isnt a forum for couple's counselling) there are many issues that are related to his anxiety and mild depression (diagnosed prior to us getting together), that he's just not dealing with. I am finding it so difficult to discuss these issues with him, any potential treatment he may need or want, how it affects me, our relationship, my kids, us as a family, all of it. He just shuts down and wont talk. I have let him know so many times that i'm there for him if he wants to talk and that help and support is there if he needs it. He is always so sensitive about the smallest of issues, (in particular with regarding to step parenting at the moment) which drive me crazy and send him into his depression I just dont know what to do if anything. Do I just sit back and wait for him to snap out of it, and come back around like he usually does? He is on some medication for anxiety which his doctor told him to just keep taking and dont worry about dealing with treating the anxiety at all. Personally I think that just seems ridiculous, but who am I? I dont know how else to support someone with anxiety. If anyone has any thoughts, comments or feedback on this, I'd be eternally grateful. Thanks so much.
  2. WorriedDad13
    WorriedDad13 avatar
    6 posts
    8 May 2018 in reply to bubbly_

    Hi Tam,

    As the anxiety sufferer in my relationship with my wife who is amazingly understanding, knows everything about me, supportive and who Knows every single embarrassing detail of my life, I still find it hard to talk to her about my anxiety. Something I have found that opens me up a little and makes me more comfortable talking is if my wife shares things with me while we are talking. If she were to bring up a fear of hers or even something she is embarrassed about, I would open up instantly. Not sure if this will be the case for you and your partner but thought it might help.

  3. bubbly_
    bubbly_ avatar
    9 posts
    8 May 2018 in reply to WorriedDad13
    Hey WorriedDad13, I totally get where you're coming from, and in my situation, I guess i'm just trying to be more sympathetic, lend a listening ear and not make it about me so to speak. I dont really know what I'd have to share to be honest or draw on as he's the one who's going through this, if that makes sense.
  4. Chicken Wings
    Chicken Wings avatar
    444 posts
    8 May 2018 in reply to bubbly_

    Hi Tam and welcome.

    I also live with a partner with anxiety. The fun part is I have anxiety and depression, so we can be a barrel of laughs!

    First I think it’s important to note that every person with anxiety/depression will cope in different ways.

    Personally, I seek out comfort, someone to talk to and a way to reassure myself that I’ll be ok. Whereas my partner does the opposite. He just wants to be alone, no hugs, no talking, just alone.

    I find this hard because I want to help, but he doesn’t seem to want any help whilst he is in the midst of it.

    Sometimes I come home and ask how he’s feeling, I know from how he responds what he needs from me at the time. Sometimes what he needs is nothing.

    What I have found useful is talking when he feels well. I know it’s tough to interrupt a happy moment discussing difficult things, but that’s when he’s most receptive. When I say talking I don’t mean big deep and meaningful conversations, more like bite sized chunks of emotion. He’s not great with emotion in general so trying to do too much at once doesn’t work. Sometimes it might just be “you seem like you’re having a good day”.

    I’ve found from these little conversations that he does notice the little things, they are important. So what I try and do is just keep up with the little things. Making a cup of tea, saying “I’m in the lounge if you need me” and leaving him to it. He appreciates that I understand.

    I’ve found that over time that he now comes out of his little hidey hole a bit more and has even tried counselling.

    I think there is a chance things might change on their own, but it might take a long time.

    From my point of view, all I want is to know that people like/love me regardless. That if I need them, they’ll be there and when looking for support I know which direction to turn. I think my partner (and probably your husband) want the same, they just look for you to show it in different ways.

    My advice to you would be to keep being supportive and read his cues.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. bubbly_
    bubbly_ avatar
    9 posts
    8 May 2018 in reply to Chicken Wings
    Thank you so much that is totally what i needed to hear! I really appreciate you sharing your story and can totally relate to where youre coming from and what youre going through as well. You have really shed the light that i needed on my situation Chicken Wings!

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