Originally Posted by IMFarAboveRubies View Post
Has anything happened in your lives that may have caused her to feel unsafe? Infidelity, illness, a death in the family, the crazy things going on in the country, etc. can make a person feel unsafe in general. Does she have any friends or hobbies to take her mind off things? How long has she been fearful?
Great question and one I've pondered and has come up in counseling.
In the marriage, no infidelity of any kind. In fact, we've weathered some storms amazingly well. The dot-comm bust in 2000 while we were living right in the middle of it cut our income back by 70%, yet we kept up mortgage payments and maintained a maximum contribution to 401k plans. My employer was slashing divisions and jobs, and I became very fleet-footed in switching from department to department as I could see which businesses were going to be kept. I stayed there while they reduced from 30,000 headcount to 2500. This was done partly so that she could finish a college degree. Once she was done with the degree, with her agreement I used my connections to those who'd been laid off to find a growing tech company, which moved us out of California, something we both wanted. There are a few other survival stories, but at no time had we been late on a bill, etc and never had debt except for a mortgage.
Neither of us has had serious health issues. No deaths in the family, no drug peddling, DUIs, none of that, at least since our marriage.
She lost her dad in her teen years, which was a trauma for the whole family, of course, but we didn't meet until 25 or so years later.
She has only a few friends...she tends only to get close to people who have similar strong fears. Some are left-leaning and certain that the corporations are trying to kill us, and some are right-leaning, certain that the government is trying to smother us, and others are none of the above and certain that the entire world is out to get them.
She doesn't really have hobbies, unless you count dog rescue...she seems to "need" there to be something around whose entire life depends on her, so we always have a few sickly puppies that need constant care.
She is convinced 99% of food is bad for you, so she insists on doing all the grocery shopping and cooking, which is utterly simple in our household, and also does the dishes and laundry due to concerns over sanitation. I do all the other housework, which I'm pleased to do. We have never argued about housework.
Now that I'm hearing her express things to a counselor, I think she's made all her decisions from a fear-based perspective her entire life. She has a younger sister to whom she had to play Mom after Dad died, and that sister is the same, or maybe stronger. But the other 4 siblings are all bolder and apparently not fear-driven.
So, I don't see a genuine event in life that should induce the fear, but I suppose it could be the loss of Dad all those years back. And yes, it seems to have gotten stronger with time.