How to help worrying spouse with GAD - Talk About Marriage
Physical & Mental Health Issues Marriage and relationships are difficult by themselves, but coping with physical or mental health problems can make things even more difficult.

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-30-2016, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy How to help worrying spouse with GAD

First time poster. I sought this out hoping to find help as I'm sure many of you have.

My wife has Generalized Anxiety Disorder. As with any disorder like this, there are good days and bad. I knew she had GAD before we got married. In fact, I knew her for nearly 15 years before we got married. We've now been married for nearly three years and overall our relationship is great.

Where it's not great is this concept of worrying, and I think it's very much related to her GAD.

I don't want to make this post longer than it has to be, so in general, my wife has this opinion that I don't worry about things the way she does and because she knows this, she has to worry all the time and it adds to her stress and anxiety. She's talking about the small things when she says this; things like did I leave the oven on? Are all the doors locked? Did I remember to close the garage door? I could give thousands of examples. I'm sure you get the idea.

Now, in my wife's defense, she's right that I have a very laid back personality and I certainly give the impression that I never worry about anything, but it's just not true. I think about things like above all the time.

I believe my wife's problem is much less about whether or not I worry and more about am I worried about the same things she's worried about? Of course, I have no way of knowing this unless she opens up and talks to me about the things she is worried about, but that only seems to frustrate her.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to help my wife? I'd like her to lead a less worrisome life and realize that I pay attention to the details much more than she realizes, but I don't have the first clue about how to get her to see this. It seems un-achievable to me. Perhaps someone out there has dealt with a similar problem and has some advice.

I feel a woman's perspective could be particularly useful. Maybe another woman can better assist me with understanding what my wife needs.

Thank you all for your time.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-30-2016, 04:16 PM
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Re: How to help worrying spouse with GAD

I have anxiety and myH sometimes shakes his head at my almost OCD behaviors but in the end he bites his tongue and goes with it...sometimes I'll be leaving g the house and double check to make sure the coffee is off and then get him to check and then have to check again. Not until I have checked it that one last time am I satisfied.

Unfortunately she isn't going to think that you are ever as precise and particular to details as her because that the nature of the disease.

My suggestion is just keep doing what you are doing. Be supportive...allow her to be particular and always reassure her.

Like with everything there will be good days and bad days.
Is she on a medication? I also find that am exercise routine helps with coping and yoga. Yoga almost forces you to turn off your mind and relax. Lowers blood pressure too.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-30-2016, 05:20 PM
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Re: How to help worrying spouse with GAD

Compassion. Comfort. And a good sense of humor.

I am a 43 year old female have GAD as well, and so does my daughter, who is 15. A few years ago I went to my doctor (GP) to ask to, once again, to go on Zoloft (AND Xanax) because I was flipping out so much about getting a puppy. My previous visit had been to him because I was flipping out about switching jobs (I was sobbing for that appointment). With both of these scencarios, I was catastrophizing everything. Thinking of every possible awful scenario (i.e. if my puppy had to get up in the middle of the night, I'd be raped and murdered while taking him out to do his business). The anxiety is very real, even if it sounds totally ridiculous to a normal thinking person. It can be all consuming. In both of these instances, my doctor proscribed me medication, and at my six week check-up he looked at me kindly, both times, and said, "Now. All of those things you were freaking out about.....did any of them happen?" No, of course not. But, he didn't make fun of me. He listened, gently put it into perspective and suggested things like counseling (which I've been doing all along), yoga, etc.

If your wife is not on meds and/or seeing a therapist, I recommend it. I also highly recommend yoga and deep breathing exercises several times a day. I need to practice what I preach.....yoga is sooo relaxing and I don't do it nearly enough!!

I'm on Zoloft again, and I will be on it indefinitely. I've gone on and off it a lot in the last 6 years, and I've learned that I do so much better on it. I can be irrational when I'm not on it The last time I was prescribed Xanax was in February 2015 and that one bottle lasted me at least 6 months. My dr. does not like prescribing it at all, and I respect that, but I really really needed it at the time to get through some days.

So, to sum up....what I said in the beginning....compassion, comfort, sense of humor. Compassion is the biggest one.

If you truly love someone you want that person to have the freedom to become everything they seek. You want your partner to soar, not to imprison them. - Pluto2
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-30-2016, 05:29 PM
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Re: How to help worrying spouse with GAD

Also, being "authoritative," "protective," "in charge." Making her feel safe, like you have everything under control. That's what I need, anyway.

If you truly love someone you want that person to have the freedom to become everything they seek. You want your partner to soar, not to imprison them. - Pluto2
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-08-2016, 06:14 PM
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Yes, yes, yes! Oh, how I wish he would wrap his arms around me, look me in the eye, and say "Baby, I got this".
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