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Boyfriend with agoraphobia, panic disorder, social anxiety, anxiety

T

Thewaves

Member
Joined
May 17, 2019
Messages
7
Location
UK
Hi everyone,

I’m not sure this is the right forum to post this but it would be wonderful to get some insight and advice.

My boyfriend and I have been together for three-and-a-half years. We are best friends, understand one another and love each other very much. But we are at a crossroads. He’s battled severe anxiety for more than 20 years and although he has made progress during our relationship, has sought help and is open to further help, we haven’t spent time together beyond a 60-90-minute drive from home. He struggles with not wanting to feel how he can when he panics, and that is more difficult the further we travel away. He also likes to drive everywhere (we have been on a few very short train journeys). We can eat out but this isn’t always something he finds easy or relaxing.

I encourage and support him as much as possible but it can take a toll on my own wellbeing and I miss sharing things with him. I know he’d make a wonderful father but as someone who loves possibilities, to explore and experience new things, I’m concerned about the future and potential practical impact upon family life. I’m in my thirties and would ideally like a baby within the next five years so feel like time is ticking for me in that direction. We are very sad to be in this position but are currently taking time out to reflect upon what to do having talked about this for several months, and although I know it’s our decision to make, I would really appreciate any personal insights or experience that might inform my half of the decision. He has said to me that he will try and work on things during this time. We have a friend’s wedding coming up that will take place about three hours from home and this is a target for us to go together. It will be incredible if we can do that but I know that even if we do, it might take a long time to do the things that we would love to share together and that it might not ever be possible to do those things together.

Thank you so much for reading.
 
blacksmoke

blacksmoke

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
Messages
9,434
Location
basketville
Gee in days of old when the pace of life was slower and the bar of expectations wasn’t so relentless….

The only thing I can say is that you need to keep an eye on your own mental health so as not to deplete yourself as well.

I was hoping someone else would come along and chat ...anyway...
 
T

Thewaves

Member
Joined
May 17, 2019
Messages
7
Location
UK
Thank you for replying and for your advice. It does impact my own wellbeing and that’s also why I’m concerned for the long-run. It makes me sad that this should have such an impact on both of us as all of the good stuff is there within our relationship.
 
blacksmoke

blacksmoke

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
Messages
9,434
Location
basketville
0k so is he having counselling? he needs to start making some changes to show that he is committed to the long term.
 
T

Thewaves

Member
Joined
May 17, 2019
Messages
7
Location
UK
He has been to counselling while we have been together but not for a while now. He is up for trying different things and has said he will try things while we are taking time apart so will wait to see what happens.
 
blacksmoke

blacksmoke

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
Messages
9,434
Location
basketville
thats about the best thing at the mo give you both time....
 
A

Artax21

New member
Joined
Jul 26, 2019
Messages
2
Location
Massachusetts
Hello Thewaves, and thank you for your post! Please send an update on how you are doing if you can. I have been searching and searching for resources online for a long time in order to gain more insight and support around a very similar situation. My husband has struggled with his agoraphobia since December 2017. We are coming up on our first wedding anniversary, and in reflecting this week, I realized how much day to day survival mode I have been in, and the fact that this has been one of the most difficult and painful years of my life. So many missed special moments, so much sadness. He frequently reminds me that he is going through more intense pain, and that I do not understand what he is going through. I admit that I don't, though I have tried. I want a partner who can live life with me, who has a relationship with my loved ones, who I can have adventures with away from the 4 walls of our apartment. We got engaged 6 months before this condition began to truly manifest, and I thought it was temporary, and that it was stress about the wedding. Now I can barely remember what life was like before this. It feels like our entire relationship.

I don't know how much advice I can give you, because I am deep in it right now, and it's a dark place. We fight constantly. He spends most of his days on the computer and I am bewildered by how drastically our lives have changed for the worse. I feel depressed and isolated, and like it will never get better. I contemplate leaving frequently. I want a family and he claims to as well. but I can't imagine ever doing it like this. I know we both resent each other quite a bit.

Sorry to be a downer, it's been a particularly bad week. I hope your situation has improved. I don't think it is impossible to overcome. If he is willing to work together and set goals and make progress, I'm sure it could get better.
 
Z

zabac

New member
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Messages
2
Location
USA
Hi everyone,

I’m not sure this is the right forum to post this but it would be wonderful to get some insight and advice.

My boyfriend and I have been together for three-and-a-half years. We are best friends, understand one another and love each other very much. But we are at a crossroads. He’s battled severe anxiety for more than 20 years and although he has made progress during our relationship, has sought help and is open to further help, we haven’t spent time together beyond a 60-90-minute drive from home. He struggles with not wanting to feel how he can when he panics, and that is more difficult the further we travel away. He also likes to drive everywhere (we have been on a few very short train journeys). We can eat out but this isn’t always something he finds easy or relaxing.

I encourage and support him as much as possible but it can take a toll on my own wellbeing and I miss sharing things with him. I know he’d make a wonderful father but as someone who loves possibilities, to explore and experience new things, I’m concerned about the future and potential practical impact upon family life. I’m in my thirties and would ideally like a baby within the next five years so feel like time is ticking for me in that direction. We are very sad to be in this position but are currently taking time out to reflect upon what to do having talked about this for several months, and although I know it’s our decision to make, I would really appreciate any personal insights or experience that might inform my half of the decision. He has said to me that he will try and work on things during this time. We have a friend’s wedding coming up that will take place about three hours from home and this is a target for us to go together. It will be incredible if we can do that but I know that even if we do, it might take a long time to do the things that we would love to share together and that it might not ever be possible to do those things together.

Thank you so much for reading.
You are in a difficult situation. Your boyfriend views the world differently than you do. His focus is to minimize anxiety. Taking a trip is the last thing he wants to do. Just remember it is not his fault and it is not your fault! Your boyfriend's brain chemistry has led him to this problem it was not a conscious choice. You have to decide if you are willing to live with small victories. It seems unlikely that he will wake up some day and be "normal".
 
W

Wanderer1

New member
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
2
Location
UK
Hello Thewaves and Artax21. I was wondering how you and your partners were doing? I am in the same position as you both so understand all the emotions/thoughts you've gone through. We have tried many different things over the years, and it is very up and down. I agree with zabacs post - it is difficult, and it is important not to blame each other.

I only have my personal experience to go on, but feel free to send me a message.
 
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