Friends and family of anxiety disorders?

Old 08-08-2015, 12:23 PM
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Friends and family of anxiety disorders?

Hi, I'm the (recovered) alkie in my marriage. My partner has suffered with anxiety her whole life. She was agoraphobic for a time before we met, and through medication and therapy has gotten through that.

She still gets seriously anxious, though. Mostly late at night. When the anxiety is bad, she catastrophises and gets pretty mean. She's not abusive, she's really a lovely person. But I tend to feel those things you read about a used sposes feeling after a bout, you know?

I try very hard to be a supportive partner, but of course I'm not perfect. One thing I struggle with in particular is being properly supportive but also getting my own needs met. The other night, we talked for a long time about her work (big issue for her right now). Then it was bedtime, her demeanor changed. When I came to bed, she was crying a bit. I rubbed her back and said things would be better in morning. She said nothing back.

I was exhausted from the day and evening, I fell asleep. I was awoken by her crying again in the night. I tried to rub her back and she removed it. I was still very sleepy and slipped right back into dreamland. The next morning, she didn't say goodbye. She have me the silent treatment, which is unusual. When she did finally talk that evening, it was to skewer me. I had abandoned her. I fell asleep in her time of need. I didn't love her, and this isn't a marriage it's a sham.

I got really angry and fought back, something I don't typically do. I was livid that she was chucking 10 years and trivializing all the love and support. Just the night before she talked about what a wonderful partner I was. In the end, we talked it out and something clicked in me to use my own recovery to give her some possible tips on calming herself. She agreed to meditate, pray, practice some gratitude. She waaaay her kind self after that.

So now what? I'm glad we came to a short term resolution, but I'm finding myself a little numb and confused. I am drained from that whole exchange, and she is chipper again. Clearly she wants me to be chipper again too. I feel bad about falling asleep, but I also don't. Does that make sense? I want to care, love, support. These late night episodes kick my butt. I love her but I need sleep too. We both have full time jobs which require our full attention. I can't coast at work when I'm sleepy, I have to suck it up. But she's tired too, which makes everything else hard.

Sorry for the bouncy thinking, I'm a bit of a "stream of consciousness" poster.

Bottom line is I want to be a supportive partner. I also want to be happy and healthy. I clearly can't be her only support system, which is what she's seeming to expect. I really wish there was a network as easily accessible as the sober community I've found for myself. In a way, being an alcoholic is a walk in the park compared to this.

Thanks for reading, any advise welcomed.
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