Am I being held hostage to my bf’s anxiety?


So, “hostage” may be an extreme word to use, but hear me out…

My bf and I have been together 4.5 years. Two years ago, I thought it would be a good time to start talking about our future in a more serious, less hypothetical way than we had before. Instantly, I was met with resistance, and a “I don’t want to talk about it yet.” I would then ask him to come to me to talk about it when he felt right about it… a week went by, a month, 6 months. So I bring it up again, and I get the same response. This eventually led us to start couples counseling, which we are now in our 3rd week of (he was hesitant to do this at first, but now sees it be important for us.)

During these sessions, we talk about our concerns about the future, and every time he speaks, I can visibly see how anxious he is discussing marriage, kids – anything thought to be permanent. So much anxiety, that our counselor asks him to stand up with hands over head and take deep breaths.

I myself deal with mental health issues, so I am trying my best to be understanding of his anxiety triggers… even if they mean my relationship goals have to take a backseat. I am turning 27 in February, and I am starting to feel worried about what this means about starting a family.

I’m sure therapy will eventually help address this, but I want to know if anyone else has experienced something similar with their significant other? Does it sounds like my bf has anxiety of these future decisions in general, or do you think something about me is affecting his confidence in the future? I’m feeling confused, worried, a bit lost about where to go from here. Thank you for reading.

Category: asked January 31, 2019

1 Answer

Hey there, @kind2yamind. Call me Echo. First off, I'm sorry that you're going through this. It sounds really hard to deal with. Hang in there. I see this issue from both sides. I understand how you feel, and I also understand how he feels. Since you already know how you feel, let me try to explain how he feels. The future is a scary place, especially when making a such a permanent choice such as marriage or children. As someone with anxiety about my future (for different reasons), I understand the anxiety about decision making. He is frightened of the prospect that he may ruin his life if it doesn't work out between you guys. He's frightened that he may be making the wrong choice. This fear has and will accompany him no matter who he's with, be it you or someone else. That being said, it isn't fair to put both of your lives on hold. I recommend talking to him, expressing your feelings, but also showing that you understand how he feels. Tell him that at some point, you have to discuss your future; you can't just stay dating, never making a decision, forever. You are a strong person, and you can get through this. You bring light to the lives of many people. If you need to talk or vent, I'm here. If you need a friend, or really just anything, I'm here. Just inbox me, and remember to stay strong.