Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

All you need is love

Community Member

Hi everyone,

I have suffered from anxiety on and off since my teenage years but have always seen someone for it and have never been on medication. I am a perfectionist and over the past years, my various stresses in my work life have often sent me into short bursts of anxiety.

However I met someone about 18 months ago, we immediately hit if off and he was an amazing support to me in the early days while I dealt with work stresses. We have an amazing relationship, have lived together for 12 months and are planning a future together, including children.

2 months ago he told me he had a dream of moving to the country (we currently live in the city and I love it here). I have tried to be supportive of this, and over the past two months have tried to engage in his enthusiasm, however last week I totally broke down and couldn't even talk about it without crying.

The process of making this dream a reality has gone from a seed of an idea to talking to mortgage brokers and I feel like its all moving way too fast. We are also moving house in the next few weeks, and as I work for myself, I don't have a schedule and stability in my day to day which is making it that much harder to deal with.

On top of this, my overactive thinking is now wondering whether I love him at all (while he is at work during the day) and I tear my hair out trying to work this out, until he comes home and we spend the evenings and weekends together and I'm fine. He really is the most wonderful man who loves me very very much and he is being so supportive while I deal with this anxiety but the whole country dream continues to loom and every time he brings it up, I can't help but wonder if it is what I really want and I can make it work with more time to get used to it. The thought that I don't love him makes me even more anxious.

Am I just in a rut of anxiety where my own brain is my own worst enemy? Has anyone else questioned their own feelings while experiencing a bout of anxiety?



2 Replies 2

Community Member

Hi Sarah

For me, anxiety comes hand in hand with change. I constantly second guess myself about all the what-ifs. Is it really whether you love him that is causing the anxiety? Or is it more like "what if we move to the country and it doesn't work out?" 2 months is a pretty short amount of time to wrap your head around it. Maybe tell your partner you are feeling anxious about acting on a life descision so quickly after it was made?

I've done this multiple times when purchasing land with my partner, moving cities together etc etc. 

Only you know in your heart whether you love him or not, and if you do and he treats you right,  it would be a shame to throw away a good thing for fear of all the "what-ifs"

I hope this message finds you. 


Community Member
Hello Sarahl,

Credit where credit is due: The response from Kady (21/6) is brilliant, and as an anxious person I completely agree … with … every … word! 

I worry constantly that the advice I give, or the advice others give, may be misunderstood, so I usually go into more detail than is necessary. On the other hand, I still get misunderstood despite these precautions, so I can’t seem to win. I’m either too wordy or I’m trying to explain something too complex. Because of this, the best thing you can do for me is ask me to explain in more detail anything you don’t understand, and in return I’ll try to keep this brief.

So, to elaborate on Kady’s advice, there are significant positives and negatives to raising children in a country environment, and the same goes for cities. As anxious people we tend to place more emphasis on the negatives and generate a psychological internal conflict between the bad things we want to avoid on each side. The most common suburban parental behaviour with this kind of avoidance conflict is observational limitations. Kids are given strict rules which they must follow or be punished. This is designed to keep them safe from harms, but it is having undesirable side effects, mostly psychological. Children have a biological imperative to establish a sense of autonomy, which is in direct oppositional violation with the enforcement of rules and western disciplinary action. This leads to all the things that we wish youths didn’t do, and I know you know many of them.

On the plus side, a high density population means that children have a large pool of potential friends, which can provide them with another biological imperative: nurturance and belonging. It also means that infrastructures like hospitals, shops and schools are close and convenient.

In a country environment kids have more freedom, which is so extremely important. There are also much fewer dangers, attitudes are more relaxed, and people are generally friendlier. For someone with anxiety, living in the country can go one of 2 ways: you can feel isolated, disconnected from the reality you know, or it could foster calming and soothing attitudes; stronger, long lasting friendships with other local country folk, and you’ll learn to handle the stresses of life more effectively. Also, you’re more likely to provide your children with the nurturance I mentioned before, like incentives and encouragement and most country schools have a bus service that will pick up and drop off your kids every day.

Your partner is trying to do something for both of you that is very positive and healthy. I suggest travelling to the area that your partner is trying to buy into, and visiting the locals. Make friends with them, tell them you’re moving there and that you want children. Have a good long chin wag about hobbies and interests. Ask what they do for fun. If they have kids, or adults that grew up there, ask them what they did when they were growing up. How does that compare to playing video games, watching TV, and visiting the cinema?

Speaking of cinema, may I suggest going to watch After Earth, starring Will Smith, with your partner. The central theme is about controlling anxiety, and there is a beautiful quote that goes:

“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present, and may not ever, exist. That is near insanity, Kitai. Now do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real; But fear is a choice.”

Do you see what I’m saying? There is much less danger in the country. Generally, with less danger comes less anxiety. I firmly believe your partner knows this too. If so, he loves you so much he is willing to give up everything to help you. That is a man who knows exactly where his priorities lie. Do you know what your priorities are? What do you want more than anything in the whole world?