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I am the control freak girlfriend!

Community Member
Firstly, I should say that I suffer from both anxiety and depression, both of which have escalated after my marriage ended with the Father of my young children. I have become that anxious, overbearing girlfriend that I never thought I would be, and definately don't want to be! We have had a rough start to our relationship, with a difficult ex spouse on his side and 4 children between us, it's not expected to be easy. I just let the anxiety take over. I read into every little thing - he has a bad day, I take it personally like he doesn't want me or love me anymore. We have an argument and I feel like our relationship is over. Granted, he doesn't cope with my emotions very well, but he is trying. I have to know where he has been, I can't resist the urge to check his phone/facebook. When he's not feeling up to having sex, I take it as a sign of rejection. I really just want to be that person he loves to come home to. I know the way I am at the moment makes me not nice to be around. Every day I tell myself 'I'll just focus on me and my girls and be there for him when he needs, the rest will fall into place'. But I feel like I need that constant reassurance, and if I don't get it, it takes control over every aspect of my life until I go on a downward spiral into depression and panic attacks. What do I do? Sometimes I wake up feeling a little stronger and a bit more cheery and things are perfect, but I think my emotions are destroying our relationship. I can't even talk to him about it anymore. He just gets frustrated....
6 Replies 6

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Happyeverafter and welcome to the forums.

Kudos to you for reaching out and sharing your concerns.

Acknowledging there is a problem is a courageous first step. Deep down, you seem to know what to do when you mention focusing on yourself and the girls. Easier said than done, right ?

Your state of mind suggests you may be suffering from anxiety, a medical condition, different from just feeling anxious. First of all, I'd suggest you have a look at the Anxiety/Depression checklist to be found in "The Facts" section at the top of this page. It won't give you a proper diagnosis but will help you figure what it is you are up against.

No need to struggle alone so next step would be a talk with a GP. You may need medication to help calm your mind and/or referral to a counselor.

Please take good care of yourself so that you can continue to care for your loved ones. They need you to regain emotional stability and peace of mind. Later, your husband would be given the opportunity to learn about what you are experiencing and how to support you. With a proactive attitude, the right help and support, out of control emotions can be managed.

You are on the right track. You have already made a wise decision and are searching for solutions to help maintain a healthier relationship. Well done !

We're here to support and cheer you on whenever needed.

Kindest thoughts.

Community Member

Hi Happilyeverafter,

First of all, you sound exactly like me! So maybe we are both nuts but at least you know you are not alone 🙂

I don't want to be overbearing, but I do need constant reassurance and take any decrease in affection as a 'rejection' and become very upset. I too suffer from both depression and anxiety. I feel like although there are steps we can take to improve our overall happiness and satisfaction in life, it can also be a huge help if the people closest to us understand our conditions. The more he is able to learn about depression and anxiety the easier it will be for him to recognise the difference between the 'normal' you and the depressed/anxious you.

If he can tell the difference, he will not have to feel so frustrated as he will see that it is not you, it is the condition, you don't mean to be this way, you are trying to help yourself but will not be able to stop it every time. If he is able to recognise what you are going through, he will be able to give you the support you need. For example, if you are having a panic attack, he just needs to gently reassure you. When the panic attack is over, you can be yourself again and explain what was making you feel anxious (if there was a specific cause). If he understands depression, he may be more thoughtful in the way he explains that he is not feeling up to having sex. If he understood how much it hurts you, he may be able to explain that he still loves you and still wants to cuddle but he is just tired or unwell, then you won't feel rejected.

Perhaps encourage him to read up on depression and anxiety so he can get an idea of what it is like. And if you are not already seeing somebody, I recommend finding a good psychologist that can help you to 'reprogram' your thought patterns so that one small thing doesn't become a big issue in your mind, so that him saying no doesn't feel like a rejection, so you won't have to take it personally.

Keep in touch and good luck xo

Thank you Starwolf! Yes, I have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression and take medication for that, however my Doc says that at some stage I will need to learn to manage what's going on in my life. My partner knows this, but still fails to give me the support I need when I need it. It seems that when I'm at my worst, it's a result of him not feeling 100% and being distant etc, which is why I end up in such a mess - my anxiety escalates due to him having a bad day and not giving me the attention I'm craving. He gets frustrated because it happens so often and because of his state of mind, he feels he can't be the person I need him to be. I don't understand how you can see your partner in such a state and not want to help? In fact make it worse by getting angry and walking away. In that moment I want to just crawl into a corner and give up. I am really confused as to whether or not he truly loves me if he can see me in such despair, begging for help yet he can't even offer a hand to hold or open arms. He suffers from mild anxiety as well, and I try to help him as best I can. Maybe he just can't be that person for me, which is hard.

I guess as far as my relationship goes, I can't say if that's the problem or not, I just need to find a way to be able to cope with life with or without him and shut off from his moods and still manage to be happy. It seems to me that he triggers my anxiety more than anything, but I don't know how to stop that from happening...

Hi happilyeverafter. Can I ask about your childhood. I sort of have a similar problem. I constantly need assurance and need to be told I am loved. As a child, I had a traumatic childhood, with an alcoholic/narcissist father and an emotionally abusive non- caring mother. I was also a victim of sexual abuse. Recognizing any sort of insecurities needs patience and understanding. It could be depression is also very much alive with you. Counseling may benefit you, but in order for you to 'let go' and allow your partner to 'breathe' you need to learn trust. Maybe talking to a counselor would help. Depression is part of insecurity and you need help dealing with it. Trying to explain it is going to be difficult as you will be talking a foreign language. I suggest you get some literature explaining depression and the stages of it. Give these to your partner and leave him to examine it. Hopefully he will take the time to study it and work with you. My ex refused to acknowledge how I felt and he just left me to cry.


Hi Pipsy! Yes, my upbringing certainly wasn't a nurturing one, at least in the start anyway.

Unfortunately my partner wasn't interested in learning about how I was feeling and how to help. In fact, it has taken me almost 2 years and a lot of support to come to the realisation that he was in fact causing my anxiety. He was definately narcissistic and controlling and essentially made me feel like I was always 'on trial'. He wasn't committed and that was playing on my mind. He would never say or do anything to reassure me, just blame me for my insecurities. We separated 2 days before Christmas. I'm not really sure how to heal from this, so I will work on a new post for that 🙂

Hi happilyeverafter. It's sad to learn our partners/hubby's are unable to 'connect' or support us when we try to 'let them in'. My ex was a bit narcissist in that he walked away when I tried to talk. I left him over a year ago and at first I felt extremely guilty for not trying harder. Since leaving him I've discovered I can change the way I relate to people, but I can't change my basic personality. Your ex partners lack of understanding your needs could be due to lack of knowledge or understanding of how you were raised. If he was raised by parents who believed he was 'perfect' as my ex was, nothing is going to change his basic personality or understanding. Your ex probably thought he was totally committed and your problems were 'all in your mind'. My ex FIL used to delight in informing me that every time I remembered anything unpleasant, it meant my deceased parents and abusive brother had 'won'. This is total garbage. There are no winners and losers with bad family environments. You were and are still a victim. As you start the healing process and accept you could do nothing to change how you were treated, you will start regaining the strength and power that was taken from you. Once this starts happening, your victimization feeling will start to leave and you will start feeling stronger and more in control of you. Your ex partner victimized you and set you back in your recovery. Kudos, to you for recognizing this and more power to you in the future.