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My husband is suffering from anxiety and won't do anything about it

Community Member

Hi All,

My husband and I have been together for 5 years, married for one year. We both suffer from anxiety but I've been regularly seeing a psychologist, on medication, and implement a lot of positive strategies in my life. I've been struggling with the fact that he refuses to do anything about managing his anxiety, instead he withdraws from me, will play video games/watch tv as avoidance or act cranky around me. He never wants to talk about it, and when he is anxious he expects me to pick up responsibilities in our life (e.g. housework, cooking etc).

I'm empathetic because I understand what anxiety can do to you, but I'm struggling with the negative effect it's having on me. I feel alone in the relationship, and that I have tip toe around him to not set off his anxiety further. When I ask him to help around the house he just says he's too anxious to think about anything right now. I've asked him in the past to see a psychologist but he says there's no point.

Sometime's I feel like I'm married to a bad room mate and not a life partner. I don't know what to do.

1 Reply 1

Community Member

Hi mugichan

Sounds like you’re in an unhappy situation.

As a fellow sufferer of anxiety, panic and mild agoraphobia, the first thought I had when reading your post was “Has your husband had a definitive diagnosis of anxiety?”

it’s just that most sufferers of anxiety I have met eagerly seek out therapy in order to decrease the anguish of living with anxiety. It’s just a thought but obtaining a definitive diagnosis seems to me the logical first step.

It’s dreadfully unfair that you have to tip toe around the house and do the bulk of the housework while your husband watches TV. You have your own challenges with anxiety and I’m sure this situation would be making your challenges more difficult.

You need to be a little selfish in my view. Tell him clearly that he needs to pull his weight. If he claims the anxiety is stopping him helping and sharing, challenge him on the diagnosis (if he has not received one). And if has received a diagnosis, insist he requests therapy because unless he takes action, you’ll need to rethink the relationship.

I know this sounds harsh but sometimes people have to be shocked into facing a situation and the only way to grab their attention is to throw a bucket of cold water on them (metaphorically speaking).