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Husband has anxiety around me since stopping talking to a younger coworker.

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  • Husband has anxiety around me since stopping talking to a younger coworker.

    My husband and I are 10 years apart at 30 and 40, we were married 6 years ago. I recently came across mildly flirty texts between them and he tells her how happy she makes him. I mentioned it and he said no, and stopped talking to her. (I was on his phone with his knowledge, not snooping.)

    She came up in arguements because he said he may have had feelings for her. So the day after he broke it off with her, he started having anxiety attacks. Saying he missed her. When these anxiety attacks arise, he tells me he doesn't think he ever loved me, finds me unattractive, and doesn't see a future at ALL anymore. Not just with me, not anyone. He hasn't been eating or sleeping well. He wants to take off during these phases and has destroyed my self-esteem. I dont get it, we were happy before this! Anyone have any ideas or if we have hope?

    Last week he met up with her again to say they can't even talk professionally. They didnt have any physical contact, just were talking way too much and he understood and respected the fact I didnt like this. (He has many other female friends and this never was an issue.) He has agreed to try marriage counseling, but he is being so negative and says even hugging me feels weird. Is this a manifestation of the anxiety and grieving his relationship or has he seriously fallen out if love with me in two weeks?

    he said he felt things with her that he didn't feel with me. To me, that's how crushes are. What we have is so much better personally. Hes my partner, lover (was), and best friend. He is hoping the anxiety will pass, but what is causing it?? Also, she is a younger girl at 25, still even lives with her parents.

    So hopelessly confused.

  • #2
    I'm sorry this has happened to you.
    I think you need to acknowledge first of all that what he was doing, is considered cheating. He had (and is still having) an emotional affair with another woman.
    You didn't deserve that, but it happened anyway.

    Now you can try to 'convince' him to salvage your marriage. You can get counseling and sit there while he's being negative and not co-operative. You can give him time to realise he still loves you.
    OR you can have an ounce of self respect and walk away from a man who clearly doesn't want to be with you.
    Why is it that you don't feel like you deserve better? Has he even appologised or made ammends for the affair he had? Or is he just getting away with that because boo-hoo he has anxiety now?
    He betrayed you. He broke your marriage vows. He let himself get closer to this girl every single day, realising what a slippery slope he was on, and did nothing to stop it. He didn't love or respect you enough to prevent these feelings from developing. This didn't happen over night. He was probably at it for months. How can this be okay for you? How can you still want this man who treated you like no more than a disposable tissue, ready to be replaced by another?

    I strongly suggest you get counseling and work on your self esteem, so you can come to realise that he's doing you a favor by being one foot out the door. Easier to kick him out this way.
    You can't control the waves, but you can learn to surf


    • #3
      I think he needs to see a doctor about his anxiety.


      • #4
        He's depressed so yes, the first thing he should do is see his family doctor to get himself on any proper meds to help him deal and then see the marriage counselor once he is on more level ground mentally and emotionally.

        He's also going through withdrawl symptoms from no longer talking to her. Their daily interaction has stroked his ego to a high and when it stopped, he crashed.

        Before she came into the picture, how was your union in general? Was he happy and attentive with you then?
        "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!


        • #5
          He was a great husband, we had our arguements and always got past them quickly. He was always touching me, kissing me, snuggling me, telling me he loves me. Good sex life (at least once a week). This has hit like a train out of nowhere. He has stress at work besides this which probably hasn't helped. He is a very driven, hard worker. I also I have health issues that I am going through, they're tough on me, but he was always supportive, it seems like he just cracked.


          • #6
            "It bothers me that I can't talk to her but she's not my biggest issue. It's still sorting out these things with us. Rationally, calmly, but honestly. I still feel so much regret, repression, and just frustration. And I feel like I just haven't been paying attention to all the consequences and now its hitting me all at once."

            This is what he said to me today. I have no idea how to respond.


            • #7
              I suggest you don't respond to any of that in writing. Just support/encourage him to see his doctor to be checked out physically and perhaps prescribed a mild anti-anxiety med and/or anti-depressive and if the doctor thinks it's necessary, a referral to a personal therapist so he can talk things out, confidently with an unbiased listener. Once he's on more even keel, you two can figure out what you're going to have to do to get your emotional connection back on track.

              "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!


              • #8
                Hi Undercoverangel,

                I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I was actually looking for a forum to vent my own frustration when I saw your post ...

                I am in a similar position to your husband's. While I don't have anxiety attacks, I certainly felt despair and loss and hopelessness with all of my being when a very similar thing happened to me.

                So here's a similar story from the other perspective: I've been married for five years now but I'm quite young (about to turn 30) and my wife is 35 but you would never guess there is any difference in our ages at first glance. We've been through a lot together, so much so that only a mad man could throw this away and yet I contemplated it quite seriously or even still do at times..

                Two years ago I changed my job and met the most amazing girl as a coworker, about my age, cute and interesting, and we really hit it of right from the get go. I was married and she had a boyfriend but somesort of platonic love was born. It kind of creeped up on us to the point where people at the office started making comments about our potential relationship. There was nothing going on though.
                And then she became single and fell in love with me.
                I must admit I was shocked by this confession and so was she. I urged her to date other guys saying this crush would pass quickly... and I was right. She found a great guy a few months later.

                The problem for me really started after that.. she blossomed into an amazing young woman and every time I spent a few hours with her I would feel a bit smitten and a bit sorry that events didn't somehow turn out differently. I recently spent a lot of time with her (business trip) and felt almost sick afterwards. I feel so sorry to have "lost her" even though I never really had her.

                Also, I love my wife and don't want to lose her either, especially not over something so trivial. But that's the rational side of things. Inside I feel totally crushed by emotions of love and longing and despair.

                I feel your husband may be going through something similar - I completely understand him... he thought it was nothing, he thought it wasn't a big deal and then suddenly his whole reality warped and shifted without his consent. I suppose we often ignore our feelings until it's too late - the strong silent type, right? I could feel remorse in my bones but your husband seems to have gone a step further given his anxiety attacks. He should visit a therapist and you should give him some space. I'm sure somewhere deep inside this goes further then a young coworker... He might just need to feel that he has some choices left in life, that he isn't locked in a prison but rather that he is willingly building a fort with you.

                At least that is what I keep telling my self, hoping for all of this to pass. :/ Good luck!


                • #9
                  Hey Undercoverangel just came across your post and wanted to check in and see how things were going? Have you discussed with your husband the idea of him seeking professional help? I hope everything is going well and he is able to start working through some of his feelings and anxiety. How are you coping with everything? Are you able to do something for yourself during this time to help keep positive?