Anxiety while wife conversates with others

rkelly309

New Here
So I am an ex fireman and have struggled with PTSD for years but through counseling I've learned to live a happy (not necessarily easy) life. I've been married for a little longer than a year. My wife has lots of friends and she runs into at least one of them every time we go anywhere. She really enjoys visiting with them and wants me to go with her when she's invited to go do things with her friends and their spouses. I never complain or make comments about how I'm uncomfortable in those situations but she knows I'm struggling because I start uncontrollably sweating. She then says my anxiety makes her feel like she can't enjoy herself because she's worried about me. I struggle in crowds more than I'd like to admit. I've mentioned that when I start getting overwhelmed, that I can walk away for a minute but she feels that this would make her upset too. It's to the point to where she prefers going out with her mom or sister over me. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

SallyO

New Here
So I am an ex fireman and have struggled with PTSD for years but through counseling I've learned to live a happy (not necessarily easy) life. I've been married for a little longer than a year. My wife has lots of friends and she runs into at least one of them every time we go anywhere. She really enjoys visiting with them and wants me to go with her when she's invited to go do things with her friends and their spouses. I never complain or make comments about how I'm uncomfortable in those situations but she knows I'm struggling because I start uncontrollably sweating. She then says my anxiety makes her feel like she can't enjoy herself because she's worried about me. I struggle in crowds more than I'd like to admit. I've mentioned that when I start getting overwhelmed, that I can walk away for a minute but she feels that this would make her upset too. It's to the point to where she prefers going out with her mom or sister over me. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
You cannot control your anxiety. I found Effexor was helpful for me and I continued therapy. It took time but it is pretty much gone now. I wouldn't tell her about it until you get home. Good for you for facing your fear and going anyway. That is one of the ways that helps to get over it.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
me too and it only seems to have gotten more pronounced over the 42 years i've been with my husband. the older i get, the less small talk and cheap thrills interest me. the good news is that through radical acceptance and mindfulness, hubs and i have been able to find creative ways to manage the psycho tick to the extent that sometimes i can join him in social activities without feeling like bowl of jello after the event. sometimes. . . i still have the social skills of a beaten crazy bitch wolf, but it's not about being perfect. it''s about working it out.

It's to the point to where she prefers going out with her mom or sister over me.

working with our own rendition of this preference was our first successful step. it took time, open, honest communication and patience on both sides, but by the time we had grown our shared comfort zone with this radical acceptance, we were ready to develop other avenues for each of us to be fully, lovingly ourselves. with our 43rd anniversary approaching, the loving acceptance is still growing. we may need another 43 years of practice, but the practice grows richer with each go-round.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
She then says my anxiety makes her feel like she can't enjoy herself because she's worried about me.
So, there's a lot there. She's a huge part of your support system. Mine is the same.

I know for me it was my social fears and fear of embarrassment because if they tried to involve me in the conversation I was:
A. Lost on whatever they were talking about.
B. Self Conscious and awkward. Especially of the ADHD symptoms and "going blank" when really stressed.

So I scripted myself and found things to focus on to stop focusing on panic.

Some stock answers saying I have an anxiety disorder or problem and I have trouble focusing following your conversation helped me. It also is a nice lead up to "Excuse me for a minute"... and an escape to pull myself together. But...I worked on making escape a last resort.

I found things to focus on to reduce panic. Looking for emergency exits or other signs, looking at my wife and thinking about how wonderful she is, putting my arm around her shoulders or holding hands, (really good because its tactile) counting the number of windows in stores or buildings, or change in my pocket, how many pieces in the pattern on the carpet or floor, anything to distract myself.

As I did and practised those things I got better at not panicking when my sweetheart was talking.
 

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
I think a big part of the problem is that she doesn’t understand that your definition of a good time doesn’t exactly match with your definition of a good time. Hopefully you can talk to her about how much you struggle in those situations and come to an agreement such as you will make an effort to go out with her and her friends every so often, but she is also free to go out without you. I hope that you also have times when you go out just the two of you and nobody else. I understand that she worries, however she needs to understand that you stepping away is just a way that you cope, and it’s up to her to manage her own anxiety around this. It is NEVER too much to tell someone you just need to step away for a few minutes to regroup, calm down, center yourself, etc. Being guilted into staying with the group the whole time is not the answer. I think the key is being able to communicate with her and meeting somewhere in the middle.
 
Top