17 Things 'Overthinkers' Want Their Significant Others to Understand
Overthinking can be a hallmark symptom for people struggling with anxiety. Because overthinking largely takes place in the mind of the individual experiencing it, we may not realize it affects our relationships — particularly with a significant other.
We wanted to know what people with anxiety who describe themselves as “overthinkers” had to say about this, so we asked members of our community to share one thing they wish their partner knew about their overthinking.
Here’s what they had to say:
1. “I’m going to belittle myself. I’m going to believe you’re better off with someone else if the slightest thing goes wrong. Please know I’m not doing it for attention, know I’m constantly fighting with my own brain on these matters. All I want is to know you’re going to fight beside me.” — Casey R.
2. “I can’t help it and hate feeling this way and it’s involuntary… I’m exhausted sometimes, but the minute I go to bed, close my eyes and want to go to sleep, my brain is like: I don’t think so, it’s party time… Other times I wake up at 2 or 3 a.m. in the morning thinking about things I’m going to be doing in the next week or weeks to come.” — Kerrie F.
3. “I would like him to know [my] repetitive questions annoy me as much, if not more than they do him. But when anxiety hits and I can’t calm my own mind, I need the reassurance. Please be patient.” — Kristin W.
4. “The worst thing they can do is be ambiguous about stuff. If a partner says to me something that can easily be misconstrued, the likelihood is I will try to cover all possibilities in my head, and am much more likely to convince myself the worst possible scenario is the correct one. The same goes for not replying to messages, etc.” — Jenny M.
5. “I’m gonna need you more than you need me. But above all these daily struggles between myself and anxiety, thank you for being there when I see darkness in my life. I love you.”
6. “I was just telling my husband this morning. I am constantly in thinking overload, almost daily. So on days where he may feel life is simple, it’s not for me. So when he might add another task for me to do or to remember or think of, I do get edgy and overwhelmed. It’s because I already have five billion things on my mind, and it’s not easy for me to simplify it all and to clear the clutter in my mind. Not that he can’t ask me something, but just so he is aware of why I am so easily overwhelmed.” — Julie K.
7. “Don’t negatively react when I overreact. When I react to something because I’m overthinking it, I need a calm and comforting presence to help me see the situation isn’t as bad as my mind is making it out to be.” — Regan L.
8. “I don’t want to be like this, but I am. Despite the fact we may be inches away from each other, I still need reminding that you are here for me.” — Bella S.
9. “It’s like automatically jumping to the worst case scenario and then going to tunnel vision on that outcome… Don’t tell me to stop overthinking. If it was that easy, I wouldn’t need therapy.” — Courtney B.
10. “I hope my significant other knows I trust him and his abilities. When my mind takes over, there is no controlling the amount of stress and worry over everything. It causes me to overthink, overanalyze and be overbearing. Especially when it comes to ensuring everything is in order for our daughter. In saying that, when I am away from the house, they manage just fine and I know he is more than capable of doing anything I can!” — Charlotte M.
11. “I always take the blame for anything bad [that] happens [with the person] I’m involved with… I try my hard to avoid it which only leaves me stuck.” — Arni M.
12. “It’s hard to describe things to anyone who hasn’t experienced the terror of a full-blown panic attack. Yet you’ve stuck with me through thick and thin as I am so focused on myself I find safety in solitude. You’ve borne the brunt of many verbal attacks as I’ve lashed out viciously for no good reason. Thank you for not leaving when I was at my worst.” — Allan A.
13. “I try my hardest to work on myself, but I don’t always necessarily have complete control over how I react. If I don’t follow things in a certain way, I feel off the rest of the day, my mind is constantly running and when I’m having what I call ‘a moment,’ I need you to be understanding, supportive, loving and patient. I don’t like the way I am sometimes, and I’m my worst enemy. Help me through things and reassure me everything is OK.” — Samantha J.
14. “I would want him to know it’s not his fault. He gets so frustrated with himself when he can’t help me stop the thoughts. He can’t understand why every little thing makes me feel like he’s mad at me (and it’s worse now that I’m pregnant). He doesn’t know how to prove to me he’s not mad at me and that he loves me and that he’s glad he married me. He doesn’t understand all my ‘what if’ questions, and I feel guilty when I get frustrated at his inability to answer them. I just want him to know it’s not his fault, and that his constant love and support are what keep me going.” — Meg D.
15. “My ‘inner critic’ is always thinking the worst of a situation. If my hubby ignores me too much or rejects my advances, I will automatically think I’ve done something wrong. I know he loves me, but hearing him say that and showing it by his actions means the world to me.” — Melody S.
16. “I’m not in control of what I say and do sometimes. Anxiety builds frustration, frustration builds anger, anger takes over and I’m left watching myself get angry at you from the sidelines. We argue, I lock myself away, cry, listen to the negativity in my head, sometimes I harm myself because it’s too much for me to handle. I need you to understand, I need you to help me back to me. I do love you.” — Leah S.
17. “I’m going to get nervous when we don’t talk for a long time. My thoughts will rush a million miles an hour, asking if I’ve done something wrong, asking if you are starting to hate me. Sometimes I won’t be able to get out of bed to see you because I was up all night overthinking and having panic attacks. When I see you, sometimes I just want to cuddle and play some video games to make myself feel better. Sometimes I can’t always talk about what’s on my mind because there’s so much and I can’t verbalize it. Sometimes I just want to be held and told it’s gonna be OK someday.” — Brook E.
Thinkstock photo via openeyed11.