Why Communication Is Important for Spouses With Anxiety

So we got some news you weren’t happy about today. You need time to process the news and that’s OK. When your spouse has anxiety though, just going silent is almost the worst thing you could do. A simple “I need some time and space, but I love you and this will all work out fine” would solve all anxiety issues for me. Instead, there was silence. Here’s what that’s like for me:

You didn’t say a thing.

My brain supplied: He’s so mad at you right now because you didn’t control this situation the way he expected you to.

You didn’t say a thing.

My brain supplied: He thinks you can’t handle these changes, you’re not good enough as a person or a wife or a mom to deal with this.

You didn’t say a thing.

My brain supplied: He thinks it’s your fault these changes happened and resents you for it.

You didn’t say a thing.

My brain supplied: He wants to run. He doesn’t want to be with you anymore. You’re not good enough.

You didn’t say a thing.

My brain supplied: Well, you already knew you weren’t good enough, he’s just confirming it. Why are you even here? Nobody wants you.

Is it your fault my brain functions this way? Absolutely not. Is it your responsibility to cater to my mental health needs at all times? Nope.

However, if your spouse has anxiety, try to take a beat and consider their needs when huge changes occur. Literally just one beat, no need to put your needs on the back burner. Try to be empathetic, even when you’re caught up in your own reaction because I guarantee you their overly empathetic nature has already imagined every possible way you could react. Taking two seconds to make a statement of support before you take the time and space you need can make all the difference in the world for your partner.

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