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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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My husband was diagnosed with GAD

Customer Question

My husband was diagnosed with GAD and was on anti-depressents for about 10 months. He continues to be very very anxious. In fact, to be fair, he has always been quite an anxious person.This is concentrated on his work. He is freelance and is constantly worried about making enough money. We have always had financial difficulties. He feels guilty about that. In fact, at times when he wasn't making any money he wouldn't go out to get any part time job to help with the bills. I know that I became resentful of this over time. I have always been the main wage earner, though I don't earn very much myself. I am very very tired with it all. I see the same pattern in his working life and I support him through it but nothing ever changes. He works really hard to build a portfolion in an area of work. Makes contacts. Gets work. Then it all feels like too much and he gets anxious about not being able to do it and angry about not being able to do what he wants to do. I feel like I am carrying him and us. He sometimes says he will go to seek help, but he doesn't. He saw a therapist 3 times, says it was useful but I have no idea how. He keeps it all in his head and becomes spagghetti headed - confused. I have been on the brink of ending our relationship, but I do love him. Sometimes I wonder if his constant anxiety is a way to keep me in the relationship. How could I leave someone in a bad way? I am so tired and feel so stuck. We have no social life, next to no sexual life. I can't see anything changing. I have stopped believing. We have no children, we are infertile and I know this has impacted both of us, though I have been more open with my feelings on this. I myself see a therapist. Ironically, I am training to be a therapist. Perhaps this excacerbates feelings of futility. I don't really know why I am writing this. I don't know what else to do. I try to just listen. I try to support and show understanding. At other times I just get overwhelmed and cry. A couple of days ago I suggested he took all the money he has saved (quite a bit, we were working towards building up a deposit for a mortgage) and just go somewhere and look after himself. He cried as he doesn't want to be without me. He is always saying how much more important I am than anything, but the only thing he thinks about is work. I have become resentful and I have lost respect for both him and for me and that doesn't seem like a good basis for a marriage. I want to believe it can get better. But I am concerned it's going to get even worse, not sure how.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I am sorry about your situation which you paint as hopeless, unfulfilling, and depressing.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You say that you are not leaving because he is in a bad way. He is not taking responsibility for himself and you do not seem to be of much benefit to him, other than perhaps as a some kind of minor support and comfort in his life.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You say that he is diagnosed with GAD. You have not given much description, but it seems to me that he is acting more like a person with depression, somewhat muddled in this thinking, having little motivation, being reclusive, and not being a husband or companion to you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I hear that you are at the end of your tether and on the brink of chucking it all in. The only thing that may be holding you back is a sense of loyalty and the wish to avoid any responsibility for his further deterioration.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I recommend that you talk to him in your open fashion and tell him that he needs to seriously go for continuous help until he can pull himself out of this state. Tell him that if he makes a good faith effort then you will stay with him.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If he does not put that effort into what you see as trying to save the relationship, then you will put an end to it and leave.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

This is a good compromise, it seems. You have to draw a line of expectations for him to meet.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If he meets them you can continue.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If he does not then you can opt to leave knowing that you have done all you can and have given him the option of working with you to save the relationship.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I wish you the best and shall keep you both in my prayers.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Warm regards,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC

Customer :

Are ultimatums helpful for depressed or anxious people?

Customer :

He is looking at accessing an anxiety help centre, I don't know that he will access the help. Will me threatening to end our marriage help this process?

Customer :

I suppose it must seem quite black and white. That has been my struggle - seeing it as black and white: go or stay.

Customer :

I'm struggling to understand how a 'do this or I am off' approach is appropriate. Maybe it is and I don' want to hear it, who knows?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dreaming about a werewolf indicates violence and anger deep inside of you. There is an unknown force or thoughts in your life hiding just beneath the surface. It is not easily detected and you cannot see it, but you are surrounded by fear about this unknown.

It also indicates that you may be suppressing or repressing your primal instincts.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

SORRY ABOUT THOSE LAST TWO LINES. THEY CAME FROM A DREAM INTERPRETATION THAT HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR SITUATION.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

To focus on your situation, you husband has chosen to think about going to an anxiety help centre.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

At this point he is just talking and not yet acting.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

He needs to see a therapist for individual work, which they might do at this centre. If they are professionals then they will see that he is in need of help, and start to work with him.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Threatening to leave may goad him forward to seek help. If you really want him to try then you may need to push him to the edge of the cliff but not over the cliff.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You do sound that you are running out of patience. The man seems very difficult and juvenile and manipulative and not a good candidate to be your husband.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If he cannot come to terms with his problem and begin to change his thoughts and behaviour you might be wise to leave. You will not be abandoning him in his time of need.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Rather, you will be leaving him as you have found him - with an emotional condition that you did not create and cannot fix.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Yes, he is very dependent on you, but that is not a contract to stay with him, or an obligation on your part.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

He has taken the nest egg for a mortgage and he is sabotaging your marriage in that regard. He says that he wants you but is making it impossible.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Sorry, I misread what you said. You suggested that he take the money out. This indicates that you want out of the relationship and and telling him to use what he has saved to be on his own, clearing you from financial responsibility for awhile.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

This is what you want, I believe. To be out of the relationship but to see him with enough equity to rid you of the resposibility/burden of supporting him.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I will save this chat and you can get back to me later.

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