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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I'm not sure how this works but if I ask a question will it

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I'm not sure how this works but if I ask a question will it get answered right away? I'm dealing with a spouse whom I believe is neorotic and or narcissistic and need some advice on how to deal with him. He absolutely refuses at all cost to go see anyone whom I believe may help him sort through these issues and I'm having a harder and harder time handling it. I feel like I'm at my ropes end especially with 2 children 5 and 2 years of age who are very demanding as well.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

Tell me a bit more about what is going on. What are your husband's symptoms? What does he do to make you suspect he is either neurotic or narcissistic? When did these problems start?

Has he tried anything to work on his issues?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Right now we are dealing with an unhealthy fear that he is going to die from lymphatic cancer. This has been going on now for 3 weeks. I've tried reassuring him and even suggested he go to the dr. where he found out his blood had no indications that this particular lymph noiyd is nothing to worry about. It is extremely soft and moveable. He's been to two dr's now and is still convinced he's going to die. He even went to a specialist in the area and told that Dr just how worried he was about it, the dr agreed to remove it, which is scheduled for next monday. However the dr said that because of the size and all the other indicators that he would half his risk from 2% to less than 1% that it is anything at all. My husband is worried to the point of not being able to function. He's depressed and down daily. Leaving all the parenting to me on top of trying to make him feel better about what he's going through. I will add this is not the first medical thing that he was certain that he had cancer and therefore would die. I'm feeling overwhelmed and unsure how to handle this anymore. I feel like I'm being pushed to the brink myself and right now we are in a bit of a fight over this. Which I realize isn't helping but I have been reassuring him for 3 weeks already and like I said, i'm at the end of my emotional rope.

Thank you for the additional information. It helps.

It sounds like your husband (and you) are dealing with an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is a very common disorder that millions of people deal with every day. At any given time, you will find that at least 1 out of every 5 people in a clinic or ER are there for an anxiety related issue.

Your husband's response to his anxiety by manifesting it through a physical ailment or disease is a very common reaction. A lot of anxiety sufferers think there is something physically wrong with them and many develop an extreme fear of death.

Since he will not go for treatment right now, I will list some resources and ideas here for him and you to consider to get him started on helping himself.

One, if he does ever consider going to therapy, he should know that anxiety is very highly treatable. Most people experience a great reduction in symptoms and are able to cope better with life after treatment. Treatment can be short term, so don't think of therapy as a long, drawn out event before relief is found. Cognative Behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common and effective therapy. Integrated therapy is a new therapy that is also very effective. You can seek out a therapist by asking your doctor for a referral or if you attend church, your pastor can help. Also, you can search on line at

Two, there are many self help options he can try at home. One excellent book is called The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne. Another option is the books and programs by Lucinda Bassett. Check out your local library and under anxiety and phobias to find many options for self help.

Three, have your husband talk with a pastor, if he attends church. Reassurance and faith often greatly help those who suffer with anxiety about their health and death.

Four, consider taking a break yourself. Caring for two young children and helping your husband with anxiety can be enormously draining. Do you have someone who can stay with the kids for an hour or two? Go out and do something for yourself. See a movie, browse a bookstore, shop anything that would help the stress. When the kids go to bed at night, plan a quiet dinner. Watch a movie. Take a bath. Whatever helps you relax and cope. You can also consider going to therapy yourself to help you have someone to talk to. It also gives your husband a chance to see how it helps you and maybe he would be more willing to go.

Five, he may want to consider on line self help groups. Here is a link to get him started:

Please let me know if you have any further questions I can help you with.

I hope this helped,

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for the advice so far. As for your suggestions we a limited in them. By that I mean that we live 500 miles away from our closest relative who would be able to help with the kids and our only babysitter whom we've been able to find is no longer an option for us as she's getting married and moving away.
I've thought about going to therapy myself but my husband is very against me doing so. He says he doesn't want me to go and talk about him and have the therapist say that I should leave him. So he's not so keen on the idea that I go myself. Which is something that I want to do to help me deal with him along with my own stress and anxiety. I will try to locate the book you suggested but I'm a little scared of how he's going to take that.
My husband also does not believe in God, so he would never go talk to a priest. I on the other hand am going to church every sunday and find some relief from my anxiety caused by my husband there. I've even talked to the priest once but I know my husband would never go.
I only get out by myself only about once every 6 months and my husband is usually reluctant for me to do so. I have to sort of assert my right to be able to for it to happen.
I do want to bring up another issue that has plagued our relationship for the past 3 or 4 years off and on. We started dating in Nov of 1995. I was seeing someone before I met him. I broke up with my ex boyfriend so that I could start dating my husband. He keeps bringing him up and trying to make me compare my ex to him. I don't understand why this came out after so many years of being together but it has. I'm getting tired of trying to reassure him over everything about my ex. One time he told me that he didn't get anything that anyone else hadn't already got. This still hurts to think about and I don't understand why he would say such a thing. Another thing he has said about my ex it that he was jelouse of what we had. My response was something like "why do you think you got the shit end of the stick" He's been better about not bringing him up except for times when he's extremely worried like he is now. Is this also part of an anxiety disorder?
I don't mean to bring up so much at once but like I said I feel like I'm near the end of my rope and I appreciate your responses and patients with me.

It sounds like that along with the anxiety disorder, your husband is insecure. He is taking it out on you by asking you about your ex, putting you down and trying to control you.

You can either let it continue as it is or let him know that if he will not get help, you will. Start seeing a therapist to help you learn to cope with his behavior and help you deal with your feelings. Talk with your priest and also read books about controlling relationships. All of these will help you. Keep in mind, your husband's behavior is about him and his issues, not you. He is trying to make them your issues as well through control. You do not have to allow it.


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