Author Topic: How to not absorb husbandís stress?  (Read 326 times)

[Buddie]

How to not absorb husbandís stress?
« on: August 11, 2019, 09:29:45 am »
How do you keep yourself from absorbing someone elseís anxiety or stress??

In particular, Iím talking about my husband. So I canít just avoid him. He is almost always at home since he works from home. Iím not always home fortunately as I work part time in an office. But we do have youngish kids and so I canít just take off and leave anytime I feel his stress. He paces a lot and is a news junkie and complains about current events stuff. He seems maybe a bit OCD (not totally). He asks me lots of questions ... which exhaust me. (Yes, Iíve told him this and it made no difference). Anyway, for example, Iíll be calm and then he shows up and I feel anxious. Not sure if itís been worse in w/d or if Iím just more aware now.   Maybe Iím somewhat of an empath although not totally. I am an introvert and empathetic, good listener, tries to help others.

Iíve tried imagining a white light around me- hasnít worked. I canít just physically leave every time it happens. Any advice or ideas?  Thank you!
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[Buddie]

Re: How to not absorb husbandís stress?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2019, 04:06:25 am »
How do you keep yourself from absorbing someone elseís anxiety or stress??

In particular, Iím talking about my husband. So I canít just avoid him. He is almost always at home since he works from home. Iím not always home fortunately as I work part time in an office. But we do have youngish kids and so I canít just take off and leave anytime I feel his stress. He paces a lot and is a news junkie and complains about current events stuff. He seems maybe a bit OCD (not totally). He asks me lots of questions ... which exhaust me. (Yes, Iíve told him this and it made no difference). Anyway, for example, Iíll be calm and then he shows up and I feel anxious. Not sure if itís been worse in w/d or if Iím just more aware now.   Maybe Iím somewhat of an empath although not totally. I am an introvert and empathetic, good listener, tries to help others.

Iíve tried imagining a white light around me- hasnít worked. I canít just physically leave every time it happens. Any advice or ideas?  Thank you!

You could try couple therapy. Although from what you describe, it would be best if you could move out for a while. People with OCD can be difficult to live with. I have OCD. I used to ask husband lots of questions and he hated it.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: How to not absorb husbandís stress?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2019, 11:49:43 am »
Thanks [...]. I canít move out bc we have 2 young kids and I canít take care of them myself right now and I cantbare the thought of not living with them.

Do you think asking lots of questions is part of OCD?
An example- weíve been cleaning/organizing the house lately. I handed him an old worn out swimshirt of my daughterís and asked him to throw it away. He asked me if he should throw it away twice. I answered yes. He left the room then came back and said, ďjust to verify, should I throw this away?Ē I didnít know if he was thinking it shouldnít be thrown away or what. I was annoyed so told him justvto leave it and Iíll take care of it. So he left it. He asks for ďverification ď a lot and I think Iím being pretty clear in my initial statement.
Happens with others. Like he will ask daughter what she wants for breakfast. She says cereal. He says ďYou want cereal?Ē She says yes but it clearly annoyed. Because she eats the same cereal everyday for breakfast and she is 7 yo and she is hangry!

Would love your insight on what this is and what can be done about it. Or at least what I can do to not let it get to me (and teach my kids the same). Thank you! 
(Iíll consider couples counseling when Iím more healed).  But he sees a counselor so maybe he can work on this on his own in the meantime. He probably has never mentioned it to his counselor bc he doesnít think itís a problem. He says heís just asking for clarification. But as I examples above, it seems pretty clear to me- what kind of clarification does he need?  I would have to request him to ask his counselor about it. :)
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: How to not absorb husbandís stress?
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2019, 12:58:09 pm »
Thanks [...]. I canít move out bc we have 2 young kids and I canít take care of them myself right now and I cantbare the thought of not living with them.

Do you think asking lots of questions is part of OCD?
An example- weíve been cleaning/organizing the house lately. I handed him an old worn out swimshirt of my daughterís and asked him to throw it away. He asked me if he should throw it away twice. I answered yes. He left the room then came back and said, ďjust to verify, should I throw this away?Ē I didnít know if he was thinking it shouldnít be thrown away or what. I was annoyed so told him justvto leave it and Iíll take care of it. So he left it. He asks for ďverification ď a lot and I think Iím being pretty clear in my initial statement.
Happens with others. Like he will ask daughter what she wants for breakfast. She says cereal. He says ďYou want cereal?Ē She says yes but it clearly annoyed. Because she eats the same cereal everyday for breakfast and she is 7 yo and she is hangry!

Would love your insight on what this is and what can be done about it. Or at least what I can do to not let it get to me (and teach my kids the same). Thank you! 
(Iíll consider couples counseling when Iím more healed).  But he sees a counselor so maybe he can work on this on his own in the meantime. He probably has never mentioned it to his counselor bc he doesnít think itís a problem. He says heís just asking for clarification. But as I examples above, it seems pretty clear to me- what kind of clarification does he need?  I would have to request him to ask his counselor about it. :)

Yes, difficulties in throwing away things. And asking for reassurance. Are both part of OCD.

Is his counsellor a professional therapist? Maybe he needs a different therapist and/or a psychiatric medication.

ADs generally help OCD. To me, it seems like he could have OCD. But it could also be some other psychiatric disorder.

I think this is a good definition of OCD.

You could try to read this book.

It will help you understand the disorder. If he really does have it, then he may be quite difficult to live with.
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[Buddie]

Re: How to not absorb husbandís stress?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2019, 01:27:15 pm »
He doesnít have trouble throwing stuff away. That was just an example of the questioning.
Heís not neat or organized actually. I donít think he has OCD exactly - maybe some traits of it but not the full blown disorder - not interfering with his functioning. Yes he sees a professional therapist. Idk what they talk abt but I have noticed positive improvements since heís been going to this guy, so Iím happy abt that. Iíll ask him to talk to him abt the questions. Thank you so much for your input! I appreciate you!
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[Buddie]

Re: How to not absorb husbandís stress?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2019, 01:36:43 pm »
Maybe he has an OCD which consists in asking the same question several times.

OCD can take many forms.

Some people cease to be neat or organized cause they took it to such extremes that they decided to give it up altogether.

People with OCD can actually function quite well. On the outside.

Howard Hughes for example. Go figure.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: How to not absorb husbandís stress?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2019, 02:45:15 pm »
[...], I have lived my entire married life with a husband much the same as yours in many ways.  It's such a long story, I'm not going to go into it, so I'll try to be brief.  Do you think his repeated questions might be a sign of Alzheimer's/dementia? There might be other signs, such as going the wrong way when he leaves in the car to go somewhere or taking wrong turns when you are with him on a very familiar street. Think of things out of the ordinary that may be related to dementia. I noticed things 20 years ago and yet when I tried to alert our family doctor, he ignored my pleas. I would call ahead before an appointment and tell the nurse, but when we arrived at his office, nothing was ever said. After my husband got so bad and the doctor could not miss the signs, he referred him to a neurologist at University hospital and we had an official diagnosis 2 hours later. 
Now to your question about how you deal with him. Find your own escape such as this site, reading great books, going for walks by yourself or with your children. Do Tai chi, take an oil painting class, paint rocks https://www.facebook.com/RockOnColoradoHappyRocks/
I just learned about the rock thing, so am still reading up on that.
My point is do things for YOU.
I spent my married life trying to please my husband and never could, so now I spend time pleasing myself. My kids really were my happiness saviors, but they now are grown, married and leading their own lives. I grieved when the first one went off to college. The following spring, I went back to college and felt the most incredible high as I walked across campus.
Deal with your husband when you must, but when it is over, walk on and do for yourself and your kids.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.