July 22, 2019 at 10:37 am #304359
Hi everyone, I apologize in advance for my English. I am 50 years old my husband 60 , we have been together since I was 19 and we always got along well. We had economic difficulties in the past but now we are ok. We both have a good job, a small house and for the moment we have no problem. We have no children because I never wanted children and my husband agreed because in his family there are problems with serious hereditary diseases. He has an adult son (fortunately healthy) from his previous marriage, who has his life and has no children yet. My husband always worries about our future, he says that soon we will no longer be able to look after ourselves and always look for solutions that are difficult to achieve. At this moment, after several episodes of depression in the past, I am quite well, my only desire is to live peacefully and in my spare time to cultivate the passions I have always had: painting and possibly traveling. But every few days he starts again with this concern. I don’t know what to do, every time I feel very sad and I have to struggle to recover my serenity. I understand that he also thinks so for my own good but for me it is becoming a difficult situation to bear. Do you think I’m wrong? Should I worry more about the future? Am I irresponsible? Thanks to those who want to answer me.July 22, 2019 at 11:36 am #304371
My response to anybody comes with worries, I would say to them so what are you planning to do about it? He is trying to put his burden and worries on you. It is not for you to carry. You can also set your boundaries by telling him not to share that with you anymore and if you want to do something about it then he’s welcome to. You can tell him that you’re open to help him want to get a plan together. But if all he wants to do is worry about it rather than taking action and don’t come to me.
MarkJuly 22, 2019 at 1:26 pm #304395
Hi Mark, thanks for your advice. In fact, I recognize that the attitude you suggest is the right one. I am a very emotional person and I react irrationally. Actually he proposes possible solutions to me, but I withdraw while instead I should do as you say and talk about it together to find an acceptable compromise for both. Thank you.
July 22, 2019 at 2:29 pm #304401
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by Diletta.
My question is why does he believe you will not be able to look after yourselves “soon?” I see that he has hereditary disease in his family, but unless either of you have a serious illness now, you should be able to hopefully take care of yourselves for many years to come. If he is worrying about things that may not even happen or may not happen for a long time, I would probably remind him to be mindful of his life as it is right now, that everything is okay in this moment and that if things pop up in the future, you will be able to deal with them then. Of course, it never hurts to have a financial plan like putting some money away each week just in case you need help in the future, and developing some sort of plan may help to ease his worries, but worrying to an excessive degree when everything is really fine in the moment can actually bring on health issues and can become a self-fulfilling prophecy on its own because of the stress it causes.
If he continues to worry even after coming up with a feasible plan, I would see if he would consider counseling.July 22, 2019 at 8:50 pm #304427
Hi Valora, thanks for your reply. The problem in my opinion is just what you framed. He always worries about the future, when we were younger it was justified, but now that moment has passed and from an economic point of view now we are ok. I try to enjoy this peaceful time, doing the things I love. He instead seems unable to not worry, he always says that having no children no one will take care of us … this makes me very sad because I live it as a veiled reproach since I never wanted children. I have nothing against children, they are not the problem, I have no maternal instinct and I can’t help it.
I asked here on the forum because I have no one to talk to and I wanted to deal with other points of view, especially to see if I’m wrong to try to live without worrying about the future. Thank you.
July 23, 2019 at 1:21 am #304441
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by Diletta.
You might like to explain to your husband that having children is no guarantee that you will be looked after in your old age. Your husband has a child – does he not count in your husband’s calculation of ‘there’s no-one to look after us’. What about his son??
Worrying is a bad habit. No-one can predict the future so why worry about what may or may not happen. It’s a waste of time and energy. You are 50 and 60 respectively, this is young enough for you both to spend on enjoying quality time together, going out and having fun. If your husband doesn’t want to travel with you, you could always go on your own – take your paints and capture the landscape. There is probably an art group in your area that you could join that runs this kind of excursion.
No amount of planning can deal with every eventuality. If it makes your husband feel better, let him put his proposals in place and then you can move on to stress free living.
Painting is a great way to express your emotions in a harmless way. For example, if you painted your husband’s angst, what would it look like?
I hope you will be able to find the serenity you are looking for.
PeggyJuly 23, 2019 at 10:32 am #304515
“Every few days he starts again with this concern.. every time I feel very sad and I have to struggle to recover my serenity… it is becoming a difficult situation to bear… He always worries about the future… I try to enjoy this peaceful time.. He instead seems unable to not worry”-
He is used to worry and can’t stop. He suffers from anxiety. One possibility is that he sees a psychiatrist or therapist or both so to manage his anxiety. Daily exercise, meditation, and other healthy practices help with anxiety.
A good idea would be for the two of you to attend couple psychotherapy, or marriage counseling so that the counselor will teach your husband the importance of him containing his anxiety, that is, no longer expressing his anxiety to you.
When he expresses his anxiety to you, venting like he does, it doesn’t take away his anxiety; it doesn’t help him. And it distresses you. It doesn’t help him and it harms you. Therefore, he should stop this venting, and let’s say go take a long walk outside when anxious, instead of expressing it to you.
anitaJuly 23, 2019 at 12:16 pm #304533
Hi Peggy, thanks for your reply.
Your point of view is also mine and I often tell him. No one can know what will happen in the future, children may not always or want to help elderly parents. His son is a very good boy, I don’t know why he shouldn’t take care of his father at least (I don’t mean he should look after him personally, but only follow a nurse or nursing home). But as you can see, I also get infected by these concerns, which I think serve only to prevent people from serenely living the present.
I really like your idea of representing my husband’s angst in painting, it helps to visualize it and introduce a little joy, since I recognize that I am quite melodramatic … Like all people (I for one) he has some defects but he is really a good person, kind and caring.
For this reason I would paint his angst like a huge, grumpy and somewhat clumsy bear, always ready to protect me in his embrace at the same time suffocating and affectionate.
Thanks to you Penny and the other friends of the forum, you are very kind and you have really helped me. I am happy to have discovered this community and I hope I can contribute too.July 23, 2019 at 3:48 pm #304553
Dear Anita, thanks for answering me. What you say is right, anxiety for the future on the one hand leads him to make concrete plans to improve our lives, but it is impossible for him to put a limit to this mental setting, and leads him to consequences, in my opinion extreme, of unjustified concerns. I will try to see what he thinks of the therapy. Surely I too have to learn to define strong boundaries and not to be influenced by his anxieties. Not to get him away, but to preserve the serenity and balance I struggle to find. I believe that if I can maintain my peace of mind, it will benefit both.
Thank you very much for helping me to reflect and to see my situation from the outside.July 23, 2019 at 5:21 pm #304587
You are welcome. I will read and reply to your recent note to me when I am back to the computer in about 12 hours from now.
anitaJuly 23, 2019 at 5:24 pm #304591
*didn’t reflect under TopicsJuly 24, 2019 at 8:38 am #304681
I love your idea of the grump bear – really funny and sweet. Perhaps you could paint it and look at it every time your husband becomes anxious. It is much better to add some humor into a situation if you can.
Hope it goes well for you.
PeggyJuly 24, 2019 at 9:36 am #304691
A summary of what you shared, with quotes: you have been with your husband since you were 19 and he was 29. You are now 50. The two of you had economic difficulties in the past, “but now we are ok.. both have a good job, a small house… no problem… from an economic point of view now we are ok”. But your husband “always worries about our future, he says that soon we will no longer be able to look after ourselves and always look for solutions”. Every few days he starts again with this concern, and when he does that, you “feel sad and .. have to struggle to recover my serenity.. I also get infected by these concerns”.
You wrote about yourself, “I am a very emotional person and I react irrationally”. You suffered from several episodes of depression in the past, but you are “quite well”, presently and your only desire is “to live peacefully and in my spare time to cultivate the passions I have always had: painting and possibly traveling”. You have been questioning, “Should I worry more about the future? Am I irresponsible?”, asking “if I’m wrong to try to live without worrying about the future”?
Quotes and my input this morning:
“he is really a good person, kind and caring…. always ready to protect me in his embrace at the same time suffocating and affectionate”-
His anxiety (when there is no present economical problem to solve and after he already considered and put into practice all possible financial management ideas) is not about protecting you and it is not motivated by goodness, kindness and caring. He is motivated by sickness, aka anxiety, in this case, not by anything good or healthy.
Anxiety, the ongoing, repeating fear when there is no action that can be done, is a disease, it hurts us, it never helps us. People are more likely to get sick and get into accidents because of being anxious.
You wrote: “Surely I too have to learn to define strong boundaries and not to be influenced by his anxieties”- it is impossible to not be influenced by the anxieties of people you live with.
To solve a problem you need to accurately define the problem. Then ask yourself, is there any way at all to solve the problem?
The problem is his anxiety. The solution: he needs to contain it so to stop infecting you with it (“I also get infected by these concerns”). He needs to attend some kind of counseling or therapy to lessen his anxiety, which will include exercise and taking good care of his health, so that he knows he is doing all that is possible to have a safer future.
If he refuses to attend such counseling, if he refuses to see that anxiety is his problem, that he should not infect you with it any more than he already has, if he insists on … well, infecting you with it, then you will need to live separately from him, so that you can have the peace that you need and deserve.
anitaJuly 24, 2019 at 10:23 am #304699
Hi Peggy, yes I agree with you: the sense of humor is a big help. When I manage to apply it to a difficult situation it helps me a lot because it makes me see things from a more ironic perspective and I realize that sometimes I am too dramatic.
Thanks dear I really appreciate your words.July 24, 2019 at 10:28 am #304701
Dear Anita, I really don’t know how to thank you for taking the time to answer me. Your kindness realli moves me. You gave me a lot to think about, resuming my words you helped me to point out the things I wrote in a less cold and rational moment, helping me to understand that I have to consider what I sometimes try not to see.