It’s The Little Things

It’s strange how life creeps up on you! A trivial event that seems unimportant happens, but actually, when you take the time to think about it, it’s significance forces you to understand and feel what’s important in your life.

The other week, at the end of a night out with very close friends and family, I suddenly felt uneasy, awkward and anxious, so I very quickly left the pub. My wife caught me up and asked me what was up, to which I replied I was uncomfortable and couldn’t stay around everyone, including my family . She was upset that I had “spoiled” her night and stormed off in front of me, arriving home before I did.

In her rush to follow me out of the pub, she had left something behind, so in a terrible mood, she went back into town to try and find it. (I think it was her e-cig) When she arrived back home I was asleep in bed. My wife actually woke me up to inform me that if I didn’t ‘Improve’ then we were over, finishing her drunken, crying rant with “I’m sorry, but I don’t love you anymore “.

I listened in a haze and eventually fell back to sleep. We spoke about it in the morning and she apologised, saying she didn’t mean it and it was just the alcohol talking!

So, I was/am confused! She knows I get anxious, and she knows I don’t know why I get anxious so how can I “Improve ” something when I have little to no control over my feelings!

When I try to talk to her about that night she shrugs it off as simply saying something you don’t mean whilst being drunk, adding I had said things in the past that I hadn’t meant but I’ve never told her I didn’t love her.

She, my wife, went on a weekend break with her best workmate recently to the coast. Normally, my wife will message me quite a lot to inform me of what she’s been doing and send me photographs of where she is. This time she messaged to let me know she’d arrived safely and once more to let me know she and her friend were about to leave for home.

I think there’s a problem but I can’t seem to put my finger on it. It feels strange, awkward and distant!

Maybe I should pull my finger out, man-up and push my anxiety to the back of my mind. I think it’s the least of my worries!

42 thoughts on “It’s The Little Things

  1. Have you had just a general physical lately? Maybe it’s something like an overactive thyroid or falling testosterone or some other thing that can be easily fixed. The anxiety could be a symptom of something entirely different.

    Maybe the doctor will turn out to be an ex-Marine drill instructor who will yell at you to “man up,” but that’s not the outcome I expect. 😉

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I’ve always heard…and believe that what you do and say when you’re drunk are the same things you would do and say when you are sober. You just have an excuse…blame it on the booze. Maybe your intuition is trying to tell you something.

    Liked by 7 people

  3. Anxiety is very very real. It’s not something people should be angry at you for or make you feel bad about. There are so many causes and reasons you’d be experiencing it. Some could be medical in nature. While others are emotional triggers from past hurts and wounds that haven’t been properly dealt with in our lives.

    It is just my very humble opinion so take it for what it’s worth. But if my spouse is uncomfortable in ANY situation, I want to know about it and will respond accordingly. Never would I fault him for what he feels, nor would he with me. Love doesn’t act that way. Booze or no booze. Wrong is wrong. If you care about someone, you want them to be okay, safe, secure and will do what it takes to provide such.

    I honestly can’t speak as to what is or isn’t going on in your wife’s life. I don’t know. It is time for some real talk between the two of you, in my opinion though. Respect should work both ways. An absence of it is a big problem. It erodes all that is good in a marriage relationship. It takes two engaged grown people to work together during tough times. One can’t be checked out. I’m sorry for what you’re experiencing and am praying the two of you can come together and work through this…

    Liked by 6 people

  4. And by the way, the expression, “man-up” should be removed from our comprehension. 😀 Men have feelings, too. Just as deeply as women. The expression is only fully known when a man feels safe. To tell yourself to “man up” is detrimental to your emotional health. You are allowed to feel, and in fact, should feel! Don’t discount that you are a human being and have the right to experience these feelings. Nothing wrong with it. In fact, it’s a sign of strength, NOT weakness. Society has been toxic for men, teaching them not to feel. Don’t buy the life.

    Sorry! Just my 2 cents 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  5. That’s a very vulnerable post mate. I’m actually at my happiest in my marriage when my wife and I talk honestly, after disagreement, tension or unhappiness in the air. It can be hugely uncomfortable but then liberating out on the other side of the talk. But I’m not in your shoes, and wouldn’t be handing out advice glibly. Hope things improve for you both.

    Liked by 7 people

  6. Hi John, you know of my other blog, and I hope you know that nobody can ‘tell’ people what to do in their lives. But I do think perhaps they can make some insightful comments. I would urge you to see if counselling is available to you, but the thought of it can be frightening because of what may come out, I understand that. Also I learnt in life to always trust my gut, instinct is rarely wrong. You have written this post for a reason, perhaps think about what that reason is. I agree with the other gentleman that you should try & talk to your wife: the lack of phone calls, what she said, other small things that if you look back will be on your mind. But you need to be prepared for whatever avenue that discussion takes you down. You don’t have to ‘man up’ but perhaps you need to face your fears. Sending a hug. ❤️

    Liked by 5 people

  7. What your wife said in her drunken state was actually what she is thinking and feeling (to some extent) but she is not able to say it sober. She is frustrated with your anxiety because she doesn’t know what’s happening either. She just sees a major change in you (which is affecting her life as well) without any explanation and that can frustrating, angering, confusing etc.

    There is a reason for anxiety. Such intense emotions that disrupts your regular life have a beginning but you may not always recognize it on your own. There are also triggers that you are not aware of that gets your anxiety going (something in that bar triggered your anxiety and your first instinct was to flee).

    Recommendations: Individual therapy to figure out what’s happening with you & couple’s therapy (with a different therapist) to address what’s happening in your relationship.

    Your anxiety may be happening to you but it is also affecting the people closest to you.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you Harley , I really appreciate what you’ve said but I suppose I’m using WordPress as an outlet for thoughts and emotions that I can’t release in “Real” life. I think the friends I’ve made on here don’t judge, they just listen and give honest, caring advice. Thank you for caring enough to comment Harley ❣️

      Liked by 3 people

      1. You are welcome. It’s a side effect of my job that when I see issues that we usually see in our mental health clinic, I feel compelled to share some insight.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Oh oh that doesn’t so good my friend. For me : Meditation, Single cure for all human suffering. Suggest you read a book called – Autobiography of a Yogi
    All the very best and may God be with you

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Definitely as said above, the “man up” concept is antiquated and mostly useless. Men are taught from children not to cry or show any weakness. There’s a difference between strength and then just shoving everything you feel deep down inside where it smolders and rots. Be careful………! And hang in there……….

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Hey John, sorry to read this – your wife has expressed her inner feelings – most people loosen up under the influence and say the things they rarely openly discuss when sober.

    With regards your anxiety, l may have missed this as l am catching up with reading, l have just read parts 1 – 3 Camping Trip and came back to this post. I know you have said that try and steer clear of doctors but are you receiving any counselling for the anxiety and stress? Are you under any medication? Have you discussed your inner emotions and feelings with your wife?

    I was married for 14 years and for all of those years l was undiagnosed with bipolar and Asperger’s syndrome, l can relate to some of what you are going through as l have been there. Our married life was in short sadly hell for both parties. I am not going to lay the blame at her door any more than mine we were both at fault unintentionally, we married for the wrong reasons – but she did have to learn sadly to walk on eggshells with me for many years because of stress and anxiety, depression, suicidal attempts and self-harm because l didn’t know who l was – l tried explaining my emotions, but l didn’t know the two main ingredients that were the active catalysts to the undertones. Now, what l ‘m saying is that at least you know you have anxiety, and there will be underlying reasons for the presence of that, that perhaps you and your wife could discuss in counselling with you with regards your anxiety together as a couple.

    Personally l don’t rate marriage guidance because every one couple is very different to the next, there isn’t a damn book written that is designed for individual’ couples reflections and marital experiences on the market. It works for some people and doesn’t work for others. But the two of you as a couple have history,, have a life together, have children, have love and friendship.

    Depression, anxiety and stress are so, so damaging to our other half’s because they cannot understand what we are going through, they want to help but don’t know how, and there aint no magic cure all wands on the market currently. Most people don’t often have life experience of this especially the deep dark shit, they might be used to stressful days, but vaulted anxiety goes deeper than that, and if the observer doesn’t have experience of it, they are quite lost.

    We rarely recognise their fears because usually we are fighting for our own mental survival – but have you tried really talking to her and finding out exactly where her fears lie? What is it about your break that is causing her the extreme angst?

    She says she doesn’t love you anymore, and that maybe [she sees you as a friend only?] Well friendship is at times one of the best hope ropes you can have with a couple. With a hope rope, there is always something to hang on to and climb back up. I don’t know your marital history, none of us here do, that’s between you and your wife – but mate, my first instinct is she is scared of how you are and how you have become, but your own gut instinct is also telling you something and you need to listen to that.

    It took a lot to open up in a post like this to a majority of unknown eyes John, have you expressed these feelings to the woman you fell in love with?

    Forget the bollocks of manning up, that’s old school, men have emotions and feelings too, but sometimes people don’t know that because men forget to tell anyone else and try and cope with it their way. Well the stresses of yesterday’s world are long gone, the stresses of today’s world are a darn sight harder and more malignant and sadly we cannot always cope with everything all by ourselves – so maybe before anything else – the two of you can talk. Maybe her holiday break is a way of saying l need some alone time to think and that is why she is not awarding you all the information that she usually does when away – her behaviour might to the outsider be seen as ‘selfish’, it’s not, it is her way of surviving the madness of another person’s depression – time out is needed.
    If you can, you need to sit her down and speak to her like you used to when you were both lovers and really into each other, when the days of detailed debate were as in swing as a good joint. But be prepared for her answers and be prepared for your own truths to be told to her.

    Take care my friend.


    Liked by 4 people

  11. Sorry for a late reply, I’ve read the comments too and wanted to add something. Firstly don’t just look into whether you are entitled to counselling, go out and buy the best you can find. Waiting for your ‘allocation’ that you ‘deserve’ via the NHS can make a person worse before they get any help, and often it will only be a 6 week stint, suggesting we should be able to get better after that which is bullshit. Skip the GP if you want, I would. Look up local counsellors and use your instinct to pick one – and give yourself permission to try more than one until you really click. Don’t do couples therapy at the same time. A good counsellor will enable you to explore your anxiety gently and enable you to begin articulating yourself to your wife in ways which make real communication between you productive. If you need couples counselling later, that will become apparent to you both.

    Also, feelings are fluid. People are trying to help when they say your wife was expressing her ‘true’ feelings when drunk. But when we are in an strong emotional state (that night she was peak angry and disappointed), we can feel things that are not true all the time and go numb to our own positive feelings. If when she had calmed down she was able to feel her love for you again that’s perfectly normal too. Bonds of love don’t evaporate overnight, and ‘being in love’ isn’t an on and off switch. All our attempts to verbalise love are imperfect because love is not a matter of language. The change in comms while on holiday could well be her needing space to think. Seeing a counsellor could be the very thing which gives her confidence that changes are coming, and possible. It would reassure me. And I know it can be expensive, but YOLO innit.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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