Scott and I have a lot of work to do. We have both made mistakes. We both contributed to our separation. It wasn’t fully his fault and it wasn’t fully mine. It takes two to make a marriage work and it takes two to make a marriage fail. For a long time, I had trouble seeing my part in my marriages’ struggles. But as I began my cognitive behavioral therapy I realized that my anxiety played a huge part in our struggling marriage.
Anxiety is very hard to understand unless you have experienced it yourself. And as much as Scott wants to and tries to understand it, he never will understand it as well as I do myself. It has always been hard for me to talk to Scott about my anxiety. I’m scared that he sees it as a weakness and will cause him to think of me not the strong, independent military wife he needs. It’s much easier for me to confide in my mother about my anxiety struggles. And I know that is because she has struggled with anxiety herself. But this became a problem when I started to confide in my mother more than my husband. It started to build a distance between Scott and I. And our communication only took a downhill slide from there. I am starting to work on opening up to Scott more about my anxiety. I am trying to making a conscious effort to improve our communication.
Anxiety has essentially prevented me from being the kind of military wife that Scott needs me to be. My anxiety makes me reliant on others, specifically people I trust. One of the reasons I moved home during deployment was because I didn’t want to be alone. I have a constant fear that I won’t be able to handle my anxiety on my own. Anxiety and panic attacks are very uncomfortable. They make your body feel horrible. And I often need someone to help talk me down. My mom is great at this. She helps me move past the panic and return to a “normal” state. This prevents me from being the independent military wife that moves all over the country with her husband and takes control of the household in her husband’s absence. I want to be that kind of woman for my husband. But my anxiety drives me away from those anxiety inducing situations to places of comfort and support.
With the therapy, I am slowly learning that I am my own safe place. That I am completely capable of dealing with my anxiety.
These aren’t the only two problems in our marriage and dealing with my anxiety won’t solve all of our problems. But it is one step in the right direction.