Boyfriend feels like he can't make me happy because of my anxiety?

I have GAD (general anxiety disorder) so I worry a lot and have anxiety attacks. Ever since I met him, everything has gotten so much better.. but I still have attacks and just recently he said they are too hard on him. When i have attacks, I cry and shake and it isn't pleasant. I know it's hard for him to watch but I don't know how to make him know I am happy. He says he feels awful every time it happens because he knows there's "nothing he can do" because he's "stupid and an idiot" and he tells himself such awful stuff.
I dated someone with anxiety and depression and though it makes me sad seeing them sad, I've never felt that way about myself so I don't know. I told him if he really feels that way then there's nothing I can do because a person can't fix my own mental illness and if it's too much for him then he is free to let me go.. he said he would think about it and said he only feels so bad because he cares so much about me.
I just don't know how to get it across to him. I feel like maybe he beats himself up too much over it and thinks too much about it. My anxiety attacks last like 15 minutes max and I'm fine. I'm not a sad person but he thinks I am because of it.
help? I love him and I know he loves me which is why I'm willing to let him out of this situation but I don't want to lose hope


Most Helpful Guy

  • Some guys who lack self-confidence try to compensate by being the guy who can do everything for a girl. They buy you things, use the polite manners, try to make you laugh, keep you entertained, etc. Does this sound like him? If so. . . you may need to go overboard on reassuring him why you like him and why he is so important in your life.

    Feeling helplessness is an antecedent of depression. Maybe you need to reassure his that, even though he can't prevent your panic attacks, they are less frequent and less severe because of the things that he does for you on a regular basis.

    Good luck!

    • Yeah he is kind of like that-and sometimes when we argue he will take what I say and make it into something different. Like me saying "i don't have a high self esteem sometimes" to him means me saying "you're a bad boyfriend because you don't make me feel pretty 100% of the time." I know he has low confidence and I've never dated someone that just couldn't handle my anxiety attacks-he just thinks that anxiety = me being unhappy... I don't know what to do or say to him though. I tell him he helps but unless my anxiety goes away, he feels like he does nothing

    • Are you in counselling/therapy? Could you have your boyfriend join you for a session with the counsellor?

    • I am in counselling-I mean, I may be able to for my next session. I don't know, right now we are on the line where I told him to think about breaking up if he really wanted to and he said he'd think about it and the reason he feels so bad is because he cares about me.. we are on thin ice right now and im seeing him tonight, I just don't know what to do as of now to try to make things better. because now that I thought about it I realize he must be insecure but I don't know how to bring that part up to him

Most Helpful Girl

  • I've been through this, as I also have GAD (mine sounds a little milder than yours - I don't often have panic attacks, but I feel a constant low level of anxiety. It. Is. Exhausting.) There's not a ton you can do or say to make him feel more helpful to you during these attacks. He needs to know that you are able to cope on your own. His feelings are natural for someone who cares deeply for you.

    In the meantime, have you ever read The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook? I find it helpful and my therapist often recommends it to her patients.


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  • He is trying to telll you he can't handle you.. Stop and really hear him


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