Embracing and Empowering Women and LGBTQ Individuals
Your anxiety is driving me crazy! A love letter to my wife:
My Darling Wife, I have something to tell you and it won't be easy. You won't want to hear it and it will probably piss you off, but I am going to say it anyway. You are driving me crazy! Or should I say, your anxiety is driving me crazy! Before we got married, before we bought a house, before we had kids, we fell in love. I'm not going to lie and say that you were the most relaxed person I'd ever met, but still. You loved life. You had fun. You dressed up and did your makeup and got your nails done. You took art classes and went for long walks. You were so funny and smart and beautiful that I fell deeply in love with you and knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. And you know what? I still want to spend the rest of my life with you. You are still funny, smart and beautiful and even more so. But your anxiety has become so big that it feels like another person in this home. You are worried all the time. You worry about the kids, money, germs, how clean the house is, what other people are going to think, how you look. And you are tense! If things don't go the way you want or expect them too, you become nervous and irritable. Where do you think that tension and irritability goes? It gets directed at me. It feels like you are always resentful and judgmental of every little thing I do. When I offer to make dinner, you criticize me because its not healthy enough and explain that it will result in our children being sick and poorly behaved. When I say I will do the dishes, you lecture me about how you can't count on me because I didn't finish them in your time frame. When I encourage you to go shopping or get your nails done like you used to, you tell me that those things are a waste of money that could be spent on more important things in our lives. When you are up late at night because your anxiety prevents you from sleeping, I feel lonely in our big bed. I turn over to wrap my arms around you and you aren't there. Instead of being present with me, you are spending time with your anxiety.
My wonderful, amazing wife, your anxiety is making me crazy. Your irritability and tension causes the whole house to walk on eggshells. Your fears are quietly becoming our children's fears. Your need for control leads to resentment and criticism towards me because I can't live up to your impossible standards. Your anxiety is making me angry.
My beautiful wife, I know that if you could snap your fingers and change everything, you would. I know that your need to control is a way to control your anxiety. I know that when our lives are unpredictable, your fears are triggered and are overwhelming. I know that you don't want to care about what the other moms think about you. I know there is a logical part of your brain that tells you that you can't control illness by constant hand washing, bathing and cleaning of yourself and the kids. The logical part tells you that if you don't take care of yourself, you can't do your best to take care of others. Your logic wants you to relax and accept how I do things, even if it is different from you. But anxiety is too strong. It is a like a person who follow you around and is constantly reminding you of your failures and fears, while covering up your successes and happiness. It tells you that you shouldn't waste time or money on yourself because you don't deserve it.
Love of my life, your anxiety is making me sad. I want to be close to you without having anxiety sitting between us on the couch as we watch Netflix or in bed as we try to make love. I want to see you smile and tell me that you are going out and that you trust me to take care of everything at home. I want to see your hair and nails done, a new outfit on your body, not for my benefit, but for yours. I want you to make time for long walks again and go to a therapist for anxiety counseling and learn that it's okay that you are doing something for you and you alone.
My darling wife, your anxiety is making me crazy but I know it doesn't have to be like this. Take my hand and look into my eyes. Trust me again. Let me take care of you like I once did. Let yourself be weak and let me be strong for you. Actually, let's be strong together. Let's fight this together. You are the smartest, funniest and most beautiful person that I have ever met. I have faith in you. Let's kick anxiety out of our home, off of our couch and out of our bed. I love you.