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Asking if he's okay too much/exam stress - Carers UK Forum

Asking if he's okay too much/exam stress

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Background - caring for fiancé with depression/alcohol issues.

Not sure if I'm actually looking for advice here or if I just need a bit of a rant. Managed to set him off (I think) last night by asking if he was okay too much. Does anyone else have this problem? It happens a lot and I keep asking even when I can see it's annoying him, and I wish I could stop but I can't. I've thought about it a lot and I think it's probably due to a combination of my anxiety issues and being so used to him generally suddenly getting angry or upset despite telling me everything's fine which means I'm just hypersensitive to any signs that he might be having a bad patch. (Also think past relationships have contributed to this habit) If that makes sense. And honestly I'm still not sure if anything was actually wrong or if it was just all in my head but it definitely ended up in him getting angry and shutting me out. Got home tonight from my second exam of four (over four days) and he wasn't being angry really, just pretty monosyllabic and disinterested in what I was saying. I asked if he still needed space and he said he was okay/not bothered but when I tried to show him affection he basically didn't want me anywhere near him so I asked him what was wrong and of course it made him angry again. And it's massively thrown me off my studying game last night and tonight (exam number three tomorrow) - am I being selfish by wishing he would just cut me a break this week of all weeks? And how long is it going to last this time? A little frustrated just now since there's really nothing I can do about it until he calms down, whenever that may be. Advice appreciated, mostly just needed to offload.
Imho you need to put yourself first and concentrate on your exams. If, after they are out of the way, your chap is still in his cave ( reference to
Men from Mars bòok) just check once whether he does need anything specific supportwise from you. If not and he still refuses to engage, refer him to his doctor .
Like a having a child, you need to set clear concise boundaries and stick to them. It's called firm love. He needs to know you have needs e.g. support in exam week equally as much as you support him.
Maybe he's just jealous because this week the exams are more important than he is. Leave him alone and concentrate on relaxing ready for the exam. At this stage, rest is more important than any more revision. Good luck with the exams.
Even men without MH like a lot of 'leaving alone' (that's why they build sheds and hide in them....). I'm not being facetious - men do find it threatening when women ask how they are......

If it's any help to you, I can remember someone explaining about 'incompatable assumptions about what feels comfortable' by reference to the differences between the English and Italians. Italians have a much closer body space than the English do, so if you see and English person and an Italian person talking at cocktail party, you will see a kind of 'chase' going on - they are talking, the Italian steps forward to attain their 'comfort closeness' to the English person, whereupon the English person immediately feels their space invaded, and so steps backwards - this panics the Italian who sees it as rejection/withdrawal, so they promptly step forward again to get 'close'....and backwards goes the Englishperson as well.

I do think it's similar with men and women - women feel a huge urge to be 'involved' with their menfolk, and ask them how they are, and get emotionally close ....and that makes the mean panic, and back off like crazy. They find the questions intrusive and invasive, we find asking them shows our concern and love for them.....

(yup, definitely Mars and Venus...)

As the others are saying, focus now on your exams. Your relationship won't fall to pieces if you don't ask him if he's OK.....

I had to learn MASSIVELY to keep 'backing off' and give my (Aspie) husband 'space' and not invade his or plague him etc etc etc. (His 'sheds' were his study, when he worked at home, and the bathroom.....I was NOT looked on favourably if I stepped foot inside either!)(It hurt like crazy at first, but I got used to it in the end!)

All the best with the exams. :)
A few years ago , well before his dementia started, I remember asking my hubby what he was thinking about when he was deep in thought. He became very irritated, much to my surprise, saying " for gods sake, can't have thoughts to myself" I meant it in a concerned way. He took it as invading his space. Me, being female, took it as a rejection. That's when I started to learn the men are from Mars theory! Of course he was entitled to his own thoughts. We all are. I never asked him again. Used it of course. I've been thinking, he might say. My reply would be are you sure you want to share!! Didn't last for long.
Concentrate on your exams. If you don't ask him if he's ok for a while he may eventually ask you. Reversed psychology?
It's called firm love. He needs to know you have needs e.g. support in exam week equally as much as you support him.
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