How can I help?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-12-2009
How can I help?
3
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 3:13pm

Hi there, I'm hoping you can provide some advice, or information.


My fiance

Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
In reply to: wingnut19
Sat, 07-17-2010 - 2:23pm

Unfortunately, you cannot force somebody to treat themselves. And it is also harder to get a man to treat himself. It took me several years to learn this with my H.

Maybe what you can do is learn about claustrophobia. Come to understand it at its intimate levels. Then maybe you can understand where his fear comes from. Anxiety is neurotic, it's not sane at all & the sufferer knows this - but the more you try to control it, the BIGGER it gets. Sort of a catch-22. Instead of trying to learn to control or avoid the fear, you have to learn to live with the fear & that is hard work.

Now I've never had cognitive therapy, due to lack of money, time & babysitters I try to self-help. So I've tried to learn how to do cognitive therapy on myself. The idea is learning to relax self, then putting self into an uncomfortable situation (but not too uncomfortable - so not like an airplane) and living through it. Then repeat this uncomfortable situation until the fear has decreased & then go onto something more uncomfortable.

Has your H ever thought of taking something for his fear? Maybe for your honeymoon he can think of taking Xanax? Or since he won't talk to a doc about this, maybe you can have him try a oat extract (tincture). I've used this for my anxieties before and it helps. Somebody on this board told me she used it specifically for flying. It's something he'd want to start taking days, if not a couple of weeks, before getting into an uncomfortable situation.

The oat extract is simply the milk taken from the oats while they are still green. It's full of vitamin-B's and manganese & is thought of a nerve tonic. The Latin name is Avena Sativa - that will help you Google it. Every company seems to have its own name for the tincture, some examples are Oat Straw, Wild Oat, Oat Seed, etc.

I did look on Amazon too. There are books about claustrophobia. Maybe if you did a workbook together? Maybe try getting a book & approach him carefully to see if he'd be interested? When you approach maybe state something like how you love to travel and you love him so you would like to combine your two loves together. But at the same time let him know it is not a must. Also talk to him about how he'd feel if you traveled w/o him. See if it's something he'd rather you do anyway?

I wish you luck. But, again, you cannot force somebody to get better. Also, it is hard on a relationship to not accept them as they are - so you do want to be careful that when you do talk to him it's not in a way that you are not trying to 'change' him b/c that is hard on an esteem.

Peace




"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng



"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-12-2009
In reply to: wingnut19
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 10:51am

I had a little computer issue, so if this appears twice, I apologize.


Thank-you for your insight. I do want to say that I would never try to change him - I love him exactly how he is. I just wanted to see if there was anything I could do to help him deal with his fear so that I could share my passion for travel. But, we have discussed my travelling without him, and he said he'd never want to hold me back, and he'd be fine with me going away without him. So, I will take your advice to heart and not push the issue. If / when he's ready to try to overcome his fear, I will be as supportive as possible and help in any way he needs me to.


Thanks again.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-11-2004
In reply to: wingnut19
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 2:57pm
Hi & welcome! Will you be getting married soon? Let me throw a congrats in there!
As for your fiance, it is tricky. I am a white-knuckle flyer & for many years refused to fly. Mine was related sort of... to clastrophobia because I feel trapped in any situation(elevator, bridges, tunnels, etc.) when I can't get out when I want too. From reading about fears, I have come to realize that it is ultimately a control issue. If I'm not the bus driver, I can't stop the bus whenever I want. Nor, am I the pilot, so I guess I'll be flying until he/she decides to land. This business of wanting to be in control is something that either I hang on to & live miserably or work through & get the full life I deserve. I chose the latter. Through therapy, I have learned that there are many situations in life that I can never control. I have to trust others or trust myself to get through the great unknown. I might have to *let it go.* Death is an issue that none of us can control. I can't live every day waiting for it to happen. KWIM?
Whether or not your fiance will ever come to realize this, is an unknown for you. If he sees the problem, admits to it & seeks help, it will be great for the both of you. If he doesn't, well... everyone is responsible for their own lives. He's not going to change, no matter how much he loves you or how much you implore him to seek help. Down the line, if your life plays out w/the limitations that you see might be ahead, you might need to seek help to learn how to cope better w/your relationship. I hope that doesn't happen.
I hope this hasn't been a *downer* for you. There's plenty of help & hope for your fiance! I wish you the best of luck! GBU! (((hugs))) jan