I have been going through a rough patch with my boyfriend. We have been together for over two years, with about 6 months of regular dating, 8 months of long distance and the remaining time during the pandemic (not living together.) Note- I am fortunate to have next to no anxiety.

The pandemic was very difficult for my boyfriend as he is a hypochondriac (which i found out a year after dating) was living in a new city with no friends, and started a job remotely. He began to get extremely (cont)

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He began to get extremely anxious and is now dealing with several triggers (mostly physical health related) and has experienced several bad episodes. Some of the episodes include 1) him
calling me on the runway to tell me he is freaking out and is going to get off the plane because he’s super anxious or 2) calling me when I am out with friends and family saying he has an insanely high heart rate and “that he’s going to die” or 3) Running out of a store or restaurant because he suddenly gets anxious. He has done this several times and i have always dropped everything to try to calm him down and comfort him and then i get super worried and mentally drained after.

I am having a hard time and reevaluating how much I can be there for him which makes me feel horrible and guilty, because i know he's trying to get better. However trying to help him through his episodes makes me exhausted and i feel myself getting anxious too. He’s gained weight and has just not been super well over the last 6 months and I am having a hard time feeling connected and feel more mentally drained. I know he is working to improve it but it is a long process and I don’t know what to do.

You are his girlfriend, not his therapist. We can all be sympathetic to his mental health struggles, but no one is owed a partner who will always drop everything to hold their hand. Things can’t always be 50/50, but if it’s turning into 90% you giving and 10% him giving all of the time, not unreasonable for you to push back on that. Does he have a therapist, friends, family other than you? When’s the last time you felt good about your relationship and what was it that made you feel good about it? Maybe couples counseling if you still want to give it a chance?

He is in therapy- just started about a month ago. He doesn’t talk about it with any family or friends, just therapist and me. I have started to put up more boundaries and he is aware of that- I know he is trying but I also know it’s a very long process (maybe never ending) and that feels very overwhelming.

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