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pleiades's avatar

Help give me courage while I'm on a date with my wife?

Asked by pleiades (6538 points ) February 14th, 2014

Ok so for some reason I get anxiety when I go out with my wife and we leave our son with a baby sitter. Granted the baby sitters are usually my sister or mother in law. But for whatever reason my body skips the butterflies and goes straight into anxiety when I’m on the freeway driving away to our destination. Help me control this? (It’s not a freakout anxiety where I can’t control breathing, it’s more of tingly anxiety and limbs can go numb but I still have my breathing down)

Should I just let my wife drive? Or should I be in control of the wheel and do a better job realizing it’s all ok!

Thanks Flutherites!

Happy Valentines Day

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13 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Let her drive. Why not?

livelaughlove21's avatar

If letting her drive would help, go for it. I think a counseling session would do you some good, because that’s some unnecessary anxiety unless your son is a newborn. If he is a newborn, some anxiety about leaving him is normal and should ease over time.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

A little anxiety is what makes us look in both directions before pulling into traffic, or makes us check light switches to be sure everything is off. Don’t dwell on it or do what live said, get some counseling

cookieman's avatar

Are you anxious about what might happen to your son, or anxious about how the date will turn out?

cheebdragon's avatar

Does your wife beat you or something? I don’t understand why you would feel anxious about leaving with her…

Cupcake's avatar

Not driving would make it worse for me. Do whatever reduces your anxiety. Self talk and soothing music help.

pleiades's avatar

@Cupcake I’m leaning toward that haha. @cookieman Not about the date, not about what might happen to my son. Probably some separation anxiety knowing were going out going to have a good time. Maybe a little guilt too because I’d want him to be with us

CWOTUS's avatar

Do the things that you need to do ahead of the date to give you some confidence that things will be okay. In other words:

1. Baby-proof the house. Are your cabinets secure so that a toddler can’t open doors to cleaning supplies and other things that need to be off-limits to children? Outside doors can’t be opened? Stairs can’t be climbed (or tumbled down)? Doors to attics and cellars are locked or barricaded? Pantries don’t have tippable shelves of heavy canned goods (or shelves that will tip in any case)? Tables don’t have sharp corners that a beginning walker can trip into? Look at your house very critically and make your own list and your own preparations.

2. Prepare an information sheet for the sitter regarding your contact information. Where you will be and when, including as much of your itinerary and alternate contacts as it is possible to know in advance. Include the names and phone numbers of people you will be with.

3. In addition to the above, prepare a “base” information sheet including the child’s blood type, known allergies, favorite books, “must not do” things that you wouldn’t want the sitter to attempt, etc.

4. In addition to all of that, include an additional sheet of contact information for the child’s pediatrician, neighbors’ names and phone numbers, other relatives who can be contacted in case of your own demise (hey, it’s one of the things that you’re anxious about, so include it) nearest hospital address – and driving directions – and phone, ambulance address and phone (aside from 911, obviously) and any other information that you think might be appropriate to have in case the zombie apocalypse starts while you’re out at dinner tonight. (Yes, it’s said in a joking tone, but “being prepared” is the best way to allay anxiety. So prepare for the worst.)

People will laugh at you for being over-prepared, but you can take comfort in knowing that you will be prepared, and what’s more, you will have done all that can be done, because you can’t be there all of the time.

Coloma's avatar

You’re fine, just breathe and be aware that the odds of something dreadful happening are very slim. Sure, let your wife drive, why not?
Otherwise, just be sure to not text the babysitter in the theater and if you do, do not throw your popcorn at grumpy old men that might be packin’. lol

Cupcake's avatar

Remember, you have to nurture your marriage. Also, it is a very good thing to teach your little one that (a) mommy and daddy love each other very much and enjoy spending time together and (b) mommy and daddy go away, but they always come back.

Is there any reason to not trust your sister/mother-in-law with the kiddo?

gorillapaws's avatar

Based on some of your past posts regarding anxiety, I would suggest finding a mental health professional that specializes in anxiety disorders. There are techniques and medications that really help. Anxiety is the result of the fight-or-flight mechanism being triggered at inappropriate times. It is a combination of neurochemical signals and physiological mechanisms that are preparing your body to run or fight that mountain lion who surprised you (except there’s no mountain lion).

I had a friend who went on medication for anxiety and he said it radically improved his life. Medication doesn’t work the same for everyone, and it may not be indicated in your situation. I generally think people should avoid taking daily meds unless it’s truly the best option for them and more conservative approaches fail, but I’m not a MD or a PhD so it’s best to speak to the experts.

pleiades's avatar

@CWOTUS Your answer made me smile the most. :D Such a fool proof plan!

But I would like to thank you all for the efforts and answers. The date went smoothly. There was one point I asked my wife to hold my hand on the drive there and she did instantly and she said, “it’s ok…” in a calming manner to which I replied, “What is?” and she said, “I know you’re having anxiety right now, it’s ok.” And I started laughing because she was so sure I had it when in fact I didn’t then she insisted that I was trying to play it off by laughing which made me laugh harder because she thought I was lying about not having anxiety. Wowzers.

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