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Anxiety Elephants, Part 2

CVB: You mentioned that you’re married. So how did this struggle with anxiety affect your marriage?

Caris: I love that question because the anxiety didn’t affect just me. It affected my husband as well. It was hard on him because he had never dealt with anxiety. He’s just not an anxious person and he wanted to fix it. He wanted so badly to save me, to rescue me, and to get rid of the hurt, but he didn’t know how. He didn’t understand.

On my end, I was scared that if he found out all the things that I was dealing with that he was going to leave. I was scared that he was going to reject me and that I was no longer going to be a good mom or a good wife. Once I told him what I was truly experiencing, he loved me.

One thing that we had to learn together is that it was okay that he did not have all the answers. It was okay that he did not understand. All I needed for him was to be there – to be present and let me know that he had not given up on me, that he wasn’t going to leave. I just needed him to give me that reassurance and that acceptance. We had to learn that in our marriage. He had to adjust because he likes to fix things. He’s smart and he can watch YouTube and fix a lot of things. But he couldn’t do that in that moment. In that time, we allowed our marriage to turn towards God and to say, “Okay, God, we don’t have the answers here.” We had to lean in during those hard times and now, if I have an anxiety attack, which sometimes I do, or if I feel upset or just need to be by myself, I can tell my husband, “Hey, I need a minute. I just need to be by myself.” And he understands. He doesn’t get upset. He understands now that we’ve gone through this journey. He knows the ‘why’ behind it. So that really has been helpful for us.

Order Craig's most recent book, Victor! The Final Battle of Ulysses S. Grant

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