To be adventurous and to marry an agoraphobic at the same time is challenging. It is like limiting yourself to do the things you love for the one you love. Agoraphobia is a psychological condition where a person experiences anxiety when put in a situation or place where she feels unsafe like malls, subways, or any public areas. Sometimes, it is the fear of leaving home as the person may feel danger, especially in places that are not familiar.
Dr. Dominique Samuels, PsyD. says that people suffering from agoraphobia “may avoid activities or places where escape isn’t easy if a panic attack occurs. Some people may be unable to do routine activities without the company of a “safe person.”
What if you are a traveler or an adventurous person and you fall in love with someone who is more than a home buddy – an agoraphobic! How will you deal with your desire to see other places and do different activities that require you to leave the house?
Things To Consider When Marrying An Agoraphobic:
- You must be ready to compromise and limit your desire to “see the world.” You may try to help her battle her fears which would include asking professional help. She could also be on medication for panic attacks when her phobia is severe. According to Psychologist Thomas Richards, “Panic is a very real, chronic condition, that responds well to active cognitive-behavioral emotive therapy. People with panic disorder and agoraphobia can learn, through therapy, how to get better, step by step, until panic attacks no longer occur.
At first, you must be willing to cancel any trips you have in mind until she is ready to travel. It could take a while because she might need to be on therapy to help her overcome her fear.
- You must keep in mind that she might need you to be there with her when she needs to go to the grocery, mall, restaurant, or anywhere outside the house.
Be supportive of her preferences like the places she chooses to go to – usually, she prefers lesser crowds and facilities which offer discernible convenience and safety.
- You must be prepared to have home activities like movie night, dinner, or a stay-at-home weekend.
She might prefer to read books and have home activities like cooking and gardening. These things don’t require her to be outside of her comfort zone.
- You must consider the fact that you might always disagree when it comes to activities. You might have a little in common or none at all.
You love traveling, sports, and other activities done outside the house and her, on the other hand, loves home activities. This only means meeting in the middle or someone needs to sacrifice most of the time.
- You must also bear in mind that agoraphobia may sometimes be associated or correlated to social phobias making her unsociable or may only be comfortable with people in her circle.
It doesn’t necessarily mean she is not friendly or kind to people, but she prefers familiar people whom she has learned to feel comfortable around and has gained her trust.
According to Donald Franklin, Ph.D., “The most difficult part of treatment for agoraphobia is maintaining regular treatment appointments. Agoraphobics often have difficulty getting to the office of a psychologist, and frequently cancel appointments because of their fear. This must be addressed as part of the treatment.”
At some point you may learn that being a traveler, you may have little compatibility with a person experiencing agoraphobia. It is a matter of compromise and understanding. You must have the willingness to embrace the condition and a strong dedication to help your partner overcome her fear and can finally be a part of your adventure. Conclusively, it comes down to how much you love your partner and how much you can sacrifice or alter your lifestyle for a little while.