My Fiancée is a Nervous Wreck: Can Therapy or Medication Fix Her Anxious Behavior?

BY: - 12 Dec '17 | Relationships

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Dear Dr. Buckingham,

My fiancée has issues with anxiety and I am not sure if I can cope with her issue for a lifetime. She is always anxious and her moodiness is driving me crazy. Whenever she feels overwhelmed, she shuts down and becomes unproductive. I asked her if we could start planning our wedding and she stated, “I got too much going on right now.” I am not sure what she is referring to regarding “too much” because she always says the same thing.

I knew she was an anxious person when I met her because she often complained of feeling nervous and on edge. She has not attended therapy, but she has been on medication for a few years now. I am not sure if the medication is helping her. I thought medication was supposed to change and improve her mental illness. Maybe I do not understand the medication thing. I am starting to feel uncertain about our future. Please advise. My Fiancée is a Nervous Wreck: Can Therapy or Medication Fix Her Anxious Behavior?

Thanks in advance,

Fiancé is Distress

Ask Dr. Buckingham

Dear Fiancé in Distress

I am glad that you contacted me. In order for you to help your fiancée cope effectively with her anxiety, you have to understand the problem. Unfortunately, learning about and understanding mental illness is not something that most people work at. Your fiancée’s anxiety could be caused by medical problems such as too much or too little calcium, low blood sugar or heart problems. From a psychological perspective, it could be caused by her way of thinking or cognitive processing. Generally speaking, anxious people have difficulty with turning their minds off. Also, they typically engage in “what if” thinking which cause them to spend a great deal of time thinking instead of acting.

In order to help individuals minimize symptoms of anxiety, professionals like myself often recommend participation in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and medication treatment. CBT is designed to help address negative and distorted thoughts. Cognitive therapy explores how negative thoughts contribute to anxiety and behavior therapy explores how individuals behave and react in situations that trigger anxiety. The basic premise of cognitive behavior therapy is that our way of thinking affects how we feel, not external events. Given this, therapy cannot fix your fiancée’s anxious behavior, but it can help her develop effective cognitive and behavioral skills that can minimize the effect that anxiety has on her and your relationship.

In regards to medication, the answer to your question is also no. Medications such as Celexa, Prozac, Zoloft, Ativan and Effexor are commonly used to treat anxiety because they can help in preventing and reducing symptoms. However, no medication can fix your fiancée’s anxious behavior. Medication works as an internal agent that helps with physiological problems. Certain medications can help individuals relax enough so that they can process or think clearly.

As you continue to educate yourself, just know that there is no such thing as ‘Fixing” a human being. This kind of thinking is what causes thousands of individuals to enter their marriage believing that they can change their significant other. As a therapist, I often remind people that therapy and medication are tools to help individuals cope more effectively with their mental illness or physiological challenges.

Your fiancée’s anxious behavior will probably not change anytime soon. Therefore, if you desire to help her and yourself, please consult with a professional therapist who can help you make an informed decision about how to move forward.

Being with someone with a mental illness is definitely not a life sentence to unhappiness, but it can be challenging at times. Please remember that love will get you married, but unconditional love must be present in order to keep you married. Educating yourself about your fiancée’s mental illness is the best thing that you can do for you and her. Make sure that you are in it to win it before you say I do. Some people get it twisted, but through sickness and health means mental health as well.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 207 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at


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3 Reasons Why the Holidays are the Best Time to Find Love

BY: - 14 Dec '17 | Relationships

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When you’re single for the holidays, it seems like there’s a never ending string of reminders that your relationship status is stuck at “it’s complicated,” despite everything you’ve tried.

December brings Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and with it, parties that require a “plus one.” You also get bombarded with a flood of engagement announcements on your social media timeline and the sad realization that another year is passing and you’re still single. New Year’s Day fills you with motivation and you make another resolution that “this is my year” to have love. But the high you feel from the vision board party wears off when you realize Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and you don’t have any real prospects yet.

It’s enough to make you want to lock yourself in your condo to binge watch Hallmark holiday movies with with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to comfort you!

But what if I told you that the holidays were the perfect time for you to date and position yourself to meet someone who could be your “plus one” to all of the Christmas parties (and maybe even be “The One”)?


Learn how to improve your communication almost immediately and reduce the amount of unnecessary arguments and issues that come up so easily because of saying the wrong words or sending the wrong messages with our Effective Communication Online Training System. On sale now!

According to the Match Group, one of the largest online dating companies which owns and operates dating sites like OkCupid, Tinder, Black People Meet and Plenty of Fish, the months of December to February are known as Peak Dating Season because online dating memberships grow between 40-60 percent!  That means millions of singles are going online right now, looking to meet someone just like you.

Why? The end of the year makes people reflect on their priorities and they realize they want love and relationships. They also don’t want to go to the office holiday gala alone so they’re actively looking for a date. Online dating sites help them meet a lot of people quickly. Finally, holiday breakups mean more singles are flooding the dating pool. People don’t want to take a broken relationship into a new year, and so they position themselves for a fresh start with someone new.

That’s good news for you if you’re single right now. To maximize this opportunity to turn the holidays into your own personal peak dating season, you need to do these 3 things:

 1)  Refresh your mindset

Get rid of the stinkin’ thinkin’ that’s crushing your confidence. Rehearsing old hurts, holding on to past regrets or getting anxious about the future zaps your motivation to date. If you’re going to be successful in dating, you’ve got to have faith that the relationship you want is possible for you now, no matter what did or didn’t happen throughout the year.

Use affirmations like, “Now is the perfect time to meet my perfect partner” to restore your faith and replace your anxiety with anticipation that something exciting is on the horizon for you.

2) Update your dating profile

I share tips here and here on how to create a profile that’s poppin’ that attracts high-caliber singles to you. In addition to those powerful strategies, make sure your profile is relevant. Replace photos of you on the beach with some pics of you doing your favorite cold-weather activities. It sounds like simple advice, but the principle behind this update is that you want to appear like you’re active on the site so people reach out to you.

3) Get ready for Dating Sunday

Sundays are usually the highest traffic days for dating sites, so you want to log on and check your inbox. But the Sunday after New Year’s Day is historically the busiest day online ever. Dating Sunday is the biggest online singles’ mixer of the year. Do not miss it! More people will be swiping, liking, winking and chatting on this day than any other day of the year. You can make sure your profile is in the top tier of featured singles by using the “boost” feature if your dating service offers it.

Just because you didn’t meet the person of your dreams yet, doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen. In fact, many of my clients positioned themselves online during Peak Dating Season and by the summer, were in an exclusive relationship because they maximized the momentum that’s created during this time.

About the author

Aesha Adams Roberts wrote 169 articles on this blog.

Dr. Aesha is a matchmaker, dating coach, speaker and author of the book, Can I Help A Sister Out: How To Meet & Marry The Man of Your Dreams. After years of making painful dating mistakes, she met & married her husband in 11 short months and has made it her mission to help women and men find and keep the love of their lives.


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