There’s a lot of issues that can strain and test a relationship. Everyone has some kind of baggage or hang up that we need to work on.
Redditor Nosleep247_ is finding an issue with his girlfriend that is causing him a significant lack of sleep. So the original poster (OP) chose to sleep on the couch until she tried fixing it.
But now she’s upset with him and he wonders if he did something wrong. So he went to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to ask a question.
“AITA for refusing to sleep in same bed as girlfriend until she tries to get anxiety under control?”
This was OP’s situation:
“I’ve been with my girlfriend ‘Mia’ for a couple years. We barely moved in not too long ago and this particular incident happened a few months back.”
“Quick backstory: Mia had a boyfriend for years before she met me. He passed away and it was very traumatic for her. He had epilepsy and had a seizure in the middle of the night once when they were asleep.”
“Mia didn’t know until she woke up that morning and found him unresponsive. Few years later she met me and we started going out.”
“I was aware of what happened after we started dating and I always tried to be understanding about that. So back to this incident, Mia woke me up once in the middle of the night in a full blown panic.”
“I’m talking screaming my name and shaking me hard.”
“She told me she thought I wasn’t breathing and freaked out even more when I wouldn’t wake up. I consoled her for the rest of the night because she was terrified and crying nonstop.”
“I tried talking to her about seeing someone because his death was obviously traumatic for her and I was surprised to find out she never did counseling. She said she only did a few sessions but didn’t like the guy and also didn’t wanna talk abt her ex that way.”
“But this keeps happening. Not as bad as the first night but Mia just constantly wakes me up because she gets scared I’m not breathing.”
“I did see my doctor incase there was actually something wrong with me and we did a sleep study. Everything came back clear. But still she panics if she thinks somethings wrong and wakes me up.”
“Have tried to be supportive because I know she doesn’t mean to be this way but even after I keep telling her we should look into finding her help, she doesn’t want to.”
“For me sleeping is important. I wake up super early and already have trouble falling asleep as it is. If I wake up, it takes time til I can fall asleep again.”
“A few nights ago I kinda had it with the lack of sleep. I told Mia I’m sleeping on the couch and rather not sleep in the same bed until she can agree to find a way to cope with this anxiety.”
“Because I feel we can’t live like that and she shouldn’t have to constantly deal with that fear.”
“Mia has been mad at me ever since. Telling me I’m being an a** for punishing her over something she has not control of.”
“I just felt like I was at my wits end. It’s been a few months of this and I didn’t know what else to do. She’s been distant but when we do talk she makes it known how much this is hurting her.”
“So I do feel really bad and I’m wondering if changing our sleeping arrangements until she gets help was an a**hole move because it’s like I’m forcing her to go to therapy, in her words. AITA?”
It sounds like OP is stuck in a tough situation. He doesn’t like not sleeping with his girlfriend, but constantly being woken up keeps him unrested.
Whether he was right or wrong to sleep on the couch is judged on AITA with one of the following acronyms:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
While it’s difficult to blame Mia for worrying, she should be trying to do something about her anxiety since it’s affecting her relationship.
Because of this, it was voted OP was NTA.
“NTA. You need your sleep. I was considering N A H, except that Mia could get help to control her fear, she’s just not willing to.”
“This could be a deal breaker if she’s not willing to consider therapy, I feel terrible about what she went through, but I know I wouldn’t tolerate being woken up to her screaming panic attack, especially after getting checked to make sure you didn’t have any sleep issues. Sleeping in the same bed as her is not feasible until she addresses her issues.” – ScorpioGirl70
“NTA. The problem isn’t that she has no control over her anxiety, it’s that she’s not taking any steps to gain control in spite of knowing her actions are harming you. She needs professional help for this.” – PotentialityKnocks
“I agree wholeheartedly with this. She knows the issue and is actively refusing to seek help to start to resolve it.”
“It’s not punishment, just you need your sleep. Consequences teach us important lessons, and the consequence of not getting help is not sleeping in the same bed.” – Transcribbla
“NTA. You’re not ‘forcing her to go to therapy’, you’re setting the boundaries you need to set in order to remain a functioning human while still trying to be there for her.”
“I have the utmost sympathy for her suffering and I can’t begin to fathom the level of trauma that must be impacting her, but nonetheless I have to say that she’s being TA in this situation–partly to you, but above all to herself for not taking the steps she needs to heal.”
“I don’t know heaps about therapy admittedly but would she be more amenable to the idea if you offered (in a gentle non-pushy manner) to come with her?” – Green_Cattle
OP’s girlfriend is in a very precarious situation. She’s gone through something traumatic and her reaction to her fear is understandable.
But if her fear is negatively affecting the people she loves, she should seek help.
“NTA, but doing this is making her anxiety worse.”
“She desperately needs help though, why exactly is she refusing? It’s not a problem that will go away on it’s own.” – Xenavire
“She just doesn’t want to talk about the past and bring up all the bad feelings again. From what she told me the guy she did a few sessions with was awful and that put her off.”
“I have tried to tell her it takes a few times to find the right therapist but she doesn’t want to open that door again” – Nosleep247_ (OP)
“The truth is this is something she does have control over: she could choose to get help.”
“Her behavior is not normal and is impacting your health and wellbeing. Not to mention you have to sleep on the couch.”
“She is lucky you didn’t move out and that you care enough to try and help her through this. You are right to tell her, in so many words, that this is not an acceptable way to live and she needs to get to the bottom of it.”
“Perhaps she could try a sleep aid to allow her to sleep more deeply and not awaken in the middle of the night, checking your pulse. But that will just be a bandaid.” – lallaw
“Yeah you’re right it would just be a band aid solution, just like the sleeping on the couch but that’s all I can come up with so that I also get to sleep. It hurts to know she’s suffering with this and that’s why I really want her to get that help.” – Nosleep247_ (OP)
There have been no updates from OP since these comments. What he decided to do will remain a mystery for now.
But issues like this need professional help, and it sounds like that’s exactly what Mia needs. Hopefully she gets it.