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50

Your wife went ahead and made an optional purchase of a pet, knowing that it absolutely terrified you. She made this purchase with no consideration at all of how much emotional pain this would inflict on you. This is a big deal. You are right to be angry. I don't believe in a loving relationship a spouse would go ahead and do such a thing. Even though ...


37

Framing it as getting them to overcome their fears is counterproductive. In addition to the existing fear there's now an additional pressure to "get over this problem". This creates an new thing to be anxious over. Let your partner know that it's ok to be afraid. Let them know that not doing the thing is an option on the table. It's important that this isn'...


23

Don't try to reason with phobias. By definition, they're irrational fears or fears to an irrational degree. Don't try to cure someone else of a phobia without their consent and cooperation. They need to be willing, motivated and engaged. What you can do instead is to offer help and support. This may include: Accepting that it is a huge challenge for them,...


22

Your approach might work if she has noticed you and is also interested in you. However, if she hasn't noticed you or she's noticed and isn't interested, then such a blunt approach is likely to make her uncomfortable, which will translate into her not wanting to continue the conversation. What to do instead A better way to approach is to find a less blunt ...


20

So, you're saying that you, an arachnophobe, are married to a budding arachnologist, who has brought her work home with her? As they say, "Buddy, you got a problem." With due respect to the other answers, this is not something you can solve with a simple "let's work it out" conversation. You have my sympathy, as it seems your wife is being astoundingly ...


15

My advice to you would be to have that talk. But if at all possible, involve a manager or scrum-master in this. Or any other independent third party you can find. I've had troublesome co-workers, and this was my solution to remedy part of my fear. I talked to my scrum master privately. I just told him after stand-up that something was wrong, and that ...


14

My partner is afraid of heights, and of needles. He can't even watch if someone is getting a needle on TV. He can get vaccinated, though he dislikes it, and he's been lucky enough not to need a lot of IVs or blood samples. His fear of heights extends to not being ok with me looking over a lookout railing or going near the edge of a cliff. This has spoiled a ...


14

You know, I think you actually just criticize everyone, to conceal your own lack of skills, I mean it's surely a lot of pressure to be underperforming as you do, isn't it? This is not professional, as you know, and this person, as such, is hampering your ability to work there. If you work in a professional environment, you have a manager. It's time to let ...


13

First, just say you don't want to see the turtles. I don't think you need to do this beforehand. When he suggests to you that you look at his turtles, be honest and focus on your feelings. Be sure to tell him your experience and that you don't want to hurt his feelings. Note that it is very likely that he is going to suggest looking at them/being around ...


10

Your wife probably doesn't understand the extent of your phobia, judging by how adamant she is about getting a spider. I think the best way to address this is make sure she completely understands your phobia and why you feel the way you do. Tell her how hard you've tried to overcome your phobia without success. Explain to her that her insistence to get a ...


8

How can I help him overcome his fear? In short, encourage him to see a psychotherapist. Behavioral as well as systemic/strategic therapy have been repeatedly tested as effective methods for solving phobic problems. People suffering phobic problems tend to use one or more strategies to ease the strain of their phobic responses, which - unintentionally and ...


7

An engineer's job is to either find solutions to problems, or remove the problem. You're in a situation where your engineer colleague is the problem. For readers who aren't into software engineering: it's pretty bad. Shoving all the C++ files into one huge blob has its uses. I've used it for small microcontroller code when I needed the optimizations. It ...


6

There is no way for me to know exactly what is going on through your wife's mind but I believe it might be a misguided attempt to help you face your phobia. She knows you had tried to deal with it unsuccessfully in the past and she wants to help you face it through exposure. Though it is a valid way to get over a phobia it is not suitable for every case and ...


5

I was pretty nervous around girls in junior high and high school, so I can certainly sympathize with your situation. A very similar situation happened to me once (though I was just making conversation for practice in a situation that arose randomly, and had no expectation of or plan for dating that girl). And, based on that experience, I think that there are ...


4

Fears are usually based on something tangible or an experience, whearas phobias are often by nature irrational. Fears that seem irrational are perhaps just based on the 'unknown'. When you think about it, it isn't so irrational to fear the unknown. Fear is a survival behaviour and the dark unknown can harbour some stuff that'll kill ya. Maybe my own ...


4

First, a disclaimer: I am married to a psychologist, and have taken some psychology courses, but I am not myself a psychologist. Second, some definitions: A fear is only a phobia if it is irrational Being at least somewhat afraid of something genuinely dangerous isn’t a phobia; it’s good sense. A phobia is defined as being a fear out of proportion with ...


3

If he wants to get over these fears/phobias, ask him what HIS baby-steps would be. Then support him with those baby steps. For me, I have a phobia of spiders. But it is FAR less strong than it used to be. What helped? Making friends with a friend's pet tarantula. I was fascinated by it enough to hold it without freaking out and hurting it. Once I held it ...


3

You can provide moral support when he wants to overcome a fear, and you can help him find ways to do it very gradually (which is more or less what professionals do to treat a phobia, and getting professional treatment would also be an option). The idea would be to find something close enough to the fear that it's at least slightly disturbing, and expose him ...


3

Personally I don't believe that an external factor (like you in this case) can affect the internal phobias of your partner. Perhaps you could suggest studying techniques aimed at overcoming phobias used in psychotherapy. If you think that understanding his fears would make him/your relationship better in any way, but you don't experience such phobias ...


2

I have autism, which is very similar to Asperger's so I can easily sympathize with you. (BTW, Asperger's is now called autism spectrum disorder - ASD, just wanted to let you know) He does seem to be a passive-aggressive person. From what I see, he really is an emotional person at heart and looks like he really isn't a dominating sort of person. But who knows?...


1

Your edit provides background which I can use to offer some very generalized advice. The specific advice you've been given in the other answers is great. However, my own experiences suggests that there's value in being able to approach these things "in your own way." For that, it can be helpful to have an over-generalized viewpoint within which you can ...


1

I have a few fears that are "inconvenient", and they line up with the ones you mentioned. For the most part, I can and do face them, I may be miserable as a result of the stress and anxiety they cause me, but I can do it if I must. With one notable exception. Needles, specifically blood draws. Not sure what your SO's reaction is like, but here is mine, it ...


1

In order to overcome fear, any fear, you need courage. Courage only allows us to overcome fear, it doesn't remove the fear, or decrease the chance of something bad happening to you, it just allows you to deal with it and get on with what you have to do. You have courage when it comes to needles, your SO does not. There is the same chance that something bad ...


1

It sounds like this is an aversion to putting oneself in harm's way. Most people have strong inhibitions about, say, doing something that would risk them losing their arm, especially without a good reason. It makes sense that some people have stronger, further-reaching inhibitions than others as this means that in dangerous situations someone will survive (...


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