Dear Prudence

Help! My Boyfriend Cried All Week Because He Was Afraid of the Eclipse.

Dear Prudence answers more of your questions—only for Slate Plus members.

Every week, Mallory Ortberg answers additional questions from readers, just for Slate Plus members.

Q. The eclipse and my crying boyfriend: My dear boyfriend has just been unmanageable the past few days with the eclipse. No matter how much I comfort and reassure him, he just keeps crying and fears the worst. If this was an isolated incident I would understand, but he did the same thing when the meteor was entering the Earth’s atmosphere (he feared being struck by a meteorite), and don’t get me started on hurricane season when every tropical wave leads to a wave of his tears. We have been together three years, and while I care very deeply about him, I can’t imagine this is sustainable. I would love to take a trip together sometime but will not even consider flying with him. Is there a way to help him manage these fears?

A: It sounds like your boyfriend is dealing with anxiety that negatively impacts his ability to function normally and should speak with a doctor and a therapist about it immediately. I can’t say whether this is connected to a particular anxiety disorder or some other related mental/emotional health issue, of course, but if it’s this difficult for him to travel or to contemplate a benign solar phenomenon, then he needs—and deserves!—professional support. This is definitely beyond the pay grade of even an extremely loving and helpful girlfriend.

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