How Do We Treat Relationship Anxiety
Couples Therapy is an effective treatment for Relationship Anxiety. Where both partners agree to seek therapy together, it can be an intimate space where relationship fears can be explored, new patterns of relating to one another can be found, and a deeper understanding of early life experiences and how these shape our adult relationships can help couples reignite their compassion and empathy, as well as their sex life.
For couples where both parties are not agreeable to therapy, individualised treatment approaches are available that can target your anxiety in a way that will have a positive impact on your current and future romantic relationship. This might include CBT, ACT, DBT, IPT, or Psychodynamic Therapy. Either way, there are treatment options that can lead to positive and lasting change in your relationships.
Encouraging Your Partner To Work With A Therapist Or Try Couples Therapy
When you care for someone, its tempting to support them by trying to act as a surrogate therapist. The problem is youre not a therapist. Trying to play that role will be emotionally draining. It could make you resent your partner.
You are not responsible for providing therapy to your partner. This is why you should gently guide your partner toward working with a therapist. A therapist can help them improve how they deal with anxiety, in and outside a relationship.
If youre in a serious, long-term relationship, consider couples counseling. Some of the anxiety issues might be based in your relationship.
Working with a couples counselor can take the pressure off your partner. Rather than encouraging them to do something on their own, you are inviting them to join you in therapy.
What happens in couples counseling?
In couples counseling, you and your partner will gain insight into your relationship, learn how to effectively resolve conflicts, and improve your overall relationship satisfaction through various therapeutic techniques. Therapists will often assign tasks to the couple so that they can apply the skills learnt in therapy in their daily interactions. Most couples conclude therapy with a better understanding of their relational patterns and heightened communication skills, allowing them to continue their relationship in a much healthier, more fulfilling way.
Youre Overthinking What You Want To Say
In any healthy relationship, a stable stream of communication is essential. However, if you feel like you cant communicate what youre thinking or what you want to say, you may notice that you have an increased level of anxiety.
Perhaps you feel like you need to stuff your feelings. Maybe you feel stonewalled when you attempt to bring up an issue that concerns you.
If you feel like youre in a situation where you cant fully express what you think or what you want to say, as youre anticipating your partners reaction being negative, this can lead to frequent feelings of anxiety. No one deserves to walk on eggshells every day in their relationships.
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Anxiety Breaks Down Trust And Connection
Anxiety causes fear or worry that can make you less aware of your true needs in a given moment. It can also make you less attuned to the needs of your partner. If youre worried about what could be happening, its difficult to pay attention to what is happening. When you feel overwhelmed, your partner may feel as though you arent present.
so train your brain to live in the moment. If you notice a fear or concern that causes your thoughts to stray from the facts or the present moment, pause and think about what you know . Calm down before you act. You can make purposeful steps to build trust in your partner. Share openly when youre feeling worried, and consciously reach out to your partner when you might normally withdraw or attack in fear.
Keep Your Favourite Things About Them Front And Centre
If your heart is leaning further and further in the direction of This person is actually quite good for me and Im just afraid of getting hurt/being seen fully/opening my heart to someone again then this tip will work wonders for you.
Just like I often advise people who are in on-again-off-again relationships to keep a list of things that they dont like about their ex front and centre, when youre trying to calm your anxiety in a relationship, its best to keep a list of positive things handy so that youre reminded me of the reality of them often.
Maybe you love how driven they are. Or how insightful they are. Or how kind they are. Or how cute their nose is.
Whatever it is you adore about your significant other, simply place your list of positives on your cell phones wallpaper, or on a sticky note that you can stick on your bathroom mirror or computer so that you see them often.
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You Think About The Relationship 24/7
Itâs one thing to be so in love you canât stop thinking about your relationship and how happy it makes you. But itâs something else entirely if you catch yourself mulling over every conversation and interaction.
âIt means your emotions and thoughts are being overtaken by concerns about the relationship,â Leo says, which will only make your anxiety worse. The thing is, overthinking is a major symptom of anxiety whether there are actual problems or not. So start by seeing if you can soothe yourself.
âFocus instead on self-care and meeting your own needs, whether this is spending time with friends, exercising, or catching up on sleep or your favorite TV shows,â Leo says. âThis means your mood and mental health will be boosted â and you can escape the trap of overthinking.â
My Partner Has Anxiety And I Struggle With What To Do
We explore this even more on this page, and we encourage you to read it if you’re looking for tips to help someone with anxiety. But certainly, anxiety doesn’t just stress the person that is struggling. It can cause distress in the relationship as a whole as well. Dating someone with anxiety or marrying someone with anxiety can be confusing and it is not uncommon to need to learn ways to overcome it.
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Recognize That Your Feelings Are Valid But Feelings Arent Always Facts
Emotions come and go without warning and it can be easy to jump to a negative conclusion.6 Practice giving your relationships the benefit of the doubt and reframing your negative thoughts in a more positive light. Instead of saying, I always push people away and nobody loves me, say I attract love and people are drawn to my warmth and energy.
Fearing That You Arent Good Enough For Them
This is one of the cornerstone symptoms of relationship anxiety. Maybe you feel like you just got lucky to be with your partner. Or, perhaps, you worry that they wont want to stick around once they know the true you.
These insecurities can be expected when you first meet with someone. However, they should pass as you two become more and more comfortable. If they dont, it could indicate anxiety.
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Ive Battled With Relationship Anxiety All My Life
- 13 Aug 2021
Maybe you need to break up then. The amount of times well-meaning people have said this to me in response to doubts I was having about people I was dating, well, its a LOT. Its understandable – when friends hear that you arent attracted to your partner, or feel panic when you are around them, they assume it means you dont like them. No one ever says hmmm, are you sure its not relationship anxiety?
Ive talked a lot about my anxiety, but really, most of it rears its ugly head when I get into romantic relationships. If Im single, I have barely any anxious thoughts. I cruise through life – a little lonely, sure, but a calm sea inside.
As soon as someone Im dating turns into someone-Im-dating-seriously though, its all on. I can go from being completely smitten with a guy to repulsed by him in a day. Sometimes, people call this the Ick . I now know this is my relationship anxiety.
Feeling Anxiety At The Beginning Of A Relationship Heres Why Thats Normal
When youre in a new relationship, the common wisdom is that you are supposed to bask in the blissful glow of new love and lose yourself in the addictive, euphoric feelings. So, it can be really confusing if you are feeling worried about your new love at the exact same time. Yet, feeling anxiety at the beginning of a relationship is completely normal.
Why is that?
Anxiety helps us protect what matters most to us.
We worry because we care, and as deeply social beings , few things matter to us more than our relationships. We are drawn powerfully to love, and yearn to feel the deep connection love brings.
It makes sense, then, that a wonderful new relationship would fulfill your need for love and connection. And it makes sense that you would care deeply about your relationship, too.
When you are newly in love, you naturally want to protect the love you have found and keep it safe. And, because you care about the relationship, its natural to feel anxious when something feels different or poses a perceived threat to the relationship.
This is especially so if you are prone to worry, or your partner does not consistently communicate clearly.
Navigating new situations.
Feeling worried about your new relationship could simply be a reflection of you the thoughts and concerns you bring to every relationship.
This feeling of being disconnected can trigger worry because your connection is so important to you and your wellbeing.
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How To Stop Relationship Anxiety
Relationships are incredibly complicated. There are two things that you have to ask yourself in the beginning, long before you can expect to fix your relationship:
- Is the relationship worth saving?
- Are you willing to change yourself even without your partner changing?
The second question, however, is based on one simple truth about relationships: you can only change yourself. Despite all the ways you plead with your partner to improve, you can’t be the one to change them. Only they can change them. Your role, then, is to try to be the best partner you can be and as open as possible, and then hope that it motivates them to change as well.
Ending Relationships Before They Become More Serious
Some people purposely end or sabotage relationships at the beginning because they think they fear commitment. Often, the fear isnt so much about commitment- its more about committing and then losing that commitment and having to deal with the painful aftermath.
Of course, its reasonable to end a relationship if you arent compatible with the other person. But if you perpetually struggle with maintaining relationships, it could be a sign of anxiety.
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Constantly Needing Reassurance From Your Partner
Low self-esteem can often be a cause of relationship anxiety and manifest as needing constant reassurance from your partner . Providing this kind of constant reassurance can be taxing on your partner. Addressing feelings of low self-esteem is crucial in order to cope with this type of relationship anxiety.
My Husband Gives Me Anxiety
You are in the phase of your life where you are happy with your partner. You live the married life with its ups and downs, but you know it is part of the process.
Sometimes you find yourself with somewhat difficult situations, but in the end, you get, together with your husband, to find a solution.
There are times when you see your husband and you dont feel the same emotions and feelings as before.
Until a certain point, this is normal since feelings change, but this does not doubt that you love your husband and want to be with him, but you see yourself in the situation where you feel very anxious.
You are at home and you see your husband and it makes you anxious.
Sometimes you dont understand why, but just seeing your husband doing something or just nothing cant stop feeling anxious.
You might feel bad because you dont think its normal for your husband to cause you anxiety, but hes doing it.
It is normal to think and see that at certain times you say my husband gives me anxiety.
It may be that they had an argument or problem that you felt your husband generates anxiety at that time.
But it is different when you say my husband gives me anxiety concerning the fact that you dont know why it causes you anxiety.
When a person expresses my husband gives me anxiety, this can be seen for various reasons which the person will have to identify and work on them.
Anxiety is present in the lives of many people.
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Can You Overcome It
It might not feel like it in the moment, but relationship anxiety can be overcome, though it does take some time and effort. And doing so usually involves more than simply being told that your relationship is fine.
I can tell someone their anxiety doesnt necessarily mean theres an underlying problem in the relationship, and indeed they may be well loved, Robertson says. But until they have felt sense that all is well, that they truly are safe and secure, the anxiety will likely persist.
She encourages addressing relationship anxiety early, before it becomes a problem.
These tips can help you get the ball rolling:
How To Move Forward When Your Relationship Is Making Your Anxiety Worse
Once youâve reflected and pinpointed which habits and problems may be exacerbating your anxiety, talk to your partner about how you can better support each other. âIt might be that you want to discuss ‘defining’ your relationship and moving to the next level,â Leo says, âor perhaps it is an issue with intimacy and trust, and you need them to provide you with some reassurance and security.â
If, however, your partner is stressing you out to the point your well-being is at stake, it may be time to look at other options, such as couples therapy, taking a break â or even breaking up.
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Include Your Partner In Self
Do you have any rituals or hobbies you use to take care of your mental health? Maybe you meditate, run or listen to relaxing music. If so, try to include your partner.
Ive done breathing exercises with boyfriends and its very intimate, said life coach Nina Rubin. Weve sat across from each other and breathed at the same slow rate.
Including your partner in rituals like this can help both of you reduce anxiety in the relationship.