There is a ton of information out there on how anxiety impacts you physically and emotionally. But, what about how it impacts your relationship? Have you thought about how it impacts the people around you?
When you have anxiety you feel overwhelmed, and can have periods of panic. It may feel like you have them for no reason. This can leave you feeling confused. The first step is recognizing you have anxiety, and then letting your partner know.
I have seen many couples over the years. Whenever one person in the relationship has an anxiety disorder, it must be treated. If it is not treated, nothing in the relationship will change. And, it could even get worse.
Here are 5 major relationship problems due to anxiety:
- Anxiety crushes your true voice. When you have anxiety, it may be difficult to ask for your true needs. You may also feel like you have to talk about something or do something immediately. In order to get over the anxiety. This can come across as too pushy, and overwhelm your partner. This is also known as catastrophic thinking. You need to stop and gather the facts. It’s alright to take a break and talk about it later.
- Anxiety causes you to behave selfishly. Your worries and fears, cause you to focus too much on yourself. They are also causing you to put unnecessary pressure on the relationship. They may also cause you not to trust your partner. Trust is the foundation to a relationship. You must have it or the relationship will suffer, and eventually end.
- Anxiety robs you and your partner of joy. In order to experience joy, you need to feel safe. Anxiety makes you feel fearful. You are always worried about what will happen next. It also makes it much more difficult to enjoy sex or intimacy. You have trained your brain for stress, so this is what it always expects.
- Anxiety breaks down the emotional connection. Anxiety can make you less aware of your own needs, and your partner’s needs. When you are worried about what could happen in the future, you aren’t fully in the present. This means you need to train your brain, to live in the present. When you find yourself getting caught up in the future, stop and remind yourself that you can’t predict the future.
- Anxiety is the opposite of love. Anxiety causes you to reject the love your partner is trying to give you. You may doubt your partner for no reason. You do this because your worries and fears have taken over. It’s important for your partner to feel loved in the relationship. One way of doing this is by accepting your partner.
One of the best antidotes I have found for anxiety is Mindfulness. This is a form of meditation. You can start with 5-10 minutes a day. Make sure you are in a quiet place and won’t be interrupted.
You can do this before anyone else gets up in the morning. There are many apps. that can help with this. Or, you can just close your eyes, clear your mind and relax. If thoughts try to come in, just acknowledge them without judgement.
It’s also helpful to talk about anxiety. You can start with your friends and family. If you find this is not enough, then it’s time to call a professional for help. Unfortunately, a lot of people suffer from anxiety. This means you aren’t alone, and you aren’t just complaining.
Lianne Avila is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Mateo, CA. She has been using Mindfulness for 16 years, both in her practice and in her personal life. For a free 15-minute phone consultation or more information, please call or email (650) 892-0357 or Lianne@LessonsforLove.com.