If you suffer from anxiety, you know the toll it takes on your life. You struggle to keep you emotions under control. When those emotions are entangled with another person, you may find yourself in a difficult place. You will want to keep your anxiety in check while experiencing an intimate relationship of trust and vulnerability. The trouble is, your anxiety can erode the very trust and vulnerability that are the bedrocks of a solid relationship.
Navigating a Relationship When You Suffer from Anxiety:
- Manage your anxiety. You can’t expect your partner to support you if you don’t do everything in your power to take care of yourself. That means you do what you need to do to manage your condition—take your medication, see your therapist, meditate, exercise and eat properly. Get plenty of sleep. Be vigilant in taking whatever steps are effective and appropriate.
- Let your partner in. Allow him to see your vulnerabilities, even though they are extremely personal. It’s part of what makes a relationship intimate. Describe how you feel when you’re suffering from anxiety. When you explain what triggers your anxiety, it will help you both avoid those situations. And it will give him a ‘heads up’ when you do become anxious.
- Make support a two-way street. Yes, you will need your partner to understand your condition and help you through rough patches. But he needs support sometimes, too. Let him know that he doesn’t have to shelter you from his troubles—that you can be nurturing and furthermore, you want to. You don’t want to miss out on your part of supporting your intimate relationship.
- Let him love you on his own terms. If you’re prone to anxiety, there may come a time when you become anxious about your relationship. You may find the need for constant reassurance that he loves you. You may obsess that your relationship isn’t going well. When you let yourself worry endlessly about the pitfalls, you become needy. And too much neediness can be oppressive for your partner. When he offers up the fact that he loves you, without a prompt, it means so much more.
- Keep your emotional bank account full. Whenever you can, let your partner know how much you appreciate his support. Show him heartfelt gratitude. Give him the affection and attention he deserves. It will help keep your relationship strong enough to weather the occasional tough times. And it’s a good idea no matter what your emotional state is.
Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: https://www.nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact-us.