Relationship Anxiety

by | Jul 29, 2015

What Does Anxiety Do to Your Relationship?

Everyone is anxious from time to time. You have an important meeting with your boss and you can think of nothing else. You have to give a speech and you’re nervous. You are having a dinner party and cooking a new dish. There are plenty of good reasons for being anxious.

But when apprehension and self-doubt take over, when you are obsessed and overwhelmed with worry, perhaps it’s time to recognize that anxiety is affecting your life adversely. And it can be very hard on your relationships.

Anxiety Shuts You Down

When your anxiety levels are unhealthy, you often avoid things that might be good for you. If you were more rational, you’d take a chance on letting that special someone into your heart. Or you’d try to make the change that could improve your relationship. But anxiety causes you to reject things and ideas that are not, in reality, injurious to you. Anxiety causes you to shut down your emotional life.

Obsessing Exhausts Your Partner

When you are overly anxious, your anxiety takes over and you have little time for anything else. You cannot contribute positively to the relationship when you are overcome with worry. Your partner may try to help and listen to your concerns. But when your anxiety is irrational, there is no amount of patience that will assuage your problem. And when you are being irrational, your partner will, at some point, grow weary of trying to offer practical advice. It will fall on deaf ears because you are consumed with anxiety and can think of nothing else.

Anxiety Makes You Self-Absorbed

When you’re in the throes of high anxiety, your worries and fears are foremost in your mind. You can focus on nothing else. When you are that self-absorbed, you can scarcely have time for your partner’s wants and needs. You are unavailable for your partner and when she has needs, she’s on her own.  Even when your partner wants to share something joyful, your anxiety makes it hard for you to break free of your fear and enjoy a happy moment. You may even have trouble enjoying sex and intimacy.

What to Do About Anxiety

Before you can be present in your relationship, you need to focus on the problem. Chances are your anxiety affects other areas in your life as well—work, school, sleeping, eating. But effective therapy can treat your anxiety, often in a relatively short time, allowing you to get your life back. Seek a therapist whom you trust and feel good about. If you try one who doesn’t resonate with you, try another until you find the right fit. Anxiety is a burden on you and your relationships. But with good therapy, it doesn’t have to be.
Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here:


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